The Nautical Structures design philosophy is that
the passerelle is the yacht’s grand entranceway, providing the
owners and guests their first experience with the yacht and the
pending yachting experience. The passerelle must be constructed
in a style and quality commensurate with that of the yacht. The
passerelle must be sturdy and steady while boarding; a guest should
not feel the passerelle deflecting or moving under-feet while
boarding. Once one boards a Nautical Structures’ passerelle the
feeling should be as if one was already on the yacht’s deck. We
understand that for some persons, crossing
over ten to twelve feet of open water is an unnerving experience,
so the passerelle should provide an enhanced level of security
and well-being while boarding. Nautical Structures passerelles
always include rigid hoop-railing systems that will support the
weight of an individual returning from an evening of libations!
Nautical Structures does not manufacture the greatest
number of passerelles, but every year we do produce a few of the
industries’ finest passerelles. Nautical Structures’ passerelles
are manufactured to-order and specific for each project, based
on one of our over twenty-four engineered designs. We offer single
and double-telescoping planks, fold-over and fold-under designs,
with and without additional telescoping plank sections. We have
developed a specialized swimplatform-integrated design that also
deploys as a tender-dock while the vessel is moored offshore.
We have built Passerelles that double as small cranes (PassaCranes),
and have even built a specialized passerelle that deployed from
a box built into the cockpit bulwark of a large cockpit-style
motor yacht. Nautical Structures’ planks are available in three
widths to facilitate the available storage space and the grandeur
of the vessel. We will incorporate unique features such as self-leveling
boarding areas, wheelchair ramps, fiber-optic lighting and custom-styled
rails based on the desires of the client.
Yacht designers and naval architects should consider
the big-picture when specifying a passerelle with their client.
Storage space most dramatically affects the design and cost of
a passerelle. As a rule, the longer the passerelle enclosure,
the less complicated (read less expensive) the passerelle becomes.
As a yacht becomes larger, there is a need for more distance maintained
between the stern of the yacht and the dock when moored. This
results in a longer deployed-length plank requirement, which impacts
the enclosure length requirement. As the passerelle’s enclosure
length is reduced, additional features such as a folding plank,
or a telescoping plank is required. Sometimes both folding and
telescoping features are required to fit a passerelle into a smaller
available storage space. Designers and architects should also
pay attention to the specific needs of the client. Will the yacht
travel the world and have to adapt to a large variety of boarding
situations? Will there ever need to be wheelchair accessibility?
Is the client elderly or obese and require additional boarding
width? Will the vessel use the stern entry and thus use the passerelle
as the primary entry point of the yacht? Answering these types
of questions will ensure that the passerelle is designed adequately
for the intended use of the yacht.
Nautical Structures’ passerelles
are designed and built to be “Plug and Play” type
installations. All of the critical assembly and adjustments are
made in our factory prior to delivery to the shipyard. The most
critical element of the installation is that of the enclosure.
Ours are built watertight, and often will incorporate the hydraulic
transom door-opening mechanism. Compliance with the Mega Yacht
Code for transom door openings is to be considered. Once the shipyard
has installed the enclosure, the passerelle may be inserted into
the opening, and the hydraulic lines routed through the enclosure
and onto the control manifold.
All of the critical service and
maintenance points are located outside of the passerelle’s
enclosure and mounted adjacent to the enclosure in available engineering
spaces. A Nautical Structures passerelle drives itself in and
out of the enclosure without using cylinders, belts or chains.
This feature reduces operational noise and will allow the passerelle
to be pushed into the enclosure without damage in the event the
plank is pulled off of the dock by a tidal surge and then pushed
against the seawall. Typical routine maintenance is liberal freshwater
wash downs after each deployment and periodic lubrication of the
luff and slew points. The teak walking surfaces should be maintained
as one maintains the yacht’s decks.
A brief synopsis of Nautical Structures’
passerelles unique and notable features include:
• Defined deflection criteria,
maintaining a minimal of plank-end deflection when deployed without
wheel support from the dock. This eliminates the uncomfortable
“Diving Board” effect felt in the ones on other planks.
• Self-centering feature
that positions the plank for travel in and out of the enclosure,
without the use of electrical and undependable limit switches,
proximity sensors or PLCs. Our planks utilize a dual-hydraulic-cylinder
configuration that positions the passerelle hydraulically, with
total repeatable accuracy over the life of the passerelle.
• Slew-lock safety feature,
uses hydraulics to eliminate plank-end motion, particularly when
boarding from the side of the passerelle. The plank will not kick-out
from under a person when boarding.
• Hydraulic safety circuits,
which allow the plank to relieve and move when making contact
with any dock structure. This allows the plank to luff up on an
outgoing tide, and the plank to retract into the enclosure in
the event of a plank-end impact with the dock with out structural
damage to the passerelle or the yacht.
• The self-propelled drive
feature which allows the passerelle to drive itself in and out
of the enclosure, quietly, reliably and without the use of toothed-belts
or chain-drives. The lack of a mechanical connection between the
passerelle and the enclosure ensures that the passerelle will
be easily serviced and will prevent structural damage in the event
of plank-end contact with a fixed structure.
• Float-Feature that will
allow the plank to roll on the dock without hydraulic support.
In the event that the plank is pulled off the dock, the plank
will lower at a safe metered rate so as not to injure anyone that
may happen to be on the plank at the time.
• Rigid Hoop-Rail system,
that provides real security when boarding, not the perceived protection
afforded by lifelines that are provided with most of our competitor’s
passerelles. Our handrail system includes a variety of individual
stainless steel telescoping rail sections on ball-joint mounts
in varying lengths that allow for a rigid rail section to be installed
in-between the passerelle’s car section and the rotating
and luffing sections.