Vitruvius Yachts

The Explorer’s Journey Begins


The fuel efficient, explorer superyacht is now in the final outfitting stage.

Shinkai was moved from the Feadship yard in Aalsmeer to the outside dock for final outfitting ahead of her sea trials and delivery later this year. Later this year she will begin a lifetime of global exploration.

The steel-hulled, ice-class yacht, has been commissioned by a highly experienced and discerning owner. This is the second Yacht Philippe Briand has designed for the owner, who has enormous experience of discovering the world by sea, and had very specific requirements.

With Shinkai, the key was how best to incorporate a 7.2-tonne submarine on the aft deck along with the giant crane required for launching and collection. Taking this as the starting point, designer Philippe Briand and the teams at Vitruvius and Feadship have developed a 55-metre explorer yacht which will be able to travel the world while remaining both self-sufficient and fuel-efficient.



As the second Vitruvius yacht to be built at the prestigious yard, this is another meeting of great minds and great names that will no doubt result in a landmark yacht to inspire many more adventurous owners of the future.


The journeys of Shinkai will  include an audacious, high-latitude expedition north of Japan through the North-East Passage, which requires various specialist equipment for safe cruising through the ice. The steel hull has been built to ice class and includes an advanced WASSP sonar system to explore the ocean floor.

She is not being fitted with traditional stabiliser fins as these could potentially hinder the ability to retrieve the submarine in certain seas. For the first time on a yacht of this size, a gyroscope system has been fitted within the hull, with the tank deck arranged in such a way to enable traditional stabilisers to also be installed later if required.

Measuring 3×3 metres and weighing a hefty 23 tonnes, the gyro is the largest unit built to date and a heavy piece of equipment for a yacht built to go far on less fuel. More weight comes from the submarine, of course, and the massive crane required to lift 7400 kg when the sub is manned. This crane has an outreach of almost eight metres and will also be used to launch Shinkai’s limousine tender and lift the owner’s car and its crate from the aft deck to the shore.

These are exceptional preconditions for a 55-metre yacht in terms of weight and stability, and Shinkai once again showcases Feadship’s unique ability to build superyachts in the most bespoke manner possible.

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