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Review: Abeking & Rasmussen 98-meter superyacht 'Aviva'

Discussion in 'Abeking & Rasmussen Yacht' started by YachtForums, Dec 18, 2018.

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  1. Abeking & Rasmussen 98-meter superyacht 'Aviva'
    Art Meets Engineering; the Aviva Advantage
    This YachtForums review offers numerous unique perspectives. You will see photos not seen anywhere else on Aviva, as well as insight by the head of design and the project manager, the latter being one of YF's senior members "K1W1" who has made over 7000 informative posts on YachtForums over the years. In conjunction with Abeking's considerable resources & engineering capabilities, these two gentlemen took up the gauntlet of designing and executing one of the most innovative vessels we've ever covered, plus they did it in record time! We spent several hours onboard Aviva with design director Toby Silverton, a gentleman who brings a different perspective to yachting, along with some groundbreaking ideas. Aviva was docked at the Hyatt Pier 66 during the 2018 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, an obvious location for this yacht's 323' LOA. It is reported that no other journalists or yacht reviewers have actually been onboard Aviva, except for the 6 judges for the Superyacht awards.
  2. This review will focus on the engineering feats and design features that make Aviva so innovative. Design leader Toby Silverton and project manager Brendon O’Sullivan were also behind the original 68-meter Aviva, a boat that broke new ground in superyacht design. These gentlemen have been generous in sharing their time and information for the inside story and background on the build of the new 98-meter Aviva, a yacht that sets new precedents in superyacht stability and efficiency. The construction included four days of tank testing, a myriad of engineers, selection of the right build yard and consultants, and the willingness to be cutting edge in design.
  3. The owner’s directives were to build the new Aviva in less than 3 years, a monumental task given the standard time frame of 4½ years for a yacht of this magnitude. In addition to making stability and efficiency a top priority, it also had to house the best indoor padel court in the world. The mandates were sent to nine shipyards, but only two responded with one hesitatingly. Abeking & Rasmussen, looking to keep the owner as satisfied with this M/Y Aviva as the 68 meter they previously built for him, employed Reymond Langton once again for the interior and exterior styling, engaging the talents of Toby Silverton as head of design while Brendon O’Sullivan’s engineering skills and experience were utilized as project manager.
  4. Aesthetically beautiful and unusually elegant were the owner imperatives, including an unusual paint that simulates a metallic color. Metallics can be difficult to blend in spot areas if touch-ups are needed. To facilitate future paint work, faceted panels were devised so each curved or flat intersecting plate creates a natural tape line for localized refinishing. The blue/gray hull and the silver superstructure provide a flow that emphasizes the refined sheer rather than the elongation of size.
  5. The simplicity of the style camouflages the intricacies of design. Take note of the uniqueness of the radar mast, lack of stanchions, absence of rubrails, oversized side decks, etc. But the hull design, which isn’t readily visible above the waterline, revolutionizes hull stability, water resistance, and efficiency. The patented hull is narrowed considerably at the waterline but is full beam above and below the surface. The waterline significantly tapers towards the stern which makes the width of the stern half of the beam at amidships. The end result: resistance was reduced by an incredible 30 percent!
  6. Not just another pretty beach club, Aviva's swim platform is designed to aid in stability. How? By incorporating flow channels into the platform that fill with water when the boat pitches in heavy seas. The weight of this accumulated water helps dampen pitching, yet flows out of the recessed channels as the stern lifts, making physics and natural resources work simply and symbiotically.
  7. The hydraulic platform folds up encasing Aviva's sailboat-like stern. The shallow deadrise of the stern works in conjunction with the plumb bow to reduce pitching while adding longitudinal stability and reducing wave-making resistance. The holes on the side of the beach platform are to reduce buoyancy so the door can be submerged during tender launching ops.
  8. An airfoil is mounted to the top of the exhaust funnel to create a low pressure area aft of the wing, drawing the exhaust up, over and away from the aft decks while underway. See the 2nd photo in this review: the profile shot shows the aggressive angle of attack of the airfoil and the practicality of the design. It was important to have the main funnel cross ventilated otherwise you have vortex that dropped the soot over the rear and side decks. This required a large intake area at the forward end of the funnel to equalize the pressure. In a side wind, the funnel effectively works like a rudder, adding directional stability to the yacht, much like the vertical tail on an airplane.
  9. Narrow corridors and companionways were nixed in favor of the yacht’s exceptionally wide 56’43” beam. The entire yacht is a workout at sea with wide decks and gradual staircases designed for crew to do cardio and the owner to leisurely stroll around the yacht with little to no interruption to the walking path.
  10. Contemporary styling was another owner directive. Stainless steel, carbon fiber, and Esthec decking all contribute to the ultra-modern theme, but Aviva is also about functionality. Notice the curves and rounded edges around the superstructure? This isn't simply an aesthetic exercise, it's designed to work with the elements, reducing windage and drag. With the exception of cushions on outer deck seating, the exterior materials are designed to weather time. You will notice the absence of wood throughout the yacht, except on occasional furniture.
  11. The aft ends of the decks have seamless glass sans stanchions to contribute to the modern appearance as well as allowing for unobstructed views. Every line, curve, and placement of doors and windows were given attention to contributing towards the sleek and cohesive effect. The spine of the staircase is a compound curve. Easy to do with 1 inch pipe. Not so much with 1 foot pipe!
  12. In keeping with Aviva's theme of form meets function, the paint colors are used to enhance the flow of lines, but the trailing edges of the upper aft deck overhangs use dark metallic black trim. It's a nice contrasting accent, but the real reason for this is to aesthetically reduce to the proportions of the side profile making Aviva look sleeker. Aviva's flag staff is yet another piece of art onboard this boat. Designed to simulate the deicing element of an aircraft wing, the leading edge is lined with a stainless boot.
  13. There are very few straight lines anywhere on this boat. Aviva purposely uses curves to enhance flow, whether it be fluid or pedestrian. Same with Aviva's seating, which is also curved, along with most interior walls, ceilings and accoutrements. Unfortunately, no interior images are permitted to be published.
  14. Welcome to the bridge, Captain Kirk. Command central on Aviva was patterned after the bridge on the Starship Enterprise. There are subtle design elements throughout the wheelhouse that hint at a ship that has explored distant galaxies. While there were no Vulcans onboard, we are convinced that YF's K1W1 is of extraterrestrial origin. His engineering prowess would relegate Scotty to ship's bosun. In addition to engineering everything the bridge controls, Brendon was also involved in the design of the bridge. Because the bridge has no brow, the console was setback to reduce sun damage to the equipment.
  15. The command console is unique on many levels. It is set centered on the deck and set back from the windshield to allow unimpeded access to replace electronics or chase a short. As a full walk-around console, it grants better visibility for spotters and guests. Notice the abstract lines behind the settee, these are doors that slide open from center, much like you would see on the bridge of the Enterprise.
  16. Aviva’s padel tennis court seems to be the attention grabber. For those unfamiliar with padel tennis (not to be confused with paddle tennis), the game is a combination of tennis and squash. Not one to raise a racket, figuratively nor literally, I thought the publicity was a misplaced emphasis on this yacht’s amenities. And then we were wowed! It’s not just the enormity of space, but the enormity of space on a boat! The dimensions are 60’x’20’x25’. When one asks the headroom on this vessel, the answer can honestly be one room has 25 feet! Then there were the requirements and subsequent construction logistics. Factors that needed to be considered were: available cubic footage that would not detract from other needed areas; the requirement to keep longitudinal and torsional rigidity at high levels which is a prime consideration on any seagoing vessel and a serious issue when the usual structural components are missing in a significant area of the hull. Additional requirements were meeting class standards, conformity to international padel court rules, exact lighting void of glare, and ultimately assuring a well insulated space. When one is sunbathing, dining, or lounging with a good book, the boing-boing could be an annoying distraction. The spectator’s lounge was a directive as well as the ability to convert from a padel court to a football field for crew’s enjoyment.
  17. Then there is the game itself: the court must have the right bounce. This last seemingly innocuous ping did in fact require the entire back wall to be rebuilt. The court is built at the lowest point of the yacht and the corners of the court are only 6 inches from the outer surface of the hull. Due to stability requirements, the court is positioned just forward of amidships. The floor consists of a 2-inch layer of concrete, 1½ inches of rubber, 4 tons of sand, and “grass” with custom made bristles. Sounds like expensive ballast to me! And if that wasn't enough, it had to be rebuilt to get the right bounce off of the back wall? Yet, the rewards are in the results. Not only is this padel court reportedly the best in the world, but the family was playing the sport in 6 foot seas at 18 knots and still able to precisely follow the bouncing ball. And finally, two opposing stationary bikes are located courtside. Why this location? Would you rather breathe human exhaust in a spin class room or the abundant air of the biodome that is the padel court?
    Air intakes: Ever notice how the air intakes on most yachts are the ugliest part of the exterior? Aviva doesn’t accept the status quo. The unobtrusive intakes are designed for barometric efficiency, but as throughout, equal attention was given to the aesthetics. The intakes are located up high, behind the Portuguese bridge bulwarks, tucked away from salt and spray. This location was ideal because Aviva’s profile isn’t conducive to an exterior ventilation location.
  19. Bridge Door: recessed behind an enclave on the side of the superstructure. This allows the doors to be easily opened or closed underway, negating the effects of wind and vessel speed that are often a battle with exterior doors. And because one has to sometimes step outside of the wheelhouse in inclement weather, it's nice to have a covered area for water protection.
  20. Interior Bridge Entry Doors: paying homage to Gene Roddenberry, these doors are a mantra for this build... "going where no boat has gone before."
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