Austrian-Italian shipyard Dominator has joined the hull and superstructure of its new llumen. The company invited Superyacht Business as part of a selected group of international press to an exclusive presentation at its production site in Fano, Italy, and revealed the technical and construction processes the shipyard has chosen for this model, which the yard claims is set to be a game-changer.

Originally conceived as the Ilumen 26, the all-new yacht, thanks to the beach platform, was now presented as the Ilumen 28, the first of the Ilumen series that will comprise a 28m, 32m and 36m. The range is designed by Alberto Mancini in collaboration with the Dominator technical office and the engineers of Navalhead headed up by Andrea Agrusta.

The team developed Ilumen’s innovative engineering and what Dominator claims is a ground-breaking structural layout and High Performance Hull.

The yacht showcased in Fano is hull#3 of the 28m model and she is scheduled to be launched in December this year.

“I think she is going to be the first to touch the water,” said Dominator owner August Pernsteiner. “The second is for a European customer. It will have a hybrid propulsion system so will take a little longer to develop. The owner of this yacht has kindly let us use the boat to showcase the Ilumen in Monte Carlo and other superyacht shows in Europe as well as in the US,” he told SB.

He continued: “We appreciate the agreement with the owner because it allows us to showcase what we have done. We have opted to use a different approach for the construction of the Ilumen – it is a game-changer for the boatbuilding industry. Being lightweight it will bring benefits regards fuel consumption, comfort and safety.”

L-R: Alberto Mancini, August Pernsteiner, Angela Pernsteiner, Andrea Agrusta, Salvatore Chiappetta

L-R: Alberto Mancini, August Pernsteiner, Angela Pernsteiner, Andrea Agrusta, Salvatore Chiappetta

Superyacht construction
“From the outset we used a rational design approach typical of big ship or military vessel design,” explains head of engineering and hydrodynamics Andrea Agrusta.

The yacht was completely modelled in 3D. The Dominator High Performance Hull (HPH) is a robust, resilient, hard-chine hull with a blade bulbous bow.

As well as the hull reinforcements, the superstructure and hard top of the Ilumen are built in full carbonfibre and epoxy resin for an optimal combination of strength, reduced weight and increased sea-keeping properties. The vacuum lamination of the hull and superstructure, the installation of the carbon stringers as well as main bulkheads took six months.

“We’ve opted for a technology used in superyacht construction, beginning with a primer and subsequently the filler cycle followed by a coat of paint,” Agrusta explained.

As a result, the shipyard has achieved 50% reduction in weight for the hull and superstructure combined. “Generally, the weight of a structure and hull of a yacht of this size built in fibreglass is 40 tonnes, however the weight of the hull and superstructure combined is 20 tonnes,” August Pernsteiner revealed to SB.

Another industry-first in this size of yachts is the use of integral tanks on the hull. “Until now you find in the market boats with a maximum of six tanks on the hull, but our Ilumen features 32 interconnected tanks. The gravity centre is outstandingly low. It’s the best of the best,” Pernsteiner explained. One of Pernsteiner’s driving motives in developing Ilumen was to have a yacht that is practically unsinkable.

Andrea Agrusta explained: “We have opted for an structural floor and integral tanks in the bottom for several reasons. We can control the balance centre and trim of the boat. Because the integral tanks are exactly in the floating centre the boat doesn’t change the trim.

In addition, in case of grounding, water would hardly never enter the yacht. “This solution is like having a yacht that acts like a round-bottomed doll, tilting doll. In addition to the structural tanks the boat is equipped with a gyro stabilizer for maximum comfort,” Pernsteiner added.

Superyacht Business attended an exclusive presentation of the new model at Dominator Fano facility

Superyacht Business attended an exclusive presentation of the new model at Dominator Fano facility

On water performance
Perhaps one of the most striking features of the new Ilumen is the bulbous bow. “It’s not fat like the traditional ones,” explained Agrusta. “It was designed so that the hull is a perfect combination between a displacement and planing yacht.”

The Ilumen 28 can be used in fact in both ‘modes’ as a displacement or planing craft, but for the most part is happy sailing in the ‘transition’ stage between the two.

“In the lower part of this area, close to displacement, the hull is under water and the function of the bulbous bow is mainly to create a counter-phase wake, in order to reduce the wave resistance of the yacht. In the upper part of the transition phase, close to planing, the hull is lifted by pressure and a part of the bulbous bow will come out of the water.

“The special shape of this bulbous bow allows it to easily cut the waves without the typical ‘handbrake effect of a traditional ‘fat’ bulbous; it acts like a ‘support’ both in semi-displacement and semi-planing mode, working together with the duck-tail in the stern, in order to ensure a perfect and small longitudinal trim angle in all the range of speeds,” Agrusta concluded.

The two versions are available both with traditional shaft systems and Reintjes POD propulsion.

The semi-displacement model is equipped with two MAN V8-1200, 1200HP/each, with Reintjes maximum speed of 21ks and cruising speed 15ks. With shafts maximum speed is 19ks and cruising 14ks.

The semi-planing model is fitted with two MAN V12-1800, 1800HP/each, with Reintjes maximum speed of 28kn and cruising speed 23kn. With shafts maximum speed 26kn and cruising 21ks.

Hull #3 of the 28m model and she is scheduled to be launched in December this year

Hull #3 of the 28m model is scheduled to be launched in December this year

International partnership
The entire technical Dominator Ilumen team that worked on the development of this project attended the press event.

Angela Pernsteiner, Dominator Ilumen managing partner told SB that in addition to the technical team the Ilumen is the result of a collaboration with leading global equipment manufacturers.

“German company Reintjes contributed to develop the perfect propulsion system for the Dominator HPH. Our engineers were meeting several times and were in close contact together with the Reintjes engineers.

“Furthermore, the English company CJR was another important part of the team. They joined forces together with our Ilumen and Reintjes to develop perfectly matching twisted rudders and counter rotating propellers.

“Engine manufacturer MAN was on board too. Its MAN 1200 hp will ensure the adequate performance of the overall Ilumen propulsion system on the semi-displacement hull.

“Completing the propulsion train, German company Vulkan Couplings was appointed to develop elastic couplings and resilient mounts to match severe requirement of low vibration transmission.

“A close cooperation with Seakeeper for the gyros and with Humphree for the interceptors was important to find an efficient combination of stabilization systems for the new llumen,” she concludes.