Gerard Dykstra teams up with Vitters to create a humanitarian “mothership” for the US & Fiji based charity Sea Mercy
Naval Architect Gerard Dykstra, famous for his iconic yachts and sailing ships, has teamed up with Award Winning Superyacht Builders Vitters (Aquio 2017) to create a humanitarian “mothership” for the US & Fiji based charity Sea Mercy, the company said in its press release.
Combining the talent of two of the SuperYacht industry’s most prestigious companies, the Sea Bridge One project has taken the designer and builders “off piste” – away from their usual luxury brief and into a totally different scope of requirements. Sea Bridge One has a different brief altogether.
The idea for the new ship formed in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston, a category 5 storm that devastated Fiji in 2016. Sea Mercy, operating with private cruising vessels, provided emergency relief to thousands of people in many communities in the immediate aftermath and up to 5 months after. Due solely to the generous volunteer efforts of cruising vessels in the area, Sea Mercy was able to restore essential services such as clean drinking water and solar power, and bring medical supplies and building materials to these remote and often ignored areas.
Sea Mercy goes where others cannot. Cruising sailors can access areas where local Governments have neither resources nor vessels to access. Importantly, many of these communities live within atolls with narrow or shallow entries, and without major harbours or jetties for land access. Limitations arose with sailors’ lack of capacity to ship large amounts of heavy supplies across seas, often upwind and loaded to the max. Multiple journeys were taxing vessels and crews alike. The idea for a sustainable, shallow, strong mothership was born. Sea Mercy volunteer and superyacht veteran Patrick Whetter approached Dykstra and Hamming and the benevolent agreement was struck.
Plans are now drawn and shipyards soon to be shortlisted. Sea Mercy is now in the final fund raising stage to finance the construction of this unique vessel.