ITALY, Napoli. This week at the Cannes Yachting Festival 2015 Arcadia Yachts, the industries ‘eco-friendly’ newcomers, officially introduced the market to its new Sherpa concept. At only 16.8m long the Sherpa falls well below what would be considered a superyacht; however, we believe her features and versatility make Sherpa the ideal companion for a mothership.

Named after the peoples of the Himalayan mountain range, Sherpa is flexible and has a substantial load capacity for a vessel of her size, thanks in part to her open deck. The space can be used in a number of different ways; storage and entertainment broadly cover most uses.

Many articles have been written about trying to optimise the use of spaces on board superyachts, strange though it may seem considering superyachts are by their very nature spacious, invariably limits are set and sacrifices are made. The sacrifices may often seem trivial such as a yacht lacking a dedicated party area or room to house all the toys the owner desires. In response support vessels have the ability to lessen the sacrifice and optimise the yachting experience.

Sherpa: Garage

Sherpa’s decking area could be used to stow tenders in addition to the RIBs and jet skis she can store in her garage and in conjunction with the tenders and toys aboard the mothership. Alternatively this space could be used as a large beach club. The decking could be adapted for deep-sea fishing, diving, parties or all of the above. Yachts are often referred to as pleasure vessels, but the support vessel has the potential to put that title to shame. The role of the support vessel is to satisfy the surplus desires of the owner, whether that be increasing leisure activity or distancing crewmembers.

Support vessels are principally the remit of the larger vessels in the superyacht fleet; however, it is the more modest vessels that make the most sacrifices, at 16.8m long Sherpa would make an ideal support vessel for a 25-40m vessel.

Sherpa: Owner's Cabin

Sherpa has not been primarily marketed as a support vessel, the retention of an owner’s cabin and the option to extend the salon deck belies Arcadia’s reluctance to alienate potential clientele, who see Sherpa as a mothership in her own right. However, these features simply add another string to the shadow vessel bow. The suites provided could easily be developed into crew cabins, once again freeing up space on board the senior vessel for the owner to add previously unavailable features.


With a cruising speed of 20 knots and a top speed of 25 knots on her NPL semi-planing hull, Sherpa can keep up with most motherships. She also features 3.5kW solar panels, a wastewater treatment system and ecological antifouling in keeping with Arcadia’s eco-friendly reputation.

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