FC Swath 75M

by Fincantieri Yachts with Andrea Vallicelli & C

Fincantieri Yachts periodically likes to present a preview of its most recent prestigious new luxury mega and giga yacht projects to a select clientele and the sector’s specialist press. Its yachts are offered with innovative, exclusive concepts, and this is very much the case with the new FC SWATH 75M. This high-tech yacht is based on a modern concept entirely different from the other proposals presented to date by the Italian shipyard. In tangible terms, then, how does it differ from all the other Fincantieri Yachts concepts that have preceded it? The answer is quite simple, and expressly stated in the name of the new project: FC stands for Fuel Cells and SWATH for Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull. And of course 75M is the length of the vessel in metres, equivalent to 246 feet. This answer is certainly simple, but apart from the obvious question of the yacht’s length, the technical subject-matter is not as easy and quick to understand, at least not for anyone more used to talking about matters of more traditional technical content. A brief description of the innovative concept comes to the rescue, starting to clarify some of these rather complicated points in the words of the famous designer who worked with Fincantieri Yachts on this occasion (and several others beforehand), namely Andrea Vallicelli of Italian firm Andrea Vallicelli & C. The designer comments: “New clients with new needs in a new world. In response to this challenge, the engineering team at Fincantieri Yachts and our design team have developed and combined advanced technologies in an innovative luxury-vessel concept, the new FC SWATH 75 M, toward a greener configuration.” An environmentally friendly configuration that can sail anywhere in all most weather and sea conditions, in complete safety and the utmost comfort? Vallicelli confirms all this: “The FC SWATH 75 M not only has memorable aesthetics, but she will also give owners unprecedented cruising and berthing comfort, with her inherent high stability, and minimum noise and vibrations even over long voyages with the chance to savour a lifestyle of utmost luxury on board, courtesy of her large beach area and wide public areas.” Vallicelli concludes: “Also thanks to the optional of fuel-cell propulsion system, FC SWATH 75 M could reach close to zero-emission capability, to sail in ECA areas in a fully green configuration – an approach aimed at highly demanding, future-oriented owners.” The shipyard’s technical office goes into the matter of the fuel cells in more depth. Recalling Fincantieri’s extensive experience in the shipbuilding sector, in military, passenger and freight builds alike, it looks at the key issue of fuel cells and regulations: “What about the regulations? Existing examples of vessels powered by fuel cells are limited to military applications or case studies on commercial vessels to investigate the new technology. The former are not subject to any civil regulations, but the results obtained provide a valid basis for developing commercial applications. The marine applications’ current status offers hope for further development of the fuel cells, to increase the units’ power and reduce costs. A broader application of such technology, without service limitations, would need a common regulation to come into force. As can also be seen from its official website, IMO has developed and adopted an International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), which is due to enter into force by January 2017. While at present time only LNG installations are covered, it is expected that, by means of alternative design and equivalent arrangements, also Fuel Cells installation could be performed and certified under this Code, waiting for its official extension to other novel means of power generation, like said Fuel Cells system.” These fuel cells therefore stand ready to open up interesting new application scenarios, partly in anticipation of their far future application but better yet their application in the near future in the yachting sector. After this explanation of the first concept, however, we will now look in more depth at the other defining technical element of the new Fincantieri Yachts concept, the Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull. A SWATH is first and foremost a twin-hull ship design type which must, however, not be confused with the well known catamaran, although they both obviously have the common characteristic of a pair of hulls. The key difference in shape between the two types lies in the fact that both hulls of the SWATH have a torpedo-shaped lower section that is always completely submerged.

Unlike a catamaran, the possibility of a planing or at least semi-displacement effect has been given up in favour of remaining entirely displacement-based. However, the SWATH navigation set-up has a smaller high-resistance area of the hulls in contact with the water surface, which in practice is limited to the relatively narrow area of the supports connecting the torpedo shapes to their twin hulls. This smaller contact area compared to either a catamaran or a single-hulled vessel also means that there is less resistance to moving through the water, even with substantial wave motion in play. The infamous vertical accelerations which normally lead to increased pitching – jeopardising sea keeping, course maintenance and on board comfort alike – are therefore considerably reduced, while at the same time the vessel’s stability even in cases of extreme sea and weather conditions is significantly increased. However, the impressive stability of a SWATH in motion is also due to the pair of torpedo shapes that keep the displacement volume (the volume necessary for a body to float, as indicated by the basic principle of hydrostatic thrust) entirely below the surface of the water where the forces generated by the movement of liquids are concentrated. A SWATH is therefore obviously much less subject to unwanted negative effects from the motion of the waves than other hull types, which are instead directly “supported” by the surface of the water. In other words, it is as if this type of vessel straddled two submarines which, at their depth of operation, are of course not affected in any way by the motion of the waves at the surface. A “normal” contribution is also undeniably made to the stability in navigation of Fincantieri Yachts’ new FC SWATH 75 M by the ultra wide beam of the vessel, at 24 metres / nearly 80 feet, the highly desirable side effects of which it shares with the catamaran in terms of space, with well known and recognised inherent advantages. The yacht is essentially a floating platform with large decks that are both long and broad, configured to offer fifty percent more interior and exterior space that can normally be found on a 90-metre mono hull yacht. In particular, this highly innovative concept project from Fincantieri Yachts has interiors covering a total area of 1,100 m2, around 12,000 square feet, with external spaces occupying a total of more than 1,800 m2, or nearly 20,000 square feet. Throughout FC SWATH 75 M, there is a constant, uninterrupted succession of huge areas and magnificent spaces. A functional, albeit highly structured, layout on the upper deck includes the owner’s suite with a private office and the two VIP suites with a private terrace, while the main deck offers a further three VIP suites. The main deck also features the double salon and the formal dining room, as well as a panoramic social balcony. On the lower deck, the layout features an impressive cinema room and a spectacular entrance lobby, as well as a combined gym and spa for fitness and wellness. However, most importantly, the aft deck has a beach area with a lounge and lounge bar around an imposing indoor-outdoor swimming pool which, together with the large sunbathing terraces alongside it, faces a private beach by the sea, larger than those currently present on other yachts available on the market. The latter consideration certainly also applies to the helipad deck, placed on the most elevated section of the Fincantieri Yachts concept project, which can also be turned into a magical disco under the stars.


Jacob Herzog

FC Swath 75M technical specifications

LOA75 m / 246’06’’ ft
Max beam 24 m / 78’74’’ ft
Half-load draught 5.5 m / 18’04’’ ft
Gross tonnage abt. 3,400 GRT
Owner and guests12
Captain and crew 24
Hull material Aluminium alloy
Max speed abt.18.0 knots
Range @ abt. 6 knots on hydrogenabt. 450 nm
Range @ abt. 12 knots on dieselabt. 4,000 nm
Mechanical propulsion 2 x MM/EE, abt. 2,500 kW each coupled to FPP shaft lines
Electric propulsion power 2 Motor/generators, abt. 300 kW each
Electricity generation 2 x DD/GG abt. 450 kW each
Auxiliary generation2 x Fuel cells abt. 250 kWe each
DesignerAndrea Vallicelli & C.
Shipyard Fincantieri Yachts
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