“I started making the sketches in December 2019, and Lady Lene was delivered in November 2021,” says Guido de Groot, the renowned yacht designer. Going from the first time the pencil hit the paper to a completed custom cruiser in just 23 months is remarkable. So, too, is giving a yacht elegant appeal while simultaneously lending her robust looks. Rather than us tell you how all of this happened with the Lady Lene yacht project, we’ll let de Groot himself do the talking. And the sketching.
First, some background. The owners of Lady Lene sought out the builder, Van der Valk Shipyard, due to their family’s prior experience with the team. In fact, the Dutch builder had delivered a 90-footer (27-meter) to the owners’ son. That fully custom, all-aluminum yacht entertained multiple generations of the family. Although the elder members did enjoy their time onboard, they decided it would be even nicer to have their own yacht, too.
Initially, their design brief called for a custom yacht in the 80-foot (24-meter) size range, since they wanted to keep Lady Lene behind their home. But, as is often the case, the size changed as they considered amenities. For instance, they wanted a formal dining area separate from the main saloon. They also wanted an ample aft deck for relaxing, socializing, and making lasting memories with their family. Therefore, ultimately, the size grew to 111 feet (34 meters).
What didn’t change, however, was that the Lady Lene yacht project needed to be fully wheelchair accessible. Additionally, the ceiling heights had to be higher than the norm. Neither did the profile of this fully custom creation. As you’ll see, that profile starts with a strong vertical line connecting with the distinctive side windows. These allow the owners and their guests to take in unobstructed views whether in a wheelchair or on a settee.
Watch as Guido de Groot takes you back to the first conversation with the owners and re-creates those first lines. He explains how and why every element was important, too. It includes the interaction with Van der Valk and the interior designer Carla Guilhem. Notably, she had worked with the owners on their home but never before on a yacht.
Guido de Groot Design guidodegroot.com
Van der Valk Shipyard vandervalkshipyard.com