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Old 24-01-2014, 11:59   #1
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Helicopters and Motor Yachts

A great friend of mine, who is member, I guess you would say, of the Lucky Sperm Club, since his father is a billionaire, has already finished his car phase (the culmination of which was winning the rally sport championship of a large European country), and is nearing the end of his helicopter phase (he's in the middle of a circumnavigation of the world by helicopter by way of Tierra del Fuego, Alaska, Bering Straits, etc.). He's just about to start his yacht phase. I have not managed to get him interested in sailing yet, although I think this is natural and will eventually come, but he's ready for a motor yacht, at least, but on one condition -- it has to be able to accommodate his helicopter -- a Robinson turbine job, which might get traded in for a Eurocopter after the circumnav is over.

He has turned to me for advice, not realizing that being a sailor does not mean that I know even diddlysquat about motor yachts, much less giant gigayachts. He is from a family which does not believe in ostentatious displays of wealth, and he will not want a Roman Abramovich-style megayacht. But what size does a motor yacht have to be, in order to have a decent helipad??? I can't even imagine. This is a very, very different task, than trying to figure out what kind of davits are needed to safely carry a 25 horsepower RIB (ha, ha, ha!!).

One idea I had, to avoid the vulgar Roman Abramovich type of situation, was that he might like to have some kind of expedition vessel. He could donate the use of it for scientific expeditions when not using it himself, and it would suit his values and lifestyle. But in this, as in megayachts, I am utterly clueless -- anyone here have any words of wisdom?
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Old 24-01-2014, 12:07   #2
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Dutch steel motor yachts with a slight Edwardian styling . Can't be beat. Stuff like vripack for example

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Old 24-01-2014, 12:14   #3
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

Dang... Good question!

I see a few off Catalina every once in a while, but I think it's safe to say 150-200' minimum? I just googled Paul Allen's, and Octopus is 400+...

Bump for you Monaco regulars!
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Old 24-01-2014, 12:30   #4
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
it has to be able to accommodate his helicopter -- He is from a family which does not believe in ostentatious displays of wealth,
Anyone else seeing the irony here? That being said I wish I had those types of problems.
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Old 24-01-2014, 12:49   #5
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

I would love to see what they think is an ostentatious display of wealth if a helicopter on a motor yacht is not! Maybe a space shuttle on an air craft carrier?
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Old 24-01-2014, 13:00   #6
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

I've seen helipads on some 130'-ish yachts around here in Annapolis.

Of course, this is a megayacht slum.
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Old 24-01-2014, 13:06   #7
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

Dockhead - When I was working with the architects to design my commercial building I wanted a helipad on top of my building and was very surprised at the complexities involved, and that was for a building that didn't move around.
The problem is that the deck space where the helicopter needs to land has to be specially reinforced (imagine the weight of a Robinson on a bad landing dropping from 5 feet). A yacht would need to have unobstructed access for the helicopter to approach and hover plus would need to be designed with sufficient buoyancy to allow the helicopter to take off and land without moving around too much.
Basically, the yacht would need to be designed with the heliport in mind - from scratch by a naval engineering company with access to this rarified area of expertise. The flag might play a role, too; since the aviation regulations of the flag state would apply on takeoff and landing.
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Old 24-01-2014, 13:22   #8
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

We've seen a few deep sea long liners and seiners with choppers on deck, and IIRC they were around the hundred foot size, but I wasn't paying specific attention to those details.

I'm sure that any mega yacht builder/designer could answer the question with some facts, Dockhead. That might be a better source than we who have no real connection with that rarified world!

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Old 24-01-2014, 13:48   #9
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

I once read an interview of a megayacht designer who commented that siting the helipad was one of the trickiest design challenges.

If you put the helipad too close to the pool, the chopper downdraft would blow the water out of the pool and soak the girls.

Just something to pass on
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Old 24-01-2014, 13:53   #10
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

It is a complex problem, and it's a good thing your friend is not a sailboat kind of guy--masts do pose an obstacle.

There are standards which pertain to all of the factors involved in building a helipad, and obviously there are boat builders, and the two must be paired up. Look for "Heliport and Helideck Standards and Recommended Practices". The Transport Canada document is TP 2586 but a quick search didn't reveal a copy on-line. I did find a CAA.uk one here: http://www.skybrary.aero/bookshelf/books/2475.pdf for your light reading pleasure. ICAO signatories (which most modern countries are) base their aviation regs & standards on ICAO standards, so you could look for the ICAO Heliport & Helideck Standards & Recommended Practices too.

Your friend could buy a yacht with a helideck--I'm sure Yachtworld.com could help. Or, he'll need an engineering firm working with the yacht builder. As Zanshin mentioned, the nationality of the a/c may have a bearing as well as the nationality of the yacht.
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Old 24-01-2014, 13:55   #11
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

The yacht Nadine owned by Jordan Belfort the real "Wolf of Wall Street" was 170ft and had both a helicopter AND a sea plane. Based on your friend's interests, wouldn't he feel a little restricted if he didn't have the seaplane too?
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Old 24-01-2014, 14:08   #12
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

Robinson???? The guy is a bazzilionare & went with a Robinson? Wow. He might be hard to help.

To answer your question, the glitzy mega-yachts are probably not a good choice. He would probably be better served to buy a former research vessel or a former military vessel & glitz it up to whatever his standards are. The purpose built mega-yachts tend to have limited range & capacity in the areas where he seems to have his needs.
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Old 24-01-2014, 14:13   #13
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

Larry Page, Google co-founder, had this at the America's Cup pier this summer. Sitting next to Jim Clark's 295' "Athena" and Larry Ellison's 2 "boats" it looked like a pickup truck next to a lot full of
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Old 24-01-2014, 14:14   #14
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

"Top Gear" landed a Robinson helicopter on the roof of a moving Skoda Yeti does that help?
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Old 24-01-2014, 14:14   #15
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Re: Helicopters and Motor Yachts

Sorry, like a pickup truck in a parking lot surrounded by Bentleys.
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