Feadship makes a statement with bizarre new concept
Feadship is on a mission to prove that concepts can be both radical and inspiring but also logical and feasible……
The 87-metre EXPV concept by Harrison Eidsgaard X Feadship is a fresh and unconventional approach to what large yachts, especially explorers, should look like. It is so refreshingly bizarre that you could argue that it doesn’t even look like a superyacht. A superyacht concept should showcase to the rest of the world what is possible at the extreme end of design, and Feadship is once again proving that they are the best in the world when it comes to this. This is a Feadship flex if ever there was one, read between the lines and this concept basically says, “Our crazy concepts can go viral too, but the difference is we can actually build it.”
The reason it looks the way it does, is because the owner and guest quarters are completely separate, hence the distinctive ‘split’ superstructure with the owner’s private space in the forward section and the guest area aft. The two deckhouses are served by separate staircases and elevators but they are also connected, by a floating glass bridge and the ocean lounge.
“The whole concept is based on the premise that the owners have their own residence and there is a separate guest house for friends and visitors,” says Peder Eidsgaard, co-founder of Harrison Eidsgaard. “The idea is that the owners can spend weeks on board in full privacy, but also interact with their guests in the Ocean Lounge in the middle of the boat.”
Anyone standing by the flagpole in the stern of the yacht can see through the glass bridge, between the bridge’s split helm console and all the way to the bow. The hydraulic side platforms in the Ocean Lounge are not at water level but slightly higher, which means they can be deployed in quite rough conditions without wave slapping or risk of flooding. Sliding glass doors also mean the flush deck platforms can remain open at night or in cooler climes.
The large tenders are stowed on the open deck above the ocean lounge and under the glass bridge. There is space for two 13.5-metre tenders with no height restrictions and more tenders and toys can be carried in a side-opening garage under the foredeck.
“We’ve collaborated with Harrison Eidsgaard on various projects and they always throw a few challenges into the mix,” says Jan-Bart Verkuyl, Feadship Director and CEO Royal Van Lent shipyard. “The Glass Bridge was one such challenge and we worked closely with the De Voogt engineers to see how we could make that work. Suspended in mid-air, it’s a completely new idea and quite a feat of engineering.”
Whenever you hear the phrase ‘cosy nook’ used to describe a part of a boat, it’s probably a good idea to lower your expectations. Nevertheless, that is how Feadship has described the space on the bow at the bridge deck level, apparently, it can be used for both sunbathing and dining. The owner’s office is located behind the wheelhouse, with a full beam and private master suite on the deck below. At the very top is the owner’s observation lounge with full-height windows and a private terrace overlooking the foredeck. The helideck above the observation lounge is fully certified and has direct access to the owner’s apartment.
“The clients like to use their helicopter almost as a tender for commuting to and from the yacht on day trips,” says Verkuyl. “It hugely extends the area they can visit and is used frequently, but because it’s on the forward deckhouse there is minimal disturbance for the guest activities in the stern.”
“When we started this project, we took all the features you find on superyachts and threw them up in the air,” explains Eidsgaard. “The pieces landed where you might not expect to find them, but where they might make more sense. The two deckhouses are unique and no other superyacht has them, but the profile with its reverse bow, bold use of glass and dynamic curves is very purposeful.”
Apart from the glass bridge, the groundbreaking concept placed other engineering demands on Feadship’s technical team. Having the tender deck amidships with the open-plan ocean lounge immediately below, where the engine room would normally be, required careful analysis to ensure structural strength.
This design also allows for a single-level engine room. Thankfully, Feadship haven’t just decided that a made-up yacht is going to be emission-free or even sustainable. They have said that diesel-electric propulsion is ideally suited to this kind of arrangement whilst also noting that generators and pods will also mean less noise and vibration. Realistically, there would be the possibility of integrating renewable fuels in the future.
“This is a yacht designed for experienced owners who like to spend long periods on board with guests who might join them for a week, a month or even more, so privacy was an essential consideration,” says Eidsgaard. “In that context, it might seem like an extreme design because it looks very different, but if you examine the individual elements, they all make perfect sense.”
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