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Custom Advantage

When it comes to achieving the best lifestyle on board, why compromise? Nicholas Dean, Managing Partner at Ocean Independence, explains how a support vessel can enhance your yachting experience.

When a superyacht is the ultimate realisation of ambition, the only limitation should be one’s imagination. But with the advent of bigger and better tenders and toys, even the largest superyachts are constrained by what they can carry without compromising on lifestyle. The solution? The specially commissioned support yacht. “The support vessel solves a huge number of problems, no matter the size of your yacht,” says Nicholas Dean, Managing Partner at Ocean Independence. “You could have a 100-metre yacht and still find that you don’t have the room on board to accommodate the tender you want. If you have a support vessel, that problem is instantly solved.” 

Typically 50 – 70 metres and with 15 – 18 knots capability, support vessels can fulfil any function a client wants for their lifestyle. “It’s all about customising your lifestyle with your yachting,” says Dean. “We can enhance your experience ten-fold as there is so much available.” From adding more tenders and toys or facilities such as gyms, saunas and medical centres, to additional crew and staff accommodation, the support vessel is designed to offer the best possible lifestyle solutions with no requirement for compromise on the mothership. 

There are other benefits where a support vessel adds to the ease and enjoyment of your cruise. Hosting a beach party? The support vessel can travel ahead to set it up before your arrival and stay after your departure to clear up, saving you time. Looking to invite more than the standard number of 12 guests? Extra accommodation can be included in the design to ensure you can host more guests with ease.

While support vessels have been in use for a number of years, the trend has picked up pace recently. “In the late 2000s there were one or two pioneers who decided they wanted a bigger selection of toys and lifestyle accessories,” says Dean. “Every activity generates a huge amount of kit on the yacht. This is the number one advantage that comes with having a support vessel, and is a big driver for clients choosing to commission one.”

Complex inflatable water parks can be kept on board a support yacht, ensuring easy access without the need for customs clearance. A flotilla of jet skis, submersibles, wakeboards, eFoils, seabobs, trimarans, water bikes and windsurfs, as well as land toys including High Lifters, eBikes, mountain bikes and off-road electric skateboards no longer need to take up valuable space on the yacht. A support vessel also allows for far larger tenders. The rising popularity of watersports such as wakeboarding and foiling calls for a specialist ski boat with a height that precludes it from fitting in a tender garage. Store it on the deck of the support vessel and there is no need to compromise.

For sailing yachts, a support vessel provides comfortable accommodation during large regattas and can carry all the toys which the yacht cannot. Sailing yacht owners can race their sailing yacht during the day and stay on their larger and better equipped support yacht at night. 

It’s all about finding the best solution for their lifestyle. With typical ranges from 5,000 to 8,000 miles, a support vessel also increases your ability to access the globe. Purpose-built medical centres mean that even in the most remote environments you can receive expert medical care. Specialist doctors can be flown out to accompany owners for the duration of their excursion for added peace of mind.

The question isn’t what can a support vessel do, it’s what do you want it to do? What do you want to achieve, where do you want to go and what lifestyle are you looking for? At Ocean Independence, we can provide everything you want and more – the sky is the limit. 

Owners and their families and friends often like to challenge themselves while cruising. “For extreme divers, we can install a dedicated decompression chamber on board the support vessel,” says Dean. “For clients wishing to explore Canada's wildest heli skiing, we can include the design of a bespoke helicopter hangar inside the support vessel to protect the helicopter from the elements.”

According to Dean, the ideal scenario is when the mothership and the support vessel are commissioned and designed as a single concept. “You want them to be absolutely complementary in terms of their design; you don’t want to just double up,” he says. “Excellent quality onshore management and support services will ensure the two yachts work seamlessly together.”

Another benefit provided by Ocean Independence is the opportunity to charter a support yacht to other large vessels when it is not in use. This commercial aspect could be a real advantage to the Owner and cover a percentage of the running costs. “The question isn’t what can a support vessel do, it’s what do you want it to do?” says Dean. “What do you want to achieve, where do you want to go and what lifestyle are you looking for? At Ocean Independence, we can provide everything you want and more – the sky is the limit.”


The full edition of PURSUIT – CUSTOM LIFE can be found as a digital flipbook here.

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