n SEA Yachting 6.5 (Nov-Dec issue last year) we featured a story on the Heliotrope 65, a fascinating vessel that Bakri Cono is building at its factory at Ocean Marina. During the recent Top of the Gulf Regatta, SEA Yachting popped in to see how things were going with the build.
This yacht, classified as "Category A – Ocean" of the European Recreational Craft Directive carry an EU certification. Overall the yacht is 65ft (almost 20m) long with an 8-metre beam.
The name Heliotrope signifies the sun and when you consider the solar-generated power of this yacht the moniker is well suited. The purposely designed hard rooftop on the flybridge will accommodate more than 40sqm of solar panels. With an industry leading 20% efficiency from the solar panels imported by ASAP Marine, Heliotrope will generate a peak of nearly 5kW of electricity on a good sunny day. Supported by a total of 24V/2000Ah battery banks, this yacht will be perfect for evenings in quiet bays when you don't want a generator to spoil the mood. But when power is needed, a 22kW generator is on board to provide the much needed juice.
The on-board equipment has been selected for optimizing energy consumption for long-term savings. All the electrical systems use the latest C-Zone Electrical Control System from BEP. Not only are there remote control panels, but the system can also be programmed to different schemes that are activated with a simple press of one button. Such as when you go to sleep, press one button and the yacht goes into sleep mode with all non-required systems powered down. Or docking your boat and going ashore, press one button and Heliotrope will shut down all the non-essential systems.
For the lighting on Heliotrope, only top quality LEDs from Hella Marine are being installed for the least amount of energy consumption. Other equipment like fridges can be separately cycled on time control to save more energy.
The Heliotrope 65 design and outfitting is for the ultimate experience at sea; be it for a short weekend or an extended cruise and liveaboard. The boat was designed by Albatross Marine and most of the interior concepts were planned by Bangkok's 760i Interior Designers. While Bakri Cono is building the vessel, the owner made sure there was nothing left to doubt. The 3D image team of Albatross had to create images in the finest details; even the art work the owner wants to place onboard has been incorporated into 3D designs.
Power-wise, this yacht is equipped with two Volvo D9-500 engines (lightcommercial rated), which will reach a comfortable top speed of 22 knots and a cruising speed 12-16 knots. Even with only a single engine working this yacht can still cruise at a comfortable 12 knots. This is ideal when you're on long voyages without a good technician on-hand for repairs. At cruising speed with two engines the four fuel tanks totalling 6,000 litres will ensure a range of more than 2,200 km.
Another first in Asia is the deck material Bakri Cono is using on Heliotrope. All of the exterior deck will be covered by ESTHEC™ from Holland. It looks and feels like teak, but this semi-recycled decking material requires ZERO maintenance and has a life expectancy of 20+ years. Better still, it requires no chemical cleaning, no sanding, and no oiling - nothing but normal water with maybe a bit of soap.
The stern section is ready for almost any activity. The 3.2 metre jetpowered RIB is located in an easy accessible "garage", covered with a large "infinity" sun bed. There's plenty of storage space under the seats, in the backrest, armrests . . . oh and don't forget the dive gear. There are special racks for the BCDs and air tanks, plenty of space and features for the serious or leisure diver.
The construction of the Heliotrope started in March 2011 and expected sea trials are set for March/April 2013. One of the reasons for this long construction time is the intensive details and quality work on the interior of the yacht. The owner is very serious about quality and even the finest detail does not escape attention.
Bakri Cono adopted a system of making temporary moulds from plywood and MDF boards; every piece was designed and CNC cut to near perfection. Bakri Cono had excellent support from Albatross Marine's technical staff. The design files were immaculate, drawings to the smallest
details, 3D imaging files of nearly everything - and the laser cut templates were superb. Everything fitted like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Once all parts of the hull were assembled, Bakri Cono measured the distances with laser measuring tools. Only on the diagonal (left front to right back) did Bakri find a small discrepancy - an error of only 4mm over the total yacht with distance of 19,279 mm!
All of the fiberglass was laid up by hand using LINTEX multi-axle glass. The hull, deck, flybridge, stern section and many other interior parts were all done in separate moulds; when completed they all fitted perfectly during assembly.
The owner is very keen to see the final result. Most of the interior of the Heliotrope is made from honeycomb sandwiched in fiberglass, which is very smooth and covered with various wood veneers. In all, 12 different types of wood were used to enhance optical effects. Southwest Wind
In December 2011, Bakri Cono took on the assignment of repairing problems for another boat that was build two years ago in Pattaya. The Hummer was seven tons overweight, so even in a half-metre swell you experienced a rough ride and heavy slamming on the demihull.
Bakri Cono's initial task was a fibreglass hull modification, but when the boat was taken out of the water the owner realized there was a lot more to do, including installing a whole new electrical system, which is quite intricate, because the owner is an airline pilot. The engines were also changed from sail drive to straight shaft.
Working again with Albatross Marine, Bakri Cono will increase the length of the boat from 42 to 49ft with both aft and bow extensions to increase the waterline.
The boat will be rechristened Southwest Wind and the expected launch date is late 2012 (www.bakricono.com).