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On The Ways And In The Water

J-Class Rainbow Launches with Hybrid Propulsion

Holland Jachtbouw has launched the J-Class yacht Rainbow at its yard in the Netherlands. Based on the lines of the 1934 America’s Cup winner, the 40-meter (131-foot) Rainbow features a high-end superyacht interior and a unique hybrid propulsion and power system inside a racing boat hull, topped off by a grand prix racing deck and rig. The yacht will compete in this summer’s regattas, including the J-Class races in England.


For her launch, Rainbow was brought outside the main construction hall at Holland Jachtbouw, wheeled onto a barge and lifted by two cranes into the water.

“It is such a thrill to be able to fully appreciate a design that was last seen in the open almost eighty years ago,” said the yard’s co-director Tako van Ineveld. “This ‘new’ Rainbow took us over two years to build, while her predecessor was completed in just 100 days. This does not mean we are slower. It is a reflection of the incredible degree of sophistication that is now contained within these timeless lines. The original Rainbow was an empty boat with a deck of sailing gear and a powerful aluminum rig. This Rainbow is a different proposition altogether.”

The project’s naval architects were Dykstra & Partners. Dykstra partnered with deVosdeVries design on the interior. The original Rainbow was drawn by William Starling Burgess in the early 1930s and the vessel was scrapped in 1940. This design has now been incorporated into an all-aluminum yacht that meets the J-Class Association maximum performance rules.

All modern functional requirements have been integrated with full respect for Rainbow’s heritage, while the decks have been kept as clean and flush as possible featuring only a mahogany doghouse and skylight. The latter offers a contrast to the jet black-colored hull and gold leaf cove stripe.

Gerry Dykstra and his team used the latest computer modeling to optimize Rainbow’s performance via a lightweight construction with a high degree of overall stiffness. The rig includes a Southern Spars high-modulus carbon mast, boom and spinnaker pole, continuous carbon fiber rigging, North Sails 3Di racing sails and Lewmar high-speed hydraulic winches. All are customized to Rainbow’s specific requirements and, like everything metallic on deck, anodized to create a light grey look.

Under JCA rules, all the new J class yachts need to have a fully functioning interior. Rainbow’s owner spared no expense when it comes to luxury accommodation and premium equipment, including full air conditioning. The original Rainbow did not have an engine room so there was obviously not a great deal of space to accommodate one within the lines plan. Holland Jachtbouw’s solution, developed in partnership with WhisperPower, was to create an innovative hybrid propulsion and power system especially for the project. As a result, Rainbow can be operated entirely on her Hy-Store Li-ion batteries, including sailing, navigation and hotel load. This also meets the owner’s request for silent periods onboard, without generators running, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The hybrid solution replaces the conventional main engine and two-generator configuration found on other Js, which have larger engine rooms than the comparatively lighter Rainbow (170 tons). The main engine replaces the second generator, while the remaining generator is a variable speed electric unit. The main engine generator can act as an electric motor that can also run the propeller. This solution is smaller in size and saves on fuel. In addition, the batteries can be charged while sailing without losing more than 1.5 knots of speed.


Other key overall benefits of this innovative propulsion solution include a dramatic reduction of the ecological footprint, a 30 percent reduction in the fuel required to generate the hotel load and a similar reduction in the maintenance costs for the power plant in hotel load. Redundancy is built-in with five power sources available: The hybrid battery, the variable speed generator, the variable speed engine generator, the shaft generator (when sailing) and shore power (when available). There is also a substantial reduction in audible noise levels both inside the yacht and out.

Rainbow’s interior features raised and fielded mahogany paneling with art deco details. The owner’s stateroom is aft and there are two ensuite twin guest cabins, each with a Pullman berth. In addition to offering accommodation to up to eight guests, Rainbow will have a permanent crew of seven led by Captain Nick Haley who has previously skippered two other members of the Holland Jachtbouw fleet, namely Windroseof Amsterdam and Athos.

The general public will be able to see the yacht at the Monaco show where she will be on display close to the Holland Jachtbouw stand.

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Economy-Minded Van Der Velden Cruiser

The design office of Rene van der Velden has released a concept for a 110-foot, all-weather cruiser aimed economy-minded families. The yacht was conceived to assure fun, pleasure, and low building and running costs. She is based on a less-costly steel hull with each living space made as versatile as possible, and without cumbersome features and over-sophisticated technology that savvy owners find unnecessary and expensive. The aim was to accomplish this without sacrificing quality or comfort.


On typical three-deck, flybridge yachts of this size, guests usually spend most time in the skylounge, reserving the saloon for less frequent formal use and dining. With this yacht, the saloon—including up to five sliding doors—can be opened in fine weather as a real skylounge, or closed for intimate gatherings or dining. Forward, separated by the galley, day head, and central stairway, a spacious full-beam owner’s suite with a separate entrance offers maximum privacy.

Abaft the wheelhouse, owners have a combined a flybridge with an alternate skylounge. Forward it’s wrapped—above and on two sides—by sliding glass panels that can be closed for protection or opened wide to the fresh air. Eliminating a separate flybridge saves weight aloft to enhance stability, allowing the beam to be kept moderate, further saving construction costs and improving hydrodynamic efficiency for fuel saving.

On most yachts, tenders and toys are stowed on the flybridge, usually ruining the view, or in the lazarette requiring costly hydraulic devices to assure water-tightness and regulation compliance. This design has a spacious foredeck with high bulwarks to stow them, with a crane to handle them. Built-in covered stowage is a foredeck option.

The four guest cabins, set amidships for easy motion, also have flexibility. The two cabins forward can be combined into a large VIP suite with sitting room. One aft cabin can shift between double or twin-berth arrangements. An efficient crew area is forward.

With longitudinal framing, the steel hull is relatively inexpensive to build and maintain, and is easily repaired anywhere, even in low-tech facilities. The superstructure can be aluminum or composite, depending on the builder’s or client’s preference and, like the interior styling, can be customized to suit an owner’s needs and taste. The hull is shaped for comfortable speeds up to 18 knots.

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Feadship Launches Adventurous Hampshire II

Feadship has launched the 78.5-meter (258-foot) custom motoryacht Hampshire II for an experienced Feadship owner with a love of action and sports. From the foredeck ball court to the 25-meter (82-foot)-high crow’s mast, this latest addition to the Feadship fleet is well equipped for adventure.


During the launch ceremony in April at the Feadship Kaag yard, Feadship director Dick van Lent paid tribute to the yacht’s new owner.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to create such a unique vessel for such a passionate sailor. This is exactly the sort of client we love to work with, and Hampshire II is exactly the kind of superyacht that Feadship owners deserve. She is built around every conceivable sporting activity, while also offering exceptional facilities for those who like to take things a little easier.”

In the hours leading up to the launch ceremony, various teams representing the owner’s guests and personnel from the yard played football on the yacht’s foredeck. The yacht’s helicopter landing platform, finished in teak, can be transformed into a playing field for basketball, tennis, baseball, badminton and football. A large net is placed around the deck to ensure continuity of the games.

The split-level design maximizes the yacht’s volume and outdoor space. On the sundeck, a crow’s nest placed atop the mast is reached by a two-person elevator and offers panoramic views high above the water. For the truly adventurous, a zip wire is connected to the mast to which one can tie a rope and slide at breathtaking speed from the crow’s nest down to the water.

Hampshire II also has a noteworthy beach club with two platforms that open up either side of the yacht, in addition to the swim platform at the transom. A swim ladder descends from the stern hydraulically. The beach club itself has been finished in a driftwood style. The whole area is incorporated with the deck above, which includes a skylight surrounded by seating.

The contemporary overall design by Redman Whiteley Dixon and Feadship incorporates balconies on either side, seating terraces for the owners and wing stations adjacent to the wheelhouse. There is a wealth of fine detailing in the design, including the nameplate on the glass panel in the recessed part of the bridge deck fashion plates.

While the exterior profile is modern, Hampshire II’s interior is a classic affair. Highlights include a typical English-style bar on the bridge deck in place of the traditional lounge.
The engine room has a passageway through the middle with full-height glass walls. Only three colors are used in this area. White, black and Ferrari red, which, combined with stainless steel and the clever use of spotlights, make for an attractive space.

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Heesen Yachts Launches Lady Petra

Heesen Yachts of The Netherlands launched Lady Petra in late April at its facility in Oss. The yacht is the eighth in Heesen’s award-winning 47-meter (154-foot) class and has the special distinction of having been built for Frans Heesen, the former owner and founder of the shipyard.


Heesen and his wife Petra appointed Bannenberg and Rowell to design the yacht’s interior. The challenge of working with a shipyard owner turned yacht owner was welcomed by Dickie Bannenberg of Bannenberg and Rowell.

“Designing a yacht for someone who has built his shipyard into an industry-leading force is an honor and, at the same time, a great responsibility,” said Bannenberg. “But we have had a wonderful couple of years working closely with the Heesen family and the Heesen team and are very proud to set Frans, Petra and their family on their way in their new yacht.”

The guiding inspiration for the décor came from diverse sources including 20th century industrial Dutch design, optical geometric studies and shapes inspired by industrial components such as formers and frames. These elements come together to create a dynamic interior concept that is also comfortable, approachable and inviting.

The general arrangement of the yacht, created by Omega Architects, has positioned the owner’s suite on the upper deck away from the guest cabins on the lower deck offering the owners more privacy and calm during periods when their numerous grandchildren are on board. Forward on the main deck, in the area usually reserved for the master stateroom, the younger members of the family benefit from a media and games room.

On the occasion of the launching of his new motor yacht, Heesen took the opportunity to announce his retirement from official functions in the company that bears his name.

“It is time for me to enjoy life with my family and friends,” Heesen said. “I am going to be the brand ambassador of this wonderful company that I founded some 35 years ago. I will always be there to support the brand and to promote it until the end of my days.”

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Successful Sea Trials for Amels Step One

The new Amels 55-meter (181-foot) Step One, had her first day of sea trials on April 4. All tests were completed to the full satisfaction of Lloyds Register and the owner’s representative, Moran Yacht & Ship.


Step One’s exterior was designed by Tim Heywood and her full custom interior by Laura Sessa. She is the first of the yard’s 55-meter series and measures 660 gross tons. Step One is part of the Amels Limited Editions range, which bridges the gap between semi-custom and full-custom yachts. The yacht may be on display at the Monaco Yacht Show in September.

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