Superyacht support vessel

Support artist

Robert Smith looks at the benefits of this bespoke sub-500GT support vessel which can be yours in as little as 18 months


Following the successful deliveries of the award-winning 66m Hodor and 68m Wayfinder, the masterminds behind the SHADOWCAT line of bespoke catamaran support yachts have released a new sub-500GT concept, fittingly named Toybox. A first of its kind, Toybox’s efficient size and design means that it can be delivered in as little as 18 months and at a very competitive price point when the vessel is built at SHADOWCAT’s affiliate ARMON Shipyards, in Spain.
But why should superyacht owners ever consider a support vessel and how does a catamaran design compare to traditional monohull options?

Support yachts make room for what matters
Believe it or not, the decision to build a support yacht is a highly practical choice for many superyacht owners. The number one reason superyacht owners commit is because they want to reclaim space aboard the mother yacht and have additional space for new and exciting toys or equipment that can’t currently be accommodated on their existing vessel. Whether their families have grown or they are simply ready to retrofit the existing space to better meet their needs, the relegation of crew quarters, cargo holds and more to a support yacht frees up room for additional guest lodging, new toys and larger entertainment areas.
“SHADOWCATs can help owners avoid having to upgrade their existing superyacht to meet their space needs. With a shadow vessel in tow, the owners can entertain a greater number of people, with greater storage for water toys and other activities,” explained SHADOWCAT’s Robert Smith, CEO of YCTS Ltd. and founding partner of SHADOWCAT.

But with most of its support yacht concepts ranging in size from 50m to 80m, SHADOWCAT recognized the need to bring a more compact option to market – without sacrificing the alluring aesthetic and maximum performance, stability, space and efficiency for which the brand is known.

ToyBox has a 12-metre beam and a draft of 2.15 meters, which permits close coastline navigation and access to shallow ports. At 48m, it is currently the smallest vessel in the SHADOWCAT line, allowing it to be classed as a sub-500GT vessel, a distinction that subjects the vessel to fewer regulations.

“As well as being more cost-efficient to construct, sub-500GT vessels are also more economical to crew and operate. This innovative new concept delivers the total package – bespoke design, tangible efficiencies and an expeditious construction schedule – that will meet the needs of any superyacht owner without compromise.” said Dan Mace, technical manager of Incat Crowther.

Though all features are customized to an owner’s taste, SHADOWCAT’s standard catamaran hull offers 40 percent more volume and 60 percent more deck space than a monohull, allowing for a helipad, up to 14 crew accommodations, and plenty of storage for toys, gear and more over three decks. Its 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. The launch and recovery system consists of overhead beam cranes. Forward of this, the main deck cabin houses facilities such as deck store, galley, mess and accommodation.

Additionally, the catamaran hull design is proven to be more efficient, delivering less fuel burn and higher speeds, with a 70-percent increase in stability during offloading/loading operations. The catamaran hull also increases the speed of the vessel, allowing it to achieve 20 knots or more – a speed that similarly sized monohulls can’t offer without major compromise.

“This latest SHADOWCAT concept offers a tremendous amount of customization and meets the needs of buyers who require a moderately sized shadow yacht to support their existing superyachts, without sacrificing quality or performance,” said Smith.

Customization as diverse as the destinations SHADOWCATs explore

Whether an owner chooses to cruise around the Mediterranean or expand his horizons by exploring new and exciting destinations, SHADOWCAT support yachts fill the need. For those who desire fun on the water, catamaran support yachts have unmatched cargo carrying capacity for tenders, jet skis, a dive center, submarines and more. Growing families enjoy reclaimed space for accommodations and entertainment areas. Support yachts can also serve as additional security detail or can offer increased autonomy and wellness centers for everyone health on board. The only limit is an owner’s imagination.

“We have found this platform to be the key for every yacht owner to transport everything they need on the ocean, no matter when or where, through a compact and cost-effective solution,” said Ricardo García, commercial director, ARMON. “This concept is already revolutionizing the mega yacht industry.”

The SHADOWCAT line of bespoke support yachts was designed by catamaran design expert Incat Crowther, of Sydney, Australia and yacht industry authority YCTS, Ltd. Established in 2018, the working partnership has successfully completed two bespoke SHADOWCAT vessels, the award-winning 66m Hodor and 68m Wayfinder. Both vessels are products of respected Spanish shipyard Astilleros Armón. More information about SHADOWCAT can be found at