Space technologies on water

Superyachts and space satellites may not seem like they have much in common, but Dutch shipbuilder Royal Huisman's creation called Sea Eagle II will prove that space technologies can be successfully used on Earth.
30 March, 2020
The constructors applied the same concurrent engineering process developed by ESA (European space agency) for space missions to the design of the superyacht, which is due to become the world's largest aluminium sailing yacht when delivered to its owner this spring.
The unique state-of-the-art 81 m-long three-masted schooner has been recently transported by barge from the company's shipyard in Vollenhove to Royal Huisman Amsterdam, where its carbon composite rig will be installed, leaving her ready for sea trials and on-board crew training.

The initial design brief called for a "world cruising, fast, comfortable and iconic looking" yacht. And the shipbuilders definitely succeeded in the creation of that level of quality. Sea Eagle II has been built in aluminium to LY3 standards, with accommodation for up to 12 guests and 13 crew. Key features include a large superyacht sundeck with full flybridge controls, while the sheltered cockpit on the deck below features a bar, sofas and a large al fresco dining area.

"Satellites and superyachts are both complex machines, and concurrent engineering is advantageous in designing any complex system," explains Massimo Bandecchi, founder of ESA's CDF. "The basic idea is simple: bring together all necessary experts and design tools into a single room to work together as a team on a shared software model that updates immediately as changes are made, to assess design feasibility and trade-offs in a much more effective and reliable way.

Stefan Coronel, Royal Huisman's Design and Engineering Manager, received training from Massimo and his team before setting up his own concurrent engineering room: "Yacht building is not rocket science, but it does involve a complex, multi-disciplinary system, with lots of trade-offs to be decided.

"The traditional "over the hedge" design method - where one knowledge field does its work, then throws it across to the next team in sequence - demands the subsequent checking of feedback then possible design adjustments, so is quite a time consuming process. In the modern yard-building world there isn't so much time to spare."

The company's adoption of concurrent engineering, apart from easing the work itself and making it more productive, also meant Sea Eagle II's aluminium panels have had holes and support structures added to them in advance, which allowed to save time in construction and integrate winches and hatches.
Banner image: Boat International