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Holland Jachtbouw Calliope: Poetry In Motion

This yacht’s owners seem to have a penchant for Greek names that start with the letter C. They called their previous 105' (32m) yacht Cassiopeia and the name Calliope is associated with Zeus’ daughter, the muse of heroic poetry and Homer’s presumed inspiration for The Odyssey and The Iliad. Fittingly, the building of the new 138’ (42m) Calliope has been an epic (and enjoyable) journey.

An owner works closely with Langan Design Associates, Holland Jachtbouw and Rhoades Young Design to improve upon his prior yacht.


This yacht’s owners seem to have a penchant for Greek names that start with the letter C. They called their previous 105' (32m) yacht Cassiopeia—the moniker for the distinctive W-shaped five-star constellation that gleams in the northern sky. The name Calliope is associated with Zeus’ daughter, the muse of heroic poetry and Homer’s presumed inspiration for The Odyssey and The Iliad. Fittingly, the building of the new 138’ (42m) Calliope has been an epic (and enjoyable) journey.

I first met the owner when I wrote a story on Cassiopeia in 2004. He was extremely happy with that yacht and so I was curious to discover how he felt about the bigger Calliope. After the launch at Holland Jachbouw in the Netherlands last summer, he and his wife enjoyed a shakedown cruise in Norway and they couldn’t have been more pleased with how the yacht performed, even in heavy seas.

This experienced hands-on yachtsman revels in the build process but, as an astute businessman, he also recognizes the value of working with a team of professionals. He had such success with Cassiopeia that he duplicated much of that yacht’s build team, reuniting Newport, RI-based naval architect Bill Langan (who recently received the International Superyacht Society Leadership Award), his wife, interior decorator Candace Langan, Dutch builder Holland Jachtbouw and project manager Nigel Ingram from MCM Yacht Management. Designers Rhoades Young were added to the original dream team.

I had an opportunity to interview the members of that dream team when I visited Calliope, a recent entry on the charter market, during her debut at the Monaco Yacht Show.

Holland Jachbouw’s Technical Director Tako van Ineveld showed me around the boat. Calliope is not a yacht that smacks you in the face with over-the-top, snazzy design, glitz and glamour. She is, however, a highly customized yacht that is immediately lovely and likable. The build took 17 months to complete. From bow to stern and top to bottom, this trideck yacht exudes quality engineering and craftsmanship. Van Ineveld pointed out the well-organized engine room and fully integrated bridge. While Cassiopeia, a raised pilothouse design, had accommodations for six guests in three cabins, Calliope boasts five luxurious cabins for 10 guests, two salons, a sun deck with Jacuzzi and many more amenities.

Cassiopeia is a successful charter boat but, according to her owner, she was never conceived with charter in mind. Charter was an important consideration in the design of Calliope, as were more volume, more guest cabins, more entertainment area and more crew space with better access to guest accommodations. The result is an extremely functional cruising yacht with good spatial flow.

Calliope’s exterior styling, while reminiscent of the dark-blue hulled Cassiopeia, clearly makes a new statement. This is not just another white boat. The owner designated a more military profile and the yacht’s stacked decks, squared windows and flared bow indicate this is a serious boat capable of going places. Six vertical legs support the carbon fiber radar arch, making it appear lighter. This difficult feat of engineering makes a subtle yet definite difference.

Bill Langan describes the inception of Calliope: “The owner visited my office one day with a sketch he had doodled on the back of an envelope, ” he says. Calliope is pretty much a sophisticated version of that first inspirational drawing. “The important parameter was to accomplish everything the owner wanted and come in well under 500 gross tons.” In keeping with the military exterior styling theme, the boat is extremely sturdy and seaworthy. Cassiopeia was a semi-displacement hull, and the owners liked her responsiveness and quickness. ­Calliope is also, technically, a semi-displacement yacht, with a deep Vee rather than round-bottom keel. She cuts nicely through the water and provides a comfortable ride. She has zero-speed stabilizers but unless there is an exceptionally rolly anchorage, Langan says she doesn’t need them, which minimizes generator use at anchor. Langan worked on other practical solutions, such as the location of the dinghies. The owner wanted to maximize guest and entertainment real estate, so the owner’s tender was placed on the foredeck and the man-over-board tender abaft the sun deck. This opened up the lazarette space, fitted with washable teak decking, which guests can use as a gymnasium and beach club area.

Langan is quick to commend the team effort in wedding the exterior to the interior. At a Monaco Yacht Show several years ago, he brought the owner over to look at the contemporary sailing yacht Gimlä and then introduced him to Dick Young; the two immediately hit it off.

“We hired Rhoades Young early on in the process; we wanted an interior that was classic, but contemporary and eclectic,” the owner says. “These designers listened to what we wanted and they made suggestions. We had 25 percent of the interior completed when we decided the cherry paneling was too slick [...] and switched to limed oak. And in terms of interior décor, we wanted a mix of furniture. The main salon is contemporary with international elements that my wife and I admired.”

When I asked if he had a favorite part of the boat, he said, “In cooler weather I like being in the main salon, and in warm weather, I love being outside on the bridge deck.” What he likes most about the yacht is how flexible her layout is. The main salon can be open to the dining room or be closed off by sliding shut shoji-screen divider doors. The same goes for the upper salon, which can form one big space with the aft deck, thanks to continuous teak flooring, or can be closed off.

Dick Young and Jonathan Rhoades (see article in this issue) used their talents to interpret the owner’s desires. Their credo is that the process of design “springs from the wrestling of many factors from hydrodynamics, structure, performance, services, lifestyles and aesthetic judgments” so that the relationship to the client is key to achieve the correct balance.

While I sat in the main salon with Young, he mused freely about the mix of elements in Calliope and changing the interior paneling to a lighter limed oak with what he calls a wonderful weathered dusty look, reminiscent of French chateaux. Varnished teak accents and moldings juxtapose contemporary elements and old-world feel, avoiding a “yacht clubby” look. Young talked about building the interior layer upon layer. He credits Jonathan Rhoades as the main man on the project and himself as the one who set the stage. “We all wanted the yacht to appear as if it had been built over years,” Young says. “Like an oil painting, there is a base coat, then layers of paint.”

The walls’ old-world plaster look and the more classic white-paneled overhead contrast nicely with the stained walnut floor. The modern furniture is sprinkled with eclectic pieces.

Rather than a designerly contrived space, the mix of different styles makes Calliope feel like a lived-in home. The owner and his wife, assisted by Candace Langan, collected bits and pieces all over the world to complement artwork that came from Cassiopeia and their house. The yacht’s décor is not the result of designers buying all the paintings to go with the rooms’ color theme. Instead, there is an international play of elements, with German mid-19th-century Bidermeier furniture, a Cambodian Buddha, a bamboo overhead in the lounge, Japanese lacquered rice paper in the divider doors, and Chinese lamps and chests. German cabinetmaker Oldenburger custom-built the Antique-designed Chinese chests. The good thing about replicating antiques, Young says, is that the pieces can be made to fit air-conditioning ducts, plus replicating drawer handles, pulls and locks makes them more practical and easier to use.

The interior configuration may be traditional, but the level of detail makes the difference. The aft main deck opens to the main salon, then sliding shoji screen doors lead to the formal dining room. Farther forward to port is a commercial galley, with a very large fridge and freezer, commodious workspace, and a nice large window for the chef. On the starboard passage are offset reverse spiral staircases leading down to the guest accommodations and up to the bridge deck. These stairs provide a dynamic connection to the three decks, and views through the sweeping undersides turn this staircase into a striking sculptural centerpiece. In the guest quarters, off a central foyer, are two queen-size cabins and two double cabins. A hidden door adjacent to the centrally placed Buddha sculpture allows crew access to service these rooms. Crew quarters for nine are forward along with a good-size crew mess and commercial laundry. A dumb waiter services all decks. Back up on the main deck forward and to starboard is the full-beam master suite incorporating a library/study, a bedroom with off-center king-size bed to port and lounge area to starboard, and his-and-hers bathrooms. The master is flooded with natural light and has a serene, peaceful ambiance. Handmade silk carpets are soft under foot.

The next deck up, forward on the bridge deck, is the captain’s domain with a state-of-the-art integrated bridge that has exceptionally good visibility. Aft is the skylounge, which opens to the luxury aft-deck dining and entertainment area.

Langan and Ingram talk about the great teamwork involved; Calliope was a combined effort. Rhoades Young says, “At the end of the day, though, building a yacht should be a fun and enjoyable time for the owner.”

If Calliope was the muse to Homer, let’s hope Calliope provides aMUSEment for her owners. May Calliope’s epic journey continue with fair winds, gentle seas and ever-changing scenery through those large square windows. ■


Charter Contact:

Matthew Emerson:

LOA: 138'8" (42.28m)
Beam: 27'6" (8.4m)
Draft: 8'4" (2.55m)
Hull material: Aluminum
Superstructure: Aluminum
Propulsion: Twin shaft
Engines: 2 x MTU 16V2000M72
Generators: 2 x Northern Light
Cruising Speed: 15.5 knots
Top Speed: 16.5 knots
Naval architect: Langan Design
Interior Designer:
Rhoades Young Design
Builder: Holland Jachtbouw
Max. Crew: 9
Max. Guests: 10
Classification: Lloyds/MCA unrestricted
Registration: Cayman Islands
Charter management: Camper & Nicholsons