by Captain Ben Castle
Explorer or Expedition Yachts. What do these names imply? They used to conjure up visions of a fishing trawler or an ex commercial deep draft vessel. This was usually followed by the comment, “Yeah they're great sea going boats but you can't get into the shallow anchorages”. What a lot of people don't realize is that you can also have a shallower draft while maintaining excellent seaworthiness. A great example of this is the Cayman Islands registered motor yacht, SUDAMI.
When you first get a glimpse of SUDAMI your initial impression is that she is much larger than her 111FT (34m) over all length. In fact, I actually witnessed a local marine police officer taking his colleagues past the yacht at her home dock saying “...and this is the largest yacht in the area at the moment, she is 140ft”. Neither the owner nor I decided to correct them.
At 273 Gross Tons and 81 Net Tons, she has the volume of a 130' (39.5m) vessel and with a 24' (7.15m) beam and 45' (13.5m) air draft, she is definitely an impressive structure. When she is docked, SUDAMI drarfs vessels of similar length and looks as impressive as many of the larger vessels.
The measurement that surprises people is the 6' 6” (2m) half load / 7' (2.12m) full load draft. The visionary owner, an experienced and competent cruiser in his own right, required a vessel capable of completing long range crossings while allowing the family to enjoy their favorite cruising grounds such as the Exumas in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys. To make this dream come true, the owner organized meetings with the following industry experts:
John DeCaro, the president of All Ocean Yachts and when it comes to explorer yachts, probably the world's most knowledgeable broker. John has represented Inace for more than 15 years.
Once the design was formulated, everyone who was involved knew the yacht was going to be something innovative and special. The answer to the draft issue was to redesign an existing hull plan without the skeg and replace the standard two fin stabilization system with a quad fin zero speed system designed by TRAC. The hull is full displacement with a bulbous bow which adds water-line length for speed and helps reduce pitching in head seas.
Michael Kirshstein, the exterior and interior designer who has the extraordinary ability to combine form and function.
Inace Shipyard has been building vessels for the Brazilian Navy for decades and has built yachts that have won design awards from the World Super Yacht Association.
The quad fin zero speed system is simply fantastic. Its effectiveness while at anchor or tied to the dock is the best I have come across so far. I have had charters with extremely sensitive guests who are prone to seasickness and the zero speed worked wonders even in the slightest of rolls. The redundancy of the four fin system is also advantageous. I have tested the stabilization using just the two forward fins or the two aft fins and found them still to be extremely effective even in a short, sharp, choppy sea. I have also completed voyages without the need for stabilizers at all. Her hull design is conceptualized from numerous commercial fishing and naval vessels where the integrity and stability is derived from the overall form.
After completing the MCA Unlimited and ABS A1 commercial vessel surveys and two successful Caribbean charters in late 2007 / early 2008, I had the honor of being in command of SUDAMI for her maiden Atlantic crossing. I had previously been the Captain of the M/Y Impetus, also an Inace, so I was already well aware of the shipyard's ability to construct excellent sea going vessels.
I had no hesitation in leaving Bermuda with a long period 18ft beam on swell for the Azores. Although the large swell and wind was not to last more than 24-36 hours, I was sure SUDAMI could handle the conditions for an extended period of time if necessary. The other weather of note was a 14ft following sea coming into Gibraltar. When the tide is running out of the straight, it will stand the seas up quite steep. SUDAMI surfed through the stream with ease.
I believe the extra large rudders on SUDAMI help immensely in these conditions, which is a facet of yacht design that is too often overlooked. At one point I saw 18 knots of speed over ground on the satellite compass, not something you want to see too often! Our average speed for the crossing from Fort Lauderdale to Gibraltar was 10.4 knots, a praise worthy speed for a 111ft motor yacht. We did not have a single item that needed repair or replacement during the crossing.
Sunpads and Jacuzzi
If you are doing long range cruising, three things are essential for smooth operation in the design of a yacht: the crew must have comfortable accommodation, there has to be plenty of usable areas for guests to find their own space, and there must be adequate storage for spares and provisions.
The crew and I could never thank the design team enough for the crew space provided on SUDAMI. The cabins were simply huge, even compared to the crew cabins on some 150' (45m) plus vessels. This, however, amazingly still allows for a full beam master cabin, a huge main salon and dining room, a sky lounge, an office that can be converted into a nanny's cabin, a dedicated laundry room and four very large guest cabins.
You do not find too many 111ft five stateroom yachts that sleep 10 guests very comfortably with accommodation for 12 if necessary. Being a tri-deck, SUDAMI also has the exterior deck area that allows you to find a quiet spot to read or relax in private. As far as storage goes, we have done long term cruises for 6 weeks or more without the need to provision anything other than fresh fruits and vegetables. The water sports lockers store wake boards, knee boards, water skis,diving equipment, windsurfing gear, snorkeling gear...... I could go on and on and there are still empty lockers on board.
The main tender is a 19' Boston Whaler Montauk. If you have ever seen the demonstration they do with one of these cut in half motoring around a harbor, you will appreciate the unsinkability of this tender, a comforting thought when you are in the middle of nowhere. There is also a 12ft inflatable rescue boat, 2 kayaks, a windsurfer and a wave runner. I have also carried a second wave runner when required. All this on the dedicated boat deck. We would also tow a 32ft Regulator on occasion and have done so from Florida all the way to the Caribbean.
Tender on Skylounge deck
No report on an Inace would be complete without mentioning the engine room. I have had engineers come on board and profess they have smaller engine rooms on their 140ft vessels. It is a huge space with easy access for servicing all the major machinery. The Caterpillar 3406E main engines are probably the manufacturer's most reliable unit and are very economical.
SUDAMI can cruise at 11 knots with a burn of 44 gallons per hour giving a range of just under 3000 nautical miles and at 9 knots that range is just shy of 5000 nautical miles. The two watermakers are capable of 3600 gallons per day, more than adequate for guests and crew to enjoy extra long hot showers.
From a maintenance perspective, the use of stainless steel rather than varnished teak on the hand rails gives a crisp, clean appearance and the use of non-skid deck in high traffic areas such as the side decks and boat deck means economically, the cleaning material costs are kept to a minimum and practically, the crew can maintain the yacht to a high standard even during extended periods of guest use. The highly visual areas such as the aft main deck, swim platform and stairs retain the formality of teak decking.
SUDAMI's clean lines and modern interior make for a stylish, low maintenance, state of the art motor yacht that will impress the most discerning guests. Beneath all the glamour however, breaths a heavy duty work horse ready for her next long range adventure.
Contact Us for more information and to see this yacht.
Guest Double Stateroom
2 x Guest Twin Stateroom w/ Pullman
Guest Twin Head
Aft deck Dining
Bar and Jacuzzi