Superyacht Design

A Class Apart : Super Yacht Asean Lady

August 28, 2009 by Superyacht Design
View large version of image: A Class Apart : Super Yacht Asean Lady
Designer: Annie Chang-Yantai Raffles
Base Location: China
Engine: 2,000-hp Caterpillar
Material: steel
LOA: 88.04 m (288.8')
Draft: 3.94 m (12.9')
Beam: 21.26 m (69.8')
Cruise Speed: 3.94 knots
Max Speed: 14 knots
Year: 2003
Country Built: China
Naval Architect: Ian Mitchell
Yacht Class: Motor
Operating Locations: China

The word Superyacht strikes our imagination with visuals of a conventional design with luxurious features and flaunting glamor. But once in a while there comes a design which not only breaks the shackles of traditional designing patterns but also inducts a style for others to follow.

Superyacht Asean Lady did the same when yacht’s maker company, Yantai Raffles unveiled it in the year 2003.When the yacht was released, it was termed as a unique creation, a design which was never seen or made prior to that.

The most striking feature of the 289-foot superyacht was that it flaunted an outrigger, imbibed in its design structure. It was but obvious that a yacht with such design would induce curiosity in the people. But it is to note that the peculiar design was not just a marketing gimmick or to seek attention, but a strategic choice based on sound principles of naval architecture by her iconoclastic builder-owner Brian Chang.

The odd exotic design, which features an outrigger that comes from the company’s various yachting experiences around Indonesia over the past few decades. The company’s home town has seen the long followed tradition of old boats with bamboo outriggers, selling live seafood and fresh produce. It was these old boats, with remarkably stability that really inspired the company to make a superyacht with the same design. Moreover, it was proved that the proas design worked very well, even in relatively heavy swells.

Chang, shared the vision and details with the designing team from Ian Mitchell Design in New Zealand, and made plans and design for the unconventional super yacht.
In 2003, the first outrigger superyacht became a reality in the water’s of southeast Asia. The unconventional design attracted a lot of attention and unusual comments.

But Chang wasn’t bothered by the negative comments for he knew that the asymmetrical outrigger configuration is less prone to fatigue than a traditional catamaran design because the catamaran’s identical hulls sometimes work against each other in certain sea conditions. The Asean Lady, by its inferior size and position, always followed the main hull, thereby lending support and balance to the vessel without countering the main hull’s tracking.

Additionally, the out-rigger’s support allows the main hull to be very streamlined, similar to that of a sailboat. The architecture provides an amazingly economical cruising speed and range for an 88-meter yacht.

Once the yacht’s exterior was ready, the Owner Annie Chang himself with his four designers took the task of creating a Chinese-themed interior, using native sources. The design included lounge sofas from Yantai, custom-made furnishings from Guangzhou (formerly Canton) and carpets, fabrics, wood and stone from Shanghai. To get the traditional interior feel, instead of redwood, red pine was chosen. Red pine is readily available in the region and thus was used for most of the joinery. For some parts of the yacht that required distinguish look, rich-looking timber was imported from Canada.

The rich interior is also detailed in a traditional Chinese style using predominantly local stone and woods carved by area craftsmen. The decks are fitted out with thousands of yards of teak from the forests of Papua New Guinea.

The yacht also combined the most advanced technology with acute design for its propulsion system. Just as the exterior design, the Asean Lady’s control and steerage system consists of a single engine links directly to a Rolls-Royce Aquamaster azimuth drive with twin rotating propellers, eliminating the need for a long shaft and its accompanying risk of vibration. The yacht’s engine room is remarkably small for her size and rests astern, well away from the guest rooms and even the crew quarters to prevent any kind of disturbances.

She also is equipped with a Rolls-Royce Aquamaster retractable azimuth bow thruster that doubles as the backup propulsion system for the main power plant. Producing 600 horsepower, the bow thruster alone can power the yacht at seven knots for thousands of miles. A single joystick supplants the traditional throttles and wheel, allowing for true point-and-go maneuverability utilizing bow and aft thrusters.

The most amazing part of the design and engine system used is that there are literally no vibrations generated. This stability allows passengers to make good use of the vessel’s 20,000 square feet of interior space, an area that has been meticulously designed by Chang’s wife.

Moreover, the generosity of the living quarters is due in part to the extra space provided by the bridge linking the main hull and outrigger. For example, the master suite comprises a cavernous 1,600 square feet, larger than many penthouse apartments. This design, Unlike in many yachts provides bright interiors with natural sunlight throughout because of the openness and sheer number of windows. The yacht can accommodate a maximum of 20 guests in eight beautifully decorated suites.

Additional information

The yacht’s Project was managed by Xing Xinpu. The yacht also has a Fuel Capacity of 36,438g (137,932.84L) and a Water Capacity of 863g (3,266.81L). The yacht is classified under ABS classification. It has 2,000-hp Caterpillar Engines with 2x Caterpillar 3408 Generators.

The interiors are supplied with Air Conditioning system by Heinen & Hopman Engineering BV. Apart from that it also consists of a Watermaker 2x Village Marine Bow and Retractable Aquamaster Azimuth Thrusters UL 601/3500 PaintJotun

The yacht also features many Tenders from Boston Whalers and a Black Water Treatment plant from Taixing Marine. The advanced navigation system, which includes GPS,SSB,depth finder and Satcom, has been provided by JRC. The Autopilot system has been provided by Aquamaster and the Ship’s Monitoring System by Hernis.

To date, Asean Lady has performed flawlessly, riding out the recent tsunamis in Southeast Asia. Anchored in Phuket’s Patong Bay, she was largely unaffected, due in part, says Chang, to her well-balanced center of gravity and the quick reaction of her captain and crew. Moreover, the best part of the yacht is that can cruise at over fourteen knots on a single two thousand-horsepower diesel.

Thus, though unconventional in design, Asean Lady has not only carved a niche for itself but has also placed itself in “a class apart”.

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