Icon Yachts, the Dutch shipyard, has reported progress in the conversion of the offshore rescue and support ship Ocean Ness, originally built by Kleven. The boat, now known as Project Master, is undergoing a transformation with the goal of becoming one of the world’s most impressive explorer yachts within a couple of years from now.  

Read on to find out more about her origins and what the future holds for her design!

Project Master
Image sourced from: Robb Report

Original Vessel

Originally known as Havila Tigris, the tug was initially crafted by Kleven Verft in Norway in 2001. After changing hands in 2007, it was renamed Ocean Ness. Most recently, the vessel operated as part of the Atlantic Offshore Rescue fleet in Aberdeen, Scotland. However, Icon Yachts is set to transform it into one of the most formidable explorer yachts, marking a significant evolution from its previous role as an offshore rescue and support ship.

Image sourced from: SuperyachtNews.com

Beginning Its Conversion

Initially revealed at the Monaco Yacht Show in September 2021, the red-hulled vessel reached Icon Yacht’s drydock facility in Harlingen in 2022. Subsequently, various sections of the ship have been dismantled, and the existing interiors have been removed to make way for replacement – a fresh start for the project team. This conversion marks a significant undertaking for Icon Yachts, representing the first of its kind since the completion of the 68.2m Ragnar in 2020. In addition to stripping the wheelhouse of all equipment for recycling or reuse, Project Master will undergo a technological upgrade to ensure readiness for the next two decades.

Image sourced from: SuperYacht Times

Planned Features & Owner’s Vision

Designed in collaboration with Espen Øino, the project involves a 4m extension for Ocean Ness, bringing the total length to 70m – retaining 95% of the original platform and superstructure. The owner’s vision emphasises a family-oriented vessel suitable for extended voyages and charter. Project Master’s features include:

  • a spacious toy store
  • 42-square-metre expedition area
  • two 11.5m cranes adaptable for launching and recovering submarines and guest tenders
  • a helicopter deck (doubling as an entertainment space) on the top deck, providing over 200 square metres of additional outdoor space

Owner-requested amenities encompass a:

  • jacuzzi
  • spa
  • sauna
  • gym

It will also accommodate:

  • 12 guests across six en suite cabins (including a 140-square-metre owner’s suite)
  • the main saloon with floor-to-ceiling windows on the upper deck
  • two VIP cabins and three twin cabins situated on the main deck
  • an additional 19 crew members once completed
Image sourced from: BOAT International


Originally sold to an experienced superyacht owner seeking extensive travel, the project shifted from contemplating a new build to a conversion project, aligning with the owner’s preferences for facilities and platform. Project Master will feature:

  • hybrid thrusters enabling near-silent cruising at ten knots
  • a propulsion configuration allowing for a full diesel-electric system installation in future
  • a top speed of 14 knots
  • a range exceeding 6,000 nautical miles
Project Master
Image sourced from: BOAT International

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