Echo Yachts x Bannenberg & Rowell Humanitarian Support Vessel

By George Bains

London-based design studio Bannenberg & Rowell has released Project Echo HSV, a Humanitarian Support Vessel developed in collaboration with Australian custom superyacht builder Echo Yachts. The 50-metre project injects style into the sphere of support vessels, while remaining suited to challenging missions to remote areas of the world.

Project Echo HSV borrows its advanced platform and innovative features from a previous venture by the same parties, an Advanced Support Yacht bearing the same name. HSV caters to the needs of philanthropic owners by delivering a vessel capable of reaching the most remote and shallow waters in the world to complete challenging humanitarian missions.

Descendent from the father of modern yacht design, the Bannenberg & Rowell studio of course has a connection with Australia. However, the decision to work with Echo Yachts and Sydney-based naval architects Incat Crowther was nothing to do with sentimentality, but strength.

There is a history of London/Western Australian collaboration in the Bannenberg studio of course,” says Dickie Bannenberg, “and we have been very pleased to continue that with Echo Yachts and Incat Crowther on this new design initiative … Echo Yachts are able to offer many technical and yacht finish options to suit any need and it has been a pleasure working with them.”

50m support catamaran HSV can carry up to 40 tonnes in cargo deadweight with a special integrated cargo deck rail fastening system, perfectly suiting her to deliver aid worldwide. Project Echo can be customised and configured to suit any purpose stated by her owner. This can include isolated treatment rooms, medical rooms, laboratories and both cool, dry medical supply storage spaces. Especially relevant in today’s world, she is fitted with special HVAC systems to provide 100% fresh-air to isolation rooms with no re-circulation, minimising the risk of contamination. A 12 tonne knuckle-boom crane facilitates the unloading of cargo, as well as enabling HSV to launch and retrieve various craft required for missions.  

A wide cargo zone, afforded to Project Echo by her catamaran hull form, is well suited to multiple large tenders, water sports equipment, humanitarian cargo modules and medivac as well as supporting helicopter operations. The innovative hull, designed by Incat Crowther Naval Architects, also has distinct performance advantages, as by reducing engine powering requirements she delivers a much greater fuel efficiency and range than monohulls of her category.

Echo Yachts’ Chris Blackwell explains how the benefits of Project Echo extend beyond her suitability to the mission at hand. “The new customizable design is offered at a lower price point than our previous Project Echo Adventure Support Yacht model,” Blackwell explains. This is due to “the removal of the large flush-deck A-frame crane from the stern” however the inclusion of the 12 tonne knuckle-boom crane ensures Project Echo “remains very capable of launching and retrieving large watercraft and submersibles.”

Our pricing, our 100% customizable design philosophy and timely delivery are further improved due to the low Australian Dollar and our immediate newbuild project capacity,” adds Blackwell.

Project Echo certainly features the progressive styling that has made the studio so well endowed throughout the industry, making her as attractive as she is functional. “Support Vessels are an interesting and growing segment of the market,” states Dickie Bannenberg, “but not necessarily one populated with vessels which combine both form and function as we believe the Echo Yachts vessel does. The catamaran platform offers stability, fuel efficient range and space – providing the ideal mother ship for adventure and humanitarian operations.”

It was only very recently that Bannenberg & Rowell saw their 87m design Project Hawaii begin sea trials ahead of her delivery by Lurssen. Echo Yachts has also been busy with the release of a 105m trimaran concept with Sorgiovanni Designs.

"The catamaran platform offers stability, fuel efficient range and space – providing the ideal mother ship for adventure and humanitarian operations."

Dickie Bannenberg on Project Echo HSV

"The catamaran platform offers stability, fuel efficient range and space – providing the ideal mother ship for adventure and humanitarian operations."

Dickie Bannenberg on Project Echo HSV
By George Bains
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