CRP Azipod® is first choice for visionary superyacht Tuhura

A unique yet somehow familiar superyacht concept from a leading yard and design consortium already factors in innovative Contra-rotating Azipod® propulsion from ABB.

 Photo courtesy of Oceanco
Photo courtesy of Oceanco

Tuhura made waves on its launch by Dutch superyacht builder Oceanco at last month’s Dubai International Boat Show 2018. Oceanco’s visionary vessel has been conceived in collaboration with the Lobanov Design Studio, naval architect BMT Nigel Gee and interior designer Achille Salvagni.

The radical new offering is for a 115m yacht bristling with the latest technology but inspired by canoes and dugouts familiar at the dawn of civilization. Its profile evokes the outrigger canoes the Polynesians drove thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean in their legendary voyages of discovery, but the ‘primal form’ is nonetheless envisaged as being propelled by leading edge technology from ABB. 

Translated literally, the Maori verb Tuhura means “to discover, bring to light, unearth, open up, explore, and investigate”, and this is certainly a design for owners imaginative enough to see beyond the boundaries of convention. Contra-rotating Azipod® propulsion has been selected to match what Oceanco describes as the “naturally efficient seakeeping ability with good maneuverability” hull form from BMT Nigel Gee.

Hybrid contra-rotating propulsion includes two propellers on the center line rotating in opposite directions. This arrangement takes advantage of the rotative energy left in the slipstream of the forward propeller, which in the CRP Azipod solution results in an improvement of some 10% in hydrodynamic propulsion efficiency.

Photo courtesy of BMT Nigel Gee
Photo courtesy of BMT Nigel Gee

If Tuhura is in a category of its own, CRP Azipod propulsion has a commercial heritage, having been first selected in 2004 for the 32-knot Shin Nihonkai Ferry Co. RoPax Ferries Akashia and Hamanasu, delivered by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Then the largest and fastest ferries in Japan, these ships were more manoeuvrable than their predecessors while consuming 20% less fuel, with ABB winning a follow up contract for two more Shin Nihonkai fast ferries in 2010.  “The hybrid CRP system is inherently efficient and perfectly suited to the canoe form. There is a synergy between the efficiency of the hull form and that of the propulsion system,” said James Roy, Yacht Design Director at BMT Nigel Gee.

Such a synergy fits with the fact that, below the tatami floors and the brushed teak interiors, and the “primitive organic shapes” that Salvagni describes as running throughout, Tuhura is a state-of-the-art superyacht distinguished by progressive technology. Some, of course, is not so hidden: guest attractions will include a 360-degree cinema and fingertip control over HVAC, lighting, audio and video systems. The “smart boat” also features controls that monitor and respond to preferences such as room temperature and even tastes in music.

Less visible perhaps, but just as critical in terms of synergizing the “ancient” with the ultra-modern will be the CRP Azipod solution, which BMT Nigel Gee’s Roy describes as integral to “a yacht which marries an evolutionary simple hull with an evolutionary advanced propulsion system”.


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