Oceanco shares some of the options available for onboard technology that could have come straight out of the pages of a spy novel.
For custom-built superyachts, there are some owners who choose to opt for secret-service level security and privacy onboard, maybe because they enjoy cutting edge gadgetry or they wish to continue their regular lifestyle while at sea. From drone blocking force fields to motion-detecting smart floors, the kinds of futuristic technologies we are used to seeing in action films are not so far from the reality of today’s top-level security and privacy options for large custom superyachts.
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“When it comes to creating a fully bespoke superyacht, we are accustomed to the challenges of specialist requests such as these. James Bond had ‘Q’ to supply his outlandish gadgets; superyacht owners have ‘O’, aka Oceanco,” comments Paris Baloumis, Oceanco’s Marketing Director. “Although the company naturally maintains full confidentiality regarding any specific client’s requirements as well as their identities. “We bring in experts from inside and outside yachting to consult on high-security projects and adopt technologies from other sectors. What’s more, we take our own security at Oceanco very seriously to maintain privacy during the construction of our yachts; the shipyard is fitted out with high-security systems, too.”
And with increasing autonomy and range on today’s vessels, many are heading off the beaten track and into remote waters where local medical back-up might be in shorter supply. In response, the grandest and most well-equipped superyachts can be kitted out with fully functioning hospitals, manned by dedicated medical staff, to provide reassurance.
In the extremely rare case that an unwanted visitor boards their yacht, some owners like the reassurance of a secure location to go to. These places are known as ‘citadels’, and they were first put to use in commercial shipping before crossing over to yachting.
Citadels are kitted out with independent, overriding access to the yacht’s navigational and satellite communications systems, so even when you don’t have access to the bridge, you can maintain full control. The rooms themselves are fitted with reinforced doors and have ballistic protection on the surrounding walls. Inside, they are equipped with their own ventilation systems as well as water and food supplies to provide total self-sufficiency.
Emergency escape ‘life-pods’ for a rapid getaway
And the next generation of citadels could be distinctly more mobile. Like crossing a lifeboat with a space ship, these emergency escape ‘Life-Pods’ provide a rapid getaway. The watertight pods are constructed from high-tech materials to resist impact and feature built-in GPS trackers, temperature and fire barrier controls, and air purification systems.
In recent years, drones have been making headlines for their interference with commercial airports, and the military have been particularly keen to curb their capability to spy on top secret locations. As well as being a handy tool for the paparazzi to get up-close shots of a superyacht’s private enclaves and the guests within them, those involved in the murky waters of industrial espionage can thank drones for greatly increasing their capabilities, too.
But a new generation of devices to detect and defeat these drones is emerging to neutralize the occasional threats to privacy and security on yachts. One such defense system identifies any commercial drones in operation within a 20 kilometer radius, providing GPS positions of both the drone and the pilot as well as an indication of said drone’s heading and speed.
A 500-meter electronic ‘exclusion zone’ around the yacht
Once the drone threat has been confirmed, the system engages a 500-meter-plus electronic ‘exclusion zone’ around the yacht (not unlike the force fields we are used to seeing in sci-fi films) that blocks any unwanted airborne visitors. If the drone makes it to the perimeter of the exclusion zone, its controls and video feed are jammed, effectively rendering the pilot’s controls useless, and its ‘return to home’ function (which usually kicks in when the drone has a low battery) is triggered.
The Long-Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD for short, is an acoustic deterrent that was originally developed for military use. But as the threat of piracy to commercial shipping and yachting in certain areas such as the Gulf of Aden grew over recent decades, the device has been adopted to deter unwelcome visitors in non-military settings.
Intruder diver detectors
Think someone could sneak up on a superyacht by pulling on a wet suit and scuba gear? Think again, as some superyachts are choosing to install sonar systems that detect, track and identify divers or underwater vehicles approaching from any direction.
Keeping sonar environmentally friendly
Sonardyne’s Sentinel Intruder Detection Sonar is the world’s most widely deployed system of its kind, used by naval vessels, commercial harbors and luxury yachts alike. With a functional range of up to 900 meters for diver detection, it is man-portable, making it particularly quick to deploy, and it can even be placed on the yacht’s tenders to increase your scope of situational awareness. What’s more, the manufacturer has created the system to be environmentally friendly, so it won’t have an adverse effect on the local sea life.
Perhaps a yacht is expecting to travel to remote regions where on-the-ground medical support is less accessible. Or maybe the Owners are more mature and have specific conditions that mean they seek the reassurance of an onsite doctor or nurse. Either way, an onboard hospital is not an uncommon request for custom superyacht builders.
Emergency facilities like a private hospital
Kitted out like an emergency room of a private hospital, they are equipped with oxygen tanks, defibrillators, specialized medications and intravenous fluids, while a number of yachts offer rehabilitation machines for injuries, such as decompression chambers for those who are planning on some serious scuba diving expeditions. And should a patient require further medical attention, most of today’s large yachts have a helipad with the possibility of bringing in medic air services to the yacht, or heli-evacuating them away to a larger facility ashore.
A doctor on-call
Remember the scene in Casino Royale where James Bond hooks himself up to a remote medical diagnostic system and the doctors talk him through his medical emergency with all his vitals up on their screens? Well, that scene is less fictional than you might at first have thought.
With the right diagnostic kit placed onboard, crew or even medical professionals can link up to a remote medical support line such as MedAire from International SOS, allowing a team of doctors to see the patient’s condition in real time and provide advice on procedures or medication in order to stabilize the patient.
Before an emergency has even arisen, the telehealth consultants will often provide guidance on medical room design and ventilation, lighting and medical wash facilities, as well as what diagnostic equipment to place onboard. Who needs the flying doctors when you can beam them into wherever you are in the world at a moment’s notice?
A cyber security net
Just as any home or office will likely choose to protect itself from outsiders accessing private and personal data, any superyacht could be vulnerable to cyber threats. With the increasing preponderance of wirelessly controlled systems featured onboard, those yachts that do not provide themselves with an added layer of technological security can leave themselves open to hacking. Oceanco works with a select range of top-tier cyber security professionals to ensure that its yachts are built with the kind of network protections that will keep its owners and crew safe, through a combination of initial risk assessments during the development phase of a project and ongoing upgrades as the digital landscape evolves.
Smart floors that track movement
Currently in development, these smart floors are like an upgraded surveillance system for the 21st century. A step beyond conventional security cameras, they are minimally invasive in the sense that they have no impact on an owner’s or guest’s experience of a room and their privacy within it, while also being able to alert the bridge if someone unexpectedly enters. And over time, the smart floor creates a digital pressure video of the visitor’s movement that can be tracked and re-evaluated. This makes them suitable for very private spaces, like bathrooms and bedrooms. The smart floors can also be used beyond security measures, to automatically switch lighting or heating and air conditioning systems on and off, allowing the yacht to become more energy efficient and therefore sustainable.
Oceanco was established in 1987 by a group of South African private investors led by CEO, Richard Hein. The company built hulls and superstructures in South Africa before transporting them to various facilities in The Netherlands for fittings. Oceanco Yachts builds luxury yachts from 80m to 110m in steel and aluminum.
Credits: Oceanco; Francisco Martinez; Tom Van Oossanen
On 18th June 2021 Lürssen unveiled and launched project Enzo, a striking and bespoke 115m superyacht, built for a repeat client who previously owned an 86m Lürssen. Nuvolari Lenard was responsible for the exterior and interior design and Moran Yacht & Ship managed and supervised the project, all bringing with them their wide spectrum of experience and consolidated knowledge. The target for Enzo was to create a healthy and family-focused life on board, with numerous offerings for sports and activities including the extra-large gym on the skylounge deck and the spacious wellness area on the lower deck. She was also designed to travel to her destinations in the utmost comfort. “Enzo’s design language is all about connecting her six decks – both the naval and tech elements with the living space – into one whole,” says Dan Lenard. “Her three decks integrated into the high bow guarantee sea-keeping in true ocean conditions, while also allowing her an innovative full-beam owner suite duplex.”As with all Lürssens, the yacht is equipped with state-of-the art technology and engineering systems. A heat recovery system in the generators heats the water for the pool, leading to reduced electrical power and emissions, while Dynamic Positioning enables electronic anchoring in sensitive and remote areas, protecting the seabed and allowing for safe mooring regardless of water depth.Enzo will be delivered during the year. Lürssen is a German shipyard with headquarters in Bremen-Vegesack and shipbuilding facilities in Lemwerder, Berne and Bremen-Aumund. Founded in 1875, Lürssen is one of the world's leading builders of custom luxury superyachts and has launched many of the largest yachts in the global fleet, including Octopus, Rising Sun, and Azzam.Credits: Lürssen/Klaus Jordan
June 18, 2021
Mulder Shipyard have launched the 36m motor yacht Project Wildcard. Following in the footsteps of previous Mulder ThirtySix sister ships Mana, Calypso and Delta One – successfully delivered in 2020, 2019 and 2017 respectively – hull number four has been sold to a first-time Mulder owner who has had previous experience with Dutch builds. The yacht has a sleek aluminium construction and a continuous window line which culminates in a contemporary plumb bow, with its modern exterior springing from the drawing boards of British studio Claydon Reeves and with naval architecture by Van Oossanen Naval Architects. As with all Mulder ThirtySix yachts, hull number four features the patented Van Oossanen Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) which ensures both comfortable cruising and fuel economy at all speeds, offering a 15 knot cruising speed and a maximum speed of 16.8 knots. Four spacious cabins provide comfort accommodation up to ten guests, with one guest cabin convertible to a gym if desired. The full beam master suite offers dedicated access to a private seating area in the bow, ideal for sitting back and taking in panoramic ocean views.She has an impressive saloon, dining room and bar area on the main deck feature floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise natural light on board. In addition, the sundeck/flybridge boasts ample seating areas, a seven-person spa pool, a bar, coffee-break area, outdoor diner and much more, allowing guests to make the most of their time on the water and escape the stresses of the everyday.The ThirtySix has a transverse garage house max. 6.5m tender, two jet skis, kayaks, diving gear, seabobs and more, with embarkation possible via the side-opening hatch and the generous open stern beach club platform. Mulder Shipyard was established in 1938 by Dirk Mulder. With a Mulder still at its helm, this traditional family business can attribute its excellent reputation to the classic Super Favorite Cruisers, the later Favorite Superieur and a wide range of custom and semi custom motoryachts. Welcoming our newest edition to the Mulder series, the Mulder ThirtySix, in the Summer of 2017, adding yet another Superyacht to the Mulder fleet. Credits: Mulder
June 18, 2021
REV Ocean was established in Fornebu, Norway, in 2017, with a critical mission to facilitate a new generation of ocean solutions and raise awareness of global impacts on the marine environment. The main platform to achieve this important mission is developing the world’s most advanced research and expedition vessel – REV Ocean. An extensive team of world-leading experts have been hired, and a broad network of science, research and innovation partners have submitted proposals to achieve our ocean saving mission.The vessel is currently under construction at the Vard Brattvåg shipyard in Norway. But the delivery has been "beset by delays caused by the yard" and could potentially not be in operation until 2026. REV Ocean/Bogdan Vasilescu“Over the past year, the construction of the REV Ocean vessel has been beset by delays caused by the yard. Due to the substantial delay from the yard, there is a right to cancel the contract. However, this right has so far not been used. The top priority for the owner is delivery of a compliant research and expedition vessel. Despite this setback, the REV Ocean ambition remains the same – One Healthy Ocean. During this time we will continue to implement our overarching mission, but as a result of the extended delay of the ship, all vessel-related activities will temporarily be put on hold. Unfortunately, this will have consequences for our entire team, but the intention is to reconstitute when the vessel is closer to completion,” says REV Ocean team. <iframe width=560 height=315 src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/IbZuaFZOQEo title=YouTube video player frameborder=0 allow=accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture allowfullscreen></iframe>The team will continue to work together with staff to find the best opportunities in this “challenging interim phase”.Credits: Rev Ocean; REV Ocean/Bogdan Vasilescu
June 18, 2021
Arcadia Yacht’s 24m Sherpa 80 XL has been selected for the "Mobility" category of the ADI Design Index 2020, not least because the reason for the choice is the perfect embodiment of the Arcadia philosophy: "A yacht in which the user is both in contact with nature, and respecting it: the main on-board facilities and functions are powered by solar panels, the aft deck is fully in line with the sea while the living area has extensive opening windows. The IPS engines and semi-planing hull ensure fuel efficiency at approximately 25% higher cruising speed than yachts of a similar size." The ADI Design Index is a collection of the best products in each category selected by the Permanent Design Observatory."Behind every edition of the Index is the work of the ADI Permanent Design Observatory," says Antonella Andriani, ADI Vice President. "Over 150 experts from all disciplines – designers, entrepreneurs, researchers, specialist journalists. This scouting and discussion work lasts throughout the year and guarantees a well-considered choice and the quality of the selected items’ design."One of the strengths of the design of the Sherpa 80 XL, developed in cooperation with the Hot Lab design studio, is the direct contact with the sea and the surrounding environment, which is highlighted in the aft deck. This area is directly connected to the stern control platform by a short scenic sequence of steps, where the narrow topsides gracefully interlock with the low volume that supports the sundeck. This free space, nearly 65 sq. m in size, is available at any time of the day. The strong interaction with the surrounding environment is also reflected in the design of the interiors, characterised by sophisticated furniture items in a sober, essential style, in which simple geometries emphasise volumes, making the best use of the available space and offering the greatest possible comfort when living aboard. In addition, new outfitting processes have made it possible to optimise assembly times and use quality furniture.Arcadia Yachts is based in Naples, Italy. Since 2008, they have been building semi-custom luxury composite yachts and have succeeded in perfectly integrating artisanal craftsmanship, modern technologies, and attention to detail and the surrounding environment. The Arcadia Yachts fleet has included two ranges since September 2016. The shipyard’s first and most characterising range is the A range, which includes four models (A85, A85s, A105 and A115). The Sherpa range has a new model, the 24m Sherpa XL, which was launched at the 2019 Cannes Yachting Festival. Credits: Arcadia Yachts
June 18, 2021
Silent-Yachts, the innovative Austrian shipyard, opens two new offices on both sides of the Atlantic. A new European office is now open in Port Adriano – Mallorca, one of the leading yacht harbours in the West Med.A Silent 55 and Silent 64 are docked in front of the office, ready to take clients to the sea for a test drive. Later this summer the new Silent 60 with a kitewing will also arrive at Port Adriano.“Our new base is like our second home”, said Michael Köhler, Silent-Yachts Founder and CEO. “Mallorca and the Balearics in general are popular yachting destinations, sunny, warm, with clean azure seas and many amazing places that have to be visited on board a yacht. The new office helps us keep our solar electric catamarans close to our clients and partners – we’re always open for a chat, visit or sea trial.”Another office will be opened in the US. In order to get closer to customers, the shipyard’s exclusive US distributor Edward Sacks sets up a branch in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the yachting capital of the Western Hemisphere. “Florida is the hot spot for the US yachting enthusiasts and we’re happy to take a seat in the region,” said Michael Köhler. “The location is close to the site of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, it has direct water access and a comfortable conference room for product demonstrations.”Silent-Yachts is producing the world’s first fully solar-sustainable oceangoing production catamaran yachts. They are powered exclusively by solar energy and capable of cruising up to 100 miles per day. In 2009, founders Heike and Michael Köhler, who have spent 6,000 days cruising more than 75,000 miles all around the world, launched the Solarwave 46, the first fully self-sufficient blue-water catamaran after years of testing solar-powered propulsion, and they have been building boats ever since. Credits: Silent-Yachts
June 17, 2021