Dutch builder Icon Yachts sea-trials ‘Hull No1’...

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Dutch builder Icon Yachts sea-trials ‘Hull No1’...

Industry News

The 62m motoryacht will be shown publicly for the first time at the ’09 Monaco Yacht Show. Photos: Dick Manshande.

AUGUST 2009

Steered by managing director Wim Koersvelt (right), whose long career had seen him project managing large yacht projects at many of the world’s best yards, the Harlingen-based builder has two more Icon 62 motoryachts in build that make use of the same ‘optimised’ 62-75m (203-246ft) technical platform and modular approach to technical systems fit-out. The approach is said to deliver huge benefits for both owners and the yard. Making technically identical boats cuts considerable time and cost from the build. By Icon 62 No5 – although note Nos4&5 aren’t yet sold – Koersvelt says he is confident his yard’s approach will have reduced ‘man-hours aboard’ by some 20-25 per cent thanks to what he calls pre-engineering; he says ultimately it means Dutch quality can be delivered at keener prices.
Certainly the Icon 62 platform is put together rather differently.
For instance, note Icon bolts and bonds (Chockfast Orange) its superstructures to the hulls; it chooses not to weld together the steel hull and aluminium superstructures using STJ (structural transition joint) strips. Koersvelt believes this way is both quicker and better.
Certainly the modular approach Icon Yachts takes to fit-out is more extreme than any other yard. For example, there are the just 21 self-contained machinery modules that make up the Icon 62’s engine-room; each one pre-assembled and tested off the boats and then installed in just one day. And similar system modules are incorporated all over, including the galleys.
Beyond the technical, owners get to choose there own stylists. Hull Nos 1&2 sport exteriors drawn by Redman Whiteley Dixon and No3 has a Tim Heywood exterior. And each has a different interior designer, although all three owners of the first Icon 62s have opted for the same ‘master duplex suite’ arrangements.
Beyond present work in progress, which includes Icon 62 Nos 2&3, Icon Yachts has been working up several other platform sizes that make use of the same principals. Most of the preliminary design work for an Icon 80+ (262ft+) and 95+ (312ft+) platforms have already been done, but the former commercial shipbuilding yard could conceivably cope with new-builds from as small as 50m (164ft) and up to 135m (443ft). Not only Redman Whiteley Dixon and Tim Heywood have thus far presented concepts, but also the likes of Bannenberg & Rowell, Don Starkey, Ed Dubois, Martin Francis, Guido de Groot, Filippo Rossi, H2, Ward Setzer, Adam Lay and Sabdes; and a few other confidential schemes are said to have been worked up for particular prospective clients.
Icon Yachts presently has 140 direct employees, but there would usually be getting on for 300 on site with all subcontractors involved.
Despite its modular approach the yard can also be flexible. It is currently finishing a 40m motoryacht project that was started at a German yard that got into trouble.
The Icon 62 No2 (bottom) is well progressed.

For more, www.iconyachts.eu and www.rwd.co.uk.

© Phil Draper