The Arksen 85 project
“We intend to go bigger after this” says Ewan Hind, COO of Arksen…
It was at The Superyacht Forum in 2019 when Jasper Smith, chairman of Arksen, spoke of a grand plan to launch a fleet of explorer vessels that would change the very definition of what it means to be a superyacht owner. Now, over two years later, and with the construction of three yachts already underway, we visit Wight Shipyard for a tour of the Arksen 85 project to see how that dream is becoming a reality.
The Arksen 85 has been defined by COO Ewan Hind as rugged, robust and reliable. “This is not a yacht that an owner will use as a status symbol in Monaco.” Hind explained how, “The Arksen 85 is a yacht that can be used as a symbol of intent for an owners attitude towards sustainability and the environment.” The semi-custom yacht can accommodate up to 14 guests and crew with the buyers of boat one opting to take on just two crew members.
The yacht features an array of environmentally friendly features including solar panels capable of producing up to 6.5 KW of power and an option to instal a hybrid engine at a greater cost. The Arksen 85 has a range of up to 7000 nautical miles when travelling at a speed of 9 knots, largely thanks to its 18,000l fuel capacity. The fleet have been built specifically for the purpose of journeying to the most far-reaching and remote parts of the world.
“In 2019 we had lots of lovely drawings and renderings, which there is no shortage of in the industry, but we are really proud to now be able to show the boats in build.”
With the Arksen 85, the company aims to satisfy the markets appetite for vessels that are, first and foremost, built for expedition cruising, but also feature the comfort of a typical superyacht. A sustainable philosophy is also something that has been implemented during the build process,
“We have ensured that sustainability runs throughout the entire lifecycle of the yachts. We are using long lasting products and materials and building the yachts in a way that will make refits and repairs cost-effective should the owner want to instal new technology in the future.”
As the Arksen fleet increases in size, the boat builder plans to make the brand more accessible with different size ranges, “We have concepts which are in the superyacht size range, but we also want to build slightly smaller yachts for people who want to travel the world without the need for crew.” A new Arksen 85 is valued at £5.98 million.
Hind revealed that roughly 40 per cent of enquires had come from Europe and North America, and that the pandemic had actually fuelled interest in their vessels due to potential buyers being eager to explore exciting territory. While the interested parties are largely made up of current yacht owners, Hind also suggested that there had been a number of enquiries from people with an ‘adventurous spirit’ who had not yet entered the yachting landscape.
The Arksen 85’s hull and superstructure are both aluminium, while the interior layout has been designed using recyclable materials by Design Unlimited. The rugs, cushions, and blankets will come from recycled plastic bottles, while the various cork walls, wooden panels and other surfaces will derive from recycled post-industrial plastics. Moreover, ‘Arksen Philanthropy’, an evolution of the ‘Arksen Foundation’ is a branch of the boat building company which aims to encourage customers to use their yachts for research and conservation purposes. Arksen Philanthropy is made up of three core elements – The Sea Time Pledge, Yachts for Science, and 10% for the ocean. Despite this, Hind argues that,
“It would be naïve for any yacht manufacturing company to say that they are sustainable.”
However, he does suggest that that it is possible to place sustainability at the very core of what they are doing. The candour and transparency of the Arksen marketing strategy has only helped to stir interest from yacht-savvy potential buyers. The future of Arksen appears promising, with Hind also revealing that the company plans on building roughly 12 yachts over the next five years. As boat one nears the pre-outfitting stage and production ramps up it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to the finished product and whether it becomes the beginning of the exponential rise of Arksen.
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