A growing number of modern yachts comes equipped with helipads, as helicopters are a convenient, time-saving, stylish and safe means of transportation. The ability to land a helicopter practically anywhere allows easy transportation of superyachts guests to or from the airports or various cities, without wasting time in heavy traffic.
One of the main advantages of having a helicopter on-board of yacht, is a significant time-saving feature due to the quick delivery options. Additionally, extreme sports enthusiasts can enjoy helicopter water skiing, some owners even pilot their helicopters. What is more, a helicopter facilitates the evacuation of sick or injured passengers when needed. Another important fact is that helicopters are environmentally friendly and considered one of the most quiet vehicle type.
To comply with the aviation rules and codex, helicopter-constructing companies work closely with yacht designers, which allows a helipad to be integrated into yachts’ outlines at the very beginning of construction, with the best on-board positioning.
It is worth mentioning that a yacht can house practically any helicopter model on-board, provided that the size of the vessel allows a helipad at all. From the historical perspective, the 36.6-metre Buckpasser motor yacht, built in 1985 at the Hitachi-Zosen shipyard, was one of the very first yachts to boast a fully-functional helicopter landing zone.
There are two approaches to landing a helicopter on a yacht. The first one can be described as touch-and-go. Those helipads are used only for non-commercial operation, and there are no standards and rules for it. The second approach, called fully-certified or commercially-certified, is far more common though. The basic rules governing the design, construction and operation of such sites are listed in the Commercial Yacht Code of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. In addition, international aviation regulations require that all commercial air transport helicopters should land on certified helipads, or in this case a helicopter deck, which must be built according to certain standards.
This way, landing a helicopter requires a fairly large space on a yacht. In many cases, a folding fence is used, as well as a removable safety net and flush-mounted lighting. Sometimes when a helicopter is employed, the yacht itself operates differently. For example, a hardtop on a 50-metre Westport Vango yacht folds up to 90 degrees, creating extra clearance, and also blocking the interaction of air flows between the rotor of the helicopter and the mast of the yacht.
The location of the helipad is usually determined by the aesthetics of the yacht design, and not by the potential hazards of turbulence and movement. Whether the owner chooses to locate it on the bow of the ship or at the stern, it has a strong influence on the layout of other decks. The bow position influences the structure less and provides a landing when the stern decks are used to relax the guests. However, landing there is generally not possible when the boat is moving.
As to the optimal size of the helipad, first of all, as a rule, helipads can appear on yachts not shorter than 45 meters LOA. For the helipads, designers have coined a term “non-obstacle length,” meaning a helipad should be 1.25 times longer than the tail rotor and the main rotor of the helicopter.
All in all, it is important for designers and shipbuilders to seek advice from aviation professionals as early as possible in order to avoid difficulties or make costly changes. It is also significant to keep in mind, how the owner plans to use a helicopter. For example, whether he or she needs to fly at night, or whether a helicopter requires maintenance or refuelling facilities on-board.
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