In conversation: Converting the 45m explorer yacht Immortalis

Pandemic projects came in many shapes and sizes but not many were the size of Immortalis, a 45-metre converted explorer project that evolved from Japanese research vessel to boutique go-anywhere explorer in just 18 months.        Immortalis yacht anchored The plan was to convert Immortalis over three phrases, with the first leg being a quick three-month refit to get her ready for family expeditions and hydro-graphic survey work.  But with the pandemic kicking with such vengeance it just made sense to roll the whole project out in one go – and she looks spectacular as a result. “We’ve had a couple of family trips with Immortalis and we’re extremely happy with her,” the owner of Immortalis said. “She’s given us loads of fun and allowed us to safely cross borders and get us to some incredible remote locations and  surfing spots around Indonesia.”               Immortalis yacht anchored Immortalis can easily accommodate as many as 12 guests and the owner ensured that his healthy lifestyle and his passions for exploration, surfing, yoga and travel were fed directly into her design. “The Niigata-built vessel was perfect for us; she matched our lifestyle and could be used to support our marine conservation efforts,” the owner explained. “I love the build quality of these vessels but the Japanese Government clings to these vessels so tightly, they’re really hard to come by – it took me two years to get my hands on one!”    Immortalis yacht main saloon Immortalis yacht main saloon Niigata Shipyard delivered the vessel in 1996, building her to the highest standards for the Japanese Government to use for research and training. She was kept in turnkey condition during her national service, undertaking a number of maintenance appointments, which kept her engines and equipment in immaculate condition. The platform was perfect for round-the-world exploration, and her owner had already closely followed the conversions of her two sister ships: the 40.8-metre Sharkwater and the 45.4-metre Cklass Nautique.    Immortalis yacht main saloon Unlike her sisters though, Immortalis was booked into Bahtera Bahari Shipyard for her conversion. “BBS’s portfolio is outstanding,” her owner said. “And the yard has recently launched an amazing rebuilt 100-metre plus superyacht – we were sold!” Shaun Phelps, Director of Periscope Naval Architects, oversaw the project, and her owner enlisted the naval architects involved in the previous Niigata conversions as consultants.            Immortalis yacht anchored “After seeing two earlier conversions and spending time onboard them both, we knew what works for us,” her owner said. “There were areas that these earlier projects did well and others not so well – we capitalised on this and were able to refine Immortalis to maximise her potential.” It was important to keep her core DNA and research credentials, as her owner and his family are serious about conservation. The directive was to create a purposeful superyacht that is luxurious, highly capable at sea and which can support major marine research projects and carry lots of equipment for extended periods at sea. Immortalis has kept most of her original laboratory, but the space underwent substantial refurbishments to uphold a synergy with the styling of the rest of the yacht.       Immortalis yacht stateroom  Immortalis has a strictly modern interior design that’s light, breezy and brimming with charm. Her main saloon is cavernous and wrapped in glass, allowing onboard guests to unwind with the luxury of space while enjoying the breathtaking backdrop of their chosen cruising ground. The saloon is open plan and doubles down as a casual dining area, making the space multifunctional and the epicentre for socialising inside onboard. Immortalis yacht deck  Any explorer worth her salt offers plenty of outdoor space – and Immortalis brings an abundance of it. As a research vessel, she was more than generous, but during her conversion she had her hull extended to really open up her aft area. Immortalis has a brimming toy box and can carry a number of tenders: two 8-metre ones on the aft deck, a 5-metre one on the swim platform and a 6-metre on the Mez deck. Immortalis also carries some Jet-skis. These tenders are deployed by the newly installed aft deck crane. Another key feature of Immortalis is her touch-and-go-helipad up top.    Immortalis yacht anchored Even with all her tenders and toys onboard, Immortalis offers plenty of space for guests. Her wide-open decks have been designed as a playground for yoga and fitness enthusiasts. As the deck spaces have been cleared, it makes them ideal to host large functions and events. The three bars at the sundeck and aft deck allow for additional outside entertaining space for different groups of people to socialise.    Immortalis yacht exterior detail Immortalis’ silhouette is strictly utilitarian and there is no doubt that she’s a world-cruiser. “You can be out at sea for months with her,” her owner said. “She’s got a 7,500 nautical mile range, the capacity to store 110,000 litres of diesel onboard, and she can carry pretty much anything. The beauty of her is that she can withstand a serious battering at sea and can cross oceans without an issue, irrespective of the weather conditions.” When she comes into port everyone is interested in knowing more about her.Immortalis yacht anchored When pressed about what brought on the decision to sell her, the owner explained that “She needs to get out and do some serious expedition work; Immortalis deserves to have her glory and we are not using her enough. She is such an amazing seaworthy hull built for the biggest oceans in the world and we are using her on a lake, so to speak. We’ve already had a number of inquiries from film directors to feature her in movies, and other research specialists (including Nat Geo) to use her for scientific work."

"Immortalis has received a massive amount of interest since it hit the market two weeks ago," David Johnson of Denison Yachting added. "We are receiving inquiries from around the world from buyers that are interested in using it for a shadow boat for a superyacht, an expedition vessel for research and another for luxury surf and dive charters."Immortalis yacht anchored Read: 41m converted explorer yacht Sharkwater sold

“Covid provided us with this great opportunity to do a beautiful refit, which was probably more than we thought we would do. But now she’s a bigger boat than we need, really. That’s the reality.”

Immortalis is listed for sale through Denison Yachting.

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