Andre Hoek naval architect and interior designer too since aside from carrying out the project design for Atalante also oversaw the interiors of this top of its segment, in terms of quality and performance.
Results like these don’t just happen by coincidence. The owner with plenty of sea going experience who already sailed a TC90 (truly Classic) with the same name was looking for a bigger, faster, and more comfortable sailing yacht. By comfortable he meant added comfort for the crew and for his guests but without losing the close contact with the sea he had become accustomed to.
And perhaps this request more than the others represented the biggest challenge. The original plans were for a 115’ and Atalanta is an extension to 127’ of the original 115’ project to add greater comfort to the crew, which now benefit of the same high level decor the rest of the yacht possesses.
In André Hoek’s own words: “this yacht’s price to quality ratio is difficult to beat thanks to the level of the work carried out by Claasen’s craftsmen and technicians which goes right across the range of different sectors such as carpentry, joinery, linings, technical aspects, the engine room’s layout all the wiring and much more”. This yacht is also the first of a series. One of the salient points of the agreement between Hoek design and Claasen shipyard is to come up with a project which is flexible enough to be exploited as base for several different tailor made yachts for other clients. The project is very performance oriented, the hull is in high module aluminium alloys, the mast and rig in carbon fibres all of which saves considerable weight, while a set of performing 3Di North sails have been chosen as well.
The deck space is divided up into separate sections, lounge, dining area, or sun bathing spot with a fabulous view of the surroundings. Two Bimini tops can be removed easily when racing. What’s is really remarkable about the deck is the quality of the teak reliefs where the coach roofs are low and streamlined just as much as the built in tracks from which sun protecting awnings are spread out when there are no guests on board. A large wheel at the helm controls station allows the helmsman to steer while comfortably seated down wind, which is a good thing since the owners enjoy steering and downwind there’s added visibility. The sails’ sheet winches and all other controls are near the helm controls station in a separate cockpit which means that if there’s a charter party on board, the guests not wishing to get involved can take to the main cockpit which is situated some distance away from the controls.
Atalante can be boarded by accessing a hydraulic boarding platform which folds back into the hull. The platform possesses a number of side steps to facilitate boarding and disembarking. The carbon mast has been produced by Offshore Spars and is held in place by carbon stays. The 3DI sails by North sails are certainly performance oriented, the main is of the full batten variety and slots into a Park avenue boom supplemented by a lazy jack and useful Harken trucks. Roller reefing is ensured by Reckmann gear with load indicators to monitor the rig.
The stern end of this lovely yacht’s coaming sports twin screen displays with navigational data and other useful information for the helmsman and houses the owner’s study/office which is also situated in the same area as the owner’s suite that can be accessed through an electrically operated sliding door. The sound proofing is first class also when motoring, the suite runs full beam across and has been made to be as symmetrical as possible. On starboard side there’s a dressing table with a huge back-lit mirror, on the opposite side there’s a comfortable corner sofa in which to relax and read. This suite is equipped with plenty of shelves, drawers and floor to ceiling wardrobes. The bathroom is made up of a shower cabinet with a separate w.c. and bidet area.
The furniture on board was supplied by London based Hamilton Western company, after the owner rejected three previous proposals. The interiors are lined with mahogany panelling from the West Indies. The project designer reportedly said “After much dedicated research work in Holland and elsewhere we found the mahogany veneers perfect”. Ceilings and walls are painted white above the skirting to brighten up the interiors more, while well distributed works of art complete a welcoming comfortable picture.
The spaces available could have easily contained more cabins but upon the owner’s request they weren’t. The main saloon runs full beam across too it has a seating capacity of ten but there’s room for more and it lends itself well to every kind of entertainment. The area is bright with plenty of natural light, there’s a bar zone, bookshelves, and a television set. A watertight hatch in the saloon leads to the technical room which is equipped with A/C. Access to the engine room is via a door in the technical room itself.
This layout is a clever solution inasmuch as it creates a buffer room which dampens noise coming from the engine room to the saloon and keeps the control systems installed in the technical room cool thanks to the two doors and the A/C system. The dining area can be accessed via a curved stairway. This bright area is furnished with a large table to port and a gaming/card table to starboard. Two drawers lined with blue velvet by Carrs from Sheffield are worthy of note, the same company also supplied the cutlery.
Proceeding towards the bows there are two guest cabins one on each side. Forward of the mast there’s a door which leads to the crew area. The galley area is rationally devised so that everything is readily available to the chef. The burners are all on gimbals, while the refrigerator and freezer offer plenty of storage space and can be easily removed from if they have to be replaced.
The crew mess is situated on starboard side, it comprises a rectangular table which doubles as dining and tea table. The captain’s cabin is furnished, with a double bed, a display monitoring screen which has been purposely installed onto a bulkhead for easy viewing and a private bathroom. The captain’s office can double as an extra cabin. The crew’s accommodation consists in a double cabin with bathroom.
The laundry room is on port side it is equipped with a pair of washing machines and as many tumble dryers. There’s another day head in the laundry. Beneath the flooring there’s a huge freezer near the laundry. The anchor chain wells are integrated into this section so as to distribute loads evenly and to keep the bow end as light as possible.
The layout of the engine room is also noteworthy it is a great deal larger than many others on other sailing yachts of the same size. Atalante is equipped with sophisticated technical plants but they’re easy to use and can guarantee to sail the yacht in all weather conditions. The yacht’s engine is a Scania linked to a variable pitch propeller, two Northern Lights generator sets. Oil changes to the main engine and to the generator sets can be efficiently carried out thanks to a set of suction pumps bolted to the engine room and tubing.
“The biggest problem on yachts of this type always comes from the exhaust pipes in the stern”. I am told by the yard. Many have adopted the simplest solution which means installing the exit amidships but then this can bring the exhaust fumes back up into the main cockpit at centre while motoring underway. Atalante is equipped with a cooling system which cools the fumes with water which is then separated and the remainder is ejected in the stern end. The separating devices are installed above the waterline and as close as possible to amidships.
This solution requires careful planning in terms of spaces and architecture but the final result is that we have one of the finest engine rooms in this segment. Ketch or Sloop rigs can be chosen in the future as well as the choice of keels, for example a lifting keel can usefully reduce draught to increase performance when running before and makes it easier to moor in marinas and ports.
For futher information: Claasen Shipyards
Text by Roberto Neglia
Photos by Cory Silken and Rick Tomlinson