by Rossinavi with Ken Freivokh

As we all know, yachts are not the work of Mother Nature but rather a creation of human culture, melding engineering and aesthetics in a stunning, effective way. The fact that yachts are intended for immersion in nature is equally well known, but some special types of yachts aspire to go even further. They are not simply designed as a private liner for Love Boat-style cruises focused on sun, sex and sport, or a floating mansion to be moved from time to time and shown off at the most prestigious trendy marinas of the moment. Nor are they just for use as a glamorous cocktail location, or fitted out in spectacular style for holding an exclusive gala event worthy of a magnificent imperial court. They are not even simply a relaxing island for body and soul, a chance for memorable periods away from the world, far from the hustle and bustle of the frenetic world of business. There some types of yachts that, although they can offer the same comfort and amenities, are actually primarily intended for other forms of cruising that allow much greater exploration of the natural environment. These are of course the ships known today as explorer vessels or exploration vessels, like the one currently in the advanced phases of construction at the Rossinavi shipyard facilities. It is an expedition yacht specially designed for long voyages in the Pacific Ocean, with the capacity to house two large tenders in the forward garage. Its design concept incorporates a balanced combination of the characteristics typical of exploration vessels and the unique features of luxury yachts. In this regard Rossinavi had the right kind of insight and hence remixed its entire approach right from the drawing board, reinventing a new philosophy of navigation that marks a genuine evolution in this type of vessel. They started from the basis of an appealing concept project by renowned British design firm Ken Freivokh designers, a boat designed to be equally useable as an explorer yacht or as a shadow yacht to support a possible primary vessel. During the development of the design, in association with Italian shipyard Rossinavi, the length changed from an initial 42 metres, or nearly 137 feet, to the final length of 48 metres, or over 157 feet. With the presentation of the new Project Argo – the project’s current name – at the Monaco Yacht Show in September last year, Rossinavi proved that it had completely reimagined the formula for this type of vessel with a substantial change in the elements that make up the basic concept. This is unmistakable right from an initial look at its aesthetic. British designer Ken Freivokh’s comment on the new Project Argo – his first project working with Rossinavi – is particularly relevant, describing it as a motor yacht that “has a more industrial chic than gin palace look”. However, in addition to the elegant lines that express technological beauty while at the same time making it an iconic, timeless motor yacht, Project Argo is designed to be a multi-talented all-in-one explorer and support vessel right down to its very essence. The design builds from there, based on tangible operational considerations that point towards functionality and versatility to create a truly go-anywhere, do-anything all-purpose long-range motor yacht. It’s a real all-round winner that can be built entirely in light aluminium alloy using Rossinavi’s cutting-edge construction technology. This advanced technology allows the Italian shipyard to build ships that, although they are entirely built in aluminium rather than steel, can obtain “D” Ice Class certification, authorising navigation in water where floating ice is present. A further benefit presented by a build in light aluminium alloy is the attractive possibility of keeping a vessel of nearly 50 metres in length below the gross tonnage limit of 500 GT. Within the constraints of the 500 GT MCA rule, Project Argo offers outstanding internal volume and external space, without the additional costs and complexity of a yacht in excess of 500 GT and indeed without the crew and operational restrictions and requirements of a yacht in excess of 500 GT. The new Project Argo is accredited with a range of well above 5,000 nautical miles, and will also have an innovative, high-efficiency fast displacement hull, carefully optimised in terms of navigation performance and seakeeping through rigorous tank tests to verify all the vessel’s possible reactions in rolling and pitching conditions. Together with safety, when fine-tuning the yacht’s hull, the level of comfort on board was a primary consideration, and this was further improved by the presence of a stabilisation system that can consist of either an internal system with gyroscopic units or an external one with electro-hydraulic fins depending on client preference. In addition, particular attention was also paid to acoustic insulation, which was brilliantly achieved with the careful application of advanced “Zero Noise” technology, which reduces noise and vibration through an engineering process that involves the entirety of the vessel’s naval architecture. The work ran from analysing noise to planning the insulation works, which were carried out based on structural assessments and bearing in mind the functioning of technical systems, such as engines and generators or air conditioning systems, including the selection of suitable materials for fitting out the interiors. However, that’s not all: Project Argo also offers further characteristics with advanced technological content. Rossinavi has made provision for the option, on request, to install a propulsion system consisting of two Rolls-Royce “pod” units as alternatives to the usual propulsion system with two propellers and the traditional shaft transmission. In practical terms, the propulsion system with a pair of pods is an ideal solution for owners who favour maximum silence during cruises and better manoeuvrability in navigation. Last but certainly not least, this innovative Rossinavi motor yacht also makes extensive use of the latest technology in the field of glass, and offers large floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views, completely and seamlessly surrounding both the bridge deck and the owner’s deck. Moving on to Project Argo’s layout, uniquely for a vessel this size, it offers a private elevated owner’s deck including a full beam stateroom, a terrace, a study and a further family or nanny cabin, VIP stateroom or indeed captain’s cabin. Also unique at this size is the total segregation of the crew block, which enjoys its own vertical access routes all the way up to the bridge deck with the wheelhouse and down to a service deck housing the laundry and stores. At main deck level, there is a very attractive open-plan salon/dining/bar area which opens onto the sea and to a protected terrace to aft. Forward, with direct access to the salon, the four guest staterooms all have large panoramic windows facing the sea. The forward guest staterooms include folding berths, so Project Argo could potentially welcome the full MCA guest complement of 12 guests. The generous elevated aft deck can be accessed directly from the main aft deck terrace, and a further spiral staircase provides easy access to the crow’s nest. This top observation deck stands beneath louvres to control the sunlight and offer amazing 360-degree views. The lower deck aft area can optionally be fitted out to include a proper beach club, with a wide opening aft to the full beam swimming platform. Bearing further witness to its focus on adventure and exploration, Rossinavi’s new motor yacht will have the capacity for numerous water toys and tenders in a variety of possible configurations to fit the owner’s requirements, so that the yacht can fulfil its role as a standalone explorer yacht or a shadow support vessel as appropriate. Various different compositions in terms of boats and special vehicles are possible, potentially including 12 metre / 40 foot limousine tenders as well as service tenders, sailing boats, pocket submarines, waverunners and jet skis. The marked versatility of the vessel’s aft deck, the largest open space on a vessel within her class, even makes it possible to use it as a touch-and-go helipad.

Flaviano Perelli

Argo technical specifications

Lines versionDiesel electric version
TypeMotor Yacht Explorer
MCALY3 code
ClassRINa or Lloyd’s
LOA48.00 m / 157’4’’ ft
Beam8.95 m / 29’3’’ ft
Draft (max)2.10 m / 6’8’’ ft
2.40 m / 7’8’’ ft
Gross tonnage< 500 GT
Cabins total5
Hull configurationFast Displacement
Hull materialAluminium
Propulsion Gensets2 x Caterpillar C32 Acert
2 x Caterpillar C32 Acert LS 952 ekW
Thrusters: 2 x Rolls Royce US105 P9 CRP
Hotel Gensets3 x CAT C4.4 – 80 kW
3 x Caterpillar C 4.4 80 ekW
Stabilizers0 Speed
Max speed15.00 knots / 16.00 knots
Cruising speed14.00 knots / 12.00 knots
Range5.000 nm at 12 knots
Fuel capacity70.000.00 litres / 18.400 US gallons
Water capacity8.000.00 litres / 2.100 US gallons
Naval ArchitectArrabito Naval Architects
Exterior DesignersKen Freivokh Design
Interior DesignerKen Freivokh Design/TBD

Latest issue
More yachts in issue n° 42/43