Savannah narrowly squeezes through lock on way to sea trials

Arguably Feadship’s most innovative yacht ever, 83.5 metre Savannah began making her way from the Royal De Vries yard in Alsmeer to Rotterdam in The Netherlands to begin seven days of sea trials.

Her magnificent metallic seafoam green exterior is partially wrapped at the moment to protect from encounters with the a 14 metre lock that was recently installed by Feadship in cooperation with the Dutch government to permit larger yachts to be build at its inland yards. The photo below was shared by Feadship’s CEO Henk de Vries on Twitter, which shows an amazing aerial view of Savannah just squeezing through a bridge on her journey

Savannah’s beam is 12.5 metres, leaving just a half-metre on each side for fenders. Savannah is wrapped in white film to protect her from any accidental up close and personal encounters as she travels through bridges and locks en route to the sea for testing. In order to make this passage easier, Savannah isn’t carrying any water, is low on fuel and has no loose furnishings on board so she will float about a foot higher than her typical waterline, which allows her maximum beam at deck flair to be above seawall structures.

Launched in January, Savannah‘s metallic paint job, applied in one shot using special spray nozzels and an electrostatic application process, extends seamlessly even to the deck heads.

Savannah‘s propulsion system was first proposed by Feadship in 2010 with its concept design called Breathe. At the urging of her owner, the system has been optimized to feature five operation modes from diesel to diesel-electric combinations to fully electric – courtesy of a 30-ton lithium-ion battery bank capable of holding a million watts of electricity. Another departure is the installation of a single Wartsilla main diesel engine turning a large variable pitch prop. This single, slow-turning engine (720 to 900 rpm) driving a 40 per cent larger prop on the azimuting thruster will dramatically reduce vibration-generated noise and lower fuel consumption as well as eliminate drag from a second shaft by as much as seven to eight per cent.

In combination with a dynamic hull shape with a reduced entrance angle and refined buttocks, and the counter-rotating propeller of the inline electric drive motor aft of the azimuthing thruster, fuel savings at 15 knots is predicted to be in the neighborhood of 30 per cent, according to Ronno Schouten, design director of De Voogt Naval Architects.

Touring the yacht this week at Feadship with Captain Ted McCumber, it was apparent that Savannah also breaks new ground in use of interior materials, window sizes, sliding doors (50 in total) and lighting. The design is by architect Cristina Gherardi Benardeau of CG Design in France. The sensuous, open-plan layout features curved walls and corridors, rich woods, masterful stonework and a fresh, youthful approach to onboard living.

Speaking of a fresh approach, the first watertight door to the main deck living spaces is unusually placed at the forward end of the main saloon, meaning that the siding glass walls port, starboard and aft can be opened to the elements, blending the interior with the sea and the aft pool deck.

Savannah narrowly squeezes through lock on way to sea trials

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