A retractable roof from Issey Sun Shade Systems was customised for installation on one of Sydney’s premier cruising vessels to provide protection to guests on board.

The Elite Cruise Company in Sydney offers luxurious harbour cruises aboard its state-of-the-art sailing vessels, the Olympic Storm and the Blue Room. The luxury cruise vessels take guests of weddings, corporate functions, special events and private parties along the majestic Sydney Harbour in style and comfort.

The Elite Cruise Company sought a retractable roof to protect the guests as they enjoyed the open-air environment of the Blue Room cruise. The retractable roof would not only need to shelter the guests year-round in all weather conditions but also require an elegant and chic look to complement the vessel’s sophisticated style.

Issey worked with an expert builder and designer to customise a frame that would act as a support for the overhead shading system and also as a gutter for water runoff, while taking into account the harbour’s high winds and saline environment during the engineering, designing and installation phases.

Two barrel-vaulted fabric tension systems, each measuring 5m x 11m were customised by Issey, with the curved shape allowing for strong tension over five separate deflection bars, ensuring stability in high winds and offering maximum weather protection.

To ensure durability of the structure in the marine environment, Issey fabricated the rollers, pelmets and components from marine grade stainless steel, while the guide tracks were made of anodised aluminium to prevent rusting in the salty air. A blue Ferrari 502 vinyl fabric in the shading system not only offered great all-round protection, but also tied in beautifully with the vessel’s ‘Blue Room’ theme.

Issey’s design and installation techniques meant very little drilling was required and the end result was a stylish, retractable roof that could stand up to the extreme weather prevalent in the Sydney Harbour.