Earlier this year it was revealed that Norwegian billionaire, Kjell Inge Røkke would build the world's largest yacht in the world. With a length of 181.6 meters, his Research Expedition Vessel (REV) is set to beat out the current record holder, the 180 meter Azzam, by 1.6 meters.
Designed by industry superstar, Espen Oeino, the REV will be built by Vard and boast accommodation for up to 36 guests. Following her delivery in 2020, the superyacht will be made available for charter, her main purpose will however be to act as a platform for research and expeditions according to her owner.
"The REV will be a platform for gathering knowledge" her future owner, Kjell Inge Røkke explained. "I would like to welcome researchers, environmental groups, and other institutions on board, to acquire new skills to evolve innovative solutions, to address challenges and opportunities connected to the sea."
Valued at $2,9 billion by Forbes, Røkke is currently the fourth richest man in Norway and 693rd in the world. Having started out as an 18 year-old fisherman with no higher education, Røkke made his fortune in the fishing space, purchasing his first trawler in the 1980s and eventually building up a large fleet. Earlier this year Røkke said he planned to give most of his fortune away.
The REV, set to be operated in tandem with WWF is one of the key focuses of his plan to help the environment. Set to be delivered by Vard in 2020, the yacht will be able to deploy mini-submarines, drones and actual submarines, transport up to 60 researches, gather data up to a depth of 6,000 meters and remove up to 5 tons of plastic per day.
Røkke further explained to the media that his first large factory trawler was built by Vard 30 years ago and that he had maintained a great working relationship with them since then, which is why the Norway-based shipyard obtained the contract to build the REV.
Amongst key features on the REV will be equipment for monitoring and surveying marine areas, modern laboratories, an auditorium, two helipads, a hangar for a remote operated vehicle and an autonomous underwater vehicle as a multifunctional cargo deck aft of the ship.
"There may not be any economic rationale for the private construction of such a ship, but the case is compelling from the ocean's point of view" Røkke explained. "I look forward to working with scientists and positive, knowledgeable, solution-orientated people both in Norway and internationally."
When not in use for research, the Research Expedition Vessel will however also engage in 'traditional' charter activity, being rented out to ultra high net worth individuals on a weekly basis. Under this configuration, the megayacht would carry up to 36 guests and a crew of 54.
"The vessel will be built to the highest standard making it suitable for charter to private individuals, companies, and institutions, which will generate research funding, and my family and I will also charter and use the ship as a place for recreation and inspiration" detailed Røkke.
Operated by the World Wide Fund's (WWF) Norwegian branch and its CEO, Nina Jensen, the non-profit will benefit from complete autonomy in managing the yacht with regards to her billionaire owner according to one of his statements. Røkke plans to give away most of his fortune to clean up the oceans.
With a length of 181.6-meters, the REV beats out the 180-meter Azzam for the title of the world's largest yacht by 1.6 meters. Built for the Emir of Dubai by Lurssen in 2013, Azzam is world famous for being the current record holder. Designed by Christophe Leoni and Nauta Yachts, Azzam can reach a top speed of 30 knots powered by engines giving her a total of 94,000 hp.
Prior to Azzam, the title was, for a long time, held by the 162.5-meter Eclipse. Built by Blohm+Voss in 2010 for Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC owner, Roman Abramovich, she features two helipads and a special set of lime-colored lifeboats to qualify to transport a larger number of guests.
Whilst the REV's 2020 delivery date positions her to becoming the world's longest yacht, it is currently unlikely that she will become the world's largest yacht by interior volume due to her open space of the yacht. This record is currently held by Russian billionaire, Alisher Usmanov and his 156-meter Dilbar, delivered by Lurssen in 2016.
The REV is part of a recent explosive growth in Norway's super yacht sector, with several of the world's largest yachts in build in the Scandinavian country. One of these is the 116-meter explorer, Ulysses, which will become the second explorer yacht the shipyard will have delivered to New Zealand's richest man, Graeme Hart in the past 3 years.
Just a few days ago, the shipyard signed a contract to build yet another 100m explorer in partnership with Lurssen. This follows several other commercial shipyards in Norway venturing into the super yacht space and Norway increasing its popularity as a destination for super yachts itself.
Previously most famous for importing his version of American capitalism to Norway, Røkke is already not a stranger to the super yacht world as one might expect. The first yacht that the press linked to Roekke has been the 66-meter sailing yacht, Aglaia delivered by Dutch-based Vitters in 2012.
Designed by Dubois and built out of aluminum, the 66-meter can have its mainsail up in less than two minutes according to the shipyard. She also carries the largest artwork ever made on canvas, a fully customized sail made by Norwegian artist Magne Furuholmen. Now renamed Ahimsa, she was sold at the end of 2014.
Roekke was also reportedly the original owner of the 70-meter Reverie. The largest yacht by gross tonnage ever built by Italian shipyard, Benetti at the time of her build, Reverie was delivered to a design by John Munford in 2000.
With an interior volume of 1,975 GT, Reverie, now known as Freedom following her recent change in ownership in 2013 at an asking price of $49,5 million, she stretches over seven decks.
Røkke's latest yacht is believed to be the 85.9-meter sailing yacht Aquijo. Delivered in 2016 as a joint partnership between Vitters, the builders of the first yacht linked to Røkke and Oceanco, a renowned builder of yachts mainly over 80 meters.
Vitters developed a custom steering system for Aquijo. It works by translating the hydrodynamic forces on the rudder blades directly to the steering wheels on the flybridge, thus providing the helmsman with immediate feedback and a feeling for how the yacht is moving through the water.
The yacht comprises 4 decks and is able to accommodate up to 12 guests. Spaces, particularly where alfresco areas abut interior ones, were configured to flow from one to the other without restrictions.
Aquijo is not only the largest ketch in the world but also among the 10 largest sailing superyachts completed to date. Built under the project name P85, the German studio Dölker + Voges was responsible for her interior design, whilst Tripp Design Naval Architecture styled her exterior.
Often hailed by media as the self-made man who changed the way business was done in Norway, Roekke is also known in the business world as a billionaire with an explosive temper and a taste for the supersized according to Reuters. Currently valued at $2,9 billion by Forbes, Roekke's fortune initially came from fishing, since then the 55-year-old has however expanded his empire.
Leaving high school as a dyslexic teenager with no education, he moved to Seattle to become a fisherman in Seattle. Saving up and eventually investing in a number of old boats, transforming them into trawlers and building up his fortune in the process. Roekke then chose to return to Norway in the 1990s, seeing new opportunities in his home country.
Shortly after his return to Norway, Roekke acquired 40% of 173-year-old conglomerate, Aker in 1996 and merged it with his Resources Group International before acquiring Kvaerner in 2000.
"He was the first one to bring American-style, aggressive capitalism to Norway, daring to use shareholder power to get what he wanted." detailed one of his biographers. "This was quite unheard of in Norway at the time."
When many had thought that Roekke would act as a corporate raider, chopping off the company piece by piece for cash, he took a different approach. "He has shown he thinks about the long-term when he makes investments and buys firms." commented Det Norske former executive, Erik Haugane.
In 2014, Roekke's Det Norske paid $2,1 billion in cash to acquire Marathon Oil's Norwegian business, creating the second largest oil producer in the country behind Statoil. Since his Aker holding has also divested from his original fishing business.
"My wife is totally right when she says I suffer from an incurable disease: gigantomania. She has tried to cure me but given up." he wrote in a 2011 letter to shareholders. "We had agreed to build a sailboat of 66. She meant 66 feet; naturally, I was thinking in meters. It ended up at 66 meters."
Icon Yachts presented the 70-meter conversion superyacht Project Ufo with a Polar C hull. The exterior is made by Murray & Associates and interiors penned by H2 Yacht Design. Project Ufo has a 3,000 GT interior volume and features a helicopter pad and hanger for a EC 145 helicopter and a submarine, 10-meter outdoor pool, a gym and spa area and a hot tub. Project Ufo will be able to accommodate up to 18 guests, including two master suites and three VIP suites which can be converted into six staterooms.The vessel will carry a 12-meter sportfisher, a 12-meter tender, a 6-meter landing craft, a wakeboard tender, a rescue tender and a full host of toys for on-water activities.Icon Yachts was founded in 2005 and is based in Harlingen, Netherlands. The facility can accommodate four 70m vessels simultaneously, or up to six 50m yachts, with a mast clearance height of 28m at NAP. Credits: Icon Yachts
September 29, 2022
The Monaco Yacht Show is the best way to see the world’s largest superyachts. The Show opened today with over a hundred superyachts exhibited. We choose the six biggest. AhpoLürssen115mThe 115m superyacht Ahpo will be the largest at the show. She was delivered by Lürssen in November 2021, and has spent her first season in the Caribbean. Ahpo has been built for a repeat client who previously owned an 86-meter Lürssen and required top-notch design and engineering as well as seagoing comfort for his family. The yacht’s unique exterior and interior design was made by Nuvolari Lenard. Phoenix IILürssen90m The Phoenix II was designed by Winch Design and built by Lürssen in 2010. With a beam of 13.8 m and a draft of 3.75 m, she has a steel hull and aluminum superstructure. With her owner-inspired shimmering art deco interiors and manhattan-style glamor, were made together with Winch Design. She is powered by MTU engines giving her a maximum speed of 18 knots and a cruising speed of 14 knots. The Phoenix II motor yacht can accommodate 12 guests in six cabins. Here Comes The SunDamen Yachting89mHere Comes The Sun was delivered by Amels in 2017. In 2021 yacht left the Damen Yachting yard in the Vlissingen having undergone a complex and extensive refit to meet the needs of her new owner. The now 89-meter Amels Refit has undergone a complete transformation in both size and style thanks to a 6-meter extension, increased volume from 2827 to 2977 GT, layout modifications, additional VIP accommodation and a full respray with color change. She features a spacious beach club and spa, and the ability to land a helicopter on the sun deck and a brand new paint job.Project XGolden Yachts88m Project X will be exhibited by Greek luxury yacht builder Golden Yachts. The 88m yacht features the exterior design that belongs to Ken Freivokh, while her interior style is the work of Massari Design Studio and naval architecture by Marco Yachts. She can accommodate up to 12 guests and 28 crew members including the captain. B2Abeking & Rasmussen86mB2 was built by Abeking & Rasmussen in 2008. The 85.61m yacht features the design by Reymond Langton and can accommodate 22 guests in 11 cabins. With a beam of 12.4 m and a draft of 3.2 m, she has a steel hull and aluminum superstructure. She is powered by Caterpillar engines of 2000 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 16 knots and a cruising speed of 14 knots. B2's maximum range is estimated at 7000 nautical miles. Her interior refit that was designed by Winch Design, was completed in July.VictoriousAKYacht85m Victorious features elegant exterior styling by Michael Leach Design and naval architecture by Marco Yachts. Her interior styling was drawn up by H2 Yacht Design. Victorious can accommodate 24 guests in one of 12 staterooms. The superyacht’s twin CAT engines give her a cruising speed of 13 knots and a top speed of 15.5 knots. Credits: MYS; Yacht Harbour archive
September 28, 2022
The Damen Yachting team has announced the sale of the next Amels 60 to the European owner. The 60-meter vessel became the sixth hull from the shipyard's new generation of Amels Limited Editions.“This latest Amels 60 is a wonderful example of our Limited Editions concept. The owner has been able to step into a new build just a couple of years before delivery and still benefit from the opportunity to make a number of customisations to the yacht to suit his and his family’s needs as a world cruiser,” says Jorrit Pilaar, Damen Yachting’s Sales Manager.The new style Amels Limited Editions featuring exterior design by Espen Oeino which was first introduced in 2019. In keeping with the Amels Limited Editions concept, this latest Amels 60 will feature the same original window design as the first hull whilst incorporating some unique elements of individuality. Her striking color scheme as well as some minor additional exterior features such as windbreakers and swim stairs will certainly differentiate her from the Amels 60s to date.The owner has appointed Winch Design to create the custom interiors which also include slight modifications to the interior layout to accommodate the new owner’s intended use of the yacht as a family cruising worldwide. Her design optimizes the use of space and the onboard owner and guest experience with her large sun deck, swim platform and folding owners suite balcony together with a generous interior volume of 830 GT, including provision for a 9-meter tender to be stowed on the foredeck.The Amels 60 features hybrid power and propulsion technology and is scheduled for delivery in 2024.Damen Yachting, a division within the Damen Shipyards Group, was created in 2019. The division combines the pedigree and heritage of Amels yachts with a growing portfolio of SeaXplorer yachts and Yacht Support vessels.Credits: Damen Yachting
September 28, 2022
Feadship premiered the concept yacht called Slice at the opening of the Monaco Yacht Show. A revolutionary 85-meter yacht tackles one of the biggest owner grievances in yacht design: long hallways, dark interiors and stacked living spaces. Engineered with a glass strip running entirely from bow to stern, allowing for natural light to filter in through multiple decks, Slice “turns the inside out and the outside in,” says Studio De Voogt Lead Designer Chris Bottoms and Head of Design Tanno Weeda. For this concept Feadship set out to completely reimagine a yacht from inside out. The designers sliced their CAD model right down the centreline and pushed the halves apart to make room for a strip of glass running from bow to stern. It is not glass alone, but glass overlaying a structural framework that lets natural light filter through multiple decks. It is a far more challenging plan than a series of skylights; it totally redefines the relationship between spaces throughout the interior of the yacht.The brief to the engineer and design team was to challenge the very zeitgeist of typical yacht layouts by investigating natural light and vertical spaces. More specifically, the brief asked for a linear ‘transition from the mountain to the sea’.Having a slice running down the middle opens up countless spatial and lighting possibilities. Corridors become so much more than just hallways transitioning from one space to another – they have their own purpose and become enjoyable spaces in their own right.The heart of the yacht is the 70 sq. m atrium at main deck level. Uninterrupted by a staircase, the atrium is more than a lobby but a destination in its own right for guests moving fore and aft. Its cascading circular balconies open a wide range of possibilities for lighting and art installations.A 10-meter-long pool designed using data science. Often used to determine hull efficiency, comfort at sea and at anchor calculations, the design team embraced data science to define the pool’s shape and placement of hidden dampers to conquer slosh. Similarly impressive is the use of ultra-high modulus material inspired by Formula 1’s research into high tensile carbon fiber. While F1’s high tensile carbon fiber wasn’t stiff enough for yachting needs, the De Voogt team worked with carbon fiber manufacturers to develop their own specific ultra-high modulus material. “The strips we bonded to the main girders of a wheelhouse deck are two times higher stiffness than steel but are lower in weight than aluminum.” The material is already being used in Feadship’s yards, giving the design team the confidence to integrate it into the atrium, multi-level walkways and the framework for the long glass insets on Slice’s top deck.Slice’s propulsion system will be powered by four dual-fuel generators which have been modified to run on both methanol and non-fossil diesel (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil – HVO) and the generated power will be delivered to two Azimuthing pods. The HVO is to be used as pilot fuel to assist with the combustion of the methanol. Due to the lack of worldwide supply points of methanol, a larger than required HVO capacity has been accommodated to increase the range of HVO-only sailing. This allows the methanol to be used sparingly when running low until the next methanol supply point is reached and also enables global cruising. The option of replacing one of the generators with methanol fuel cells exists, which would generate power to contribute to the hotel load of the vessel. A battery array, supplied with power from both generators, and the fuel cells allows for low speed, silent cruising and for peak shaving of the generators.To conceptualize Slice’s interior, Feadship turned to Dutch designer Marco van Ham and asked him to avoid teak entirely. Instead, Van Ham and his team brought in a palette of backlit marbles and onyx, surfaces formed of liquid metals, silver leaf, shagreen, straw marquetry and even pyrite with juxtapositions of shiny and matte surfaces. Warm neutral fabrics evoke a spirit of calm relaxation. Undulating lines inform the floors and most of the furniture reflects organic shapes and is kept low to avoid obscuring views. What you won’t find on the concept for Slice’s interior are squared off doors and box-like rooms.With Slice, Feadship wanted a yacht that specifically addressed a recurring owner request: an open and private aft pool and sundecks with sea views and out of sight of passers-by and deliverymen while moored in port. Slice delivers on this with a fully engineered passerelle and watertight forward entrance so it can be moored bow-in. At the touch of a button, a full-height section of the stem at main deck level hinges open and a passerelle deploys, guests make a short walk from the quay, disappear into the privacy and security of the interior and arrive first a welcome area forward of the yacht’s tender bays.Feadship was formed as a group in 1949 as a marketing partnership between six Dutch shipyards, de Vries Lentch, Van de Stadt, Witsen & Vis, Akerboom, De Vries Scheepsbouw and Van Lent Shipyard, and De Voogt Naval Architects. Feadship is well-known as one of the Netherlands’ most elite yacht builders and delivers superyachts from 50–100+ meters in length.Credits: Feadship
September 28, 2022
At today's Closing Press Conference of the 62nd Genoa International Boat Show journalists heard the closing statements. The six-day event saw 168 events including conventions, seminars, technical workshops, conferences, presentations, and 4,463 sea trials."This has been not only an incredible Boat Show, but above all an efficient one: in an exceptional moment for the yachting industry, having grown by 31.1%, with a turnover of € 6.1 billion and a workforce growing by 9.7%, visitors have increased by 10.7% since last year to an impressive 103,812 (as recorded at 11.00 am this morning), and all contracts have been closed," says Saverio Cecchi, President of the Italian Marine Industry Association and I Saloni Nautici."The results have exceeded all expectations and, in addition to the success achieved in terms of the public and businesses, the city has been able to open up and function as a place of high-quality hospitality and entertainment. The next step will be in June 2023 when, on the new Eastern Waterfront which is currently taking shape, Genoa will be the final stage of The Ocean Race. This is a sport in which there is always a finish line: for us, the one shared with the Italian Marine Industry Association and the Saloni Nautici will be the new ten-year agreement starting in 2024, which will include all new exhibition areas," comments Marco Bucci, The Mayor of Genoa.The President of the Liguria Regional Council, Mr Giovanni Toti: "What makes me proud today is not only the number of visitors who came to enjoy the Genoa Boat Show but the rate of growth recorded for employment throughout the entire industry. This is an economy that works, an economy that makes dreams come true, and the Genoa International Boat Show is its focal point. Just like the new Eastern Waterfront, Italy's largest urban regeneration site, the Show is the dream of a better city becoming a reality."Credits: Genoa International Boat Show
September 27, 2022