Will tomorrow’s superyacht
Be a swath?
as already mentioned. In the course of the past few years several project designs have not only been drawn up but a few have also been built and boast considerable space and extra comfort, not only at sea but also when lying to an anchor in a bay. One of these yachts is “Silver Cloud”. Still, a SWATH configuration has been little exploited so far. It allows you to explore new shapes and solutions, in practical, functional terms as well as in style: we’re looking at least as far as yachts are concerned, at something with plenty of potential but which has not been explored and exploited as much as it seems to deserve. We’ll be viewing several project designs, concepts and other available material in the next few pages.
SWATH 75 by Fincantieri Let’s begin with Fincantieri, which is one of the most longstanding and biggest shipyards in the world. It has built the most imposing and luxurious liners and cruise ships, many cargo ships ferries as well submarines and other military vessels and last but not least some of the world’s largest mega yachts. It was therefore no real surprise when Fincantieri came up with project design work for a 75 metre yacht with a SWATH platform. The yacht has been named SWATH 75 so as to better underscore the choice the shipyard made for its genuine special characteristics sporting great advantages in terms of hydrodynamic efficiency and sea keeping qualities. But that is not all since there are a number of disadvantages in relationship to conventional hulls. Among other things as we’ve already seen, a SWATH configuration has been little deployed so far and more so on decidedly smaller sizes, around 40 metres at the most. Fincantieri opted for something much larger in answer to the problems attributed to SWATHS specially when dealing with the size in question: problems inherent to draught which means that entering or exiting many ports becomes difficult. At the same time the design team tried to re-interpret the very concept of what a yacht is today, something conceived to be more than a floating villa which travels over water looking for the most beautiful and unspoilt places, where it will be made welcome without any restriction thanks to hydrogen propulsion resulting from the experience acquired with submarines. A truly comfortable all weather villa which can easily anchor off in a bay considering the remarkable all round stability this configuration offers. Another problem which is typical of SWATH yachts specially
when on the large side has to do with getting to the surrounding waters from the yacht. Fincantieri’s design team poured over this aspect bringing in much of the experienced gained in designing and then building large ships, and research vessels with considerable platforms, as well as large military ships.therefore also raising platforms, tail-gates, hold doors, telescopic boarding/bathing ladders are some of the solutions made available by Fincantieri to deal with the problem. Perhaps these solutions are easy enough to draw but they also require complex engineering.
SWATH explorer yacht by Abeking & Rasmussen With an LOA of 63 metres and a beam of 24.5 metres this concept design is dedicated to an explorer yacht. Raymond Langton drew it up for the prestigious Abeking & Rasmussen shipyards from Germany. The silhouette as all the exteriors, look a lot like more conventional superyachts. But once you take a look below the waterline you can easily discern the difference by the shaping of the hulls.this yacht sports a SWATH platform, and more especially a SWATH featuring split struts one for the bow and one in the stern so as to reduce the wetted area further thereby reducing drag more, and enhancing stability in a head sea which translates in accrued comfort. The layout obtained by this configuration is remarkable, in terms of extra space when compared to conventional hulls. Raymond Langton exploited all of the four decks at best, which comprise spacious luxury cabins, comfortable lounges,
technical areas, plenty of external space and a helicopter deck. SWATH by Danish Yachts This model sports as many as three struts per submarine shaped tapering floats below the waterline: this is how famous designer Espen Øino imagines his yacht on a SWATH platform. The concept design work produced for Danish Yachts shipyard, comprises ballast water tanks which can reduce or increase the yacht’s draught accordingly. When the ballast water tanks are full and the submarine type floats are deeply immersed you have a standard normal SWATH good for sailing efficiently, while once the water has been pumped out of the tanks the yacht rises high above the water becoming an offshore rig like platform where even the highest waves will pass below it between the struts without impacting against the horizontal plane at all which minimises vertical motion. In practical terms SWATH doubles from being a very comfortable yacht at sea while cruising and an efficient island anywhere you choose, an island which can protect you from hugely impressive and impetuous seas.
SWATH CONCEPT by Ken Freivokh Design Ken Freivokh’s Design studio delivered this 41 metre concept which recalls the technical solutions and the same geometry seen in offshore rigs so as to offer an extremely efficient, sound, and comfortable yacht specially well suited to facing up to very adverse sea conditions.the ideas behind this project were to come up with an essentially stable comfortable platform from which to lower and launch tenders and all sorts of water toys. Surely enough at first sight it looks a lot more like a space ship than a yacht.without doubt were this to be subjected to a feasibility study to realistically assess whether or not it could be a doable project, then several functional and architectural aspects would need to be modified as well as some excesses. WHY NOT by Superyacht Design team Several years ago, in 2010 with several other technical contributors to Superyacht International, we came up with a new “vision” for a superyacht: a ship island, in other words a ship possessing space enough to copy a realistic villa by the sea, or better in the sea which can also move and change place.this idea was triggered off by a heartfelt debate over Wally Yachts with their “Why”. It was a proposal which went well beyond the concept of a floating houseboat or of a floating resort.we’re talking about those hotels above and below the water which have filled scores of magazines’ pages and the dreams of those seeking exclusive holidays, but which are in fact mere static constructions which cannot move. Hybrid things which of course can deliver a variety of pleasant feelings and sensations thanks to often fascinating and natural backdrops in which they are placed but on the contrary, they are a contradiction with the prime reason for which any type of floating object is built, that is to sail or at least with the option of being able to do so. And surfing this emotional wave we named our concept “Why Not”. First of all we had to decide on which could be the best hull, the best suited one with which to build our dream of a ship-island. If for “Why” a special mono hull named “Ramform hull” was devised - which is the same as the inventor’s name - and sports more or less the same dimensions as a catamaran does and is deployed by special cable laying ships, we chose a SWATH configuration for our “Why Not” for the following reasoning: The ample platform above the water guarantees a surface area with no equal on which to build the “villa”; the low powered engines required to sail, together with a relatively slow speed of about 12 knots all out means the vessel can be powered electrically with zero exhaust emissions, at least for some of the time. Remarkable overall stability which does not jeopardize comfort in any way, as often happens with other multi hulls such as catamarans which due to their excessive stability become “stiff ” ( this expression is often used to describe a vessel which is hard to steer as when veering off course for whatever reason it jolts back on course with sudden acceleration which greatly reduces livability); Great sea keeping qualities, both when cruising or when lying to an
would have on the environment: the adoption of hybrid propulsion integrated with renewable energy such as wind vanes and solar panels so as to pollute as little as possible. If on one hand with this objective in mind means sacrificing design on the other it means addressing interesting opportunities so as to give the vessel added aesthetical character. For example for “Why Not” we envisaged a sort of twin layered sheathing or double external skin which would limit the use of A/C supply by deploying a constant airing of interior areas while externally making full use of the second layer there would be less effect from the sun’s rays on the more exposed side thereby reducing heat inside and polluting less.
Floating paradise In a nutshell we’re finalising this brief excursion on how a SWATH can be used best to envisage a Floating Paradise of a superyacht.this is a really interesting and well pondered innovative proposal which summarizes and re enacts the concept of a ship- island initiated with “Why Not” focusing it onto a specific target: “ship-island-resort”. Project design work has been carried out and presented by a promising young designer Roberta Vultaggio in the course of her thesis finalising e degree course in Naval & Yacht Design. Floating Paradise is in fact a luxury resort installed onto a 40 metre SWATH, which from a technical view point is advanced inasmuch as it boasts three submarine shaped floats (SMALL WATER AREA TRIPLE HULL) and not the traditional two. A decidedly rare solution, if not the only one so far in the global naval sector which nevertheless leaves some doubt as to its capacity to cruise. But there’s time enough in which to weed out inherent problems and technical difficulties. For the time being let’s concentrate on the idea and ensuing concept which quoting the designers’ own words: “was to anchor FLOATING PARADISE next to some of the splendid Caribbean village resorts so as to offer visiting guests an extra possibility: the opportunity of enjoying one portion of their holiday at the resort and the other on an itinerant holiday village on the water hopping from one islet to another without losing sight of the splendid heavenly scenario which such resorts offer..... while enjoying a sense of tranquillity which sailing in calm waters conveys”. This outlines a pre set use for which the main deck has been outlined namely to host just six bungalow shaped cabins with independent access directly from the bridge at amidships, as well as several recreational areas with a variety of options.the upper deck hosts a small wellness centre with a pair of Jacuzzi and a well equipped gym. Additionally the SWATH can take in or dispose of water ballast accordingly, similarly to the one you have already seen proposed by Espen Øino’s project for a SWATH which was developed by Danish Yachts shipyard. Albeit by varying the quantity of water in ballast tanks on it is also possible to flood various additional compartments which make the SWATH floats descend further to the extent that both of the Jacuzzi situated at the stern practically reach down to sea water level creating the unique illusion of a enjoying a hydro-massage sitting in the sea. In other words as best described by the young designer in person: “Floating Paradise is a SWATH capable of blending perfectly well in any one of the splendid Caribbean scenarios while offering guests unique experiences and dream holidays”.
Conclusions Based on what we’ve seen the deployment of a special yet “strange” object in the likes of a SWATH necessarily generates equally special and “strange” yachts. In fact were we to use a SWATH platform by which to imagine a yacht, we would have to re think the function the yacht is destined to fulfil according to its limits as well as its advantages and new opportunities this configuration brings with its adoption. We find ourselves in the midst of a design sector which certainly offers grand spaces in which to move, a field in which several famed designers and some important shipyards have already perceived concrete development opportunities. Let’s then ready ourselves to see and examine many other proposals, which stand to become stranger and stranger and more futuristic...because should you want a traditional yacht it is best to do away with a SWATH.