Go bigger or go even bigger?
This is the question the owner of the 236-foot Dunya Axioma was asking when trying to decide whether to replace the 2013 build with an even-larger new build or to commission a support yacht. In the past, most yacht owners would have ordered the larger mothership, but after looking at the caliber of support yachts that are available today, Axioma’s owner decided to go that route.
“The option of the supply vessel seemed smarter,” says Anton Farber, director of Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States countries for Yachting Partners International, which manages Axioma for charter. “It’s actually a catamaran with two hulls, and it gives you much more features than a bigger yacht. And it’s cheaper.”
As if that weren’t thinking differently enough, the owner also decided to outfit the 156-foot support yacht Bro with what is a first for the charter industry: shipping containers that can be transformed into pretty much anything charter clients want, should Axioma and Bro not already have it.
“If the charter needs additional features, then the containers will be on board with the features that they need,” Farber says. “If the charter doesn’t need the containers, then they will not be on board. It’s flexible. It becomes open space.”
Adding the containers to the charter program was the owner’s idea, according to the YPI team. It’s a concept taken from trends on land, where containers are being used or repurposed for an increasing (and surprising) number of things. Some people are turning them into gardening spaces. Others are using them either alone or in stacks and rows as emergency and permanent housing, mobile art galleries, and bridges. Designers nowadays are thinking of containers as blank, convertible spaces, which is exactly how Axioma’s owner wants charter clients to think of them too.
“It’s an interesting approach,” Farber says. “Each container can be customized for the needs of the client. It can be used for business meetings. It can be a decompression chamber for diving. It can be used to store additional toys or even cars. It’s anything you can think of. It’s even possible for it to be a spa—it’s just additional space.”
Bro itself will also add significantly to the Axioma charter program when the support yacht is delivered from Turkey’s Dunya shipyard in 2023. The mothership accommodates 12 guests in six staterooms, with 20 crew. Bro, which is being designed by Gregory C. Marshall, will add five staterooms for another 10 guests, with quarters for a dedicated crew.
“What makes her different from other support vessels is that she will be the same level of luxury on board as Axioma,” says Sara Carpenter, senior charter manager at Yachting Partners International. “She might be carrying all of these different water toys, submarines, helicopters, these containers, but inside, there will be five luxury staterooms, a main salon—the usual features that you would see on a superyacht.”
The charter team is talking with current Axioma charter clients about how they would like to see Bro outfitted. Those suggestions will be added to the owner’s plans, which also include four tenders of different sizes (a limo tender, a sport tender, a loading tender for vehicles, and another tender yet to be determined).
Then, with the containers and 8,600 square feet of deck space, Bro can be further outfitted as charter requests arise.
The support yacht will be available on its own at a lowest weekly base rate of about $346,600, in tandem with Axioma at a combined lowest weekly base rate of about $924,000, or in tandem with other charter yachts at package rates to be negotiated with those owners. The available destinations are expected to be the Mediterranean and Caribbean, where Axioma has long chartered on a seasonal basis.
The potential going forward, Carpenter says, is virtually unlimited, as are the desires of today’s charter clients.
“People want to go further afield,” she says. “They want to see things that other people can’t see. They want to go off the beaten track. They want these crazy experiences that aren’t available on charter yachts. They want to bring more guests on their charters. … They come with an entourage. With the support vessel, they can accommodate all of the guests in their party with all the toys they want.”
In recent years, containers formerly thought of for shipping have been converted into everything from temporary hospitals to artist workspaces, laboratories, schools, offices and homes. Swimming pools like this one are yet another idea.
Leading a Future Trend?
Axioma is among the first crewed yachts to add a support yacht to its charter program. Another was the 150-foot Palmer Johnson Vantage, which sold this year to a new owner; that yacht previously chartered with a 180-foot Damen support vessel called Ad-Vantage.
An Extra, Fun Space for the Kids
On land, repurposed shipping containers have been used to create playhouses and children’s centers. Those are the kinds of spaces that even the largest charter yacht typically lacks, and that can be created using containers like the ones aboard Bro, if clients want them.
At 236 feet LOA, Axioma offers a substantial charter experience with or without the forthcoming support yacht. Amenities include an infinity pool, a hot tub with a swim-up bar, an owner’s deck with a private terrace, a 3D cinema for eight guests, a spa, a steam room, a gymnasium and an elevator.
Let the Games Begin
The helipad aboard Bro will be sizable enough that when the copter is gone, the space can be converted for use as a tennis court, basketball court, alfresco cinema, dance floor, open-air Pilates studio, or anything else the charter clients have in mind.
Take the next step: ypiyachts.com