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You can quarry a ton of information from a yacht underway that you can’t at the dock. Such was the case a while back on a lunch cruise down the Riviera from Monaco to Cannes on Volpini 2, the Amels 188 from the Dutch builder’s Limited Editions range. On board were longtime Limited Editions designer Tim Heywood, Volpini 2’s interior designer Pascale Reymond of Reymond Langton Design, and members of the Amels design and engineering team, all captive for four hours within nearly 1,000 gross tons of sparkling, eco-forward superyacht.

The yacht’s abundant amenities include a spa tub on the sundeck. 

The yacht’s abundant amenities include a spa tub on the sundeck. 

Among her many notable attributes, Volpini 2 represents a technical leap forward for Amels and the broader world of superyachts. She is the first superyacht delivered in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s Tier III emissions regulations. The regulations require yachts over 500 gross tons with a global cruising area and a keel laid after January 2016 to reduce NOx emissions in their engine exhaust gases by 70 percent. The yacht also has an electrical-load management system that Amels now employs across its range to maximize efficiency of fuel consumption and reduce emissions.

Amels has had considerable success with its Limited Editions since the first hull was delivered in 2007. The company has since produced more than 40 hulls from 180 feet (54.8 meters) to 272 feet (82.9 meters). All are started on spec and completed regardless of whether they find an owner along the way, but that’s exceedingly rare. Volpini 2 found her owner about a year before completion.

Following a design competition, Amels retained Reymond Langton to create a spec interior. As it happened, the new owner requested few alterations. Reymond says the inspiration for her design sprang from an unusual, nonmarine source.

Pascale Reymond drew aesthetic inspiration for Volpini 2’s interior from an Hermès handbag.

Pascale Reymond drew aesthetic inspiration for Volpini 2’s interior from an Hermès handbag.

“My benchmark was an Hermès handbag,” she says. “Something contemporary and classic that you never get bored of, that will never go out of fashion—nothing flashy, sort of subtly elegant.”

At first blush, Volpini 2’s interior does not evoke a handbag. Upon careful inspection, though, the muse emerges. Luscious textured Italian leather is in generous supply. Shades of white, cream, gray and fawn dominate the color palette. Soft lighting emerging from indirect sources, textured carpets, light oak soles and bleached fiddleback sycamore panels create a serene, spa-type ambience. The whole package feels calm, intimate and luxuriously tailored.

Heywood is responsible for the exterior design of all the Amels Limited Editions models to date, save the latest Limited Editions project, the Amels 60, which was drawn by Espen Øino. Like Reymond, Heywood enjoys designing without (too many) borders.

Reymond Langton Design created an interior for Volpini 2 that is calm, intimate and tailored.

Reymond Langton Design created an interior for Volpini 2 that is calm, intimate and tailored.

“When I start with each of these boats, I tackle it the same way I approach any non-Limited Editions project,” he says. “I look at what the boat needs to contain and how long my decks can be and where the superstructure ends and the decks begin, and I produce a design that I’m pleased with. When you’re trying to produce something for a client, you have to think about what the client wants, especially if they’ve given you instructions.”

Heywood derives inspiration from the natural world. His partner, Vanessa, is said to have remarked that his Volpini 2 drawings resembled a cruising swan ruffing its feathers. Arched exterior beams astride the upper deck and sundeck that start low forward and taper flatter aft do invoke a fanciful avian aesthetic without detracting from the masculine power of the yacht’s profile.

“These boats are a mass of details, and if you think of the overall concept, you then have to think of every line as you draw the boat up for its initial presentation to the client,” Heywood says. “You have to think about the fenders around the swim platform, the knuckle lines and the precise angle or slope of the bow. All these things are three-dimensional features that you have to kind of amass in your mind and think about how it would look as it rotates and how the sun shines on it and how the shadows follow the form of the boat.

Since Volpini 2 was delivered, the design has been altered slightly, with a lengthened swim platform and full-height windows incorporated on the main deck. The design is now called the Amels 200.

As we idled into the anchorage in Cannes, Heywood noticed a few of his creations, of which he clearly was proud.

“I’m having a good feeling here,” he says. “I think if you produce a boat like that, which is very elegant, I think it’s timeless. I think if you push the envelope, it’s wise to push it hard, but carefully, so that you can produce something that in 30 years is still going to be seen as elegant.”

Volpini 2 surely would meet that standard. 

Volpini 2 Specifications

LOA: 189ft. 3in. (57.7m)
BEAM: 33ft. 5in. (10.2m)
DRAFT: 11ft. 4in. (3.45m)
DISPLACEMENT (full): 1,056 tons
CONSTRUCTION: steel and aluminum
SPEED (max.): 15.5 knots
RANGE: 4,500nm at 13 knots
INTERIOR DESIGN: Reymond Langton Design

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This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Yachts International.