The recently launched 51.75 meter (169’ 9”) Feadship Dream is fitted with an advanced retractable azimuthing sternthruster, linked to a Dynamic Positioning System. Used in combination with the bowthruster, this holds the yacht in position in a bay or other special deepwater location, removing the need to anchor during shorter stops.
Feadship initially developed a retractable azimuthing sternthruster as part of the organization’s program to achieve maximum comfort levels at anchor. Anti-roll tanks were another innovation to emerge at this time. The first application of a custom-made sternthruster was on Aviva, a 62-meter (203’5”) Feadship launched in 1998. It addressed a specific issue in the tendency of yachts to move behind the anchor, wiggling from port to starboard. This motion can be rather uncomfortable, especially as the yacht slacks back and forth on the anchor.
Another aspect tackled by the sternthruster is the fact that boats at anchor normally line up with the wind when a breeze of any significance arises, which is not necessarily the same direction as the waves. When waves come from the beam side, this can cause the boat to roll quite severely. This motion can be controlled by giving the sternthruster a designated heading. As a result, instead of lining up with the wind, a different angle can be chosen so that the waves no longer come abeam. And the outcome is again greater comfort for those onboard.
This solution has been taken a step further for Dream by adding dynamic positioning. The owner requested that his yacht be able to stay still in one position and heading, without using the anchor or running the main engines. A similar type of system exists for commercial vessels in, for example, the oil & gas industry. They have to remain stationary even in force nine gales, a criterion clearly not applicable for yachting purposes. Feadship therefore designed and developed a system that is suitable for up to Beaufort 3 to 4. An electronics unit linked to the GPS sends information to both the bowthruster and sternthruster, which then react accordingly to keep the boat stationary.
A further benefit of this most advanced sternthruster solution to date is the ability to enjoy dinner cruising. By powering Dream on the main generator and sternthruster alone, the backdrop for guests will slowly and silently change as they dine. And at all times, of course, the sternthruster will be an aid to maneuverability in tight spots.
Compared to other solutions available on the market, Feadship’s sternthruster takes up far less space and is exceptionally quiet. The small propeller is very deep under the yacht, almost at keel level, and therefore represents no danger to those swimming at surface level.
A sternthruster is also being implemented in varying specifications on three other Feadships currently under construction at the Royal Van Lent and De Vries yards.
It serves as another fine example of Feadship introducing technology that enhances comfort for owner and guests alike.
SuperYacht Times - The State of Yachting 2020
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