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Review: Shadow Marine's "Paladin"

Discussion in 'Yacht Escort Ships & Shadows' started by YachtForums, Jan 18, 2006.

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  1. Shadow Marine’s “Paladin”​

    A Mind-Bender of a Tender

    Following an impressive introduction at the 2005 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, I caught YachtForums member Stan Antrim, the managing director of Shadow Marine, taking pictures of his star attraction as it glided passed by the docks of the 17th Street Marriot. Although we had previously met, he didn’t recognize me in incognito… sporting a baseball cap in the hi-speed direction and the geek-glasses that only the mirror has seen.

    While he was in the process of snapping a shot, I took the opportunity to sneak up behind him and rattle his cage, exclaiming... “isn’t that boat ugly?” Without so much as a pause, or lowering the camera from his eye, he replied, “I think it’s the most beautiful boat in the world”. That remark effectively sums up Stan’s character. A man who views challenges as opportunities, has a great passion for our industry and is proudly carving a well-earned niche in the same.
  2. Thankfully, Stan has good sense of humor too… or I would’ve been swimming. At 59 years young, he’s built much like his boats and is just as capable. As a former US Navy SEAL Commando with a career spanning over 25 years, his accomplishments would send Survivor contestants back to kindergarten. Serving multiple tours in Vietnam; one in Grenada and later, taking charge of naval operational forces in Central and South America, this is a man that has seen the flip-side of yachting.

    But brawn is little without brains. Graduating the U.S Naval Academy with a degree in Naval Engineering, he’s not only equipped to get the job done, he knows exactly how to do it. After retiring from the service, he made a parallel transition into the civilian sector becoming the captain of the 150’ Benetti Ambrosia, which ultimately paved the way to today. When Ambrosia’s owner was ready to step-up to a larger yacht, Stan took the reigns as project manager and engineer. The result was to become Oceanco’s “Lady Lola”, the Showboat’s 2002 yacht of the year. A pretty impressive feat for his first new-build project!
  3. As heralded as Lady Lola was… something was missing. Although every conceivable luxury was present and accounted for, her destinations would be one-dimensional without an aerial view of the ports and harbors she would visit. Short of a heli-pad and the ability to carry enough provisions and toys for unlimited cruising, Lady Lola’s owner toyed with the idea of a support vessel to tag along… or a “shadow” ship. Taking the helm on the project, Stan began the search for a vessel that would serve multiple purposes. In doing so, he discovered some interesting platforms… retired offshore oil re-supply vessels that had been mothballed. They weren’t pretty, but Stan has a way seeing the beauty in things that are old and bold.

    Under Stan’s supervision, one of the vessels was purchased and reactivated for a refit. But it was much more than a splash of paint and a top-end job. It was a transformation that was becoming an entirely new boat… and an ideal new business model. From the keel to the pilothouse, Lady Lola’s Shadow progressed from an ugly duckling; to a beautiful behemoth… that may very well revolutionize the way we go yachting. Actually, this concept rather defines yachting… unlimited possibilities, no restraints cruising and flexibility at every port. Quite simply… it’s the ultimate tender!
  4. Recognizing the value and potential market for a super-tender, Stan and his partner Tom Gonzales formed Shadow Marine. The first conversion was Paladin’s Shadow, bearing the name of the beautiful Northcoast yacht it will support, as seen in this link…

    Like it’s predecessor, the Paladin Shadow was rebuilt from the props up at Houma Fabricators in Louisiana, adding the enormous garage, deckhouse and a revamp of the stern platform to proliferate its uses. These additions set the stage for a shelter that is nothing short of a waterborne warehouse, with some 25,000 square feet available for build-out. But first, the basic foundation of these ships has to be resurrected.
  5. A Shadow boat's most notable use will likely be the helicopter landing pad it provides. Few yachts offer an FBO of this magnitude, which also equates to greater safety, as fewer obstructions assure safer transport. You could think of it as a personal standby vessel, but we prefer to think of it as the best place to practice approaches! And what better challenge than a matching Robinson-44, standing ready to spool up.

    With a Shadow in pursuit, you’ve got complete redundancy and you're never at sea alone. In case of engine failure, fire or other problem, help is just moments away and the heli can be used for quick evacuation. The presence of a fleet support ship brings the added dimension of strength and security in numbers. It can hold the safety and repair equipment needed in an emergency, as well as additional crew to provide aid. It can accommodate a complete machine shop to act as a full-service repair facility. It even has the power to tow the principal yacht to safe harbor.
  6. These boats also act as a deterrent, adding an increased level of security, especially in hostile waters. Its presence alone can cause a potential threat to think twice, as it provides a protective perimeter to keep other vessels from approaching. It can also serve as a guard vessel, housing bodyguards, weapons and munitions storage. If necessary, it can even serve as the platform for high speed assault craft with the helo for air support. Danger can also be found in unfamiliar, enclosed or dangerous waters. The Shadow has a shallower draft, which makes it ideal as the lead vessel plotting a safe course through a channel or shoal waters.
  7. Tenders, boats, submarines and water toys can be protected and stored safely out of the way. There’s even space for limousines, automobiles and seaplanes as well. Space is truly an ample commodity here. Not shown in this picture are Paladin's two enclosed rooms on the lower deck, flanking the engine room corridor. These rooms are so big they could easily double as basketball courts, or whatever an owner desires. Suggested uses range from a fully equipped Gold’s gym, to a movie theatre. If you prefer undersea activity, Calypso... move over. These boats also make excellent dive platforms too, with more than sufficient facilities to host decompression chambers and complete gear for dozens of divers.
  8. Shadow’s aren’t speedsters. They have a 12,000 nautical mile range @ 10 knots, which means they might arrive a day late, but with supplies that will last for months. Provisions for the mother ship include 4000 gallons of extra diesel or aviation fuel, plus any combination of supplies you could possibly need. Here are a few examples…

    • A 5000-bottle temperature controlled wine cellar
    • Refrigerator and freezer space in excess of butcher’s store
    • Dry food storage and frozen food storage to last for months.
    • Replacement machinery and maintenance gear.
    • Carry extra diesel fuel at duty-free prices.
    • Store extra paint and spare parts.
    • Holding for 97,000 gallons of fresh water.
    • Stock paper products, toiletries and other basics.
    • House a commercial trash and garbage incinerator for waste disposal
  9. The Bridge...

    If you have a fear of heights, stay out of the wheelhouse! The altitude is nearly on plane with low-flying aircraft. It’s not really a flybridge, per say... it’s a more like a skybox. But, the best seats in the arena are no match for this view. The entire bridge has been reincarnated, bearing little resemblence to its previous life. It's taken on a modern, business-like atmosphere with plenty of room to move about. Sealed access doors to port and starboard open to the heli-deck, while a centrally located staircase leads to the accomodations below.
  10. Among the helm’s attributes are two Furuno 2020 radars w/ARPA, Drake 55 and Furuno 2510 VHF’s, SSB Stephens SEA 105, Seatel Sat TV, Saab AIS, Sailor GMDSS, a Furuno GPS gyro, Map-C Charts, Fleet 77 Satcom and Robertson Autopilot. To keep this big rig off the reef, a Furuno 2000 Fathometer completes the suite. And finally, dual helm stations, fore & aft, keep this marina-at-sea from eating concrete pilings as snacks.
  11. The Galley...

    Commercial grade and rugged, the galley is completely stainless, right down to the salt-shaker. The mess is essentially for crew support, but these boats can be configured with more elaborate provisions, ranging from walk-in freezers, to wine cellars or a chill-out room for mutinous crew members.
  12. Basic and straightforward, the dining area is actually larger than the crew facilities found on most yachts. The best part of these quarters is not the entertainment console, but being insulated from the owner. ;)
  13. Accommodations...

    Possibly the most impressive set of windows to be found in any master stateroom, the elevation of these wondows rivals the view from the 3rd floor of a condo. No doubt, the captain or guests have better visibility than the mothership. A large flat panel television is mounted to the wall on the far left of this image. Choose your view!
  14. The master stateroom was simply styled by Stan's wife, Mary Jane Antrim. Shadow's can be appointed as desired, but given the Hummer-like personna of these vessels, a no-frills approach seems best. A king-size pedestal bed with storage drawers underneath was chosen for the master, with matching end tables.
  15. The master stateroom includes an ensuite bath and walk-in closet. Function takes precedence over fashion with these boats as they play a supporting role for something a bit more lavish.
  16. If you need additional lodging space, Shadow's let you welcome guests with cabins containing all the necessary amenities. It can also provide for an expanded staff, such as drivers, mechanics and pilots, nannies and assistants, or an additional crew for rotation onto the main yacht for extensive entertaining or large functions. Located across the hallway, the VIP double grants the same view and ensuite accomodations as the master.
  17. The flat panel television is nearly as wide as this boat is big. Conversation seating and a desk were included in the guest quarters. Nothing fancy, but they provide the basic amenities for prolonged stays. Going one deck below, there is a crew cabin with four berths, a head, the galley and laundry facilities.
  18. The Belly of the Beast...

    In touring Paladin’s Shadow, one item left a profound impression. Just forward of the main staircase that leads down a long corridor to the engine room, is a strangely out of place, quite sizeable, in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine that turns out to be the bow thruster!
  19. This corridor leads to the engine room and the engine monitoring station. To port and starboard are two gigantic rooms awaiting their final conversion. As previously noted, these rooms are large enough for an indoor baskeball court or a movie theatre. Whatever the owner wishes. And finally, wiring and plumbing lines the walls for complete access. Yes, it's utilitarin, but keep in mind... it's also a ship!
  20. Starting with complete rebuilds of the original Detroit Diesel 16V 149’s and branching out from there, every component is rebuilt, replaced or added. This list includes all new stabilization equipment, watermakers, HVAC, plumbing, wiring, etc. This photo is looking aft, from the starboard side of engine room. The primary ship's generator is flanked by the main engines. To left, the engine monitoring & observation room keeps the ship's engineer insulated from heat and noise.
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