Ocean Voyager has confirmed the launch of its latest conversion project, Rogue from the Harbour Grace Ocean Industries yard in Newfoundland, Canada. This former fishing vessel will now begin life as a long-range expedition catamaran.
With a spike in popularity for the explorer concept among superyacht owners in recent times, it is important to distinguish between those vessels that are styled in the shape of an explorer and those that are fit for purpose. And the Ocean Voyager line, which includes 26m Chagos, 24.4m Acharne and most famously, the 32m Pink Shrimp, built for famous French sailor, Jack Setton, is definitely the latter.
Rogue offers a 7,000nm range, a large tender crane for a 7.6m SAFE Boat, and a ≥5-ton submarine, an extended aft deck with large outside living area, efficient power systems, a large 2500-watt solar power system, highly efficient HVAC system, LED lighting throughout, waste treatment, large battery bank and mechanical main engines and duplicate systems for maximum reliability.
The project is of interest to the superyacht community precisely because of its rugged profile, which makes it appropriate for use as a superyacht shadow vessel, as Ocean Voyager’s Sam Connor explained in an exclusive conversation with SuperyachtNews.com.
“We made 10 months of major modifications to the vessel: the extension to 90', the new deck house, crane, engines and interior. All the conversion was done in Newfoundland.
“We launched her in August, and have sea trialled and cruised to Lunenburg Nova Scotia, via Saint Pierre Miquelon, where we are moored, taking a vacation for Christmas.
“One of the unique features is the 10-ton capacity crane and large back deck for carrying large tenders, cars, containers or submarines. This is very unique to a vessel only 90' in length. The catamaran design's inherent stability is really the only way to achieve this.”
Connor and the Ocean Voyager team purchase these seafaring models, convert them on-spec in to vessels equipped for go-anywhere cruising and sell them. “We are really small - about a boat every 18 to 24 months; a family business. We like to build on-spec for obvious reasons and it has been working pretty well.”
The challenge remains finding suitable candidates for conversion. Because the company’s entire business model is based on reliability and performance. Therefore, vessels need to be no older than 10 years, and have to have scope for adaptation. “I am sure it is easier in larger boats but economics has limited us in size”, Connor says.
“The commercial boat resale is actually very strong in good boats, so it is also hard to have a good starting price for the platform”. However, when one considers the price point of superyacht-specific shadow vessel platforms, the cost of these projects may suddenly seem a lot more appealing.