77 Metre explorer yacht Yersin christened in Monaco

François Fiat's 77 metre explorer yacht Yersin was christened over the weekend in Monaco, in a ceremony attended by HSH Prince Albert II. The yacht was blessed by His Grace René Giuliano, Vicar General of Monaco.

The ceremony was attended by key public figures from Monaco, including ministers, HE Mr Bernard Fautrier, Vice-President of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation; Robert Calcagno, CEO of the Oceanographic Museum; Professor Patrick Rampal, President of CSM (Monaco Scientific Centre); and Bernard d’Alessandri, the Yacht Club de Monaco’s General Secretary.

“The Yersin is an exceptional vessel, a boat for cruising also designed for research purposes, and an impressive autonomy of several days or even several months. She keeps alive the tradition of Prince Albert 1st’s and Captain Cousteau’s boats and other explorers who left from Monaco. It is quite moving and extraordinary to think that thanks to Mr Fiat and his family, and his attachment to the Yacht Club de Monaco, this great adventure, where science and education take centre stage, can be revived,” said HSH Prince Albert II.

An emotional François Fiat commented: “It has been a dream of mine since childhood - inspired by Tintin, Prince Albert 1’s Hirondelle and Captain Cousteau’s Calypso - which within three years has become a reality. I wanted a boat that could sail anywhere, in any weather, with a reinforced hull for the ice. As her vocation is exploration we wanted to set aside 70% of the space to communal and technical areas.”

“We have electric propulsion, supplied on demand by generators as one still cannot store energy in batteries. At a cruising speed of 11 knots we consume 380 litres of diesel, half of what we would consume with diesel engines. At a slow-steaming speed of 9 knots, our total consumption (electricity, heating / air conditioning included) falls to 180 litres an hour, giving us autonomy for 12,000 miles and 40 days at sea with 40 people on board. Nothing is discharged into the sea: we recycle grey water for washing the boat for example, and produce freshwater for all our needs. But we only do oil changes in ports equipped for this, and then there’s no question of introducing foreign particles to an environment hundreds of miles from where we have taken water on for the desalination system.”

“We can take children on board to educate future generations on protecting the environment. This is also what we did at the event with HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco. The broad smiles and messages they retained after a day on the water convinced us that this mission for the vessel is a very valid one.”

“The vessel is called Yersin in honour of Doctor Alexandre Yersin (1863-1943), who worked for the Messageries maritimes merchant shipping company. Humanity owes this man a great deal for his research, notably his discovery of the bacillus behind the bubonic plague on 20th June 1894. I also chose one of his quotes - “You are not truly alive unless you keep moving” -

After a family cruise in the eastern Mediterranean and Adriatic, the yacht will be a major attraction at the Monaco Yacht Show, 23rd to 26th September 2015.

By Maarten Janssen

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