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Image courtesy of Ocean X

Inside OceanX's 87 Metre OceanXplorer

2020-09-24By Miranda Blazeby

The team behind the 87.1-metre explorer superyacht OceanXplorer has opened up about the project for the first time since the launch of the vessel earlier this year. 

The non-profit ocean exploration and media company OceanX, which is spearheaded by billionaire Ray Dalio and his son Mark Dalio, refitted the former support and supply ship into the "world's most advanced research vessel". The refit was undertaken by Damen Shiprepair in Rotterdam.

The team revealed new insight into the capabilities of the supersized explorer, which features a forward helicopter landing deck with adjacent climate controlled hangar, a garage capable of housing submersibles, a dedicated ROV deployment bay and aft deck launch and side boarding systems for scuba divers. 

The  upper deck also features a 40-ton crane and a 40-ton A-frame strong enough to launch submersibles, towed sonar arrays and other heavy equipment.

Also on board are a number of both piloted and autonomous underwater drones and two manned Triton submersibles, each of which can dive to depths exceeding 1000-metres.

OceanXplorer also boasts a media production studio with filmmaking capabilities developed with director James Cameron, allowing the team to create high-quality films at sea. OceanXplorer features state-of-the-art wet and dry marine research labs for analysing scientific discoveries. 

The explorer is to become the subject of  a six-part documentary series entitled Mission: OceanX, co-produced by OceanX and BBC Studios, along with James Cameron for National Geographic.

Interior areas were penned by Gresham Yacht Design

Speaking about the project, OceanX co-founder, Ray Dalio, said: "The ship OceanXplorer will take ocean explorers to never-before-seen undersea worlds and allow them to beam back what they encounter via social media, digital experiences, and a TV show. It will be mind-blowing."

OceanX founder and creative director, Mark Dalio, added: "OceanXplorer will allow us to pair science and media together like never before and share the excitement and wonder of ocean exploration with a global audience in real time."

Interior areas were penned by Gresham Yacht Design

Designed to build upon the success of the 55.75 metre Alucia (the initiative's production arm was formerly known as Alucia Productions), which appeared in the BBC’s highly popular Blue Planet II series, OceanXplorer was built by Freire and launched in 2010.

Image courtesy of Tom van Oossanen

Design input has been provided by London-based Gresham Yacht Design. The studio previously said: “The biggest challenge has been making sure that the vessel satisfies the demands of differing disciplines, from the scientist through to the operators of the submarines, ROVs, helicopters and film production."

Image courtesy of Tom van Oossanen