Semi-autonomous hybrid explorers

Wight Shipyard Co has been appointed to develop the fleet of Arksen series vessels Wight Shipyard Co has been appointed to develop the fleet of Arksen series vessels
Industry Database

New company Arksen is developing, building and supporting semi-autonomous, hybrid explorer vessels, responsibly designed from the ground up to have the least impact on the environment and take adventurers to the most inaccessible corners of the world’s oceans.

The UK’s Wight Shipyard Co has been appointed to develop the fleet of Arksen series vessels including the Arksen 70, Arksen 85 and Arksen 100, in a team also comprising fellow south coast businesses Humphreys Yacht Design (exterior) and Design Unlimited (interior).

“Ship building on the Isle of Wight goes back hundreds of years. The Isle of Wight builds the finest aluminium vessels in the world and this explorer yacht range fits perfectly alongside our high-speed ferry building operation,” said Peter Morton, chief executive of Wight Shipyard Co.

The Arksen team first aims to develop a semi-autonomous, hybrid explorer concept vessel. Arksen 85 will be the first in build with tank testing having already begun. The team is hoping for a Summer 2019 start date with a ten-month build schedule.

The green credentials don’t just stop at the beginning and end of the vessel’s lifecycle, they also extend to operations. All future Arksen boat owners must commit to donating 10% of seagoing time to the Arksen Foundation, a non-for-profit organisation set up to provide project funding, facilitate cutting-edge scientific research and create innovative media to inspire a greater understanding of the fragility of the ocean.

Arksen is the brainchild of UK based tech entrepreneur and investor Jasper Smith who, after a career spanning 30 years in the games and tech industry, has expanded and set his sights on the marine industry.

“We are working closely with Wight to design and build vessels to be the best in class in efficiency and fuel economy, as well as understand the procurement process and the supply chain for the components that we use in and during construction to ensure the vessels are fully recyclable at the end of their life,” said Mr Smith.

View a Wight Shipyard Co vessel at Seawork International 2019 on berth VB2.

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