Aquarius hit the water in 2018, she’s a magnificent 56 metre ketch which blends a design which seems to come from times gone with latest generation modern technology.
When the owner sat down with Royal Huisman’s and Dykstra Naval Architects management accompanied by his representative Godfrey ‘Good’ Cray his code word was: simplicity. The owner an expert yachtsman first of all wanted a classic yacht in terms of design but modern in terms of technology. A fast yacht but a simple one to sail since he had every intention to take part in the Bucket regatta but to visit the most unexplored areas in the world. Consequently she had to possess great sea keeping qualities while also being highly comfortable but without all those innovations most modern yachts have which he considers as superfluous.
Original video by the shipyard
“A modern classical yacht with a clean, uncomplicated look. Not a pirate ship but a modern, fashionable and chic looking yacht with performance, reliability and quality – a sailor’s yacht.” said Godfrey Cray project manager. It has by no means been an easy project for the architects from the Dykstra studio and for Royal Huisman’s technicians who had to abide by the requests made while maintaining a simple easy to use rig.
To develop the rig the Dutch yard worked closely with Dykstra Naval Architects, with Doyle sails NZ specialists, carbon – Link, Rondal – sister company to Royal Huisman and with the owner’s representative. The synergy derived by all of these realities with the contributing aerodynamic analyses and FEA resulted in drawing up the main lines while always considering the necessity for cleanliness and easy maintenance of all the gear. With a typical ketch rig Aquarius sports a sail plan equal to 3,000 square metres when running downwind and reaching the highest speed possible according to the project which is of 16 knots. Under power the yacht is capable of reaching 14 knots with a range of 4,000 nautical miles at ten knots.
Seen from outside Aquarius could like a yacht from the past which has been restored to perfection but once on board it is clearly a modern classic with loads more comfort and gear initialled by Rondal and Harken with latest generation navigational aids and tricks learnt on contemporary yachts and great experience.
The deck’s layout comprises two compact deckhouses lined in teak with a smaller hatch forward to let the crew go about their work independently. Amidships there’s a lounge area in which to socialize and a well furnished main cockpit in which to enjoy luncheons and dinners.
The elegant and technologic wheel house separates the cockpit and the main access from the owner’s private area. It is possible to descend directly from here to the owner’s quarters which like the remaining interior surroundings are packaged in New England style with plenty of mahogany essences. The space made available for the king size bed in the owner’s suite is on starboard side with alarge dresser opposite while proceeding toward the door accessing the cockpit we find a study and a walk-in wardrobe. The whole of this area is bright with natural light thanks to a considerable sky light which can be closed accordingly. The main deck hosts a large saloon which easily doubles as an elegant dining area facing the sea once the tables have been organized accordingly. Descending below decks we come to a media/entertainment room and a guest cabin with twin beds and a bunk bed. Aft toward the stern Aquarius hosts two VIP suites and the owner’s master suite while proceeding forward toward the bow we come to the crew’s lodgings where in addition to their cabins, we find the galley and a gym.
“I was impressed by Royal Huisman’s collaborative approach” said Mark Whiteley who handled the interiors. “The shipyard is open to listening to new possibilities and options. Their mission has always been dedicated to finding the best solutions for the owners and their families”.
About Royal Huisman
The sea trial was pubblished in Superyacht 65 -Spring 2020