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Novel naval architecture

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by jsschieff, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. jsschieff

    jsschieff Member

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    Read an announcement recently about a new series of aluminum motor yachts called the Beach Club series from Van Der Valk, a Dutch company.

    http://www.wimvandervalk.com/yachts/beachclub/600-2/

    Although European yacht builders have produced powerboats with very non-traditional appearances, most powerboats stick to quite tried-and-true mechanical and interior arrangements. The Van Der Walk Beach Club boats have done something I haven't seen before -- placing motors and IPS drives under the swim platform. That frees up the entire stern area of the boats and Van Der Valk used the space for a salon with sliding glass doors across the transom. With huge hull windows the salon is very light. There are other interesting aspects to the design -- they offer various layouts on the foredeck including a jacuzzi style pool. There appears to be just one stateroom which may not fly on a 60-foot yacht.

    I don't know anything about Van Der Valk and am not planning to buy a boat from them, but I applaud the creativity they have shown in this series. But I wonder what the drawbacks are to placing mechanicals under the swim platform and moving the salon to the stern of the boat. Does this layout seem usable and sensible or impractical and odd to knowledgeable yachtsmen who read this forum?
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Yes, and no. Beach clubs on boats is certainly not new or unique but they have taken it a step further. The problem is that for everything added to a boat, something has to go.

    I love the bow space as many boats have increased the functionality of their bows. However, like much of the amenities, they are designed for times at anchor, times sitting still. Beach club the same thing. When underway, the usable area is relatively limited for a boat it's size.

    They've taken an interesting approach to adding living space. You normally gain it by going up, with a flybridge. They've gained by going down. What isn't shown is what that's done to the engine room. What is shown is that it's cut down considerably on the cabin space.

    I see it as somewhat a brilliant boat for sitting at anchor and very limited for a boat it's size when underway. In one way it's as if they've made a 60' Bowrider, except at sea you can't really ride in the bow. On a lake you can.

    We own two boats in that range, as Sunseeker Manhattan and a Riva Vertigo. While both are slightly larger with 63' deck lengths, they would be competing. This boat suffers significantly in one area that buyers in that size range consider important and that is speed. A cruising speed of 19.2 knots doesn't fit a sport boat. Our Sunseeker is 26-28 knots and the Riva is 35 knots. Compared to the Manhattan with an upper galley and a flybridge, it's cabin space is the same as you get in the Manhattan if you don't include the Master in the Manhattan. Compared to the Riva, this boat does have more usable space for relaxation. Just misses the sport part completely.

    I've watched a lot of unique styles over the past few years that I thought had a place but didn't seem to work out that way. Astondoa's Top Deck and Wider. Both designed to be attractive day boats, but to my knowledge both with very underwhelming results.

    Do I think there's a place for the Beach Club? Perhaps. However, I don't see it likely to gain traction. Perhaps if it was a large builder of boats in that range like Sunseeker or even Princess or Azimut or Ferretti, it would pick up some business. But I think it's a novelty and novelties don't seem to sell, not even those with concepts I like. If I'm really looking for unique, I'm probably going to head to someone like Delta.

    Sorry, my vote is "no." I wanted to like it when I first looked not long ago, but I just can't. Looks nice, but in actual use, the negatives overcome the positives.
  3. Fletcher500

    Fletcher500 Member

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    Where does the Ding go? For a boat this large, I would think that is a must.

    Overall, it looks interesting and the aft glass area is intriguing. Seems to be more for the younger crowd, or people that like a lot of visibility and want to be "seen".
  4. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    This reminds me of how Lazzarra addressed the location of their IPS engines / drives, with access at the transom, so I would say the approach is certainly not new.

    It does look like a modern take on a Raised Pilothouse, has a good profile look. You are still getting 3 staterooms, 1 salon and a pilothouse which is pretty common in a 19m (64') vessel. The lower salon/integrated galley has an interesting "solarium" aspect. There seems to be a lot of vertical motion necessary to get to all the spaces?
  5. jsschieff

    jsschieff Member

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    Older Boater, Now that you mention it, the Astandoa Top Deck was a really interesting boat. I remember going through one at a boat show in Florida and thinking it had some very usable features. That boat was very creative like the Van Der Valk line, but Astandoa never became a mainstream brand here in the U.S. Your comments on the Van Der Valk Beach Club line very perceptive.
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Sometimes designers (very different industry but dealt with designers throughout my career) design for themselves rather than the customer. They have great ideas and creativity and so they put some of that into a product. Then others in the organization are tasked with the job of selling. They may or may not believe in the design, but more importantly the customer may not perceive the benefit. Yacht buyers remain heavily traditional. That doesn't mean there are no variations, but something very unique and different is a difficult sale.

    The market didn't jump on the Top Deck or the Wider 42. Now, instead of an entire boat opened up, there have been many more yachts built with sections that open and drop down to give sitting areas outside. Small moves, not total redesign.

    As a boat buyer, there's nothing in the Beach Club that says to me, "I wish I owned that instead of...a boat I do own".

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