An Island Fit For A Bond Villain

The new lifestyle for the rich and famous

Thanks to climate change, the 1 percent now have a new problem to worry about. As sea levels rise, their private islands are imperiled. With a new concept from Swiss submarine-maker Migaloo, islands no longer have to be so annoyingly stationary. Kokomo Ailand is a custom-built multistory mega-yacht that comes complete with a penthouse, submarine bays, a beach club, and a shark elevator.

Specs of Migaloo Submarines: Kokomo Ailand

  • Footprint: 98,304 square feet (384 feet long by 256 feet wide)
  • Hull depth: 67.25 feet
  • Build time: Five to eight years
  • Cost: TBD (What’s your Forbes rank?)
  • Top speed: 7 knots (8 mph)

Solid Ground

Like a cruise ship, Kokomo Ailand is a series of decks. They sit atop two massive pontoons, which remain submerged to keep the craft level. Four submersible towers extend below the pontoons; they house storage, service decks, and the four anchor lines that keep the Ailand in place.

Resort Setting

At the edge of the superstructure, an artificial beachfront leads to a pool and an elevator-accessible oceanfront beach club. Above that, there’s a garden deck for sightseeing and outdoor dining, a spa deck with a gym and salon, and a jungle deck with palm trees and waterfalls.

Trillion Dollar View

The owner’s penthouse sits 26 stories above sea level, and includes a private gym and glass-bottom hot tub. His (or her) entourage can enjoy the 10 or more suites on the decks below.

Beach club on Kokomo Ailand

Deep Dives

An elevator drops from the main deck to a viewing pod 10 feet below the ocean’s surface; pressure-proof glass protects those inside from swarming sharks and other sea life. For those who prefer more of a safety net, a glassed-in dining room in one of the support towers also provides underwater views.

Escape Routes

The Ailand can accommodate up to four docking bays, custom-built for craft such as sailboats, subs, or even a fleet of personal watercraft. For Hollywood-style getaways, a helipad large enough for a 59-foot, 30-passenger Sikorsky S-61 sits just off the main deck.

Flight Plan

Below each tower is a thruster called an azipod, developed in the 1980s for icebreakers and tankers. Unlike propellers, which push the water, azipod blades pull it. This reduces resistance for a smoother (and more-efficient) ride. The pods also rotate 360 degrees, eliminating the need for rudders.

This article was originally published in the May/June 2016 issue of Popular Science, under the title “An Island Fit for a Bond Villain.”