The (Sea) X-Fac­tor

Ben Lyons is a li­censed cap­tain and CEO of EYOS Ex­pe­di­tions.

Yachts International - - Sternlines -

one of the main cri­te­ria for ex­plor­ing any re­mote re­gion is au­ton­omy, so the ves­sel should be able to re­main at sea with­out shore sup­port for up to 40 days. ice­break­ing ca­pa­bil­ity is ob­vi­ously an­other fac­tor in po­lar re­gions. the SeaX­plorer con­cepts are the first of their kind to be de­signed in com­pli­ance with the new Po­lar code, which will be ap­plied to new ves­sels built from the be­gin­ning of 2017 and ba­si­cally sim­pli­fies the cur­rent ice clas­si­fi­ca­tions and en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards un­der a sin­gle set of rules.

We wanted to keep the proven sea­keep­ing ca­pa­bil­ity of the damen axe Bow, but we also in­tro­duced an ice­break­ing stern for thicker ice. the ten­ders are hugely im­por­tant too, and the quicker they can be launched the bet­ter, es­pe­cially when watch­ing wildlife. Part of our brief was to rec­om­mend the types of ten­ders and fast de­ploy­ment sys­tems, so we can get craft in the wa­ter even when the moth­er­ship is un­der­way. in to­tal, we had a wish list of over 250 spe­cific fea­tures that we felt should be in­cluded.

to en­sure the ves­sel still looks like an ex­plorer yacht and not a re­search ship, the azure Yacht de­sign team had com­plete con­trol over the ex­te­rior styling, and there was a very clear di­vi­sion of la­bor be­tween the aes­thetic and tech­ni­cal parts of the ves­sel. We spec­i­fied wide bridge wings for bet­ter vis­i­bil­ity when break­ing ice, and rec­om­mended an ob­ser­va­tion post in the bow so guests can eas­ily fol­low wildlife in the wa­ter or on the ice. We also ad­vised on the board­ing sys­tems to al­low ten­ders to come up against the hull with­out gang­ways hang­ing down, and the tran­si­tion zones from the harsh con­di­tions out­side to the lux­ury in­te­rior en­vi­ron­ment.

the mer­its of an ex­plorer yacht should be de­fined by the ex­pe­ri­ences it can of­fer own­ers and guests. damen and amels ap­proached us be­cause they rec­og­nized that we have ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise in our field, while for us their com­bined com­mer­cial and yacht­build­ing ex­pe­ri­ence made them the per­fect part­ners. From the start, we were on the same page in want­ing to do some­thing dif­fer­ent, and do it bet­ter.

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