Hoek Design Naval Architects and Vitters Shipyard have signed a contract to build a 68m (222ft) aluminium ketch, a move which sees the two companies collaborating for the eighth time on a major superyacht project.
The new yacht, which is scheduled for delivery in 2026, is an evolution of the highly successful 180ft/54.6m Adele, the similarly-sized Marie, the 175ft/53.3m Anne, and the 164ft/50m ketch Meraki, all of which were designed by Hoek and built by Vitters. They feature the long overhangs, classic looks and traditional finish for which Hoek’s design team has become renowned.
Andre Hoek explained that the commission is for a highly experienced repeat client who wants a yacht with an increased number of guest cabins and the capability to transit the Panama Canal. “The ketch rig provides the so-called Panamax mast height to allow the yacht to clear the Bridge of The Americas at the southern end of the waterway,” said Andre Hoek.
Hoek Design Naval Architects will be responsible for naval architecture, exterior and interior design and styling, while American designer Bunny Williams has been contracted for the extensive interior décoration. Van Ineveld & Co, who worked with Hoek and Vitters on the J-Class Svea, will be the owner’s representative.
Andre Hoek said that computational fluid dynamic (CFD) testing and velocity prediction programmes (VPP) developed in-house have been used extensively to optimise hull shape and appendages. The yacht’s fixed keel features a trim tab on the fin to reduce leeway and improve balance with the ketch rig and she is designed with a single rudder with mechanical steering which provides the helmsman with the ‘feel’ required to help sail the boat to her optimum performance.
Bas Peute, Vitters Shipyard’s Sales and Marketing Manager, said that the yacht’s aluminium hull and deck will be fabricated in-house at their Zwartsluis premises with the keel due to be laid in April 2024. He emphasised the value of the same team coming together to build the new ketch. “This is the eighth project we have worked on together with the Hoek Design team and it’s also great to be working with Van Ineveld & Co, the owner’s representative, who is familiar with both Andre’s team and the build team at Vitters,” said Bas.
Key design features include three deck houses with the owner and guest accommodation aft and the crew forward. A large, central guest cockpit will be the focal point of the deck layout and all the deck houses will be clad in wood.
Southern Spars will supply the rig package and North sails will provide the extensive sail wardrobe.
The new yacht will be equipped with a low emissions diesel electric propulsion and charging system. A permanent magnet electric motor will provide charging for the battery bank and propulsion when leaving a harbour or anchorage. This also enables the yacht to be run for a considerable ‘silent’ period with all systems working off her battery bank.
Both Vitters Shipyard and Hoek Design Naval Architects will be exhibiting at the upcoming Monaco Yacht Show (27-30 September) where further details of the new ketch will be available.