A SUPPORTING PARTNERSHIP
Leading support yacht developer taps Spanish builder for award winning projects. Robert Smith explains his rational for partnering with Astilleros Armón and talks about their future projects
With leading superyacht builders primarily concentrated to Western Europe, in locations such as Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, it may not seem like an obvious choice for SHADOWCAT to have selected Spain’s Astilleros Armón Shipyards for the construction of its first new support vessels. It’s true that Spanish shipyards are generally thought of as exporters, delivering the majority of newbuild projects to overseas customers. However, the shipbuilding industry in Spain is arguably one of the most experienced in Europe, with many of the vessels constructed there incorporating the latest of technological advancements and award-winning designs.
These were important considerations for SHADOWCAT, the leading designer of bespoke support yachts, but ultimately, after many meetings with various other yards in northern European, Armón offered the right mix of quality, experience, technical skill and availability to ensure that its luxury new-build projects were completed successfully.
“What was clear to us from the initial meeting was how much Armón cared about the final product and meeting client expectations,” explained Robert Smith, CEO of YCTS, Ltd. and founding partner of SHADOWCAT. “Their capacity, top-notch facilities and technical skill checked all of the boxes for us.”
“We are a family-owned, private shipyard that has been in operation since 1962,” added Armón’s Ricardo Garcia, Commercial Director. “Because we are primarily a commercial shipbuilder, productivity and delivery deadlines are a significant priority. Our work is rooted in tradition. We are passionate about what we do and the people on our team are like family.”
Today, Armón comprises of five yards located in the Northwest region of Spain, building vessels from 12 to 180m, in both aluminium and steel. Armón has constructed all of SHADOWCAT’s vessels at its Burela, Spain shipyard. This location boasts a total area of 13,500 m2, with 5,600m2 of covered surface divided into four pavilions. Also included are two slipways entirely covered, with the capacity to build simultaneously up to six vessels with a length of 30m. It has one outfitting dock, measuring 250m, among other assets.
Across all its locations, a high-productivity capacity permits Armón to deliver more than 40 vessels annually. This volume, as well as the great diversity of the vessels delivered, places Armón amongst worldwide market leaders. “It was an easy decision to build our SHADOWCATs in Spain,” said Smith. “It was less about the location and more about the expertise of the team. Armón continues to deliver.”
Since 2019, SHADOWCAT and Armón have so far delivered three superyacht sized support vessels. This impressive feat flags SHADOWCAT and its naval architecture firm Incat Crowther as the group that has delivered the most catamaran tonnage to market in the past five years.
ARMÓN-CONSTRUCTED SHADOWCAT VESSELS
Multi-Award Winning Hodor
Delivered in 2019, 66m M/Y Hodor was the first SHADOWCAT vessel to be delivered, a move that introduced renowned naval architect and engineering from Incat Crowther’s catamaran capability to the yacht
industry. With YCTS supplying the project management and technical consultation.
Hodor’s platform offers incredible amounts of deck and storage space, flexibility, stability, efficiency and capability. It also ensures a stable platform for the safe transfer of guests from helicopter to the mothership, via tenders.
Carrying an astounding number of toys, facilities and personnel, Hodor is stocked with five tenders (the largest being 56’ / 17 metres in size), jet skis, quad bikes, a submarine garage, a helipad, a large complement of crew, staff and support equipment.
The tenders and submarine are flexibly located and can be launched from the upper and main decks; the upper deck via the two large knuckle boom cranes, on the main deck via twin beam cranes and the main feature of the vessel; the aft lifting platform for the 56-foot chase boat.
A portable davit on the fore deck facilitates the launch and recovery of the vessel’s ROV and can also be used for additional jet ski storage.
The helipad is fully certified and CAP437 compliant for helicopters of 6t and up to D-value of 16m including the Eurocopter EC145. A large reception room, finished to a yacht standard, sits forward of the helipad, allowing guests to be transferred in comfort between helicopters and tenders.
Dive equipment is fully integrated with compressors, NITROX and O2 facilities, as well as a hospital with decompression chamber.
Propulsion is provided by two main engines, giving a max speed of 22.5 knots, or long-range cruising at 14 knots up to 5500nm. The catamaran platform allows fuel savings of around 40 percent, affording the full vessel range with only 160,000 litres of diesel fuel.
The inherent stability of the catamaran does not require gyro or roll stabilizers whilst at rest. When underway, the vessel pitching motions are reduced by twin Humphree active interceptors on the stern.
Patton Marine’s Marine Surveyor, Tom Corness, inspected Hodor and said: “The quality of workmanship is exceptionally good for this commercial standard of vessel – it blends commercial and yacht standards perfectly to perform yacht support tasks.”
Delivered in 2021, Wayfinder is the second vessel in the SHADOWCAT range, a design that further demonstrated the support yacht developer’s flexibility and capability. 68m catamaran M/Y Wayfinder offers a 14-metre beam and a draft of 2.40 metres, which permits close coastline navigation. Features include a fully certified helipad and helicopter hangar, with accommodation and storage over four decks. Its impressive carrying capacity includes a helicopter, five large tenders, jet skis and more. In addition to an 18-crew member capacity, it also serves as accommodation for up to 14 extra crew and service personnel.
“Custom-designed to exceed exacting standards in every way, Wayfinder leads the industry in terms of capacity, capability, safety and performance,” said Smith. “This SHADOWCAT was delivered on time, in large part due to Armón, despite a challenging supply chain and economy. We are proud to have delivered this incredible vessel and to continue raising the bar for bespoke shadow vessel concepts and designs across our industry.”
Sleek and stylish Nebula
Most recently, in June, Armón delivered a third support yacht, M/Y Nebula. Based on the proven SHADOWCAT catamaran platform, 67m Nebula features exterior and interior designs by Barcelona-based Kirsten Schwalgien Design and naval architecture by Incat Crowther. With a catamaran hull equipped for remote cruising, Nebula features a 15.5-metre beam, three decks and a dedicated helicopter deck and hangar, and carries multiple tenders.
SHADOWCAT CONCEPTS READY FOR CONSTRUCTION
Whether a support yacht owner’s goal is to reclaim space aboard a mother yacht or add new experiences and logistical support to sea voyages, SHADOWCAT offers the most carrying capacity and customisation options in the market. Available in nearly any size and with existing concepts ranging in size from 24m to 78m, all SHADOWCAT support yachts are fully bespoke, and can be designed to an owner’s specifications to accommodate guests and crew, house entertainment areas or to carry assets, such as a helicopter and fully sized hanger, multiple tenders, a submarine or jet skis and more. These vessels are ready for the next generation of yacht owners that are entering the market and looking for adventure and luxury in perfect harmony.
A few of the latest SHADOWCAT concepts include:
Sub-500 GT ToyBox
This 48m sub-500GT catamaran shadow yacht concept, named ToyBox, can be built at Armón in only 18 months within a very attractive price range. Incat Crowther and YCTS designed this concept to incorporate many of the award-winning features of the larger SHADOWCAT designs but on a smaller hull platform to suit the needs of owners who require support for 50 to 70m superyachts. Though all features can be customised to an owner’s taste, the concept includes a helipad, 14+ crew accommodation and storage over three decks. The 13m helipad is fully certified and CAP437 compliant for helicopters including the Airbus ACH145, AW119 and Bell 429. The large aft main deck allows for three tenders up to 10 metres in length in the base configuration, but there many other options available.
Earlier this year SHADOWCAT entered a strategic collaboration with Triton Submarines, the leading designer and manufacturer of civilian submersibles, to develop an innovative new Launch and Recovery Craft (LARC), named SHADOWLARK. This Incat Crowther- designed catamaran concept includes a 24-metre LARC designed to carry a Triton 3300/3 MKII submersible, which comfortably seats three people (pilot and two guests) and will safely dive to depths as great as 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) for up to 12 hours. When the concept was first unveiled, SHADOWCAT said the SHADOWLARK and Triton 3330/3 MKII would be indicatively priced under US$10 million and delivered in 14 months from receipt of a signed contract with Armón or any of SHADOWCAT’s qualified builders in the U.S., Europe or the Middle East.
SHADOWOLF, a monohull support yacht designed for comfort
Most recently, SHADOWCAT expanded its portfolio to include a fully bespoke monohull shadow vessel. This highly efficient new concept, 69.2m SHADOWOLF, is SHADOWCAT’s first single-hulled support yacht and is available to meet the increasing demand for guest-level comfort and services. The vessel’s hybrid hull design focuses on passenger comfort and accommodation, while still enhancing adventures at sea. SHADOWOLF perfectly supports a superyacht and is ideal for expanding options on multi-day excursions, voyages into more remote locations, and/or for chartering or research purposes.
The Spanish shipbuilding sector has always distinguished itself for its high level of qualification and modernisation, and Armón is no exception. “The values of the Spanish shipbuilding industry, and especially those of Armón’s, aligned with ours and have ultimately contributed to the impressive quality and perfection of each delivered SHADOWCAT,” said Smith. “We look forward to many more in the future.”
For more details Tel: +1 (904) 444 9187 or visit www.theshadowcat.com