Published: Monday, 24 June 2013
Mike Fulton

Following an eight-month refit project to integrate a helipad and a pool with a movable floor, the 74-metre superyacht Ilona recently left her birthplace, Amels shipyard, for London.

The yacht has been functioning perfectly since her launch in 2004 but the owner wanted a major re-design to accommodate some new ideas. Owner’s representative David McQueen explained: “The owner wanted to have a large swimming pool and a helipad large enough to take his Agusta 109 Grand New helicopter.”

Ilona Completes Major Refit

So last August Ilona returned to Amels, in the Netherlands, for an extensive reworking of both her interior and superstructure.

The below-deck helicopter hangar was removed to make way for the swimming pool with a movable floor, enabling the pool to be replaced by additional deck space depending on the needs of the owner. “With a variable depth floor with maximum depth of 1.5 metres, the 10 x 3-metre pool can be filled with 40,000 litres of sea water, which is then purified through the filtration system. The water can be heated to up to six degrees above that of the original sea water temperature in just one hour,” said McQueen.

Amels managing director Rob Luijendijk commented: “Ilona’s refit was a big project that needed completing in a very short time, but we finished it as promised. Having looked through the original construction plans, we did everything possible to minimize Ilona’s time at the yard. The deck extensions were pre-manufactured in advance. We rose to the engineering challenge of modifying the superstructure so it could handle the maximum takeoff weight of the helicopter, at 3,200kg. It is a great credit to everyone who worked on the refit that it all went so smoothly.”

Ilona Completes Major Refit 1

Captain Kenan Seginer oversaw the work at the Amels Yard and commented: “I really like Amels; they’re very friendly and great to work with. They’ve done a wonderful job with Ilona, and the aftersales team is excellent. The boss is very happy, and any work we need doing in the future, for sure we’ll be going back to Amels again.”