The Feadship Shinkai departed her build site in Aalsmeer, The Netherlands for Rotterdam yesterday, in preparation for her first set of sea trials. As much as her go-anywhere styling is turning heads, the personal submarine sitting on her aft deck has yacht watchers dreaming of globetrotting themselves.
The 180-footer (54.9-meter) launched at Feadship in October. Fittingly for a megayacht with looks like hers, the owner has been all over the world, and intends to visit even more places onboard. Actually, he intends to visit more places beneath the surface, too. The above-mentioned submarine, which seats three passengers, is therefore an integral part of the entire project. Vitruvius Yachts engineered and designed everything around it. Philippe Briand of the design studio says it’s such an important component that “I imagine it would have made Jean Jacques Cousteau jealous!”
For launch and retrieval of the sub, the yacht carries a crane with a nearly 26-foot (8-meter) reach. The crane also has a capacity exceeding 16,000 pounds (7,800 kilogram), equivalent to it carrying passengers. On a related note, that same crane will lift a crate containing the owner’s car.
If the Feadship Shinkai encounters sloppy seas during her trials, it might actually be a good test. This is due to the yacht having the Northwest Passage, among other challenging waterways, on her itinerary. Additionally attesting to her intentions, the yacht has a steel hull reinforced for operations in some icy conditions. She also has a multi-beam sonar that will allow the captain and crew to see much wider and deeper swaths of the ocean, including the seafloor. This sonar will show the details in 3D, too.
One more fact: “Shinkai” is the Japanese term for “deep sea.” It’s perfectly suitable for a project such as this.
Vitruvius Yachts vitruviusyachts.com