|J.K. Smits’ Seawolfe— By Diane M. Byrne
— August 2003
|Part 2: The engines are also the picture of efficiency, delivering the full horsepower while turning just 240 rpm.|
And while it’s not uncommon for an owner to have engines thoroughly examined as part of a refit, imagine the size of the pistons that were reconditioned and the rings that were replaced for the green 1,500-hp engines, in-line six-cylinder Smit-Man RB666s that date back to 1957 and are literally as big as trucks. In fact, they’re so massive that a stairwell and raised platform between them are necessary so crew can access maintenance points. The engines are also the picture of efficiency, delivering the full horsepower while turning just 240 rpm. Seawolfe sees about a 15-knot top speed, but throttled back to about 180 rpm, she achieves a cruise speed of 11 knots, with an extraordinary range of 16,000 miles (on an equally extraordinary 62,000 gallons of fuel).
Because commercial vessels typically have greater interior volume than purpose-built yachts, Seawolfe’s below-deck area easily accommodated new gensets and an air-conditioning system that Clyde did not feature. But how many yachts have you seen that have these units housed in their own spaces? Two Caterpillar 3306s (165 kW each) serve as the main gensets, while nighttime power comes from a single Caterpillar 3304 (85 kW). As for the air conditioning, suffice it to say that the Heinen & Hopman system puts out 85 tons—that’s 1,020,000 Btus, enough to keep the owner’s deck, the main deck, and the crew deck comfortable.
Back up a minute—what’s this about an owner’s deck? Located one level down from the sundeck, the entire enclosure forward of the helipad is devoted to the owner’s privacy. Besides the customary bedroom suite featuring a dressing room and marble-lined bath, there’s also an office (itself the size of a stateroom onboard some megayachts), plus a combination living and dining room serviced by a small pantry (a dumbwaiter connects it to the main-deck galley). White lacquered panels are interspersed with satin-finished cherry, giving the private domain a classically nautical look. While the majority of this decor work was created by artisans in Italy and shipped to Astilleros Palma for installation, some final-touch finishing work was also completed at Izar, another Spanish shipyard, in 2002.
The same decor carries on throughout the main deck, where you’ll find yet another example of space planning that sets Seawolfe apart from other megayachts. Instead of featuring a saloon that’s separate from a formal dining room, Seawolfe combines the two. She also does it in a different way than you’d expect, with the dining room to port, not forward, as is common on many private vessels. The fact that the rooms share the same floor space could have resulted in a cavernous feeling or, if the large seating areas were extended right up to the dining table, the need for guests to sidestep stewardesses readying place settings for up to 20 people. Instead, the spaces are separated by a floor-to-ceiling entertainment console crafted of beautifully matched cherry.
Because the massive engines occupy nearly half of the lower deck and there is expansive space available on the main deck, the five guest staterooms are forward of the galley. Fully forward is the full-beam VIP suite, and the remaining four rooms—two twins and two doubles—all afford plenty of room to walk around. Should anyone be invited aboard for a global expedition, the abundance of drawers would be able to hold all the clothes they could possibly pack (and even buy along the way). Archways with columns inside the doors create a grand frame for the entries.
Even though Clyde’s sloping decks were preserved, the exterior decks were covered with teak, particularly unusual for an expedition yacht. From the small sundeck nestled at the base of the mast down three levels to the main deck, there’s literally thousands of feet of teak. Even with things like alfresco dining areas and a bar occupying some of the exterior, there’s still more than 300 square feet of deck devoted to large tenders and equipment.
While Seawolfe is a lot more likely to be towing one of those tenders these days than an aircraft carrier, she’s nonetheless still as tough as nails. In another way, her owner and Moussa are keeping her past alive—Moussa collaborated with the Dutch tug museum to translate some of the original ship’s logs. Perhaps soon a new owner (she’s jointly offered for sale through Camper & Nicholsons and International Yacht Collection for $18 million) will add another page to her legendary history.
This article originally appeared in the July 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.