The project was VaVa II – an impressive private yacht. MY Vava II is the 97-metre super yacht commissioned by the Swiss-Italian entrepreneur Ernesto Bertarelli for his British musician wife Kirsty. Built by Devonport Yachts at Plymouth, when constructed she was claimed to be the largest British-built superyacht.
Vava II is powered by four MTU engines, two of 12cyl of 2610 bhp each, and two of 16cyl of 3351 bhp each. Geared to twin screws, they produce a service speed of 18.5 knots. Ecolec’s brief was for a controllable radiant heater to provide warmth and comfort to the owners and their guests while at leisure, whatever the weather. It was to be elliptical in shape comprising of eight manageable sections mounted on the ceiling for installation over a seating area.This type of heating mimics the radiant heat of the sun without the tiresome orange glow of other infrared heaters!
Ecolec had been working hard on the concept of concealed heat emitters – in walls and behind mirrors for some time, and it seemed a small leap of faith to put the heat emitters into the ceiling of this very expensive boat – all £100 million worth of it.These rear deck radiant ceiling heaters were designed within the stringent parameters available on the boat and were for the deck with three sides open.They were designed to provide a surface temperature of 120°C from 10 kW of power with a bespoke control panel.
The success of the design and the installed heaters was total. In a letter sent last year, from Devonport Royal Dockyard to Ecolec, commercial manager Kelvin Alberts said: "Now that the yacht has been delivered
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and hard work during the contract.You can be justifiably proud of your part in the creation of this unique vessel."
A one off? Possibly, but in May 2013, Ecolec received an email from a major yacht consultancy, from a senior designer that had seen the radiant heaters onVaVa 2 for himself and was keen to discuss the possibilities for another major private yacht project. So this one off project could well blossom into other similar opportunities once the naval architects have recognised the opportunities available to them.