A Game Changer: On Board A Support Vessel in London
It’s not a sight often witnessed in London; a large, intimidating support vessel packed to the rafters with toys and potential for owners looking to explore the world in style. Sat effortlessly on the Thames in the shadow of HMS Belfast, Superyachts.com steps on board the 70-metre (227 ft) Support Vessel Game Changer for a closer inspection.
DAMEN’s brand-new support vessel - built from the popular Sea Axe range - has had its fair share of interest since passing Tower Bridge this week. With events on board and brokers coming to see exactly what’s available to owners, we were given an insight into the potential of owning a vessel to support your superyacht.
Game Changer, and the whole Sea Axe range for that matter, is built for the superyacht adventure that requires an arsenal of toys, teams and tenacity. With submarines, large tenders, 20-ton crane, helicopter hangar and large landing pad alongside all forms of jet skis to water toys, this is the boat for an owner looking to explore the world while making the most of the ‘mother yacht’.
“Our clients want to go to exciting new destinations with less established superyacht infrastructure and they want to have more fun with larger tenders, larger helicopters and submersibles,” comments DAMEN Product Director Mark Vermeulen. “They also want to take more staff, guides, pilots and security personnel with them. Game Changer is the massive leap forward in capability that they need, but at a much lower cost than a larger yacht.”
Game Changer is built to speed ahead (thanks to its 22 knot capabilities) in complete ease and sets up the ideal escape for those on board the mother yacht in search of the best destinations, anywhere in the world.
“This is a very fast vessel, we can even go faster with bigger engines,” explains Victor Caminada, Marketing Director for AMELS when contemplating the toys on board, as well as the biggest toy in question, Game Changer. “This would fit typically a 70-110-metre superyacht, there are a lot of toys but it’s a serious boat.”
Game Changer has 250 square metres of open deck space for tenders and toys. The large deck crane makes logistics and handling simple, fast and safe. Below deck there is a further 110 square-metre storage space/dive centre. The YS 6911 has offices, facilities and accommodation for 22 crew and staff. It can carry a huge amount of extra provisions, fuel (marine, aviation and petrol), luggage and spare parts.
With no accommodation for owners, an additional attraction is the possibility of having anyone from helicopter pilots, submarine experts, rotational crew and myriad experts on board to fill any vacation with limitless possibilities.
“The crew has a good life. It’s important," adds Victor Caminada. "If you want the best crew you have to offer them the best working conditions and living space, and in a competitive crew market this is ideal for larger boats with crew that rotate. You’re always under tension as crew, and here you can relax and go to the gym and do things you can’t do on the mother yacht.”
For owners searching for the accommodation included in the exploration vessels, AMELS & DAMEN worked together to bring the answer forward, the SeaXplorer. Read more about the first vessel, which is begins first phases of construction tomorrow, here.
Having just finished the sea trial programme, Game Changer crossed the 100 mile stretch from The Netherlands to London, testing the 22 knot speed as well as the comfort, quiet and capabilities of the Sea Axe range. Named for its innovative bow, there is extremely reduced feedback from the water at high-speeds meaning lower fuel costs and added economic benefits.
In fact, the Total Cost of Ownership on board Game Changer is significantly lower per square metre thanks to functional nature of the boat itself. Proving its popularity, Game Changer is the fourth Yacht Support vessel in the 70-metre segment following the delivery of Intrepid, ‘6711’ and Garçon.
The launch of Game Changer also follows last year’s delivery and sale of the 55-metre showcase vessel Fast & Furious (181 ft).
With its Yacht Support range, DAMEN is now the established leader in this rapidly developing niche. In total, 11 DAMEN Yacht Support vessels have been delivered or are in build.
"If you want the best crew you have to offer them the best working conditions and living space, and in a competitive crew market this is ideal for larger boats with crew that rotate. You’re always under tension as crew, and here you can relax and go to the gym and do things you can’t do on the mother yacht."