The design and function of a support vessel is an intricate art, requiring critical balance between quality and functionality. The additional storage and autonomy benefits provided by a support vessel are manifold, allowing for an enhanced guest experience in terms of space, leisure and extra activities and services. As well as robust storage facilities, the support vessel must be fairly light and able to reach high top speeds, in order to keep up with her mothership.
“This is a very interesting project for us which we foresee will provide a platform that can be adapted to meet the growing needs of other superyacht owners,”says Gokhan Çelik, president of Alia Yachts. “The principle challenge is that it has to be fast but also versatile and efficient. I’m particularly happy because the owner decided to build with us after visiting the shipyard and seeing the quality work we do.”
At just 199GT, the shadow vessel offers remarkable accommodation for transporting toys and tenders, a small car and extra fuel to bolster the range of the mothership. She is also fitted with a 157square metre cargo deck, 45 square-metre lazarette and 33 square-metre workshop. The vessel will feature the same exterior design and naval architecture as that of her mothership, with long-term Alia partners Cor D Rover and Van Oossanen taking respective charge.
“Although she’s basically a work horse with lots of storage for tenders and ’toys and a big 11.5 meter reaching 15,500kg capacity crane, the exterior lines and details have been styled to resemble the mothership,”says designer Cor D. Rover.“So, there is a distinct family resemblance, but as a shadow vessel her prime function is support the bigger yacht.”
“We developed the naval architecture and engineering together with the captain, who provided a lot of input,” says naval architect Perry van Oossanen. “Like the mothership, the vessel has a fast Displacement XL hull form, which combines the speed and efficiency advantages of the FDHF concept with the maximum length within a given gross tonnage category for optimal seakeeping and comfort.”
Alia’s 36m shadow vessel’s impressive performance capabilities include a top speed of 21 knots, and a range of 4,200nm at cruising speed (12 knots). Powered by twin CAT C-32 main engines, the vessel will be able to travel ahead of the mothership and prepare toys and tenders for guests upon arrival, as well as remaining behind to load tenders when the mothership moves on to her next destination - allowing for an entirely seamless experience for guests onboard the larger superyacht.