Kiwi engineers design innovative superyacht heli-deck

Kiwi Engineers from the internationally renowned General Marine Services ...

Kiwi engineers design innovative superyacht heli-deck

August 17, 2010

Written by Mike Smith

Kiwi Engineers from the internationally renowned General Marine Services company have created an innovative and stylish new heli-deck for helicopter landings on a visiting superyacht.

The Westhaven, New Zealand, based specialist marine engineering company was asked to help transform the superyacht’s existing heli-deck into one that could also double as an outdoor entertaining area or “party deck”.

General Marine Services logo

General Marine Services logo

While the old steel deck was being replaced with a high-tech composite/teak version, the GMS team used their up-to-the-minute, in-house

AutoCAD design facility to create and then fabricate an innovative fold-down rail to safely enclose the 10-metre-square deck.

This rail had to be both attractively highly polished and very strong and sturdy. It also had to look as though it was a permanent fixture while being able to fold down out of the way quickly and easily and without the need for any tools.

The rail also had to meet stringent safety standards with the hinging/retaining system able to withstand the weight of heavy wall 316 stainless tube in both the up and folded down positions.

The sophisticated GMS rail system also had to be designed to incorporate 316 stainless mounting pads for five powerful outdoor speakers, four very large umbrellas and an array of sun furniture. The rail system also had to incorporate a stairway to the new deck and gates to the rails surrounding the newly-extended dive platform.

While the new fold-down rail system was a challenge to design and build, GMS director Roy Chalton says it was made easier by the company’s on-going commitment to ensure they always have the latest AutoCAD design and fabrication equipment.

“Superyacht owners are always looking for something special, something new, something that no other owner has,” he says. “By their very nature, such things are not available ‘off the shelf’.

“Therefore, when these vessels come to Auckland for a refit, we have to be able to design, build and install whatever they want.

“What’s more, we have to be able to do it quickly, cost-effectively and to a very high standard.”

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