As superyacht technology and design evolves, is seems more and more owners are wanting to breach the confines of the superyacht cruising circuit for those less accessible locations, which of course call for more functional and purpose-built vessels. As a result, the last five years has belonged to the upsurge of the explorer vessel.
However, for existing superyacht owners who wish to travel further afield, selling their ‘conventional’ superyacht for a more capable explorer is no longer the only viable option, nor is it the most economical. As Damen has demonstrated with its Yacht Support range, you can completely transform the way you use your superyacht with the addition of a Yacht Support vessel. To communicate this to the market, 69m Game Changer’s maiden voyage was to London, to demonstrate her phenomenal capabilities.
Initially, her hard-hitting exterior clearly showcases the yacht’s primary purpose – it’s a kind of ‘what you see is what you get’ presence. Game Changer’s exterior design is anything but an aesthetical masterpiece by traditional standards. However, in relation to the growing appreciation of the explorer yacht, there is certainly a place in the market for this functional and appearance. In Game Changer’s case, there’s no place for frills – just practicality in its rawest form.
“The yacht is all about practicality,” says Victor Caminada, marketing manager at Amels, as he walks SuperyachtNews round the vessel. “The boat is rough and tough, reliable and very professional.”
With a maximum take-off weight of 5,000 kg, arguably one of the most impressive exterior features, alongside the 250sqm of deck space and 12-ton deck crane, is its high safety LY3- and MCA-certified helideck. “This arrangement derives form the offshore industry, where this is the standard practice,” Caminda says of the helideck, whcih includes a full drainage system and fire-fighting equipment, enhancing its safety standards further.
While Game Changer is an intrinsically functional vessel, the interior is still a very welcome environment for owners and crew alike. “The nickname of Yacht Support vessel Garçon among crewmembers is actually ‘crew paradise’, as there is more space, and the atmosphere is much more relaxed when there’s no owner on board,” explains Caminada. The yacht has the capacity to carry 21 crewmembers, including pilots, massage therapists and additional staff for the mothership.
The Yacht Support solution offers something which superyachts below 75m can’t really achieve without compromising valuable space on board. According to Damen, the cost of a 75m new build in comparison to an owner’s existing 55m superyacht will incur an increase in capital investment of 225 per cent, whereas the owner’s existing 55m+ superyacht with a support vessel will see a capital investment increase of only 120 per cent. But the major difference is the latter will result in a considerably larger tender and toy storage of 225sqm, in comparison to 130sqm of a 75m superyacht, as well as a combined LOA of 100m.
Overall, the level to which the yacht’s finished is more than impressive from the perspective of both crew and owner. While Game Changer isn’t faired to the same level as an Amels superyacht would be, its demonstration of sheer functionality and resilience is a truly impressive spectacle. For more information on the exploration and support sector, take a look as issue 177 of The Superyacht Report.