Last year, the well-known yacht sales, brokerage, and charter firm HMY created a new division, HMY SuperYachts, primarily in response to the needs of motoryacht clients looking to sell and step up in size. While HMY SuperYachts initially focused on brokerage, it soon expanded to encompass charter as well, and it is increasingly expanding into new construction. As a result, HMY SuperYachts is now the U.S. representative for two European builders that believe the American market will be receptive to their inventive approaches to yacht design and construction. The two shipyards are Italy-based Arcadia Yachts and The Netherlands-based Balk Shipyard.
Arcadia Yachts was established in 2008 by a handful of yachting executives, including Maurizio Baldoni, the current sales and marketing director, who believed megayacht buyers were frustrated by so many offerings all looking alike. Despite the global economic crisis, the team invested in designs and molds for an all-fiberglass lineup of megayachts. The first project, the Arcadia 85 (above), debuted at the Düsseldorf boat show in 2010 and sold. To say she’s radically different in appearance than other motoryachts is an understatement, and exactly what the Arcadia Yachts team intended.
But there’s more to the Arcadia 85 than the styling. For example, the 85 has a far larger aft deck than similar-size motoryachts: 26 feet x 23 feet (8 meters x 7 meters), akin to the space aboard a 150. The other two offerings in Arcadia’s lineup, the Arcadia 100 and Arcadia 115, follow a similar extra-roomy philosophy, by redistributing the space typically devoted to superstructures. Many megayachts in the 80- to 120-foot size range have long foredecks; even if they’re further fitted with sunpads and/or have lockers for stowage, most of the foredeck is unused. Arcadia Yachts decided that it would be better to shift the superstructure aft and raise it up as well. There’s still a sunning space at the foredeck aboard the Arcadia 85, 100, and 115, and there’s still the all-important room for the crew to access gear. Simultaneously, the three models emphasize natural light inside with floor-to-ceiling windows in several spots, headroom of nearly 10 feet (3 meters) amidships, and lower fuel consumption through the use of solar panels on the superstructure.
As for Balk Shipyard, brother and sister Daan and Marjolein Balk represent the seventh consecutive generation at the helm since its founding in 1802. Based in Urk, Balk Shipyard has three construction sheds primarily focused on steel and aluminum yachts, with the largest shed able to accommodate a 213-footer (65-meter) megayacht. Several workshops are on site, with its own craftsmen tackling a variety of tasks ranging from decking to interior work to metalwork. Like the rest of the Dutch megayacht builders, Balk Shipyards also relies on a network of regular subcontractors.
Balk Shipyard has handled a number of megayacht refits and new builds in recent years. Refits include that of the 119-foot (36.4-meter) expedition yacht Lars, a months-long, comprehensive project. Lars was originally commissioned in the early 1990s at another shipyard as a tugboat with some luxury touches, intended to take her owner on adventurous cruises, but only partially completed. A buyer acquired Lars and had her shipped to Balk Shipyard in 2011 for the towing equipment to be removed and other major redesign work. As for new builds, earlier this year Balk Shipyard delivered the 213-foot (65-meter) Mikhail S. Vorontsov (pictured). The megayacht is an all-wood, three-masted staysail schooner built in collaboration with Dream Ship Victory, based in Turkey. Dream Ship Victory constructed the hull, which was sent to Balk Shipyard for completion. Balk ended up rebuilding the hull, then creating the superstructure and finishing the final outfitting. Mikhail S. Vorontsov, with 10 staterooms and 15,909 square feet (1,478 square meters) of sail area, was selected as a finalist in the recent International Superyacht Society’s annual Design Awards.
Currently, Balk Shipyard is promoting a new 190-foot (58-meter) megayacht designed by Rene van der Velden as well as a conversion of a commercial craft into a classic-looking cruiser from a bygone era. We’ll have in-depth details on both projects in the coming weeks.
HMY SuperYachts is based in Palm Beach, Florida and has a new—and first-ever—international office in Monaco.