As an increasing number of yacht support vessels are welcomed onto the market, Yacht Charter Fleet takes a look at how they can elevate your yacht charter vacation to a whole new level of luxury.
The growing desire to cruise to increasingly far-flung destinations for longer periods of time while still being able to cater for every possibility demands a new breed of luxury support vessel.
Thankfully, what were once merely floating garages trailing behind their motherships are now transforming into innovative, customised vessels, and opening up unprecedented levels of freedom and extraordinary possibilities in superyacht logistics.
Read on to discover why you should charter a yacht support vessel alongside a superyacht.
1. BIGGER AND BETTER TOYS
The amount of water toys a motor yacht can carry is ultimately restricted by the size of its tender garage. However, a yacht support vessel boasts ample storage space above and below deck, designed especially to house bigger and better toys. There will be no compromise when choosing between what tender to take and deciding on whether to pack the submersible or sailing dinghy. Chartering a support vessel ensures no toys are left behind.
Available to charter alongside the 87m/285ft superyacht ACE, the 67m/220ft support vessel GARCON is equipped with a whole host of equipment, including a Bell 365 helicopter, five large tenders, a 4-man submarine, a complete diving cabin, jet skis, waverunners and seabobs.
2. AN OPTIONAL HELIDECK
A fully-certified helideck is a key feature of any support vessel as the mothership can remain easily accessible without having to sacrifice her luxury deck space. What’s more, guests will not have to abandon their sun loungers and seek refuge indoors when a helicopter lands on deck.
The support vessel will also be armed with storage facilities for helicopter fuel as well as re-fuelling capabilities. These amenities are particularly pertinent in cruising grounds with a less-developed superyacht infrastructure.
Chartering a support vessel ensures that no toys are left behind, any helicopters are comfortably accommodated, and so much more
3. GREATER FREEDOM
Equipped with heavy-duty cranes, yacht support vessels are able to easily off-load and retrieve tenders and water toys. This allows the mothership to be much more spontaneous. As the yacht support vessel packs up, the mothership can cruise ahead.
Capable of faster cruising speeds, the yacht support vessel can also race ahead to the next anchorage and prepare for the mothership’s arrival.
Part of the renowned Golden Fleet, the 67m/220ft support vessel ‘Golden Shadow' has a stern elevator platform, which has the capacity to lift up to 12 tons, and is able to launch and recover dive boats and even a sea plane.
4. SUPERIOR STORAGE
Despite carrying extra waters toys and fuel provisions, a support vessel still has ample room to act as a storage facility for other equipment and supplies. Refrigerated containers can house perishables, and gear for diving and entertainment can be stowed away safely until required by guests. On some vessels, there are even sleeping quarters to accommodate more ancillary staff and crew.
5. ADVANCED SECURITY
Extra space also enables a yacht support vessel to house additional security devices, and advanced communication and navigation equipment. This means even if the yacht support vessel is out of sight it can still supervise the mothership and her surrounds, ensuring a smooth passage and peace of mind for charter guests.
6. INCREDIBLE LOOKS
Designed to turn heads as much as their motherships, yacht support vessels are faired and painted to the same exacting standards as their superyacht counterparts. They are guaranteed to look at home in Monaco, St Tropez or any other luxury cruising destination.
As this video clip of superyacht VANTAGE cruising alongside support vessel AD-VANTAGE reveals support vessel AD-VANTAGE cuts as fine a figure as her mother yacht.
7. EVEN MORE LUXURY
At the very least, a yacht support vessel’s interior will be decorated to the same standards as the crew areas on board a mothership. Some, however, will match the exacting interior of the mothership herself. When arriving by helicopter, charter guests will be able to refresh and relax in the support vessel’s luxurious main salon before making their way across to the mothership.
Luxury support vessels are guaranteed to look at home in Monaco, St Tropez or any other luxury cruising destination
8. A FASTER PACE
State of the art engineering ensures that yacht support vessels are equipped with the power and stability to maintain high speeds, even in rough seas. Indeed, there is no chance of your luxury support vessel lagging behind. The 51m/168ft support vessel PURSUIT is able to reach a maximum speed of 28 knots and cruises at a speedy 25 knots.
9. CUTTING-EDGE ENGINEERING
Sharing a similarity with superyachts, yacht support vessels allow engineers to explore new concepts in ship design. For example, Amels and Damen have pioneered and patented the ‘Axe Bow’, so called because the forefoot is deeper than the keel and thereby resembles an axe. This new design provides up to 15 percent less resistance, better seakeeping in large waves and up to 75 percent less vertical peak accelerations when compared to other ships travelling at the same speed.