In Depth: New Frontiers – Yacht Support Vessel

New Frontiers is a yacht support vessel splashed at Damen Shipyard Gorinchem on July 10. The owners will use this 55-metre long vessel to support the mother yacht.

New Frontiers will take its owner into a new territory with a combination of adventure and superyacht support functions, Rose Damen, Commercial Director Yachting at Damen, explained.

“New Frontiers is still a yacht support vessel, but you can’t put this vessel into one category or another,” Damen said.

That was exactly the wish of the clients. Whether it’s a weekend dive adventure trip away from their superyacht or enjoying two locations at once linked by helicopter, it’s all about unforgettable experiences and freedom.

“They want their holiday to be about freedom and spontaneity. New Frontiers makes that possible,” according to Damen.

What makes it different from all other yacht support vessels is that the New Frontiers has dedicated owner and guest accommodations plus a host of yachting enhancements. The owner suite is located on the main deck and a total of three suites will accommodate up to six guests.

The length of the New Frontiers is 55.3 metres, with a beam of 9 metres. A reduced draught of 3.2 metres is realised for operations in shallow waters. With a gross tonnage of 496 tons, the maximum speed is 20 knots with a range 5,000 nautical miles.

Other features are a lounge and dining room of 30 square metres, a sun deck of 50 square metres and an aft adventure centre with large stores or dive and sports centre.

The vessel has an extra accommodation for four staff, such as pilots, security or guides. The helipad and main deck area occupy 190 square metres with standard fittings for modular tender cradles and containers and the total deck area 240 square metres. The vessel has a performance knuckle-boom deck crane with a capacity of 12 tonnes (6 tonnes at 11.5-metre outreach).

The superyacht support vessel market is rapidly developing and Damen is now the established leader in this niche. In total, 11 Damen yacht support vessels have been delivered or are under construction. This launching came just over two months after the delivery of the 69.1-metre-long Game Changer.

Owners take their yacht support vessels all over the world to support the mother yacht. For adventurous owners who love making the most of their precious time at sea, this innovative solution opens up new possibilities for luxury yachting experiences.

What if an owner wants to take a 60-foot tender on a voyage? Or a large helicopter? A submarine and dive centre? Even if they physically fit them on the superyacht, how much would the owner have to compromise on luxury spaces? With a yacht support vessel equipment and staff you need – particularly off-the-beaten track in regions with less developed infrastructure – it becomes possible.

“A yacht support vessel offers superyacht owners more luxury yachting fun than ever, but at a much lower total cost of ownership than acquiring more capability with a larger yacht. Plus, they get all the benefits of flexible operations, straightforward maintenance and privacy. That’s why we call it the Smart Stretch,” Mark Vermeulen, Product Director Yacht Support & SeaXplorer at Damen Shipyards Group, commented.

While New Frontiers shares its semi-displacement Damen Sea Axe platform with previous Yacht Support vessels, the design team has raised the bar with a new layout and hundreds of enhanced yachting features. The vessel appeared at the Monaco Yacht Show in September.

This article was previously published in Maritime Holland edition #5 – 2017.

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