Twenty-two years ago, one particular sailing superyacht set off from The Netherlands, and has hardly paused since. Better yet, the 100-foot (30-meter) Reesle has done so with her original owners aboard. They have ambitious plans for the coming year, too—and therefore have her undergoing an equally ambitious refit.
The owners have New Zealand in their sights—after a trans-Pacific trip. What makes the refit so ambitious is the tight timetable. While the scope of work will last six to eight months, that’s not the tight part. The owners only contacted Claasen Shipyards two months ahead of the intended start date. Wouter van Rijn, a project manager at Claasen, and a fellow craftsman left straight away to meet the yacht. Sitting in Kiel, Germany, Reesle departed for the shipyard with the two of them as well as three crewmembers. “Within a week, we were removing the mast, and the yacht was inside our facility just north of Amsterdam,” van Rijn adds.
Among the work tasks, Claasen is refurbishing the main engines. First, however, craftspeople need to uninstall the boiler system, gensets, and about half of the other engine-room equipment. Only then can they take apart the powerplants, then extract them from side hatches. Then, Reesle will also see structurally modified engine mounts and a new bow thruster. Furthermore, Reesle will receive a new coat of paint.
“This is a fine example of how owners have fallen in love with their yacht and the unique memories she carries,” van Rijn says. It’s safe to say they had unique memories in mind when they approached Hoek Design, her naval architect, all those years ago. The company website indicates the owners wanted “a no-nonsense expedition schooner.” In fact, she “would be more of a ship than a yacht.” With a sail area of about 2,928 square feet (272 square meters), Reesle has an “exceptionally sturdy” rig, with in-mast furling.
Built by Engelaer Scheepsbouw, a fellow Dutch yard, the sailing yacht most recently cruised Scandinavia and parts of Russia.