There are refits, and then there are conversions. There are conversions, and then there is the conversion of a 30-year-old fishing trawler into the yacht Scintilla Maris. Really, though, this is much more of a reconstruction than transforming a rugged commercial vessel into an equally rugged-looking, durable cruiser.
Don’t just take our word for it. The owner asserts that the four-year process was “less of a conversion and more of a rebuild on an existing hull,” he says. “I wanted to make use of the magnificent Dutch fishing trawler hulls that have been built over the centuries.” These hulls have allowed fleet after fleet to ply the often-challenging waters of the North Sea. That was of great significance to the owner because of his desire to cruise aboard an eminently capable global explorer. It was far more important “to create something that offers optimum comfort and quality of life rather than luxury.”
Scintilla Maris (pronounced skin-TIL-a MAH-res) headed back to where she first took shape, the Damen Maaskant shipyard in The Netherlands. (Her original launch date, by the way, was 1988.) The craftspeople completely stripped the single-propeller, 570-gross-ton vessel to bare metal. With Vripack handling interior design, steadily an entirely new look and feel started developing onboard. Primarily, the owner wanted a home away from home with lots of light, space, and definitely comfort. He chose Vripack for its design experience with commercial vessels as much as its ability to deliver what he wanted. “He requested a functional aesthetic that feels both classy and utilitarian without being overly opulent,” explains Marnix Hoekstra, Vripack’s co-creative director.
Notably, amid the curving feature walls and significant number of windows and skylights, shades of red, green, and yellow catch the eye. Equally important, the interiors are high-pressure laminate. The owner and Vripack chose it due to it being durable, cost efficient, and easy to maintain. Whether with daylight streaming in from the sides and overhead or with nighttime low lighting, the look is warm and welcoming. It’s especially true in the master suite, where the skylight replaces the fishing trawler’s original fish-hold hatch.
Finally, with Vripack, Damen Maaskant reduced volume to fall beneath the 500-gross-ton threshold. Now, a crew of nine—who of course have their own galley and mess—handle all operational duties. That includes the new hybrid propulsion system, to reduce sound and vibration and comply with tough emissions regulations in some ports.
Although Scintilla Maris’ maiden voyage hasn’t begun yet, it should soon. In fact, Norway, Iceland, and Greenland are among her first destinations. She’s offering select charters, too, with EYOS Expeditions.
More About the Yacht Scintilla Maris
LOA: 149’6” (45.6 meters)
Beam: 29’5” (9 meters)
Draft: 16’1” (4.9 meters)
Guests: 10 in 5 staterooms
Engines: 1/Deutz-MWM (horsepower not specified) with battery bank
Range: not specified
Builder: Damen Maaskant
Stylist: Damen Maaskant
Naval Architect: Damen Maaskant
Interior Designer: Vripack