There’s a familiar pattern in yachting. Owners increasingly step up in size, to enjoy more creature comforts. Sometimes, though, they end up sacrificing simplicity of operations, and feeling less connected to the cruising experience. Lucas Silva knows this first-hand. That’s why he’s a driving force behind LeVen Yachts, a series of 90-footers (27-meters) that combine big-yacht comfort with small-boat conveniences. Simultaneously, LeVen Yachts are class-built, featuring a first for yachting in propulsion technology, too.
LeVen (pronounced “le-ven,” meaning “life” in Dutch) started as an idea more than two years ago. Silva previously owned Nono, a 121-foot (37-meter) megayacht. He later owned a 50-footer (15-meter). “On our 37-meter, my family appreciated the confidence that came with building to class,” Silva says. They also liked the good watertoy space, low sound levels, and “massive outdoor decks.” With the 50, “we enjoyed the simplicity of use, the connection with the water, agility, and the shallow draft,” he continues. “On LeVen, my family now wants to experience the best of both worlds.”
Silva built the brand with YachtCreators, a Florida-based firm that works with owners and builders on new-construction projects and building brands. It further offers brokerage, yacht management, and other services. “LeVen began as a dream of island living, but it’s evolved into so much more,” says Barin Cardenas, YachtCreators’ founder. The series, which sees hull number one premiere at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, combines good speed and shallow draft for Bahamian island hopping. Draft is 4’6” (1.37 meters). But, the yachts also offer good range and performance for open-water cruising, like in the Caribbean.
The dual-use emphasis made Silva and YachtCreators rule out conventional propulsion. While LeVen Yachts employs twin 1,900-hp MTUs, they’re coupled to Voith Linear Jet nozzles. Proven on commercial and military ships, Voith Linear Jets surround the props, increasing efficiency, reducing fuel burn, and reducing sound. Of particular note, LeVen’s first hull will be the first megayacht in the water featuring them.
This, in turn, led to a purpose-designed hull. In discussions with Vripack, the team learned of the design studio’s patented Slide Hull. So-named because water flows along it much like a playground slide, it offers several additional benefits. For instance, it reduces pounding and bow rise. With the twin MTUs, LeVen’s first hull should cruise at 23 knots and see a range of 400 nautical miles. She should further top out at 26 knots.
The all-aluminum yacht is launching from Van der Valk Shipyards in late September. RINA-classed, she’ll truly prioritize a connection to the sea via her layout, too. LeVen eschews the typical saloon and dining area combination for a more home-like great room (below). The bar area is actually the galley, akin to a chef’s kitchen. Furthermore, the forward ports drop down at the press of a button. In combination with keeping the doors open to the “lanai deck” just aft (above), the ambiance is welcoming and relaxing.
The 22-foot (6.7-meter) beam, four staterooms, and nearly 40-foot-long (12-meter-long) sundeck are further enticing. So are the bow seating area and aft sports deck, stowing watertoys out of sight. Creature comforts clearly take center stage aboard.
Even with this, though, LeVen Yachts strives to be extra-practical. The hardtop has integrated solar panels, for instance. They feed the lithium battery bank, which can power air conditioning and all hotel loads for hours. Specifically, the yacht can rely solely on the batteries for eight hours in daytime mode and 12 hours overnight.
We’ll have more on LeVen Yachts in the coming weeks, including a Megayacht News Onboard feature following hull number one’s premiere.
LeVen Yachts levenyachts.com
Van der Valk Shipyard wimvandervalk.com