ICON Yachts Begins 70m Explorer Yacht Conversion

By George Bains

ICON Yachts has begun work on its latest superyacht conversion project, 70m Project MASTER. A 66m Offshore Rescue and Support Vessel will be used as the platform of what will become an exciting modern explorer yacht, with design by iconic studio Espen Øino International.

The platform for the latest conversion project by ICON Yachts was pulled into the shipyard’s drydock facility in Harlingen earlier this month, where she will emerge as a global world explorer.

Icon Yachts has carved out a unique sitting in the market, championing the conversion space, which is a particularly important and perhaps overlooked field when taken into account the sustainable credentials that come with reusing platforms and materials.

The recent delivery of MV RAGNAR, a former multi-purpose support vessel converted into a luxurious ice-breaker yacht primed for Arctic adventures, reaffirmed the shipyard’s expertise prowess in conversion projects.

The client behind Project Master was presented with a number of design drafts by ICON, but decided to go with the chosen platform because of their desire for a family-oriented and charter-friendly world cruiser.

Espen Oeino International was contracted in 2021 to develop the design and styling, working alongside the shipyard to repurpose a significant proportion of the vessel. Not only is this advantageous for the client in terms of environmental impact, but it also reduces the lead time and overcomes the great supply chain hurdle.

“Close to 80% of the original vessel will be re-used or upcycled,” the yard explains. “Even those parts removed have been recycled into the marine industry as spares, and all in accordance with ICON’s ISO 14001 certification. This allows us to deliver a state-of-the-art explorer without putting a huge drain on the planet’s raw material resources.”

The 70m superyacht will accommodate up to 12 guests in six opulent suites, comprising of two VIPs, three Twins, and a sublime 135 m2 Master Stateroom and private Owner’s Deck. The Owner’s spaces come with additional privacy located three decks above the guest suites.

Designed to combine a life full of worldwide exploration and infinite luxury, ICON Yachts has ensured that MASTER’s platform provides plenty of space to carry all the equipment to take adventures to the next level. The superyacht will offer more than 800 m2 of deck space, while leaving plenty of room for an arsenal of toys and tenders, complete with a submarine and exploration gear. A fully-certified Helicopter Deck will also give guests the ability to live the ultimate experience flying over glaciers, reaching otherwise inaccessible shores, or observing undisturbed coral reefs.

“We consider ourselves experts in bringing a totally different skill set to conversions,” explains ICON’s Tony Gale. “One which perfectly aligns us with our main goal – to remain at the peak of our market, as the leading conversion specialist.”

ICON’s expertise in conversion projects has drawn from experience in both the commercial and superyacht sectors; its platform vessels chosen from the former, and developed according to the demands of the latter.

“We’ve built a strong expertise from all our past projects – conversion and new build, as well as refit – while sourcing the most suitable platforms for any chosen conversion.”

There is also another 70m superyacht conversion project in work at ICON Yachts, namely a Project UFO. Though similar in the platforms, both projects, like all at ICON, are fully-custom designs and builds tailored to the specific requirements of the client.

The design of Project UFO is already at an advanced stage, with ICON’s team of engineers and architects working alongside the Owner’s Designer throughout the past few months.

We look forward to seeing UFO join MASTER bow to bow on the shipyard’s dry dock in the near future, and tracking the progress of two remarkable conversion projects underway at the leader in this space.

Project MASTER is not the only 70m superyacht conversion project under work at ICON, with Project UFO

"We consider ourselves experts in bringing a totally different skill set to conversions"

Tony Gale, ICON Yachts


"We consider ourselves experts in bringing a totally different skill set to conversions"

Tony Gale, ICON Yachts
By George Bains
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