Australian custom yacht and support vessel builder Echo Yachts has recently released details of its new Project Echo – a humanitarian support vessel (HSV) design that utilises the same platform and principal particulars as its adventure support yacht. 

“This new customisable design is offered at a lower price point than our previous adventure support yacht model and sees the removal of the large flush-deck A-frame crane from the stern, yet remains very capable of launching and retrieving large watercraft and submersibles with its 12-tonne knuckle-boom crane,” says Chris Blackwell, sales and marketing manager at Echo Yachts.

Designed in collaboration with London’s Bannenberg & Rowell and Australia’s Incat Crowther Naval Architects, the 50m catamaran is an equally stylish, stable and capable craft. The layout is designed to be configurable in a multitude of ways for philanthropic clients looking to support humanitarian missions in challenging, remote and shallow-water locations, as well as for their own cruising use.

In addition to Bannenberg & Rowell’s exterior styling, the Project Echo platform is a heavy-seas offshore catamaran hull designed by the team at Incat Crowther Naval Architects for performance with a large reduction in engine powering requirements compared to similar length mono-hulled platforms.

“Support vessels are an interesting and growing segment of the market but not necessarily one populated with vessels which combine both form and function as we believe the Echo Yachts vessel does,” explains Dickie Bannenberg of Bannenberg & Rowell. “The catamaran platform offers stability, fuel efficient range and space – providing an ideal mother ship for adventure and humanitarian operations whenever the need might arise.” 

Customisable spaces and features on board Project Echo can include externally accessible isolated treatment rooms, medical rooms, laboratory space and cooled and dry medical supply storage spaces. Specially configured HVAC systems can also provide 100 per cent fresh-air to isolation rooms with no re-circulation to further minimise contamination risk.

With a 40-tonne cargo deadweight carrying capacity and special integrated cargo deck rail fastening system, Project Echo’s wide-body cargo zone is able to carry multiple large tenders, watersports equipment, humanitarian cargo modules and supporting helicopter operations for medivac and guest transfers. 

Watercraft and landing craft can be launched and retrieved with the 12-tonne knuckle-boom crane, enabling the loading and unloading of 10ft-cube cargo containers, delivery of medical supplies and drinking water modules. Evacuation of several stretchered patients to the vessel can be achieved with the aid of a large tender, or via helicopter.

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