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Review: Moonen Yachts 97' "Sofia II"

Discussion in 'Moonen Yacht' started by YachtForums, Jan 29, 2009.

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  1. Moonen Shipyard's 97' "Sofia II"
    ...Because Quality Counts!

    by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy​

    She moves in beauty, like pure sunlight; without flaunting an over-abundant splash or fanfare,
    yet boasting her unmistakably sophisticated air. Tiptoeing nimbly into the world market,
    Moonen Shipyard's new 97' Sofia II (its 75th build) presents a fresh measure of
    elegance into the semi-custom 74’ / 125’ yachting arena. ​

    Sofia II; she is certain to be welcomed by the exclusive coterie of yacht owners who appreciate the foremost in yacht design as well as the highest quality construction. Her bright, happy aura is well deserved. The second in its brand-new line of 97-foot, steel-hulled displacement cruisers, she follows the motoryacht Darsea, her predecessor, with added room and other innovations. She will be recognized, the yard expects, by repeat Moonen owners who are already aware of the first-class design, construction, and awards the builder has garnered in its inventive history. Those include 17 International Awards for design, interior, and innovation of superlative products. Four of those trophies were the very top World Awards for their size and type; an admirable record for a mere 27-year undertaking. This new Rene’ van der Velden design, a steel-hull, round-bilge beauty, offers wide range with comfort and scope, plus at-anchor stabilization. Her bright, happy presence promises many fine yachting experiences.
  2. The Moonen 97’ model was developed for clients seeking a long-range yacht, midway between the 72’ and 124’. She is handsomely sculpted by René van der Velden Design over a round-bilge hull by Diana Yacht Design, which delivers what cruisers want. Moonen’s newest yard facility at the classic, medieval Brabant European town of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, now adds even more capacity to its quarter century of yacht building, with a 63m / 206’ construction hall in the nearby town of Groot-Ammers.
  3. The main yard features facilities for design work, fabrication, interior joinery and finishing for its “Pocket-Size Superyachts”, its Displacement and Explorer Series, as well as its aluminum Fast Yacht Series; overall 65’ to 150’. Its offshoot company, Inoferra, produces stainless steel components. Making it all seem quite simple, Moonen launches its prized yachts into a sea-adjacent canal fronting its yard, where it conducts sea trials.
  4. A view from the top shows Sofia II’s clever use of space. The low profile and design of the Flying Bridge adds volume throughout, enabling a larger master suite below as well as guest rooms, plus increased stowage. This also allows a longer afterdeck lounge area, plus increased room below for chartering or augmented crew accommodations. She sports a folding Bimini top on her upper deck, plus two tender cranes as well as a large inflatable tender and water toys. Outboard, her Night Navigator3 thermal imaging system enhances night vision and security.
  5. On the Main Deck in her spacious salon, Sofia II, like her sister-ship Darsea, features dramatic, contemporary styling by Art-Line Interior Design. For Sofia II, Art-Line used light maple trim to accompany cherry joinery, whereas sister-ship Darsea featured wenge woods. Unique, light-hued fabrics and details also enhance the differences between the two yachts, including high-end designer furniture for a singular yachting presentation, yet maintaining the exclusive “typical Moonen” fine Dutch quality.
  6. This perspective of the Salon emphasizes the large-windowed, magnificent view, plus the wide afterdeck through huge sliding glass doors. Spaciousness indeed, for a yacht this size.
  7. Sofia II’s graceful, almond-shaped dining table fits well as a whimsical continuation of her salon, blending perfectly with light colored fabrics and woods. Her charming approach accents the swooping curve of her open space, adding to its collective roominess. Separate furniture pieces offer additional lightness to her sprightly atmosphere.
  8. Located conveniently between the main salon and the galley, this wet bar easily whets the appetite for before or after-dinner libations.
  9. Situated aft of the wheelhouse and the convenient wet bar, her Galley, warm with wood veneers and complete with stainless steel refrigeration, is a model of simplicity, as well as a fully competent cooking area to please the most celebrated chef.
  10. Centered on the Main Deck, this simple but elegantly designed credenza at the foyer greets hosts and visitors going forward from the aft deck entrance.
  11. Forward is the Wheelhouse; nerve center of this handsome yacht. Continuing its conceptual plan, it offers a pair of all-business, leather-covered, Captain/First Officer chairs. Centered before her sweeping series of windshields, instrumentation is presented on a half-dozen wide screens facing her carved, wooden ship’s wheel. With bow/stern access doors at each beam, Sofia II also provides charting tables and storage drawers, as well as a generous, upholstered couch for onlookers.
  12. In this four-stateroom layout, the masterfully designed Master’s Quarters presents fine art-quality sculptured wall decor. Along with warm cherry paneling, resting on white carpeting with an embossed faux-leather overhead, it is well insulated from out of the room sound. To starboard is seen the entrance to the master bath-shower.
  13. View from the opposite side of the Master Stateroom...
  14. Continuing the very warm, strongly masculine theme, the master bath presents cherry paneling decor with striped white and steel access knobs. Note the ultra-modern wash basin; latest departure in bath accessories design, and wide, mirrored cabinets.
  15. The Master Shower also adheres to the strict, squeaky clean theme; large enough for two or more, with onyx cream-white marble floor and tiled walls. Overhead lighting is set in cherry veneer.
  16. Set forward at the bow, the VIP Suite berth is raised a step and centered in its sparkling cherry veneer setting, accented with white carpet and voluptuous window blinds. An overhead hatch allows morning sun or moonlight quietude. Copious storage lines the V-berth, including the bed pedestal.
  17. Set along the curving bow bulkhead, a convenient desk in the VIP Suite offers space for a communications set-up; internet, diary, or business contact.
  18. An additional guest cabin offers twin bunks; converting to a queen size with a bridge, and/or overhead bunk beds as well, plus storage cabinets. Rather spare, with a beam window.
  19. Designed on the same level with the Master bath, the Guest Baths mimic its wash basins and cherry veneer cabinetry, in a slightly less spacious mode. Glass enclosed showers boast room for two.
  20. The lazarette entrance from the swim platform shows a generous workspace with cabinet storage, rod holders and laundering facilities.
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