INTERIOR PHOTOS: JIM RAYCROFT PHOTOGRAPHY; EXTERIORS: YACHTCREATORS
Those who dare to be different often hear something they want to do cannot be done. The reality, though, is that the naysayers either haven’t considered change or don’t want to consider it. Lucas Silva didn’t take no for an answer in dreaming of his current yacht. The LeVen 90 packs bluewater performance, shallow-water island-hopping, and large-megayacht living into an intimate size. Simultaneously, she kicks off a series the likes of which yachting has, until now, not yet seen.
A superyacht series for Bahamian boating, LeVen Yachts started with Silva’s dilemma. He, along with his family, had cruised aboard a 121-footer (37-meter) and later a 50-footer (15-meter). They liked the space of and the certainty that came with classification for the megayacht, as well as her open-water abilities. But, they also liked the more intimate outdoor experience of the smaller yacht. They additionally liked the smaller yacht’s maneuverability and close-to-the-beach access. “On LeVen, my family now wants to experience the best of both worlds,” Silva says.
Silva collaborated with YachtCreators, which works with owners and shipyards on new-build projects and crafting brands. To tackle both the bluewater and skinny-water necessities, the LeVen 90 employs Vripack’s naval architecture and engineering. The studio recommended its patented Slide Hull, which has a few advantages. For instance, it reduces pounding and bow rise when getting on plane, thereby improving efficiency. Obviously helpful in any region, this particularly suits heading to the Caribbean and between the island chains. “Slide” hints at the efficiency, too, since water essentially slides past the hull. Combine this with twin MTUs and Voith Linear Jet nozzles, protected props with reduced sound and vibration plus higher efficiency, and the LeVen 90 reportedly cruises upwards of 23 knots. A Bahamas-friendly draft of just 4’6” (1.37 meters) further fits the bill.
The all-aluminum megayacht, built at Van der Valk Shipyard in The Netherlands, additionally has lithium batteries. These can operate the LeVen 90’s hotel load reportedly eight hours during daytime and 12 hours overnight. That no-sound, no-vibration benefit makes the “lanai deck” (above) all the more enjoyable, especially since it’s the yacht’s hub. Silva’s active, outdoor-oriented family keeps all the SeaBobs and other watertoys beneath the sunpads. They also spend abundant time leaping off the swim platform, hanging out on the sunpad, gathered around the table, and more.
This fuller look at the lanai deck reveals how the LeVen 90 reimagines alfresco enjoyment. The traditional elevated and constrained aft-deck dining area gets kicked to the curb. Instead, staggered levels show how Silva and his fun-loving, outdoorsy family designed every corner around those desires. From casual dining in the shade of the deck above to even more casual dining, relaxing, and activity aft, these desires aren’t unique to them, either. Chances are strong that many more modern families will want their decks like this—which inspired the LeVen Yachts brand.
A closer look at the aft-deck dining area reveals a sense of continuity to the “great room,” a.k.a. interior. The location of the table as well as choice of words for the interior are deliberate. Just as Silva didn’t find what he wanted already on the market, he (and other owners) shouldn’t feel constrained by traditional definitions of living.
Speaking of living: If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the galley is the heart of the LeVen 90. Silva’s family likes to cook themselves. His wife also wanted to be able to keep a watchful eye on the kids outside. This explains the open-plan layout. That and nine-foot (2.7-meter) headroom “make the boat feel bigger without going bigger,” says Barin Cardenas, founder of YachtCreators. Additionally, he says, the overall design is made with multiple generations in mind. “Nobody wants to be completely apart,” he explains. “You’re on a boat for a reason.”
The LeVen 90 is custom for a reason, too. The forward window in the galley lowers to create a great cross breeze, lessening the reliance on air conditioning. The ports in the four staterooms below decks are larger than the norm, leading RINA to “put us through the wringer,” Cardenas said, before signing off on classification. The deeper thinking overall even extended to the crew, who have six different places to install a mobile davit to handle the watertoys.
The next time someone tries to limit your thinking, remember Silva. Dare to ask, and to be different.
LeVen Yachts levenyachts.com