Go-anywhere, do-anything ShadowLark

ShadowCat and Triton Submarines have collaborated on a new concept for a Launch and Recovery Craft (LARC) named ShadowLark.

Written by Jeni Bone

22 March 2022


A collaboration between ShadowCat and Triton Submarines, the ShadowLark concept was unveiled at this year’s Dubai International Boat Show from 8 to 13 March.

Designed by Incat Crowther, ShadowLark comprises a package priced under USD$10 million and estimated delivery in under 14 months, which includes a 24-metre LARC designed to carry a Triton 3300/3 MKII submersible.

The sub is designed to comfortably seat three people (pilot plus two guests) and reach depths of 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) for up to 12 hours.

The ShadowLark concept has been developed as a scalable solution to the logistical challenges associated with launching, recovering, and supporting a submersible weighing up to 12,000 kilograms (26,400 pounds), which requires a stable, protective and spacious at-sea platform.

The efficient platform is proven to fulfil the requirements and is ideally suited to operate independently, support an existing private, research-focused or chartered yacht fleet.


It could also serve as a multi-function package for marine research institutes, documentary film-makers underwater archaeology and surveying missions or add new underwater options to luxury resort excursion packages around the world.

In addition to an increasing volume of private enquiries, Triton reports a significant and growing demand from the non-profit and commercial sectors for submersible charter.

With very few submersible charter opportunities available globally, ShadowLark is anticipated to gain considerable attention as a charter investment.

ShadowLark has an 8.5-metre beam and a draft of 1.5 metres, and includes a dive centre, lounge, galley, bar and storage over three decks.

In addition to a four-person crew capacity, it also offers stowage for a tender, and a pair of jetskis.

“Because all ShadowCat vessels are fully bespoke, this highly capable concept can be constructed as is or can serve as a starting point for a more customised option,” said ShadowCat founder, Robert Smith.

“For example, we can enlarge ShadowLark to house bigger submarines or to make room for additional leisure and entertainment areas.

“As evidenced by award-winning Hodor and recently delivered Wayfinder, ShadowCats are designed to carry the best toys in the world. We are keen to collaborate with submersible industry leader Triton Submarines on the development of this innovative new offering to meet the growing needs of this emerging market.”

Patrick J Lahey, president and cofounder of Triton Submarines said, “Our goal is to make it possible for more people to own, operate and enjoy exploring the ocean from the comfort and safety of a Triton submersible.

“By collaborating with ShadowCat, a company with a demonstrated track record of success in developing commercially-rated support yachts, we are assured of ShadowCat’s efficacy while staying true to the objective of creating an affordable, efficient, safe and entirely practical platform.

“Clients around the world can now enjoy the simplicity, elegance, excitement and safety of exploring the ocean in a Triton submersible supported by a craft that can be operated affordably, but with absolutely no compromises in terms of its capacity to do the job it was built for.

“Triton looks forward to working together with ShadowCat on the creation this remarkable and much-needed craft.”

According to Robert Smith, the concept has already generated solid interest. “Since the launch of the platform and the cooperation between ShadowCat and Triton Submarines at the Dubai International Boat Show, we have attracted substantial interest.

“We are happy with the uptake so far. The package is offered at US$10 million, but the submarine or the carrier can be purchased separately.”

ShadowCat will market the vessel globally and to multiple client bases, as the platform can support commercial operations, luxury residences, estates and resorts, as well as yacht owners.

“As the platform is scalable it can also be designed to meet any mission requirement,” said Smith, adding that the vessel could be built at any one of their approved shipyards in the USA, Europe or the Middle East, depending on and client preference.

“It is not our intention to build a vessel on spec, but should there be sufficient interest it is not out of the question.”

The ShadowCat line of bespoke support yachts was developed and designed by renowned naval architect and catamaran design expert Incat Crowther of Sydney, Australia and yacht industry authority YCTS Ltd.

Established in 2018, the working partnership has successfully completed two bespoke ShadowCat vessels, the award-winning 66-metre Hodor and 68-metre Wayfinder. The vessels are products of respected Spanish shipyard Astilleros Armón, with a third in the ShadowCat vessel in the series due for launch by northern summer 2022.



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