This 11.25 metre tender was contracted as a 50 knot, Open Sports model. It was not until after Vikal began construction that the client asked if it was possible to install a convertible roof. Vikal suggested an auto inspired, triple panel, carbon fibre folding hardtop, hydraulically powered and digitally PLC controlled. The client agreed and from there began the development. The roof shell pieces are made of carbon, the moving parts are constructed of corrosive resistant milled metals. Vikal built several mock-up roofs or parts thereof to establish what to do and how to. It was a lengthy process of cobbling together and testing prototypes.
The geometry had to be developed and from there the parts were machined from billets of T6 aluminium and stainless steel. The hydraulic rams were custom made in stainless steel. The moving parts are controlled using 60 limit switches and five string pods which measure travel and report back to a PLC (programmed logic controller). The PLC had to be custom programmed too - a task that took a number of weeks of trial and error. This is the first time an auto-inspired triple panel folding convertible roof has ever been built for marine use.
The end result is a stunning and sleek 50 knot convertible sports tender. It is a thing of great elegance, beauty, engineering and style. It looks the part on the water or in the garage on board its 145 metre mothership.