Triton and ShadowCAT collaborate for concept Shadowlark
Clients can commit to the concept along with the submersible for less than USD$10M…
Triton is teaming up with ShadowCAT for a new support yacht concept, named Shadowlark, designed exclusively for the launch and recovery of their submarines. Clients can commit to this new concept for less than USD$10M, including the submersible, with delivery taking roughly 18 months.
The 24m Launch-and-Recovery Craft (or LARC) is designed by support yacht industry leader ShadowCAT - the creators of the award-winning Hodor, and includes Triton’s best-selling 3300/3 MKII submersible, designed to carry a pilot and two passengers to up to 3300 ft. Readers may recall that this submarine gained initial fame for its starring role in a number of recent international documentary hits, notably Will Smith’s Welcome to Earth and the BBC’s Blue Planet II.
L. Bruce Jones, CEO of Triton Submarines, explained the thinking behind the unique concept, “Many large yacht owners discover they would like to have a sub on board. However, the yacht does not have the space, or the launch and recovery equipment necessary to store a sub on deck. In this case, a Shadowlark that can handle the submersible and travel with the yacht is a good option. Many yacht owners have large shadow boats, but these tend to be quite large and expensive. Occasionally we will have someone very interested in operating a submersible, but in not owning a large yacht. Here again, the Shadowlark concept works well.”
One of the biggest challenges for both Triton and ShadowCAT is the education and marketing side of operations. There is no doubt that there is a need to educate the wider market on the benefits that come with increasing the utility of luxury assets and being able to offer alternatives that the potential client may not be familiar with, is helpful.
Jones explains, “For instance, a client may buy a Shadowlark and operate in a popular coastal area. Explaining they could charter the cat and submersible to other yacht owners, and thus turn an expense into a profit centre, could make a buying decision much easier.” The recruitment and management side of the vessel is less tricky - Jones says that sub operators can be trained in a matter of weeks and can be sourced very easily.
By homogenising activities such as underwater exploration, we are evolving the yacht industry into something that will hopefully attract a more mindful, adventurous and philanthropic type of client. As Jones puts it, “Some clients are interested in providing access to researchers and scientists. Most clients expect to have adventures in their submersibles and soon they are heroes to their family and friends for providing unique opportunities that are rare and generally unavailable.”
Ultimately, Shadowlark is a scalable solution to the logistical challenges associated with launching, recovering, and supporting a submersible weighing up to 12,000 kg (26,400 lbs.). It is ideally purposed to operate independently, support an existing private, research-focused or chartered yacht fleet or serve as a multi-function package for the marine world.
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