A GAMES and tech tycoon has assembled a crew of Hampshire experts to launch a new marine project.

Arksen, a range of explorer vessels, launched at the Dusseldorf Boat Show, is the brainchild of Jasper Smith, who brings knowledge from a 30-year career in the games and tech industry, including companies such as PlayJam, Fantastic Corp, Vala Capital, Optimistic, PlayStack and PlayWorks.

Behind Arksen is a team of Solent-based partners including Humphreys Yacht Design (Lymington), Wight Shipyard Company (Cowes, Isle of Wight), Design Unlimited (Fareham) and Waterline Media (Hamble).

“Designed for explorers and made for adventure” is how Arksen describe their vessels – the Arksen 70, Arksen 85 and Arksen 100 – which range in size from 20 to 30m and are designed to be manned by minimal crew.

The vessels can be superyachts for leisure or used for commercial or research purposes. All have extensive solar capabilities and exceptional range – the Arksen 85 offers 6,000-plus miles of cruising on a single tank of fuel.

The company says it is working towards semi and fully-autonomous vessels and in the future yachts could be delivered to a destination at a given time, helmed by Arksen Mission Control.

Jasper said: “We set out to create a great company; one that could have a profound impact on the lives of the owners of our vessels and that could actively contribute to a better understanding of the oceans.

“By building offshore vessels that are designed to withstand the harshest ocean conditions and that incorporate autonomy, hybrid propulsion and ‘always on’ critical systems monitoring, we are at the forefront of a revolution, pioneering technologies that will become the foundation of the future marine industry.”

Launched alongside the yachts are the Arksen Foundation and the Arksen Explorers’ Club.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, set up to provide fund and promote research into the ocean ecosystem and Arksen will organise expeditions around the world through the ‘Explorers’ Club’

Jasper concluded: “Ultimately, Arksen is about delivering the very best machines for ocean adventure that money can buy, supporting them and giving our community of owners, scientists and conservationists the confidence to use our vessels to their full potential.

“Our collective futures will depend on our ability to understand, protect and save our oceans for future generations, and I know that sailors who are inspired to own an Arksen vessel will embrace our ethics and approach.”