Jongert Refitting Vivid

PHOTO: Andrea Francolini

For the past month, Jongert has been refitting one of its own. The 88-foot (27-meter) Vivid, delivered in 2001, is in for a six-month span.

A Jongert 2700M model, one of the Dutch builder’s most successful semicustom sailing designs, Vivid has hardly stayed put over the past decade. Prior to entering Jongert’s shed in November, the all-aluminum megayacht enjoyed a five-year circumnavigation, which included several remote locales. According to Vivid’s captain, Tim Forderer, he and the owner received a lot of support on that circumnavigation from the Sea-Alliance Group, which provides yacht management for Vivid. (Sea-Alliance Group specializes in those services as well as sales, charter, and other specialties.) Forderer adds that Sea-Alliance Group recommended Jongert for the refit. “The pride the Jongert team feels with Vivid is very evident,” he says. “Vivid feels very much at home.”

While Vivid was in good shape following the trip, it was simply time for a Lloyds survey and either replacement or refreshment of systems and decor. The nearly 22-foot-beam (6.58-meter beam) beauty is receiving an extensive roster of treatments. These include new teak decking, a paint job, overhauled rigging, new navigation and communication instruments, and an overhauled engine and thrusters. Inside, the wood paneling is being stripped and revarnished, while new fabrics will replace older and/or worn ones.

Vivid is expected to depart Jongert in April. The megayacht will waste no time getting back to cruising, visiting both the North and South Poles in the following months.

Megayacht News Onboard: Heesen Yachts’ Quinta Essentia

If ever there were a yacht that adhered to a decor theme, it’s Heesen Yachts’ Quinta Essentia. This 180-foot (55-meter) megayacht is the first in Heesen’s new 55-meter semi-displacement series. While her name means “fifth element” in Latin, she doesn’t just bring to mind the four classical elements of air, water, earth, and fire. Quinta Essentia herself has various representations of the elements throughout her decks. Plus, she puts her own spin on what her owner considers the fifth element, this being wine.

The owner’s party and charter guests alike get their first hint of how important wine is when they see Quinta Essentia’s profile. Prominent portions of the hull and superstructure are painted a merlot-like color. It was specially made for Quinta Essentia by Awlgrip, based on a tone developed by the owner with Dobroserdov Design. It further adorns the limo tender, built by Vaudrey Miller.

While wine also comes into play in the interior, as a perfume made from vineyard grapes, the four classical elements take precedence. The color purple is used to great effect in the megayacht’s saloon and in one of the four guest staterooms to embody air, for example. The other guest staterooms echo the elements of earth (via earth tones), water (via blue tones), and fire (via red tones). The master suite, forward on the main deck and with balconies to each side, benefits from all of the elements. Rather than overwhelm the master or any of the other areas, however, the symbolic colors are used against a minimalist backdrop. Interior designers Michela Reverberi and Ken Freivokh each contributed to the decor.

Quinta Essentia obviously lets the owner and guests enjoy the water in a literal way. Her all-aluminum construction and twin 5,500-hp MTUs permit a reported 22-knot cruise and 24-knot top end. These are higher speeds that most other yachts in her size range, as they are more often than not full-displacement designs. Quinta Essentia also makes good work of harbor-hopping, enjoying a reported range of 4,500 nautical miles at 12 knots.

Quinta Essentia is booking charters in the Med next summer, for €350,000 per week (about $457,500) plus expenses. For specifics on her charter availability, fill out our contact form. In the meantime, here’s more of Quinta Essentia.

HESSEN Quinta Essentia with tender HESSEN Quinta Essentia saloon HESSEN Quinta Essentia master HESSEN Quinta Essentia guest SR purple HESSEN Quinta Essentia guest SR blue HESSEN Quinta Essentia guest SR red HESSEN Quinta Essentia alfresco fwd HESSEN Quinta Essentia alfresco dining HESSEN Quinta Essentia pool

Shipyard Spotlight: Balk Shipyard

Some of the most famous megayacht builders worldwide are family-run. So, too, are some lesser-known shipyards. Balk Shipyard is among the latter. However, the brother-and-sister team of Daan and Marjolein Balk are intent on making its manufacturing sheds more top of mind among clientele worldwide.

Holland-based Balk Shipyard traces its roots to 1802. That’s when Sijbrand Balk bought a shipyard in the town of Elburg—the same shipyard where family members had been employed for nearly two decades. Its primary focus at first was wooden fishing boats, but wooden ship repair was soon added to the mix. When Daan and Marjolein’s grandfather ran the yard starting in the late 1930s, he switched construction material to steel and the focus to yachts because the fishing industry was in decline. Balk Shipyard built yachts on behalf of other yards as well for some clients of its own. Bart Balk, Daan and Marjolein’s father, switched its offerings to yacht repair when he took over a few decades later.

Fast forward to 2011, and Daan and Marjolein Balk represent the seventh consecutive generation at the helm. While the original construction hall still stands—the black building in the photo above—it’s no long used for yacht construction or repair. Rather, it serves as a museum and restoration shop. Balk Shipyard moved to the neighboring city of Urk in 2004. “We wanted to stay in Elburg, but there was no possibility to grow there,” Daan explains. “We already had clients who we couldn’t fit in the shed.” By June 2007, Balk Shipyard was fully moved, operating out of three buildings in Urk.

Among Balk Shipyard’s clients at the time was Putty IV, the famed expedition yacht designed by Vripack and built by Palmer Johnson as Turmoil. Balk Shipyard was tapped for an extensive refit in late 2006. It involved redesigning and re-engineering Putty IV for purely luxury-yacht service, not hard-charging explorations. In just six months, the helideck became a sundeck (complete with hot tub and teak caprails), and some of Putty IV’s systems were swapped out.

Another ambitious project spanned 2008 to 2010. The 72-foot (21.95-meter) Amazone, dating to 1939, was refitted extensively to look the way she did when she was first launched. The work entailed stripping the decks and superstructure, then cleaning and revarnishing the wood. Balk Shipyard’s craftsmen also removed the wheelhouse roof for stripping and revarnishing, then found new locations for the modern-day navigation and communications necessities.

Balk Shipyard continues offering refit services, though it’s also home to new builds. Among the most notable is a current project, the 213-foot (65-meter) sailing superyacht pictured above. Mikhail S. Vorontsov is being built in conjunction with Dream Ship Victory, based in Turkey. Dream Ship Victory constructed the wood hull, which was transported to Balk Shipyard to be paired with the wood superstructure and final outfitting. The three-masted, staysail-rigged superyacht bears design work from Dykstra & Partners as well as Ken Freivokh Design. Mikhail S. Vorontsov is expected for delivery in 2012 and will meet RINA classification. Among her design highlights: ten staterooms, including the owner’s suite; an owner’s saloon separate from the main saloon; and 15,909 square feet (1,478 square meters) of sail area.

Balk Shipyard isn’t done there. It recently joined a handful of other Dutch yacht firms to create the Holland Yacht Experience. Located in Cannes, the Holland Yacht Experience promotes Dutch craftsmanship and quality to customers on a global scale. (The other members of the Holland Yacht Experience are Mulder Shipyard, Arie de Boom Marine, Van der Vliet Quality Yachts, and Wajer & Wajer.)

For more information directly from Balk Shipyard about its capabilities, fill out our contact form.

Plan Altered for Permanent Megayacht Marina After America’s Cup

Once the upcoming America’s Cup race in San Francisco ends, organizers won’t proceed with creating a permanent megayacht marina where it was initially intended to be.

As part of the overall race agreement signed some time ago, the America’s Cup organizers retained the right to establish a permanent marina after the race’s conclusion. That marina was to extend from piers 14 to 22½. However, that span includes waterfront by Rincon Park, a public space lauded for its views of San Francisco Bay. Regulations established by the state of California require the city to preserve public access. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, city officials and race organizers reached a new deal last Friday. In it, America’s Cup organizers will instead receive rights to develop Pier 54. The pier is part of the Mission Bay Waterfront redevelopment project, which calls for the creation of housing, retail and entertainment facilities, a hotel, and commercial and industrial usage.

The new megayacht marina agreement echoes one reached by the city and America’s Cup organizers a few months ago, over temporary megayacht moorings. The initial San Francisco superyacht berth plan was in dispute mostly due to the potential of hampering shore-side views and public access to the water at Rincon Park. A California government agency and environmental groups took issue with the temporary docks. Therefore, the America’s Cup organizers and the city reached a deal to move the temporary docks away from Rincon Park.

Even with the permanent marina being relocated, however, there are still issues to be resolved. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, environmental and neighborhood groups filed an appeal to the final environmental impact report. They claim that despite its approval by city commissioners, it doesn’t outline full solutions to traffic jams, detrimental impact to plants, and related issues. The city’s Board of Supervisors will review the appeal next month. If denied, the groups could sue, which in turn could delay development of the America’s Cup Village.

Updates will be posted accordingly.

Command at Sea International Providing Elite Security for Yachts

Command at Sea International (CASI) isn’t just another security firm expanding its operations to the megayacht market. Its staff, already working with high-net-worth individuals, emphasizes risk mitigation in what it terms a “keel to mast” approach.

To say that Brian Peterman, CEO of CASI and a retired vice admiral of the U.S. Coast Guard, knows about security, piracy, and related issues is an understatement. Peterman spent nearly four decades in the Coast Guard, plus previously served on the National Security Council staff and as the Special Assistant to the President for Borders and Transportation Security. He and his staff were asked by a client with a yacht to provide security assistance, as the owner fired the prior firm. Peterman and his team decided to visited marinas in many different regions to learn more, in anticipation of addressing other owners’ and crew’s concerns. What they saw, Peterman says, is “some $25 Panasonic keypads” that were anything but deterrents. As far as some yachts were concerned, the crew knew when to call the authorities for additional help, but they didn’t stop to think that when they’re on the ocean, “help may be five to 10 miles away,” Peterman adds.

CASI’s approach involves assessing everyone and everything related to the yacht. This includes the crew, the owner, the management company, and anyone else in the owner’s team. CASI then develops a risk-mitigation strategy. It does so on a sliding scale, so that the owner can match it to the threat level matching the current needs. CASI’s risk mitigation additionally extends to advanced port assessments, to evaluate how secure a particular marina and/or general area is. Furthermore, Peterman says, the team will check out the local hospitals and medevac operations in an area megayacht clients might visit, if so desired.

Of course, CASI also provides technology-based security system recommendations. These include customary items like video surveillance, but also electronic security sweeps. CASI will also monitor possible electronic espionage, such as communications and navigation interceptions.

Because CASI wishes to balance its capacity to serve its clients, “We’re looking to be very selective as to who we work with,” Peterman says. Ultimately, he adds, CASI would prefer to work simultaneously with the owners and crew of two to three new megayachts and three to four megayachts in refit. Peterman says that CASI would also like to speak with naval architects and perhaps shipyards about what he calls “unobtrusive security.” “You start from day one, because otherwise it is obtrusive,” he says, “ a band-aid approach.”

For more information about CASI, visit its website or fill out our contact form.