With the advent of the modern sectional method of building hulls, the birth of a ship does not always begin with a keel, but the tradition of its laying is still stronger than progress. At the end of February this year, in one of the dry docks of the German Naval Yards Kiel, you could see several dozen people who came from different parts of Europe to join the laying ceremony for the keel of the Nobiskrug 793 project. Engineers, designers, shipyard employees, customer representatives – each one He was keen to share his emotions with appreciable enthusiasm and to tell about his personal and team contribution to the fact that he had not yet gone beyond the section under the code “B20”.
This huge steel structure with a fragment of a keel, like a feather on the waves, swayed above the concrete floor on the web of cables of a cyclopean gantry crane. The atmosphere clearly felt the excitement and solemnity of the moment, increasing as the corresponding props appeared on the scene: a mortgage board with the name of the project, shipyard, customer and date of laying; commemorative coin; Eight nails according to the number of guests of honor and the contents of the “time capsule” are symbolic objects connected with this significant day, which the owner of the future vessel places in a small compartment equipped inside the keel.
The welcome speeches were replaced by the performance of the ritual, the roots of which go back centuries and lacked, perhaps, only an orchestra that would fill the inside of the dock with music. However, even without that guests instantly captured communication, the blessing of the topics for discussion was the sea. After all, this historical event is only the beginning of a long journey that all those who design, build and are going to exploit a unique motor yacht called Black Shark have to go.
Holger Kahl, Managing Director of Nobiskrug:
In the fall of 2017, Yevgeny Kochman called us and said that we should immediately arrive in Moscow, since he has a serious client who wants to build a unique yacht. We in Nobiskrug love this question, and already at an exhibition in Monaco an agreement of intent was signed, and in November a contract for the construction of this fantastic yacht. Scientists are still discussing whether prehistoric animal species unknown to mankind survived in the depths of the World Ocean. I talked to our neighbors from the world-famous Kiel Center for Oceanic Research named Geimholtz (GEOMAR), where there are experts on sharks, and I was told that one of these legendary creatures is named Megalodon. For the first time, these giant fossil sharks, eating up a ton of fish per day, were described in 1843, and there are suggestions that they still exist.
Holger Kahl (left), Nick Flashman (right) and other project participants at the keel laying ceremony
I believe that there is no longer any need to look for the megalodon, since very soon a real “black shark” will appear – a strong, beautiful and high-tech superyacht, which will plow the oceans. It will be Nobiskrug’s next masterpiece, and its impressive name Black Shark, chosen by the owner, accurately reflects the strength, power and respect that the shipyard team will put into its creation.
Andrew Vinc, designer, founder of Winch Design:
This is the first joint project of Winch Design and Imperial Yachts, although our cooperation began a long time ago: together we created many interesting concepts and built good working relationships. The task of the brokerage company is not only to provide the client with trouble-free construction of the yacht on time and within the agreed budget, but as accurately as possible to interpret his wishes to designers and shipyards, which is not as easy in the case of different languages and cultures as it may seem.
When we started work on this project, he was not yet associated with the image of a shark. The initial requirements consisted only in the fact that the customer simply wants to get a boat with a unique exterior. Our task was to develop a yacht that looks like a vessel with a relatively small capacity from the outside, but in fact the volume of the internal space is relatively large. Therefore, we created a visually lightweight yacht with elegant sleek shapes, producing a lay-out on a computer, because a serious design bureau should not only provide sketches, but also form a theoretical drawing of the ship.
Designers, customer representatives and shipyards at the first section of the vessel
The shape of the shark’s body is perfectly thought out by nature, and it was the customer who noticed this in the emerging project, saying: “This is a black shark! This is exactly what I need! Maybe add a dorsal fin? “
Thus, the client became part of the design team, which, in my opinion, is very important. As soon as this general concept was defined, he asked not to change it again, so as not to spoil it, and then we continued to work on the details, including the position and shape of the fin. The latter, by the way, will be highlighted in the dark, and this is another feature of the yacht. In order to keep the fin as narrow as possible, exhaust pipes were removed from it, which on this vessel leave in another place.
The hull itself will most likely be dull black, the superstructure is also planned to be black, but already glossy and with dark glazing, because sharks have no windows. Now we are discussing these nuances, as well as thinking how to give the body maximum resemblance to shark skin, which has many small tails directed towards the tail. By the way, gill slits, of which there are several sharks, will also be reflected in the style of the yacht. Please note that the Black Shark is not like a hammerhead and a whale shark, but rather a fast-paced big white in black. Already in the first sketches, the ship had a vertical stem, and later we made it even more aggressive by slightly filling the stern.
At Nobiskrug, the technical platform of this length was already ready, but it was substantially refined to suit the requirements of Black Shark’s customer, making it essentially unique. The most important change concerns the decks: the bottom one is raised so that the “beach club” is on the same level as the swimming platform. The advantage of this solution is that the “beach club” of this format is not just a “room in the stern” or “refined storeroom”, but a very special area where you literally sink into the transom.
And we tried to make sure that, using the “beach”, the guests received the maximum pleasure, swimming or sunbathing. Accordingly, all the other decks were also above average, so the yacht will dominate over the other boats in marines, not only because of its appearance.
In addition, we customized the original layouts. Onboard eight cabins are provided (six guest, “master” and VIP), while the vessel will be certified according to the requirements of MCA. It is noteworthy that with a significant internal volume from the outside it does not look like a cake.
Sander Sino, designer, founder of Sinot Design:
The customer decided that the exterior and interior design will create different studios, and this, by the way, is our first experience of cooperation not only with Nobiskrug, but also with Winch Design. It is always interesting to observe how in one project teams merge with different methodological approaches to design. At the beginning of the process of creating interiors, we use active software visualization so that the customer can better understand and feel the result, while in the next stages we are already working with the layouts. In general, we use 3D a lot, not only for the presentation of our ideas, but also directly for creating interiors. Already a month after the start of work, the client can see what his yacht will be from the inside: we use HTC glasses with customized software that allow us to demonstrate a virtual layout, while the visualization is quite truthful and the parameters of the rooms correspond to the real ones.
CNC machine for plasma cutting of metal in action
The interior of the Black Shark will definitely be distinguishable from others, and this is perhaps its best feature. The shark is a dynamic animal, so the interior will be the same in a modern style: the yacht is dark outside and all light inside, bright and even bright, but with dark accents. We will not overload the decoration of the premises with an abundance of materials, because we believe that this makes the interior too flashy, but we plan to use very complex and unrelated materials from which we will create special details.
For example, we use a number of elements printed on a 3D printer. Since the main theme of the interior – the black shark – also implies concern for the environment, using natural shark skin would be wrong, so we came up with printed patterns with a texture that repeats the texture of a real shark skin magnified under a microscope.
We conducted a series of tests to find the optimal height of three-dimensional elements on the surface to provide the best visual effect, and now we are discussing this with potential interior manufacturers. In addition, innovative light sources will be used at Black Shark to emphasize this texture. Thanks to the transitions of materials on the ceiling, we will create a pronounced day and evening “mood”, tied to a combination of natural and artificial lighting. This will provide a different perception depending on the time of day and angle of view.
As for the lighting design itself, in our team of 50 people there are experts on this topic, and we try to design the lighting with our own resources. This does not mean that we do not want to cooperate with other companies: lighting is an important part of the interior, and, according to our philosophy, all of this must be created together to get the perfect result. And when different people make the interior in parts in different companies, it is difficult for them to observe a unified approach.
Zlatko Imamovich, designer Sinot Design:
The topic of a shark in yachting is not new, but we looked at this animal under a microscope, appreciated its movement through the water and transmitted the three-dimensional wave effect it creates in marble. This is not at all the same thing as, for example, making door handles in the form of fins: it lies below the threshold of conscious perception. The presence of bright features is always a plus, but if they do not work together, the design falls apart. And our goal is to find the harmony of form and function, which, in fact, is implied by the word “design”.
We initially discussed the layouts of the decks with the shipyard and Winch Design: they gave us the opportunity to optimize them so that the interiors fit perfectly and the design theme fits perfectly with the premises. An on-board elevator with transparent glass walls will be installed, and a staircase will cover it, the steps of which are fixed only from the side of the bulkheads. That is, the staircase will not be “linked” to the elevator, and this is one of the “tricks” of the Black Shark interiors. The steps will acquire a dynamic shape, tapering to the cantilever side, where their thickness will be only 25 mm. Combining a steel base, composite shell, natural leather and bronze in them is not an easy engineering task. In general, the interior will be unique and intricate, but not kitschy and not caricatured.
The tests of the Black Shark scale model were carried out in Hamburg, in the HSVA test basin, where special attention was paid to tests of the hull’s navigable qualities with a backward slope of the stem, as well as the intensity of spray formation in the bow in different driving modes. Thanks to the optimal hull lines and fin dampers, the Zero Speed pitching aboard the yacht will be comfortable even at maximum speed, which will be 16-17 knots.
Now the interaction between all participants in the project is going very smoothly. The customer is also deeply involved in the work and enthusiastically delves into every detail, since he is familiar with many things from his previous experience of owning yachts. There is a strong flow of positive energy around Black Shark, and this affects the results, at least on ours – for sure: the design is ready, you can start production, and I do not foresee any difficulties in its implementation. We have already begun the selection of art objects for interior decoration, they will be collected from around the world and are also associated with sharks. However, this connection will be traced not in the obvious, but in a much more subtle way — no giant jaws!
Nick Flashman, project manager for Imperial Yachts:
In any of the original specifications of the vessel there are always “gray areas”, and our task is to clarify them as thoroughly as possible. Not only the customer benefits from this, but also the shipyard, because the specifications can be interpreted in completely different ways. Many large yachts are generally built without the direct participation of the owner, who climbs aboard only on the day the boat is handed over. Fortunately, in the case of Black Shark, the situation is absolutely the opposite: we regularly have working meetings with the customer, in which he takes part with great enthusiasm, and for me as a project manager, such teamwork is extremely important. Every day, six to eight of our employees supervise the activities of the shipyard and its contractors, and the fact that we have already worked together before is very helpful: we know each other, we confess the same approach and philosophy, and this is worth a lot.
Over the past decade, I took part in the construction of several superyachts and witnessed how the company built a serious reputation in terms of quality supervision. Perhaps this was partly the reason why the customer allowed to publish the main stages of the construction of the vessel. As far as I know, this is the first such case for a boat of such length. I think people, especially future owners, should learn more about superyachts, because these are not just beautiful cars for traveling around the world or expensive toys of billionaires. For each yacht there is a long, painstaking and passionate work aimed at the realization of someone’s dream, someone’s vision. And we are very glad that we can show what is happening behind the scenes – these thousands of hours of work of people seeking to make the impossible possible. I think others too will follow this example, and I am proud that Imperial Yachts and Nobiskrug were the first!
Evgeny Kochman, founder of Imperial Yachts:
We respect and respect the principles of confidentiality, but in this case, with the permission of the customer, we can show the key stages of the construction of a superyacht. This is an excellent opportunity to observe how industry leaders create a unique vessel of such dimensions.
The shipyard selection was a long process, and Nobiskrug won thanks to its modern production facilities and balanced pricing policy. In addition, we trust Nobiskrug and know that the company is financially stable and has the highest management and manufacturing skills. I first met the managing director of the shipyard Holger Kahl in 2011, and a year later we signed a contract to complete the construction of the Flying Fox yacht. I was very impressed with the level of work of Nobiskrug, and when that boat was handed over to the owner, I promised Holger that we would return. And here we are again. In the industry, they know that Imperial Yachts always consistently defends the interests of its customers and never makes a deal if it is not 100% sure that this is the best option for the customer.
Yevgeny Kochman, founder of Imperial Yachts, which represents the customer of Black Shark and supervises the construction of the vessel
It is a great honor for us to work with Andrew Vinches, the “Professor” of yacht design. His studio has created a yacht that really stands out. We also work with great inspiration on this project with Sunder Sino and his talented designers: first we discussed a lot on paper, and now we finally build our first yacht together. I want to thank all the staff of Nobiskrug who will work without interruption to bring this project to life. We appreciate your work and dedication. I am sure this incredible yacht will be awarded more than once!
Full speed ahead!
At the time of the keel laying ceremony, 15 months had passed since the beginning of work on the Black Shark project and 3 months directly from the start of production. While the shipyard builds and connects the modules of the future ship, designers and designers continue to improve the details and proportions of individual elements, and this process will not stop until the launch of the yacht.
Being one of the oldest and most respected German shipyards, Nobiskrug has been a part of German Naval Yards holding since 2009 and has serious production facilities. Possessing vast experience in the design and construction of commercial and military vessels, the company has been carrying out a full production cycle and has been a prominent player in the superyacht market for 20 years thanks to the high quality of its products. The Black Shark yacht is not built at the main site of Nobiskrug in Rendsburg, but at Kiel, in the giant dry docks of the German Naval Yards Kiel (426 and 240 m), where one of the largest 900 gantry cranes in Europe is installed. The total area of the shipyard exceeds 250,000 sq. m, and the construction of ships is carried out in Germany adopted a modular (sectional) method.