Commissioned by a client who intends on remote cruising, King Shark has been designed with exploration at its core. With naval architecture by Arrabito Naval Architects and exterior and interior styling by Team for Design Enrico Gobbi, the yacht’s build team has worked together before on other Rossinavi builds and concepts. However, King Shark’s technical specifications, geared towards independence and long-range cruising, have given them a new challenge.
The brief for the build team was to design and build a yacht that could travel from the warm waters of the Caribbean to the sub-zero conditions of Antarctica while retaining the appearance of a non-commercial and luxury vessel not typically associated with such passages. This meant that as well as being built to the double classification standards of RINA and Lloyd’s Register, and achieving compliance with the MCA’s Large Yacht Code, King Shark has been designed in accordance with Finnish-Swedish Ice Class Rules (Class II ships). The naval architecture also had to allow for a diesel-electric engine configuration and innovative propulsion system.
King Shark is being built for an existing Rossinavi client who is currently enjoying 49m Polaris (the second in the shipyard’s Prince Shark series), which was delivered in 2014. “The owner simply applied the ‘never change a winning team’ philosophy when he decided he wanted to move to a bigger size of vessel,” explains Federico Rossi, COO at Rossinavi. “This meant that as well as using the same builder, the same naval architect and exterior and interior designer were involved from the very beginning of the project. The idea was to have the Prince Shark exterior style present by having the elegant lines of Polaris replicated on a bigger size and capacity vessel.”
Therefore, significant elements of the key aesthetics applied by Team for Design Enrico Gobbi on Prince Shark had to be enhanced on a larger scale for King Shark’s design. Typically, motoryachts built to meet ice-class requirements can appear rugged and durable by nature, but this owner wanted King Shark to reflect a luxury cruising lifestyle. Initial negotiations began with a 65m design in mind, but this eventually turned into a 70m design when the yacht’s technical capabilities, which needed to be hidden behind her aggressive, yet stylish, lines, were taken into consideration.
“King Shark is a unique project because it was not born from an existing naval platform, as usually happens for a superyacht of this size, but was developed from a completely blank canvas..."
While Rossinavi has previously built one other 70m yacht, M/Y Numptia, it has little in common with King Shark other than the overall length. “King Shark is a unique project because it was not born from an existing naval platform, as usually happens for a superyacht of this size, but was developed from a completely blank canvas,” explains Giuseppe Arrabito, its naval architect. “This is due to the fact that the yacht is equipped with a full diesel-electric engine, with a propulsion system comprising two Rolls-Royce Azipull 85 azimuth thrusters. The lay-out of the vessel, therefore, had to be [based] around these key features over a year’s discussions between the naval architect, designer, owner and shipyard.”
Having installed a diesel-electric engine and Rolls-Royce propulsion system on board 50m Endeavour II, Rossinavi wanted to apply the same technology on King Shark – but in a different way. After many discussions and calculations, a variable frequency system was chosen to feed the electrical motors, which in turn powered the two Rolls-Royce azimuth pods, as opposed to the fixed one used on Endeavour II. CAT generators were chosen to cope with the possible extreme operating conditions of the Antarctic and Caribbean, and these also met the required top performance of 17 knots and low consumption rate at cruising speed.
While electric and pod-propulsion systems create many design challenges due to their demand for interior volume, they are often chosen for the range of benefits they offer a yacht with exploration in mind. Primarily, diesel-electric pod propulsions allow the vessel to travel the longer distances when cruising in remote locations: King Shark promises a range in excess of 6,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. Its particular Rolls-Royce system allows the engines to be operated at variable speeds, which increases efficiency and reduces fuel consumption in the different operating conditions.
The main goal for Team for Design Enrico Gobbi in terms of interior and exterior styling was to create a yacht with balanced proportions, characterised by a sleek and dynamic silhouette despite the yacht’s large volume. At the request of the client, the desire for large interior spaces does not compromise the exterior lines of the yacht and this has been reflected in the final decision to choose a larger overall length than originally specified.
“The neat and elegant shapes of the yacht are underlined by long, continuous black window surfaces with curved details that soften up and characterise the overall cleanness of the superstructure..."
“The neat and elegant shapes of the yacht are underlined by long, continuous black window surfaces with curved details that soften up and characterise the overall cleanness of the superstructure,” says Gobbi. “Our aim here was to open up the interiors towards the exterior, ensuring an uninterrupted view of the sea through the decks. This was achieved not by creating huge invasive openings but by instead designing refined, long and slender windows with which we are able to achieve the same goal.”
For the interior design, the renderings of which cannot yet be disclosed, the brief was to define a sophisticated contemporary style enriched by eclectic hints inspired by the client’s personal tastes. “Precious coating materials characterise all areas, along with refined details, bestowing on the whole interior a luxurious and distinctive, yet warm and welcoming, atmosphere,” reveals Gobbi. “The main areas have also been enhanced by special ‘wow- factor’ features inspired by strong design ideas.”
The special features that Team for Design Enrico Gobbi can reveal include an onyx and crystal wall with water cascade in the main salon, a sculpture-chandelier made of crystal circles mimicking satellites to be placed at the centre of the stairway, running from the upper deck down to the lower-deck guest area, and a rain waterfall descending from the bulwark, with a special lighting effect to be featured in the owner’s private terrace.
Despite being the same overall 70m length as M/Y Numptia, Rossinavi’s largest delivery to date, King Shark boasts larger dimensions and volume that will make her the largest yacht built by the yard. The innovative propulsion system will further cement Rossinavi’s move towards diesel-electric technology and this is bound to be the future for many large yachts. Once delivered, King Shark will surely become Rossinavi’s new ‘flagship’.
King Shark is due to be launched in 2020. Read more about the project in issue 186 of The Superyacht Report.
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