A new year is coming, what adventures will you take?
Amelia Smith from SHADOWCAT looks ahead to 2023…
As we prepare to transition into a new year, it’s important to not only reflect upon all that our industry has accomplished in recent years but also to look ahead to the future. It’s well understood that 2020 ushered in an unprecedented superyacht market boom, thanks to buyers who sought privacy and a safer means of vacationing during the pandemic.
The record interest in the alluring superyacht lifestyle has not only continued but intensified in many ways, yielding an uptick in sales through 2022. As for the coming year? While market demand and supply issues for superyachts isn’t expected to change much in the immediate future, what superyacht owners demand from their time aboard certainly will.
Up until now, superyacht owners have luxuriated in stunning, yet somewhat predictable, Mediterranean or Caribbean cruises. But, with a younger generation of superyacht owners overwhelmingly taking the helm in the past decade, the collective question of “What else is there to do?” is rapidly growing in volume.
Desperate for “play-cations,” today’s new owners wish to go beyond ornamental superyachts in lieu of more flexible vessels that can better deliver adventure, new encounters and exploration. Be it heli-skiing in Antarctica or exploring a newly discovered undersea ledge in a personal sub, these younger owners want more than the generation before, and they have the means to do it.
For many superyacht owners, there are options to achieve these goals. Superyachters could retrofit existing vessels to better meet the demands of more adventurous missions and exotic destinations. They could also upgrade to a new vessel, one perhaps purpose-built for remote exploration. Or they could commission a highly capable support yacht, one designed for carrying not only guests and crew but also all the gear and marine vehicles needed to properly explore.
SHADOWCAT's 69.2m SHADOWOLF, the industry's most efficient monohull support yacht, designed for comfort and luxury
The latter option is rising in popularity, with companies like SHADOWCAT paving the way. Recognized as the leading developer of bespoke support yachts, SHADOWCAT continues to deliver award-winning constructed vessels and innovative concepts to meet the growing demand for adventures at sea. All of SHADOWCAT’s delivered vessels and the majority of the company’s concepts are based upon a spacious and stable catamaran platform – and for good reason.
“When it comes to hauling extremely heavy submarines, tenders, helicopters and other gear, a catamaran support vessel is a way to go,” explained Robert Smith, SHADOWCAT founder. “Not only is it safer during loading and offloading, but it’s also a faster and more fuel-efficient option.”
SHADOWCAT's 67m Haven, which enables owners to cruise safely and securely.
While all SHADOWCAT concepts boast space for helicopters (and full-sized hangars), many of them also include a personal submarine. One vessel design, SHADOWLARK, measures 24m and carries a Triton 3300/3 MKII submersible. This underwater vehicle comfortably seats three people (pilot and two guests) and will safely dive to depths as great as 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) for up to 12 hours.
Another option is SHADOWCAT’s sub-500GT Toybox, an innovative 48m concept that incorporates many of the award-winning features of the larger SHADOWCATs, but on a smaller hull platform that offers greater fuel economy and more economical crewing requirements. Toybox features three spacious decks allowing for crew accommodations and greater amounts of payload, such as helicopters, tenders, diving gear, jet skis and the like, to be stored.
For those who prefer a monohull platform, SHADOWCAT offers the industry’s most efficient single-hull support yacht. The 69.2m SHADOWOLF’s hybrid hull design focuses on comfort and accommodation while expanding an owner’s options for multi-day excursions, voyages into more remote locations, and/or for chartering or research purposes. Features include a fully certified helipad and hangar, with accommodation and storage over three decks for a submarine, three 11m tenders, two 8m tenders, six jet-skis, two 4WDs and two quad bikes.
“SHADOWCAT vessels can be enjoyed in tropical and Arctic environments alike. Each vessel is bespoke, meaning our concepts can be designed to meet any owner’s particular needs. With an impressive 5,000NM range and the ability to be Ice Classed, our support yachts support the adventurer lifestyle,” said Smith. “No other vessel on the market enables such a wide range of activities on the water around the world.”
Main Image: SHADOWCAT's 24m SHADOWLARK, designed to carry a Triton submarine (SHADOWCAT/Incat Crowther)
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