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What makes the industry's leading support yacht hull design so successful

1 June 2021 • Written by Laura Nicholls for ShadowCat

Whether used as a floating helipad, tender garage or a unique hotel, a support vessel is a versatile platform that can be adapted to suit any owner’s needs. In particular, the custom versions developed by ShadowCat, the brainchild of YCTS Ltd. and Incat Crowther, have stood out in recent years all thanks to their ambition to be the most well-purposed and spacious shadow vessels available.

Introduced in 2019, the 66-metre Hodor was first in the line, followed more recently by the just-delivered 68.2-metre Wayfinder. Together, they offer completely customised floating playgrounds for all the tenders, toys and additional equipment any adventurous owner could need and have won many awards for their fully bespoke designs.

The way these vessels excel is through their distinctive catamaran hull design which benefits from Incat Crowther’s authority on catamaran design and technology. The two large connecting hulls of the ShadowCat offer significantly more stability over a monohull vessel – so much so that the catamaran is one of the most stable hull types in the world. The main ambition with the ShadowCat hull design is to provide owners with perfect stability that does not interfere with unloading and loading cargo

The vessel’s impressive stability has allowed for up to 70% more weight to be craned off the side. This can be done with either the special quick-launch lifting platform for smaller kit such as Jet skis, the knuckle-boom cranes for a single-point lift of tenders, or, the beam cranes for secure lifts of any larger objects. By having such a capable vessel, the captain and crew can operate, unload and load objects at sea much more safely and, thanks to the reliability of the high-tech equipment on board, can do so with confidence.

The ShadowCat design is also an environmentally friendly one, as it requires 40% less fuel in comparison to a monohull. Even with lower fuel usage, catamarans can travel more quickly than monohulls. When tested, Wayfinder offered speeds of up to 22 knots – ideal for when a vessel is trying to move ahead of foul weather or prepare for the arrival of the mothership, even in shallow waters thanks to ShadowCat’s achievable 2.1-metre draft.

Once on location, the catamaran’s 40% increased capacity (than that of a monohull) means that owners can travel with an elite stock of toys, speed boats, quad bikes, submarine, dive room and decompression chamber. Even amenities such as a fresh flower shop, personal gym or wellness centre can be fitted on board. This space can also be adapted to accommodate any off-duty staff and crew, meaning that the mothership is more available for the private use of the owner.

To find out more about the award-winning line of ShadowCat support yachts, contact the team directly here.

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