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Amels Yachts

Discussion in 'Amels Yacht' started by German Yachting, Mar 4, 2014.

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  1. Yacht News

    Yacht News YF News Editor

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    I like your 2 cents HTM09!
  2. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Amels tried to suppress information on the incident. As we began working with them, their modus operandi became more evident as they tried to dictate what we would publish, mandating any editorial must first be reviewed and approved. Trying to exert this kind of control makes me suspect of what they're hiding from their customers.
  3. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    No problem Carl. I have lots of info about this yard, both Amels and its parent company Damen shipyard. I live in the industry. The owner of ILONA finally recognized the unpracticable and dangerous setup of his Helo landing deck and hangar arrangement and had it removed from the ship. To bad, he had to loose his engineer to find out.

    The future owner of this FYS will find out the same thing. At least, when he gets sick of this old helicopter design, the EC 365 (which is basically the 30 year old Dauphine), he will find out, no other medium sized helicopter will fit in this hole.

    I personally believe, the Fast Yacht Support is a dead end road. No space below deck, very expensive to operate (4 pretty big engines !!!), rides very wet, rolls allready on a wet lawn and as one owner of a FYS just found out, has a very bad resale value.

    Some people are just resistant to advice or as you would say stubborn :).
  4. Yacht News

    Yacht News YF News Editor

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    Not sure if this suggests anything Ken... but it is pictured in this render with a LE272.

    Attached Files:

  5. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    This was the Helo hangar of ILONA prior to the accident and her modification. The mechanism being as complicated as a human brain could come up with. Remember the shaft length was shorter than the fuselage length of the Helo.

    Ilona Heli Garage.JPG

    And this is the pool arrangement after the modification.

    ilona-pool-yacht.JPG

    Pretty dangerous too without water in it.
  6. ekiqa

    ekiqa Member

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    Amels/Damen's engineering must be pretty crappy to mess up such a simple hangar/lift mechanism.
  7. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Can anyone tell me the point of carrying your own helicopter on a yacht? I've worked on a couple of yachts with landing pads but the aircraft, often chartered, or in a couple of cases, from their own Air Force, lands on a nearby beach or field within a 5 minute tender ride.

    It all seems a lot of faff for something that hardly ever get's used.
  8. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    I have to agree with Fishtigua. Except for a true Explorer "Yacht" like Octopus, which is really used as such, carrying the helo permanently on the yacht is mostly boastfulness (showboating). Transfering guests or crew / cargo can in most cases be done by chartered, landbased helicopter. But then you have to work with an reliable agent, who is making sure, the aircrew has the required skills and proficiency, is familiar with the landing pad and its obstructions AND the specially trained ships crew handling the visiting helicopter is familiar with (and certified for) the type of aircraft. On commercially used yachts, this is mandated by rule anyhow. For all practical purposes, a commercial helicopter pilot is concidered being a proficient pilot (as pilot in command) for offshore operation or mountain flying with about 2.500 flying hours and a minimum of 500 hours on the specific type of a ircraft. Even having this amount of PIC flying hours on rotary aircraft, I would not concider myself proficient enough, to be landing on one of those small inofficial landing pads on some yachts.

    A well known large yacht, based in the Med, has a Sikorski s-76 helicopter permanently stationed on board, whenever the yacht leaves the harbour. One of its former pilots works for us now. His main missions were transfer rides to a nearby airport where the large aircraft of the owner was on stby, reconnaissance flights for nice and quiet beaches and mainly as the ultimate method of escape (!!!). The ship had once a little fire on board and the owner and its family could be evacuated to shore within minutes. This capability became a mandatory procedure on that ship from that day on.

    A safe touch and go landing pad can be realized on a 200 ft+ yacht by converting a sundeck, making a sundeck convertible or using an enclosed forecasle (Quattroelle). But carrying the helo on that sundeck permanently (except for ferry without guests, when crossing the pond), takes away too much valuable decksspace. But adding refuelling capability to this yacht is a nightmare, as far as safety measurements and crew requirements are concerned. And "parking" a helicopter out in the inviroment on deck is a nightmare for the helicopter maintenance.

    The best approach solving most if not all problems associated with helicopter operation on yachts is a shadow for the the yacht. But not this "fast yacht support" concept, which is basically only trying to find one more market for an badly selling offshore transfer vessel concept. As I have said before, in my personal opinion, the best shadow for a yacht is a seaworthy, proven, converted cargo vessel. All toys, spare crew, tender and its crew, the helicopter or even a fixed wing amphibious aircraft with a certified enviroment and ample of bunker and supply can live and be carried on that shadow.

    One could buy and convert TWO preowned 400 ft cargo vessels into perfect shadows for the price of one Damen FYS 6911 even without this silly hangar. And even operating those converted cargo vessels would be cheaper than operating a FYS. And by removing some tender and toys from the yacht would free ample of space for much better purposes on that yacht or the yacht could be designed smaller, with all its advantages.

    The Navy knows how to build a shadow. Just imagine half the size and without all this expensive military spec / equipment and taking a preowned cargo vessel as the starting point.

    EGV.JPG
  9. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    pretty crappy

    I didn't do it..Swear I was somewhere else. :D
  10. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    This thread has gone way off topic, but I feel the need to comment. Perhaps another thread would be in order for this discussion.
    I disagree with you, and am slightly offended on my boss' behalf. Evviva has been carrying a helicopter for the owners' personal use for twenty-four years. The last thing they are is pretentious, and really prefer not to draw attention to themselves. In our case, there is a great sense of comfort in knowing and trusting the aircraft, maintenance, and pilot. While chartering would be more cost effective, it would not come with the sense of security that our boss gets from owning his own craft, and knowing his flight crew and AP (mechanic). I suppose the same could be said for private jets and yachts too. We have not yet even mentioned the convenience of having your pilot on standby, rather than having to order a pickup from a shore based charter company.

    Our Bell 407 is 12 years old, and has primarily lived on deck during cruising seasons. Most recently it crossed the pacific on deck, and our AP was very pleasantly surprised with how well it weathered the crossing. I am not by any means an expert, but according to our pilot and mechanic it's in remarkable condition. So much so, that we couldn't justify the purchase of a new machine when the discussion came up last year.
  11. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I think there are many valid reasons to have a helicopter on a boat. They include everything from business necessity to medical evacuation. They could also include pleasure if that's what one liked. To call it boastfulness or showboating simply because you don't see the need is wrong. I don't have one and don't have the desire, but can certainly understand those who do. For a business person it may be what allows them to enjoy boating. For others it might be their insurance policy. I can easily picture when I'm in my 80's or 90's and still boating, my wife saying that ok, but if we're going to cross oceans, I have to have a helicopter on board as if something does happen to me, she wants me to be able to get to a hospital at 160 mph instead of 15 mph. And in that case I'd hope it was never used, but if it was used one time, it would perhaps be worth whatever it cost.

    A helicopter, like a plane, like most boats, makes no financial sense. We could all rent or lease or charter for less. However, I'd far rather trust my own than a rental.
  12. leeky

    leeky Senior Member

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    Now that's something I would have never considered in planning for an ocean crossing: Where it would be acceptable to need hospitalization, because of the limited range of a helicopter.
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Obviously from the middle of the ocean it won't get you to shore. It might get you to a vessel with doctors aboard more important, if you're 200-300 miles offshore, it will get you to a hospital in less than two hours versus 10-15 hours and that might be the difference in life and death. I'm just saying helicopters have their purposes to those who have them. I don't have one currently. Doubt I ever will. However, I've known three people who did have them on their boats and all had sound reasons for it, none of which was boastfulness as all were very low key, private people. One person I know lives in California and has it to avoid LA traffic. A second uses it to shuttle friends, children and grandchildren. A third uses it to vacation with family and be able to enjoy the entire weekend on the water, but then fly to shore while allowing their family to continue their vacation undisturbed. Time and convenience are very important to some people. I just don't see the purpose of questioning the motives of those who have them.
  14. ekiqa

    ekiqa Member

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    As if you do, you should be questioning the whole yacht industry, especially the larger end
  15. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Ken, sorry if you or Your boss felt offended. But I do not think, I did mean your type of operation. I was referring to those Med type helicopter on yachts operation where the helo is carried on the sundeck and comes with the yacht into the harbour. This is showboating, as almost no harbour allows T/O and landings with the yacht located within the harbour. To my understanding, if the helicopter is carried on a yacht or ship during voyage, he leaves the yacht prior entering harbour and lands on a nearby airfield, as he would be useless sitting on deck (As your Navy does with her carrier aircraft). The only case the helo would stay on the yacht would be if there would be no use planned during the complete stay in the harbour. And that is the way we do it also. Having the yacht leaving the harbour just for a helicopter T/O or landing is far to much hassel. And I say again, a helicopter parked on a yacht, lets say in Port Hercules or Port Antibes, is showboating. Especially if the helo sits on its pad fully geared up (ready for immediate T/O).

    Our Helicopters (offshore business) fly a lot over sea, mostly North and Baltic Sea and in Polar (north and south) regions. And they need a lot of extra care. Regular and more than normal rinse, waxing and polishing, engine conservation runs, oil samples and magnetic plugs pulled on shorter intervalls and the onboard life monitoring system / FADEC is telling higher wear and tear. When one of our helicopters is chartered away onto an research or exploration vessel for a longer mission, we insist on hangar operation.

    A helicopter will always suffer more sitting on deck, even when under canvas, than properly stored in a dry and air-conditioned hangar. The amount of wear and tear depends of the area of usage and its meteorological conditions.

    I am a big friend of helicopter and amphibious fixed wing aircraft operation on (larger) yachts, explorer yachts and ships but in a professional manner. In our point of view as a professional ship- / yacht- and aircraft operator, a 499 GT yacht is not a perfect permanent operating platform for a 5 seat, 6.800 lbs turbine helicopter, whereas a dedicated support vessel of that size could that be very well.

    Look at the measurements of our example, the widely used Bell 407

    Bell 407.jpg
    If you add the neccessary walk around space around the helo with folded rotor blades, you will come up with with a pretty large hangar. That amount of space is hard to find on a yacht. The biggest problem is the height as it will take two decks. On the Bell 206-4 things are a bit easier as the only two blades do not need to be folded. Removing rotor blades can be painfull, as most helicopters require a balance run and some more inspections after reinstalling the blades.

    And the type of landing gear (wheels or skids) and the gross weight of the hello can make a big difference.
    A Robinson Helicopter, a Bell 206 / 407 or a eurocopter Ecureuil can still be handled by short amount of crew but any medium size Helo like the Bell 429 or EC-365 is a totally different story. Their is a whole world between ground handling (on a ship) of a 6000 lbs Bell 407 or a 11.000 lbs heavy metal EC-365.

    But this discussion started on this Amel thread about helo operation on an IMHO far less than optimum hangar arrangement and this type of support vessel (FYS). I have stated that Amels/Damen is proposing for the second time (after ILONA) a useless hangar and landing deck concept (from the practical and operational point of view) and I have nothing to be taken back.

    Due to their company setup (limited engineering capability and capacity) and their marketing strategy, Amels / Damen likes to adopt vessels out of their commercial and yachting portfolio with minimum effort into new marketing niches. The FYS concept is nothing more than a new name for an offshore supply and transfer vessel which was not selling enough. The 6911 is nothing more than a 6711 extended by few frames at the stern. If you had a chance to look at that FYS Garcon at the MYS, you would have seen, this boat was built to industrial standards and not as a yacht. They even have several FYS kaskos or partially finished boats in stock. Have a look at the Damen website with their boats and vessels in stock. Spec boat is part of their name.

    The FYS concept has more limitations and cons than positive arguments. One of its biggest limitations is the very limited loading capacity. The hull concept does not allow much usefull load (weight), gets very quickly top heavy and compared to its volume has very little below deck storage space. And it rides pretty wet, especially on little bit higher speeds. The on deck cargo gets in contact with a good amount of salty water. If I would spend so much money for a support vessel / shadow, I would want my expensive helo and tender / toys better protected and safer operated. And for my crews I would want better living spaces and working environment. Investing in this FYS concept is IMHO riding a dead horse. But this hangar concept really tops it all.

    6711-hangardoors.jpg

    So, if I have offended somebody with my wording, I do apologize. But if a fair comment is taken as an offence, there is nothing to be taken back.

    Just my 2 (Euro) Cents
  16. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Ken, are your sure, your 12 year old on board helo is a Bell 407? I do not think so, as the 4 in 407 stands for a 4 blade rotor system.

    Evviva.jpg
  17. German Yachting

    German Yachting Senior Member

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    They launched 469, another 55m.
  18. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    Slip of the fingers, sorry. I don't know how it happened, but meant to say 206. It's Long Ranger.
  19. Yacht News

    Yacht News YF News Editor

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    Back when "Ilona" had the helipad/garage on the aft main deck. A view from the bird landing onboard.