No more rock ‘n’ roll: Revolutionary Martini catamaran concepts

Written by Justin Ratcliffe

Servo Yachts in California has teamed up with UK-based Shuttleworth Design to develop an innovative series of catamaran designs with a unique marine stabilisation system.Martini 6.0 yacht catamaran designPhoto: Shuttleworth Design/Servo YachtsPitching or vertical acceleration has been proven to be the main cause of seasickness, but most stabilisation systems are designed to deal primarily with roll. Shuttleworth Design, the designers of the radical 42.5-metre trimaran Adastra, has worked closely with Servo Yachts on developing alternative technology for over eight years. During this time several designs and mechanical arrangements have been explored and tested. Martini 6.0 yacht catamaran designPhoto: Shuttleworth Design/Servo YachtsThe Martini 6.0 is a fast, 45-metre catamaran concept with an electro-pneumatic suspension system connecting the superstructure to two dynamic hulls that can adjust over 3.5 metres to the height and angle of the waves, effectively eliminating pitch, roll and heave. In addition, the design creates less drag than conventional fins, resulting in a more efficient and faster vessel in less than perfect conditions.

“The result is a vessel that can move at speed through an ocean swell with virtually no motion in the suspended deck where the crew and guests are located,” says Orion Shuttleworth, Managing Director of Shuttleworth Design.

Martini 7.0 is the latest and most advanced 50-metre design in development. The superstructure has been widened to maximise the interior volume and cover the full beam of the two hulls. Connected by four articulating mechanisms positioned at each corner of the suspended deck housing the main accommodation, the patented suspension technology still provides over 3.5 metres of vertical travel in each hull, resulting in minimal motion for both guests and crew.Martini 7.0 yacht catamaran designPhoto: Shuttleworth Design/Servo YachtsUnlike the previous aluminium prototypes in the Martini series, the suspended deck of Martini 7.0 is engineered for construction in lightweight carbon fibre and foam cores. The main engines and onboard systems are housed in the hulls, making more space available in the suspended deck for guest use and services.

At nearly 430 square-metres, the upper deck is home to the main social and entertaining area. Sliding doors lead forward to a spa pool surrounded by sun pads on either side and al fresco dining on the open aft deck.  

The master suite occupies the entire forward section of the main deck and is complete with a private office, gym and spectacular views through a large wraparound window. Moving aft there are four ensuite guest cabins, two of which overlook 195 square-metres aft deck with pool.

The lower deck comprises the crew accommodation, galley, stores, workshop, dive store and a garage with space for an array of water toys and a 6.5-metre tender. When the suspended deck is lowered the garage becomes a wet dock for tender operations without cranes or winches. The bathing platform can be lowered into the water for easy access to the sea when scuba diving or swimming.

David Hall, the founder of Servo Yachts, also set up Velodyne Lidar and invented a 3D vision system that spawned the development of autonomous vehicles. Like this vision invention, the suspension system adjusts to feedback received in real-time based on a computer-automated electro-mechanical system. As an active technology it is faster than passive marine stabilisation devices that take more time to react to the motion of waves. The system requires very little power and no warm-up time or vacuum systems as with gyroscopic stabilisers.

"Growing up, I spent my summers on my grandfather’s boat, where I developed a deep appreciation for marine travel,” says Hall. “With the Martini 7.0, I believe we have found a way to solve seasickness and significantly improve the sailing experience so that everyone can enjoy traveling on the ocean. I am very excited for Servo Yachts to continue to push the boundaries of marine technology and transform ocean travel. Ideas for better ways to do things are always out there floating around, and it's up to us to find a way to make it happen."

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