INTERIOR PHOTOS: Kai ter Borg
Canoe sterns are about as classic as can be when it comes to yacht design. The owners of Soprano celebrate that style from stem to stern aboard their 125’5” (38.25-meter) megayacht. It’s fitting, too, that she came from a builder, Hakvoort Shipyard, whose history in Monnickendam, The Netherlands, spans a century. Simultaneously, though, Soprano shows how early-20th-century style and modern creature comforts and regulations can work together well.
The above-mentioned canoe stern and traditional flared bow convey to on-lookers much of what the onboard experience is all about. Interestingly, the owners drew inspiration from a nearly 20-year-old Hakvoort, Spada, which they’d previously visited. For their own yacht, though—their first megayacht, in fact—they wanted to mix things up a bit inside. They paired rich mahogany and matte-white painted wood, much like an old sailing yacht, with a contemporary, beach-chic ambiance.
The skylounge embodies that beach-chic idea. With interior designer Felix Buytendijk, they chose weathered-wood tables. These help lighten up the atmosphere. (Mahogany is so rich that it could overwhelm a room.) Also, just as a beach house has fresh breezes blowing through, Soprano has sliding windows here. Plantation shutters all around, including for the aft-deck access, let air circulate while protecting privacy, too. Not visible is a terrific bar, clad within white cabinetry forward. It’s where you’d expect to find a TV—something the owners felt was unnecessary.
As much as Soprano’s owners looked forward to private cruises, they knew they couldn’t use her frequently. Therefore, they designed her with an eye toward charter. (Ocean Independence holds the central listing.) That explains why one of the two twin guest staterooms has a Pullman berth. The third guest stateroom is a full-beam VIP. Each cabin has the same color scheme and materials, including limestone. “Any boat below 60 meters should have a unified style,” asserts Buytendijk.
For their own time aboard, the owners have this main-deck master for relaxing, and working out. There’s not enough room for a gym, so Soprano’s master head does double duty. The owners set up a cross-trainer next to the sink. A TV flips down from overhead, manually, so they can make the time go by quickly.
In keeping with her classic character, Soprano situates a curved, cozy seating and dining area on the main aft deck. Since the galley is on the main deck, too, meals can arrive swiftly. (More dining takes place aft on the bridge deck and on the sundeck.) On the subject of crew areas, Hakvoort and the naval architects at Diana Yacht Design ensured that Soprano complied with LY3 regulations. The owners specifically requested this. Among the benefits: The crew’s quarters are larger than those on comparably sized megayachts. In fact, Hakvoort’s in-house project manager says they’re more generous than the LY3 specifications. A happy crew is crucial to a happy ownership, and happy charter, experience.
Speaking of the charter experience, guests will likely enjoy putting this fold-down side platform to good use. It’s also the handy boarding area when Soprano is out at anchor, since her canoe stern precludes a swim platform.
Even in the pilothouse, where the wheel is wood, Soprano stays true to the classic vision. Her size and newness give her an edge on the charter circuit, where primarily larger yachts debut each year. Modern-looking marvels might turn some people’s heads. But megayachts blending the old and the new deserve special attention, too.