Ilona was launched by Amels in 2004 to a design by Redman Whiteley Dixon and turned many heads with her special helicopter garage in the aft deck. But after cruising her extensively around the world, her owner decided it was time to make some changes. 'The owner wanted to have a large swimming pool and a helipad large enough to take his Agusta 109 Grand New helicopter,' says David McQueen, the owner's representative.
The plan swung into action with pre-engineering and manufacturing works done in advance so that the refit could be completed in record time once the yacht arrived at the yard.
In place of the helicopter garage a large 10m by 3m swimming pool was created with a movable floor and a maximum depth of 1.5m. The 40,000 litres of sea water necessary to fill it are purified and 'can be heated to up to 6 degrees higher than the original sea temperature in just one hour,' adds McQueen.
The addition of the new helipad posed a real challenge to preserve the sleek original design of Redman Whiteley Dixon. As Justin Redman explains, 'Adding the additional superstructure to accommodate the helipad would have affected the lines of the yacht, so we extended the owner’s deck and the bridge deck by 2 metres in order to bring the aesthetic appearance back into balance. We also used metallic grey paint to reduce the visual impact of the helideck, and the overall result is that the yacht, despite all the changes, looks every bit as streamlined and well-proportioned as before.'
The 37th refit by the dedicated Amels Refit Department was a real success, as confirmed by Ilona's captain, Kenan Seginer: 'I really like Amels, they’re very friendly and great to work with. They’ve done a wonderful job with Ilona, and the after-sales team is excellent. The boss is very happy, and any work we need doing in the future, for sure we’ll be coming back to Amels again.'
The refit was completed ahead of schedule on 16 May 2012, and the yacht arrived in Antibes few weeks later, ready in time for the coming season.