Predator heads for the high seas

All too often new additions to the global luxury motoryacht fleet are described as revolutionary breakthroughs, claims that are justified in terms of size, technology or new heights of splendor. A truly radical shift in thinking is much rarer, however… And the phenomenal new 72.80 meter Feadship Predator might just fit the billing.
During the launch ceremony at the Koninklijke De Vries yard in Aalsmeer (NL) on 5 January 2008, all eyes were on Predator’s sensational reverse bow. This bow forms part of the aggressive new styling brief at the core of the client’s wish-list.
‘The owner arrived at the yard in late 2004 with a request that we partner on something different than anything else afloat,’ comments Henk de Vries. ‘Together with De Voogt Naval Architects and Bannenberg Designs (interior), we have created a super-sleek and highly sophisticated yacht that is genuinely innovative.’
The bow is far more than a styling element alone. Its unconventional shape is designed to slice through the waves and help Predator attain a top speed over 25 knots, an astonishing feat for a yacht of this magnitude. Other speed-related features of the project include the low weight combined with the great strength of a longitudinal-framed steel hull, which was achieved by the most stringent weight-watching program. Four MTU diesels offered a fearsome combined power in excess of 23,000 horsepower.
At 3.70 meters, Predator is also the deepest yacht ever built at De Vries. This exceptional draft meant that she had to be launched on a floating dock (on loan from Feadship partner Royal Van Lent) for transfer to Rotterdam. Here the giant controllable pitch propellers and the yacht’s rudders and stabilizer fins were added. Once sea trials have been completed, the gray-colored protective Awlgrip coating will be removed to reveal a dramatic shiny blue hull.
‘Building Predator has been the greatest experience of my yachting career,’ commented build captainGreg Drewes at the launch ceremony. ‘Everyone at De Vries has been dedicated to making this the finest Feadship ever and it was a real pleasure to come into the yard every day. I cannot imagine how Predator could be any better and I can’t wait to drive her!’