During the first summer of the pandemic, people around the world turned to yachting as a safe family vacation haven. One particular person turned to Google, which led to Amazon.com, and ultimately to Vripack designing this explorer. “A yacht born out of Covid for a family destined to be free,” as the studio puts it.
Indeed, the very premise is a pandemic-proof 131-footer (40-meter), as capable of coastal cruising in the Med as she is of venturing off the beaten path. Put another way, she’s as much a boat as a bolt-hole. “It’s a home, hotel, and yacht rolled into one,” explains Marnix Hoekstra, Vripack’s co-creative director.
The owner found Vripack in a most unusual way, too. Notably, the owner wasn’t already working with a broker, or even an owner’s representative. In fact, with no consultant providing insight on how to start a yacht project, the owner did what nearly everyone does. Specifically, the owner searched Google—in this case, for books on great yacht design. It resulted in information on Yacht Design, Vripack’s book from 2018. With the door then open to contacting the studio, with a plethora of rugged yachts and globetrotters to its credit, the proverbial ball really got rolling.
The owner wanted a tough-looking, even warrior-like profile, combined with a beach-house-like vibe inside much like that of the family homes. The go-anywhere design elements are evident in the elevated wheelhouse and the dedicated boat deck. The latter has space for exploratory craft, like a 40-foot (12-meter) rugged Axopar tender, bikes, and other large toys. The general arrangement caters to the family with four staterooms below decks, a full-beam main-deck VIP, and an open-plan saloon, dining area, and workspace. Particularly for the kids, there’s a special children’s zone aboard. The grown-ups, meanwhile, can relax with a good pour from the smoked-glass wine cabinet.
Vripack and the owner especially focused on an owner’s deck, its own level with a glass-surrounded, full-beam suite amidships. One deck above the main deck, it has a gym forward with a view, leading out to a bow-nestled relaxation area. Cream-colored linens, tan-toned leathers, and French oak would have underscored how the owner’s deck would have been the “heart” of the yacht. “Would have” are the operative words. The family eventually chose not to put the design out to build.
However, the foundations of this explorer remain. Perhaps, just as the owner was inspired, the design will inspire others.
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