Superyacht Owners Go for Support Vessels

By George Backwell at September 22, 2012 20:11
Filed Under: General, Shipyards

Where to stow all those ‘toys’ that burden the superyacht owner was a question thankfully answered at the recent Monaco Yacht Show by luxury yacht builder Amels in the form of their superyacht ’shadow’ craft, the 67 meter (220.3 ft) long Garçon.

Superyacht Support Vessel Garçon: Photo courtesy of Amels

A speedboat, sets of jet-skis, a sailboat, perhaps even a submarine and a helicopter, all take up space that might otherwise be used for serious leisure aboard the superyacht, yet despite changes to the recently revised Large Yacht Code (LY3) which will lift the 3,000 gt size limit for new-builds from late 2013, it seems a growing number of superyacht owners do find the support vessel an attractive proposition. Not only does the craft provide an answer to the space problem, but it also enables fuel and store replenishment at sea, thus avoiding the need for extended voyage itineraries to be figured around bunker port calls.

Superyacht shadow support craft Garçon was shown off in Monaco by Holland’s Damen Shipyards’ group member Amels. She is a Sea Axe 6711 design fast support vessel with 235 sq.m of deck space for owners’ ‘toys’ and a SOLAS-certified helipad for commercial use.

Based on the ‘Axe Bow’ concept, Damen holds an exclusive licence on the Sea Axe design which was developed for high-speed vessels initially to improve operability and for crew safety and comfort. This distinctive design also provides much lower wave resistance, improved fuel consumption and hence lower exhaust gas emissions.

Sea Axe 6711 Design: Image courtesy of Amels

Classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) has recently recognised the specialist roles of shadow yachts and introduced an appropriate class notation (Support Yacht Craft) and construction requirements derived specifically for this type of craft – from the sill heights of door openings and ventilators, to windows, port-lights and accessible port areas.

LR pioneered the concept of the support vessel with the classification of the US-built Golden Shadow, a 66 metre long vessel which has supported the superyacht Golden Odyssey since 1995. Although many, like Amels’ Sea Axe, are custom-built others are specially converted research vessels, tug boats or supply ships.

General Pariculars: Sea Axe 6711 FYS

LOA: 67.15 m (220.3 ft)
Beam: 11.2 m (36.7 ft)
Gross Tonnage: 1128 tonnes
Crew: 21
Range: 4500 nm at 18 knots
Deck space: 235 sq.m (excluding heli platform)
Interior deck storage: 140 sq.m
Full solas helipad: 5000 kg take-off weight
Engines: 4X Caterpillar 1425 kW
Speed: 18-25 kts

 

 

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