Skip to main content

On The Ways And In The Water

See what's on the way from Amels, Moonen, Sunreef, Hunt, and Nauta Yacht Design

Amels In Overdrive

Amels recent 55-meter launch Step One

Amels recent 55-meter launch Step One

Dutch builder Amels says it is defying the worldwide economic troubles with the busiest workload the company has ever known, with 12 new construction projects and two major refits underway. In mid-summer, it was planning to deliver two 180s, a 212 and two refits of Amels yachts.

In a press release, the company reports it has recorded a steady growth in annual turnover of approximately 10 percent over the past four years, outperforming the competition by a considerable margin. Based on orders taken during this period, Amels says it has now become the largest superyacht builder in the Netherlands.

Amels managing director Rob Luijendijk attributes the company’s sustained run of success to its Limited Editions concept. “It bridges the gap between full-custom and semi-custom building,” he says. “Owners have come to realize that while the full-custom option offers the ultimate in personalization, there are many unknowns in embarking on a custom project. Will the boat be reliable? How will it perform? Will the build stay within budget and will it be delivered on time? Limited Editions answers those concerns.”

All Limited Editions exterior designs are by Tim Heywood, while a number of owners opt for a fully customized interior design. The current Limited Editions range includes four models that range from 180 feet to 242 feet (55 to 74 meters), or in gross tonnage terms, from 650 to 1,720 gross tons. Work is underway to develop a yacht of just under 3,000 gross tons.

The company’s Sea Axe Fast Yacht Support vessel concept is also proving successful. The purpose-designed vessel was developed and is built by Amels’ parent company, Damen Shipyards. This summer, the yard will deliver a 67-meter (220-foot) version that may go on display at the Monaco Yacht Show in September. Another 67-meter is under construction.


Moonen Turns Smaller With New Designs

Moonen Shipyards in The Netherlands has released details of two new designs created for owners looking for a contemporary approach within the Moonen template. Rene van der Velden has drawn the modern lines of a 100-foot raised pilothouse design, while Nick Mezas is responsible for a new fast-displacement concept that is being offered in three lengths between 18 and 24 meters (59 feet and 79 feet).

“Over the decades we have become renowned for producing timeless motoryachts,” explains Emile Bilterijst, managing director of Moonen shipyards. “These superyachts are built for a wide range of clients in four diverse formats: fully custom projects, displacement cruisers, explorers and fast-displacement motoryachts. These new designs will help us serve an even more varied clientele looking for an unconventional approach. It is Moonen’s direct response to changing market demands.”

The Moonen 100 raised pilothouse by van der Velden features an owner’s stateroom on the main deck with extra space in the beam thanks to the narrow walkways forward, which are now only intended for crew members to use. Elsewhere, the yacht has the most economic layout possible for a boat of the size. “The challenge with a raised pilothouse configuration is that it can take a lot of space away from the flybridge,” continues Bilterijst. “To counteract this, we have placed the tenders in a stern garage from where they will be launched by slipway rather than an overhead crane. This yacht is an ideal option for an owner looking for a more modern aesthetic within a clearly identifiable Moonen style of gentlemen’s yacht.”

The second new design is aimed at entry-level buyers or those in the market for smaller yachts. “Over the past 20 years, Moonen, like many yards, has seen the length of our boats pushed upwards by its clients,” says Bilterijst. “This has an inevitable impact on the organization, product, quality levels and costs. We have had several enquiries from entry-level owners and it is vital that we do not price ourselves out of this area.”

This new semi-series of smaller vessels will be built to CE regulations rather than class. Although there will be no change in terms of quality, the designs benefit from a careful analysis of systems and equipment. The boats will, for example, feature only one anchor instead of two in a pocket as is usually the case with Moonen yachts, which in turn means just one anchor winch.

“A lower price and smaller yacht will attract a younger public,” says Bilterijst. “This is also the thinking behind the more aggressive styling, while simultaneously retaining the essence of Moonen quality in terms of fuel savings, low noise and vibration levels, and the exceptional comfort of a round bilged hull. We anticipate that these clients will probably steer the boat themselves and travel with young children. The yachts will be fitted with Volvo IPS propulsion, so the engine room is placed far aft. They will fit seamlessly within our fast-displacement philosophy and be capable of reaching 22 knots.”

The IPS configuration leaves lots of space free in the forward section for four cabins. This is in line with the idea that there is unlikely to be a full-time crew onboard. An open-plan layout in the salon/wheelhouse area also reflects the social aspect of the owner and his friends/family at the helm.


Hunt Launches First Two of its New 44

The first two of Hunt Yachts’ newest model, the Hunt 44, hit the water just before Memorial Day. Designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, as are all Hunt Yachts, the deep-V, twin-diesel express cruiser delivers many of the features found in Hunt’s earlier 52.


The owners of the first two Hunt 44s selected joystick handling with computerized dynamic positioning feature (to automatically hold the boat’s position), and IPS pod-drive propulsion with Volvo 600 series common rail diesels. Rather than mounting the pods directly under the engines, the shorter IPS units are located at the stern and are connected to the engines by jackshafts. This opens space aft of the engines for a dinghy garage and allows for a small extra cabin to be located beneath the bridge. In hull number one, this space is a utility room with wine cellar, trash compactor and storage lockers. In hull number two, the space is a single berth sleeping cabin.

Hunt offers considerable latitude in owner personalization, but all Hunt 44s feature a flush deck extending from helm to stern steps, with the main salon separated from the afterdeck by a curved window wall and sliding glass doors. Hull number one has traditional side windows for the bridge deck. Below, the space opposite the galley is used for an enclosed double stateroom with ensuite head. The owner of hull number two opted for raked express side windows and used the space opposite the galley for a convertible settee.

The master stateroom is forward with a large queen-size berth. The ensuite head, with separate shower is aft to port. Across the passage is the guest head. The galley on the portside faces the guest stateroom or dinette. Pod propulsion then allows an extra cabin or engineroom immediately aft of the companionway stairs up to the bridge and main salon.

On both sides of the afterdeck’s stern seat there are twin stairways down to the large transom platform. The transom itself rises with a rocker switch to open the dinghy garage into which a RIB or inflatable dinghy can stow out of sight.

The Hunt 44 is offered with several engine options. The standard propulsion package uses twin Caterpillar C7 ACERT diesels. Maximum speed ranges from 27 knots with standard power to 31 knots with optional power.


Sunreef Set to Launch 82-Foot Double Decker Cat

Following the successful delivery of two mega-catamarans over 100 feet in 2010, Poland’s Sunreef shipyard is ready to launch an 82-foot double-decker sailing cat for a European client.


The Sunreef 82 DD was designed with integrated stepped hull chines to increase interior space without compromising performance. In the double-deck concept, there is one spacious owner cabin forward and a large, bright salon with an internal helm station with sea views. The yacht accommodates up to seven guests in the full-beam owner’s suite, one VIP queen cabin and one twin cabin convertible to a double with an additional Pullman bed. The yacht will be attended by two crew to assist the owner, a sailor himself. The Sunreef 82 DD features a canoe-type boom and carbon mast.

An innovative element aboard the Sunreef 82 DD is the mezzanine floor, which houses a coffee table within a lounge area located on the starboard side of the main deck within the dining area. There is a purpose-built storage area for painting equipment, as the owners enjoy this activity while sailing. This additional floor provides more space below decks for extended cabin or storage space. The main deck also includes a second lounge area and provides access to the crew hull on the port side and guest hull on the starboard side.

The owner’s suite, arranged over two decks, is set to occupy the entire forward section of the yacht with a master cabin, Jacuzzi and gym on the main deck, and wardrobe and floor-to-ceiling storage and bathroom located belowdecks in port and starboard hulls respectively. The starboard corner of the master cabin includes the LED-lit Jacuzzi set on a two-step platform surrounded by an orchid jardinière. Sea views come courtesy of 180-degree panoramic windows. A treadmill, integrated within the floor, is positioned in the center, and a low Japanese-style king-size bed with two night tables occupies the port part of the suite.

Guest cabins are generously sized with three-way access to the queen-size beds with sea views through six-part large windows. The cabins have separate bathrooms and showers, spacious wardrobes, several lockers, comprehensive entertainment systems and air-conditioning.

The spacious cockpit holds a large dining table for up to eight guests, sunbathing mats, wicker armchairs, a flower area and storage for diving equipment. There is additional space for a tender and a PWC hidden in a purpose-built locker under the main sun pad in the cockpit. The flybridge is fitted with the main helm station, bar with barbecue and icemaker, large dining table and comfortable deckchairs, as well as a coffee table.


Italy’s Nauta Designs Superlight Racer-Cruiser

Nauta Yacht Design recently designed a 110-foot racer-cruiser project for an owner who asked for aggressive, yet seductive lines and an extremely simple and clean deck layout. The goal was for easy handling and the highest possible level of comfort when cruising.


With a displacement of just 78 tons, the yacht is a thoroughbred racer with all the comforts of a cruiser. The latest generation hull shape features a wide beam, which reaches its maximum extension at the stern. The hull and deck are in carbon pre-preg on a Corecell core. The same composite material, covered with a thin veneer, will be used for the interior furniture where many parts are structural themselves.

The exterior style is modern and essential. Its most significant design feature is the medium-high bulwark, which provides the guests and the crew with seating along the entire length of the sheer. The rail can be used as a backrest thus adding to the social areas on deck. The bulwark has two large openings on each side, which allow visibility for the guests seated in the cockpit, are useful for draining water and are a design feature which add character and strength to the yacht’s look. Even with the height of the bulwark, Nauta succeeded in keeping the freeboards quite low and sleek.

The deck is very clean with four winches in the aft cockpit area and two at the mast base. Most maneuvers except for the halyards at the mast base can be handled directly from the aft cockpit, while the mainsheet is operated through a captive winch hidden under deck. Many of the running maneuvers are operated hydraulically with manual back-ups. The layout was planned to keep crew and guest areas separate for privacy.

The sailplan boasts a 360 m2 (3,875 sq.ft.) square-top mainsail, for a total of 630 m2 (6,781 sq.ft.) sail area (closehauled). That is balanced by a 6.5-meter (21.3-foot) keel that can be reduced to 4.5-meters (14.7-feet) thanks to a high-tech lifting system. Performance is predicted to be strong with 8 knots of upwind speed in 6 knots of true wind and 22 knots downwind in 25 knots of true wind.

The aft cockpit is secluded and allows the owner direct access to and a private view of the sea. The large transom can be opened to become a “beach” that hovers just above the water. The sunbathing area just aft of the guest cockpit is particularly large and comfortable.

Belowdecks, the wide, sternward beam has allowed for a spacious ensuite owner’s cabin with direct access to the aft cockpit. The interior layout features the same separation as on the deck: crew quarters, mess and galley are separate and forward and a large salon and three ensuite guest cabins are amidships.