Could the world’s most desirable mega-yacht be an oil field workboat in disguise?
This week an armada of boats lay siege on Fort Lauderdale for the year’s largest boat show and, like models during fashion week, countless mega-yachts arrive daily with hopes of seducing a billionaire to sleep in her cabin. But, for one exceptional beauty, this is not the goal.
With a sharp chiseled bow softened by elegant curves the Sea Axe is a genuine head turner. Her looks are unique and stunning but, unlike most other yachts of her type, they also serve a function enabling her to cut through chop and blaze down the face of a following sea at high speed. Even more intriguing is her lineage. The latest in a line of workboats designed by Damen Shipyards, her unique shape is based off the Fast Crew Supplier, a workboat developed to service oil rigs in the rough waters of the North Sea. This fact, combined with her natural beauty, is what most intrigues the world’s wealthier individuals.
The Sea Axe FYS (Fast Yacht Support), as she is named, is not designed to be the primary yacht of billionaires. Instead she is designed as an elegant work horse capable of both turning heads and carrying the toys of her wealthy owners. The Sea Axe’s generous deck space provides plenty of room for a launch boat, jet skis, automobiles and a helicopter, and she is fast… capable of speeds up to 28 knots with a range of 5,000 nautical miles (at 18-knots).
Yacht design visionary and naval architect, Tom Weaver, from Weaver Price Design shares his comments:
This is the solution to the designers dilemma of engineering the support tenders and toys to fit into a regular super yacht. Under normal circumstances, designers of mega yacht tenders are faced with restrictions in height, weight and the space they occupy leading to compromises in the vehicles the guests use as transport and for play. Now toys are unlimited, they can arrive ahead of the main ship be deployed and ready, the Sea Axe can also carry supplies of fuel etc. A variety of “toys” are required in different parts of the world, here they can be corralled and deployed at will.
The Sea Axe’s forward sections are developed from racing sailing yachts, particularly catamarans with their narrow hull beam, where the vertical bow, fine entry and minimum reserve buoyancy is intended to go through waves rather than over them. This is efficient and reduces pitching whilst maintaining speed, and there is enough lifting strake/chine forward to deflect water when running in normal conditions. The wide aft decks and what appears to be minimum deadrise aft create a very stable working platform to launch and deploy “toys”. The forward helm station of the supply vessel creates the large working deck and gives excellent visibility from the helm station. This is a very functional yacht with workboat roots and a style not out of place in Monte Carlo.
In the Christopher Guest-directed comedy, Best in Show, one character is continuously approached by men she once slept with. The details of her pre-marital love affairs, combined with her wardrobe of scant lycra pull-ups, leads her neurotic husband to compare her to “a cocktail waitress on an oil rig.”
One day the lucky owner of Sea Axe may be similarly dismissive but, this week in Fort Lauderdale, this working class girl of Aberdeen is truly the best in show.