A pure custom Feadship has made the first journey of what will be a lifetime of global exploration…
And it will surely be the shortest trip ever as Shinkai was moved from the Feadship yard in Aalsmeer to the outside dock for final outfitting ahead of her sea trials and delivery later this year. New additions include a striking mast and the yacht’s very own submarine, just two of the specific requests by an owner who has enormous experience of discovering the world by sea.
Like every genuinely custom superyacht, the design for Shinkai revolved around these specific choices of the client. In this case the key was how best to incorporate a 7.2-tonne submarine on the aft deck along with the giant crane required for launching and collection. Taking this as the starting point, designer Philippe Briand and the teams at Vitruvius and Feadship have developed a 55-metre explorer yacht which will be able to travel the world while remaining both self-sufficient and fuel-efficient.
Ice class baby
The many adventures Shinkai is expected to embark on in the coming years include taking on the North-West passage. The Feadship’s steel hull has therefore been built to ice class and includes an advanced WASSP sonar system to explore the ocean floor. She is not being fitted with traditional stabiliser fins as these could potentially hinder the ability to retrieve the submarine in certain seas. For the first time on a yacht of this size, a gyroscope system has been fitted within the hull, with the tank deck arranged in such a way to enable traditional stabilisers to also be installed later if required.
Measuring 3x3 metres and weighing a hefty 23 tonnes, the gyro is the largest unit built to date and a heavy piece of equipment for a yacht built to go far on less fuel. More weight comes from the submarine, of course, and the massive crane required to lift 7400 kg when the sub is manned. This crane has an outreach of almost eight metres and will also be used to launch Shinkai’s limousine tender and lift the owner’s car and its crate from the aft deck to the shore.
These are exceptional preconditions for a 55-metre yacht in terms of weight and stability, and Shinkai once again showcases Feadship’s unique ability to build superyachts in the most bespoke manner possible. The yacht also features a supremely comfortable Feadship interior, which has been designed in close cooperation with the owners by Boutsen Design.