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Evolution Yachts – Australia’s new group creating the 42m GCX40 Explorer superyacht

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Australian yachting heavy weights join forces for a new explorer yacht building joint venture: Evolution Motor Yachts

Evolution Yachts GCX40 42m Explorer Superyacht
Evolution Yachts GCX40 42m Explorer Superyacht. Credit: MMYD

The demand for explorer yachts has certainly come of age and Australian based Misha Merzliakov Yacht Design are here for it with their 42 meter explorer superyacht design, the “GCX40 Explorer”. Inspired by ideals of diving, discovering warm waters and tropical reefs, it’s no wonder the GCX40 has already obtained many enquirers.

Evolution Yachts GCX40 42m Explorer Superyacht
Evolution Yachts GCX40 42m Explorer Superyacht. Credit: MMYD

Revealed earlier this year at the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous, it was announced the GCX40 Explorer yacht will be produced under the brand “Evolution Motor Yachts” with a new joint venture between Australian leading industry figures, shipbuilders Evolution Motor Yachts, Misha Merzliakov Yacht Design (MMYD), Marine Engineering Consultants (MEC), Periscope Naval Architects (PNA) and the Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM).

Evolution Yachts GCX40 42m Explorer Superyacht
Evolution Yachts GCX40 42m Explorer Superyacht. Credit: MMYD

Overseeing project builds will be by Kevin Altera, founder of Evolution Yachts, an Australian yacht builder which has already launched multiple aluminium and FRP superyachts, including the Sam Sorgiovanni designed M/Y Benita Blue, and builder Murray Owen of Marine Engineering Consultants who have won multiple awards for excellence in aluminium yacht construction.

Evolution Yachts Joint Venture group photo
From left: Misha Merzliakov (MMYD), Trenton Gay (GCCM), Murray Owen (MEC), Kevin Altera (Evolution Yachts Founder) and Shaun Phelps (PNA)

In a recent statement, Kevin Altera stated, “The partners in this joint venture have been selected as they represent key and market-leading marine services.  It puts into motion the intent and capability to build world-class superyachts on the east coast of Australia”

Misha Merzliakov also explained “Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM) is the ideal shipyard with the Pacific Ocean cruising grounds on its door step. GCCM can offer the depth and breadth of quality Australian marine trades to work on the yacht’s construction. We can pull from 80 individual businesses and 700 individual tradespeople to deliver this project”.

Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyards
Part of the Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyards Facility.

As a concept design, the GCX40 Explorer Yacht has taken inspiration from the Australian and South Pacific coast line and has been designed with an avid explorer or diver in mind. It can accommodate up to 12 guests (plus a crew of 10) and be customized by individual owners to include a beach club or more room for tenders and toys if desired.

Base price for the GCX40 starts at €15.7 EUR million including design.

GCX40 Specifications

  • LOA …………………     42.0 m
  • Beam………………..     9.3 m
  • Draft ………………..     2.5 m
  • GRT …………………    <500 tonnes
  • Speed ………………     16 knots
  • Range ………………   5500 nm
  • Material ………….       Aluminum
  • Exterior Design …      Misha Merzliakov
  • Interior design …   Misha Merzliakov
  • Naval architect … Periscope Naval Architects
  • Builder ………….. Evolution Motor Yachts JV
Evolution Yachts GCX40 42m Explorer Superyacht
Evolution Yachts GCX40 42m Explorer Superyacht. Credit: MMYD

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Superyachts & Tenders

DAMEN launches first SeaXplorer expedition yacht

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On 31 October the first DAMEN SeaXplorer luxury expedition yacht emerged from her building hall in the Netherlands.

first DAMEN 62m SeaXplorer expedition yacht launched
first DAMEN 62m SeaXplorer expedition yacht launched. Credit: DAMEN

DAMEN’s first ever SeaXplorer has just been completed and it’s a 62-metre custom-designed yacht that will be handed over to her owners in early 2020, She will be the first delivery from the DAMEN SeaXplorer range offered by yacht builder AMELS and DAMEN.

The 62-metre SeaXplorer is a customised design with naval architecture completed by Damen’s in house design team and exterior lines by Azure Yacht Design. The owners selected Carlo Torre of Monaco Yacht Temptation to create the interior design and the Fraser technical team to supervise the build.

first DAMEN 62m SeaXplorer expedition yacht launched
The inaugural SeaXplorer will be handed over to the owners in early 2020. Credit: DAMEN

The Polar Class yacht has expedition facilities for 30 days of autonomy, a fully certified helideck and helicopter hangar, plus two large tender garages and a dive store. The power generation consists of a Siemens BlueDrive system with three variable speed generator sets and DC bus. In combination with electrical propulsion motors and a battery pack, the yacht has an economical and environmentally friendly configuration.

Outfitting of the DAMEN SeaXplorer yacht took place at the Vlissingen East yard, located just a few kilometers from the yacht builder’s Vlissingen City yard where AMELS yachts are completed. The DAMEN SeaXplorer range was introduced in 2015, a crossover innovation created by a top team of experts including the SeaXplorer design team, the Damen Research Laboratory, Azure Yacht Design and EYOS Expeditions, who provided hundreds of operational design features based on their real-world expedition experience.

first DAMEN 62m SeaXplorer expedition yacht launched
Leaving the shed in Vlissingen, Netherlands. Credit DAMEN

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Echo Yachts launches new range of fully customizable 27m catamarans

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Echo Yachts launch new range of fully customizable 27m catamaran Motoryachts and Shadow Vessels ahead of the 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS).

Australian custom superyacht builder Echo Yachts are pleased to announce the addition of two new, fully customizable 27m catamaran Motoryacht and Shadow Vessel designs to their recently launched ‘Design Collection’.

Misha Merzliakov Yacht Design is responsible for the exterior styling and layout of the innovative, stable and high-volume catamarans which feature a progressive arrangement and chiselled modern styling aesthetic with extensive glass surfaces on the superstructure.

Echo-Yachts-27m-catamaran-motoryacht-and-shadow-vessel
Echo Yachts – 27m catamaran Motoryacht and Shadow Vessel designs. Credit: Misha Merzliakov Yacht Design

One of the primary design features is the 53m2 beach club and aft entertaining space. A unique central companionway provides cabins direct access to beach club. With the water toys cleared off the aft deck and central hydraulic platform lowered, the entire stern area becomes a beautiful waterfront retreat, out of the wind and with entertaining in mind. Space for multiple jet skis, sea bobs and tenders – all protected from the weather take just minutes to launch and retrieve.

Notably the layout focuses on utilization of the above deck areas for living and entertaining, with majority of cabins below deck. The sumptuous Master Cabin of over 50m2 includes an option of a private owner’s den in the port hull. Discrete crew cabins access, dumbwaiter to serve the formal areas upstairs.

A raised pilothouse with full walk-arounds provides excellent 360-degree views, including a full glass atrium effect for skylight views. Options for elevators and wide hallways support disabled access if required.

Echo-Yachts-27m-catamaran-motoryacht-design-collection-2
Echo Yachts 27m catamaran motoryacht. Credit: Misha Merzliakov Yacht Design

The Shadow Vessel option provides support needs for motherships and stand-alone adventure cruising. With a fast transit and relocation speed of 25 knots these unique vessels provide the functionality usually only seen in much larger vessels offering helicopter operations, decompression chamber / dive room, gym, additional crew accommodation and luxurious guest cabins.

Echo-Yachts-design-collection-27m-shadow-vessel
Echo Yachts design collection – 27m shadow vessel with helicopter. Credit: Misha Merzliakov Yacht Design

Crewing requirements and operating expenses are minimized through simplicity of layout and design. Utilizing the proven benefits of the catamaran hull, including natural stability, shallow draft, high tunnel clearance, excellent efficiency and the redundancy of having twin engine rooms, each vessel type provides ultimate enjoyment whether it be optioned for private or charter operations.

top-view-of-the-Echo-Yachts-27m-catamaran-motoryacht-design-collection
Top view of the Echo Yachts 27m catamaran motoryacht. Credit: Misha Merzliakov Yacht Design

The Echo Yachts team provides the benefit of decades of multi-hull and aluminium construction experience, combined with the capacity to complete new builds quickly and to high standards. A build time frame of 18 months is projected for these vessels.

Larger variants are currently under development. Echo Yachts’ total design flexibility ensures the concept can be adapted to a broad range of sizes, models and purpose, to fulfill any client or regionally specific requirements.

Echo Yachts will be attending the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show held 30th October – 3rd November and available for sales and trade inquiries.

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Anti-drone technology for superyachts

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anti-drone-yacht

There’s no real need to go into the numbers. We all know someone with a drone, there’s millions and millions of them worldwide and the numbers are only going to grow as well as their abilities. They are cheap, easy to buy and can fulfill some incredible tasks.

Drone technology also outpaces the laws governing their use and this creates an uncomfortable scenario. As we have seen in the past, great, useful technology can at some point also be used for harm and undesirable purposes and superyacht owners are fully aware of the growing threat that drones pose to privacy, safety & security on board their yachts.

When you have what is essentially an impressive display of wealth sitting alone in the water, and the mass availability and low barrier to entry for drones, the temptation for others to pry or breach security is a real threat. Paparazzi intrusion using drones approaching superyachts is already a recognised and growing problem.

As Droneworks Studios shows in the video below, anti-drone technology is already being used on superyachts, with Droneworks detailing their experience flying a drone near billionaire Roman Abramovich’s superyacht, Eclipse. Skip to the 3:50 mark to get to the main part.

So what has been developed to date as a counter measure against possible drone incursions and how do they work?

Firstly – Anti drone systems need to detect them
Secondly – Identify them
Thirdly – Track them (and record if possible for later prosecution of offenders)
Fourth – Disable/Disrupt the drone from operating in the undesired area.

So how are drones and UAV’s disabled and disrupted once detected?

Consumer drones are usually controlled through the public part of the radio spectrum (either 2.4 or 5.8 GHz). Firing radio waves at those specific frequencies—jamming them—makes a drone deaf to its controller, which would cause the drone to return home or settle to the ground. A similar outcome would occur if you jammed the GPS frequency or what’s called the low-frequency L-band.

If a drone approaches within a certain distance of a prohibited zone, most of the below systems would jam its WI-Fi and sever its connection to its controller over the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz range. If the drone keeps coming that would mean it had been programmed to attack or infiltrate, and at that point the system would jam its GPS frequencies.

So what are some of the currently available systems?

Martek Marine – M.A.D.S systems

Martek Anti-Drone have developed the M.A.D.S™ (marine anti drone system). M.A.D.S™ is a modular system which is capable of detecting all drones within a 5km range while providing you with accurate GPS positioning of both drone and pilot and the option to defeat a drone should it be deemed a threat. M.A.D.S is a flexible marinised system with great benefits for the maritime market and can be used for any application related to water; yachts, ships, ports, sea platforms, coastguard vessels, navy vessels and much more

The system comprises of two radomes, one to detect, and one to defeat drones. “In the defeat dome, there are a lot of modules with antennas, and in the detection dome, there are omni- and directional-sensing modules with antennas,” says Erik van Wilsum, Martek’s head of counter-­unmanned aircraft ­systems. “We’re aiming for the best base solution with a single type of sensor,” and customers can add other ­sensors. “We don’t interfere with the yacht’s other communications, We evoke the drone to go home by creating a busy network. … It’s legal and CE-approved.”

The system can also be complimented with a portable drone disruptor.

Martek marine anti drone system
The M.A.D.S system comprises of two radomes. Credit: Martek Marine
Martek marine anti drone system portables
A portable hand held drone disruptor is also available. Credit: Martek Marine

M.A.D.S Key Features:

  • 5 km drone detection range
  • 5 km drone identification range
  • 1 km drone disruption (defeat) range
  • 2 x 70cm diameter radomes
  • Specially marinised IP66 Ingress protection rated
  • 30 kg and 27 kg radome weights
  • Extra handheld disruptor also available

OTHER SYSTEMS THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE ADAPTED FOR SUPERYACHTS:

BlackSage UASX-L7 Automatic Drone Disruptor

blacksage-uasx-l7-automatic-drone-disruptor-drone-detection
Black Sage UASX L7 automatic drone detection and drone disruptor. Photo: Black Sage Tech

UASX-L7 Key Features:

  • 7 km drone detection range
  • 3 km automated drone identification range
  • 3 km drone disruption (defeat) range
  • Recording When a UAS operator is charged criminally, forensics data with instant replay showing flight paths, aircraft characteristics and timestamps will ensure successful prosecution.
  • Illuminators and lasers are also available to deny imagery capture of sensitive sites.

Black Sage TD1 Tactical Drone Disruptor.

The BlackSage TD1 handheld tactical disruptor is a lightweight, flexible and rapidly deployable platform for directional radio disruption. An AR15 training rifle base (non-ITAR) provides a familiar user interface requiring no learning curve to use. Pick up the rifle, select from multiple disruption frequencies and address the target with confidence. The TD1 can be deployed within seconds and requires minimal training. Compared to mounted and automated anti-drone systems the BS-500 is lightweight, compact, flexible and very affordable. 

black sage td1 tactical drone disruptor drone detection
Black Sage TD1 handheld tactical drone disruptor. Photo: Black Sage Tech

TD1 Key Features:

  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Multiple customizable disruption frequencies

ELTA Systems ELI-4030 Drone Guard

ELTA’s Drone Guard is an operationally proven multi-sensor multi-layer C-UAS solution developed for the military and homeland security market. Military grade and rugged for all types of environments, the Drone Guard is a modular turn-key solution that covers all aspects of counter threatening UAS. Portable, light weight and with low power consumption, the Drone Guard is user friendly and intuitive making it an ideal option for a wide range of users and agencies. The modules were developed by ELTA specifically for Drone Guard hence creating a compact solution solely focused on drone detection and protection.

IAI Eli 4030 drone guard
ELTA Eli 4030 drone guard. Photo: ELTA Systems

4030 Drone Guard Key Features:

  • 4.5 km drone detection range
  • 4.5 km Tracking range
  • 2.5 km automated drone identification range
  • 2 km drone disruption (defeat) range

NON FREQUENCY JAMMING – DRONE DESTROYING OPTIONS:

Boeing HEL MD

Boeing thinks a great way to defeat a drone is not just to disrupt its motion, but hit it with a precision laser, burn a hole in it, and bring it down.

In August of 2015, Boeing showed off its Compact Laser Weapon System for media in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In the demo, Boeing used the laser to burn holes in a stationary, composite UAV shell, to show how fast it can compromise an aircraft. Two seconds at full power and the target was on fire. The 2 kilowatt infrared laser has no visible beam and does not create a Hollywood style explosion. Instead the surface of the drone is super-heated by the invisable laser until it melts or catches fire.

Boeing HEL MD high energy laser mobile demonstrator
Boeing HEL MD (high energy laser mobile demonstrator). Photo: Jordan Golson/wired

Boeing hasn’t specified its range, but acording to Wired, Boeing company representatives suggested that if you can see a target, even with binoculars, you can destroy it.

Depending on the target’s speed and distance, Boeing’s weapon can fire its laser within an inch or two of what it wants to hit. Because the laser moves at the speed of light, it’s easier to be precise—there’s no need to lead the target. The speed of the gimbal is the primary limitation on the targeting front.

Although current HEL MD prototypes are meant to be used from static positions, the anti drone system could be used on a moving vehicle or ship with minimal upgrades. “This represents a low-cost way to deal with the threat,” said David DeYoung, director of Boeing Laser & Electro-Optical Systems. Boeing hasn’t revealed a total price of the system, but does say it’s a one off purchase. Once you’ve got the system, the only cost is providing the power.

HEL MD Key Features:

  • Unspecified detection range
  • Unspecified destroying range
  • 2 kw infrared laser
  • 1-2 inch accuracy

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