Consistency in high-quality design pays off. At René van der Velden Yacht Design we see it as the only way to keep the attention of demanding clients, especially in financially troubled times. This positive approach allowed us even to secure a number of new, interesting projects during the past difficult year.
A few weeks ago, in fact, we saw a sudden increase of serious enquiries from shipyards and private clients. It is too early to say if this is the effect of the Mediterranean summer season’s approach, or if it marks a more lasting turnaround for the yachting community. In any case, we hope this new upbeat mood is not limited to our studio, and that our worthy colleagues are experiencing the same trend, so we can all concentrate again on what we’re good at: designing and building fine yachts.
Proof of the ‘quality pays off’ principle is the fact that we are collaborating again with Moonen Shipyards on a highly interesting, ‘largest-ever Moonen’ for a repeat client.
The Moonen 133 will be greater than the sum of her parts! Beneath her typical yacht exterior, she is a full-blooded long-range explorer, carrying more toys than many of her more boldly styled, larger competitors: besides two tenders and three jet skis, she’ll carry a submarine on her aft platform. On the bridge deck she features a multifunctional gym/guest cabin. Including the owners’ suite and four lower-deck guest cabins, she can accommodate up to twelve. The bridge deck is configured for an open-air lounge, a feature increasingly requested by clients for larger Moonen yachts.
These days more owners choose to anchor out, rather than seek a berth in a crowded marina that requires much advanced planning. With proper stabilization -designed for at-rest conditions and efficiently engineered for low drag under way- marina berthing is no longer necessary: one can sleep tranquilly at anchor, without losing much performance at sea.
At-rest stabilizing, generally achieved by movable fins, has become increasingly important. However, choosing the right system is not always straightforward. Stabilizer suppliers work with different calculation methods, which results in fin designs that can differ in size by as much as 100% for the same hull. It is not always clear how these parameters are derived. Also, we have found that some suppliers have limited knowledge of naval architecture and the critical interaction among appendages. Fortunately, at René van der Velden Yacht Design we have that knowledge, and the experience to select the optimum stabilizers for any hull. Some manufacturers also make the effort to cooperate with naval architects, and are more transparent about their calculations, which makes things easier for us and improves a client’s trust in the product.
Icon Yachts of Holland, established only a few years ago, have very quickly made a name for themselves with a pre-engineered platform system that creates yachts in a cost-effective way. Their first delivery, a 62-meter motoryacht, impressed everyone during the 2009 Monaco show, and gained them credibility among superyacht builders.
We were honoured when, late in 2009, they invited us to develop a design based on their new 53-meter platform. On this platform only the functional service areas and engineering are fixed, leaving us almost unrestricted creative freedom. We elected a modern design, with crisp, functional details and a distinct appearance, but with nothing radical that would reduce resale values. The 53-meter accommodates the owners on the main deck, eight guests in four double cabins on the lower deck, and a full-service crew. For clients from the USA and the Gulf region, who often prefer larger indoor areas, we drew versions with an enclosed bridge-deck lounge aft and flying bridge.