Kongsberg Maritime Waterjet Drives for High Speed Superyacht
Kongsberg Maritime has been selected to supply four Kongsberg Kamewa waterjets and their associated control system for installation on board the innovative, high-speed superyacht Skyfall. Currently under construction at the Heesen shipyard in Oss, Netherlands, Skyfall is the most powerful yacht the yard has built to date. The use of waterjets on Skyfall reduces vibration by up to 40% compared with a conventional shaft drive, and has allowed the 60m yacht to be designed with a draught of less than three metres, impossible with propellers, which would have required diameters exceeding this figure to absorb the available horsepower.
Waterjets also have the benefit of eliminating shaft and propeller noise and – because they avoid the varying torques associated with propellers – there is no risk of overloading the engines, lengthening their life. On board Skyfall, the four S90-4 steel series waterjets will be teamed with four engines delivering a total of 22,000 horsepower. The outer engines will drive steerable and reversible jets, while the centre engines will operate as booster units.
The fully-featured control system supplied by Kongsberg Maritime will use the latest technology, including joystick control and automatic position keeping. Based on signals from the GPS, wind sensor and gyro, the automatic positioning system compensates for wind and current, allowing the vessel to maintain both position and heading using the installed propulsion systems. All parameters are manually adjustable via touch screens.
Skyfall features a lightweight aluminium Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) that Heesen claims will result in an almost flat ride at speeds exceeding 30 knots. “We did a lot of calculations and discovered that we could achieve the required speed with this horsepower and these dimensions with either a semi-displacement or a fast displacement hull form, which will be much more comfortable,” explains Heesen’s General Manager of Design and Development, Peter van der Zanden. “Rather than raising the bow out of the water to reach high speeds, this hull will run nearly flat, no more than a 10-degree angle versus 35 degrees for the semi-displacement form at top speed.” Three gyro stabilisers will keep the yacht steady at low speeds.
Designed by Frank Laupman of Netherlands-based Omega Architects and with an interior by British studio Harrison Eidsgaard, Skyfall is tailored to reflect the owner’s joint passions: speed, as demonstrated by her powerful waterjet drive system; and fishing, catered for with a huge ‘fishing cave’ with stowage for 40 rods. Accommodation for up to 10 guests, an expansive aft-facing owner’s suite with private terrace and whirlpool spa, a multi-tiered swim deck and dedicated cinema, bar, alfresco dining area and games room complete Skyfall’s comprehensive specification.