Standout superyacht helicopter decks

Once the luxury of a select few, the not-so-humble helipad is having a bit of a moment. With the explosion of interest in the explorer yacht market, a touch-and-go landing pad is becoming more of a necessity than the extravagance it once was. Sure, a tender will get you from shore to superyacht in good time, but there's nothing that quite compares to touching down on the bow. We take a closer look at some of the best helidecks afloat...

Bold

Credit: Guillaume Plisson

Bold carries a certified helideck with a D value of 13 making it suitable for a craft such as the 3.2-tonne, twin-engine, eight-seat AgustaWestland AW109S Grand. Equipped with proper lighting and fire-safety gear, it is far from any structure that can create turbulence and features opening bulwarks to expand the deck width. While there is plenty of room to stow the craft on deck, the ocean environment is notoriously detrimental to delicate electronics, and big waves or wind can tip even a large heli over. So Bold transports its helicopter over long passages in a garage with a ceiling that adjusts in height to accommodate the craft with its rotors removed.

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BOLD

Silver Yachts   85.3 m •   2019

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BOLD

Silver Yachts   85.3 m •   12 guests • Price from €975,000 p/w

Geco

Credit: Yachtfilmpro and Studio Reskos

A defining feature of Geco's exterior design is the touch-and-go helipad on the foredeck. The minimalist platform complements the modern and slender profile of the 55 metre superyacht, and when not hosting a chopper, this round platform is instead transformed into a Moroccan-style cocktail area best enjoyed at sunset. After dark, the helipad also works as the perfect spot for stargazing.

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Geco

55.2 m •   2020

Skat

Credit: Guillaume Plisson

Designed in a military-inspired style by Espen Øino, the helideck area on 71 metre Lürssen Skat was the first to be penned by the designer for a superyacht. Located on the aft deck, the helipad has a dual purpose as a landing site for choppers and also providing shade to the deck space below.

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SKAT

Lurssen   70.7 m •   2002

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SKAT

Lurssen   70.99 m •  12 guests •  €49,500,000

Ace

Credit: Klaus Jordan

Lürssen superyacht Ace features a foredeck helipad marked that bucks tradition by replacing the usual "H" sign with a giant "A" to represent her name. But this distinctive helideck is not actually the main landing site for arrivals from the air. Instead, landings would usually take place on support vessel Garçon, leaving the forward end of Ace, which features a swimming pool and sunbeds free for fun. 

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ACE

Lurssen   85 m •   2012

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ACE

Lurssen   87 m •  10 guests •  €117,000,000

OceanXplorer

Credit: Andy Mann

Once an oil survey vessel, the 87 metre OceanXplorer completed a refit by Damen in 2020 that turned her into the ultimate expedition yacht complete with high-tech toys, scientific research labs and Hollywood-standard editing facilities. This includes the addition of new helipad at the bow, which has been shifted three frames (1.8 metres) further forward, in order to create enough room for a proper hangar behind it which has been finished with a futuristic top-hinged door.

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OCEANXPLORER

Freire   87.1 m •   2010

Ragnar

Credit: Tom Van Oossanen

Ragnar is one of the coolest conversion projects to splash in recent years. Having started life as an icebreaking tug, even the harshest environments are a walk in the park for this Viking-inspired explorer. Unsurprisingly, Ragnar is jam-packed with some serious tools for exploring ashore, including an Airbus EC145 which sits atop a certified helideck, perfect for whisking thrill-seeking guests off for an afternoon of heli-skiing.

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RAGNAR

Royal Niestern Sander   68.2 m •   2012

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RAGNAR

Royal Niestern Sander   68.2 m •   12 guests • Price from $525,000 p/w

Hodor

Credit: Clint Jenkins

Hodor's 220 square metre helideck is fully certified and a CAP 437-compliant helipad sits aft of the 66-metre catamaran's upper deck. The Incat Crowther shadow cat features an Airbus H145 helicopter in matching stealth-grey among its plethora of superyacht toys.

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HODOR

Astilleros Armón   66.2 m •   2019

Octopus

Octopus is perhaps one of the best known explorers on the water. The 126 metre Lürssen hit the water in 2003, commissioned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and was designed for far-flung global adventures. She has two helipads on board, one fore and one aft, with a hangar that can store two aircraft. Since her delivery, Octopus has explored the coast of Antarctica, traversed the Northwest Passage and discovered the wrecks of long-lost WW2 battleships off the Philippines.

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OCTOPUS

Lurssen   126.2 m •   2003

Kismet

Credit: Guillaume Plisson

The foredeck on the 95.2 metre Lürssen superyacht Kismet is marked for half-court basketball, but it can also double up as a touch-and-go helipad. Her sport-loving owner Shahid Khan has sports interests on both sides of the Atlantic, owning both the Jacksonville Jaguars basketball team and Fulham FC.

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KISMET

Lurssen   95.2 m •   2014

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KISMET

Lurssen   95.2 m •  12 guests •  €169,000,000

Planet Nine

Credit: Thierry Ameller

To prepare her for adventures in the Antarctic, Planet Nine's helipad was designed with a lifting platform that allows the aircraft to be stowed in the hangar beneath when not in use. This also enables the 73 metre explorer yacht to carry two helicopters at once, allowing guests to arrive on board by chopper while the owner's own helicopter is stowed safely away.

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Planet Nine

73.2 m •   2018

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PLANET NINE

Admiral - The Italian Sea Group   73.2 m •  16 guests •  €85,000,000

Yachts for charter

PLANET NINE

Admiral - The Italian Sea Group   73.2 m •   16 guests • Price from €650,000 p/w

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