Big in Japan

The attractions of our fully custom offer has a global reach, confirmed by the recent new order from a Japanese client. The first Van der Valk to grace the waters of the land of the rising sun will be the 21.27-metre Project Micamo. With a sophisticated exterior and interior by Guido de Groot Design, this bespoke flybridge motoryacht has led to new rules being written by the Japanese flag state authorities.

Going the extra miles
Project Micamo confirms how far Van der Valk is prepared to go to meet personal wishes. The owner is keen to sail on his own keel to the Ogasawara Islands, a UNESCO site some 1,000 km south of the main Japanese archipelago. The maritime authorities in this part of the world have strict rules for commercial vessels but none were in place for a 20-metre pleasure craft making such lengthy passages.

Having these adapted for Project Micamo was a big ask, as was fully complying with the rules for construction, stability, buoyancy and safety. Items you’d normally only see on 300GT-plus superyachts include a second watertight bulkhead in the accommodation and a watertight door in the corridor.

Meticulous preparations
Months of dedicated engineering and careful calculations have underpinned construction of the hull. It’s an extraordinary degree of customisation for a 20-metre yacht but the owner could find no series/semi-custom boat that could sail such distances in comfort. We’re also meeting his specific wishes to operate this complex yacht himself in various ways:

• Keeping the wheelhouse free of intrusive reflections to facilitate night-time passages.
• An electric blackout screen at the bottom of the stairwell to ensure no light emanates from the lower deck accommodations.
• Sliding doors to close off the rest of the main deck when required
• A day head behind the bridge avoids the owner having to go below when on watch.


Sleek and timeless
Project Micamo will benefit from proven naval architecture based on earlier flybridge models with the aesthetics extensively modified. The sleek hull and superstructure are totally remodelled, with traditional elements such as the portholes retained to enhance the timelessness. The yacht’s livery features bluish-grey hues and the Volvo Penta IPS-1350 propulsion setup will drive Project Micamo at a top speed of 29.5 knots.

Inside and out, sofa dimensions are completely tailored to offer owner and guests optimal comfort. Project Micamo will feature a minimalist Japanese style fused with European influences. A consistent palette of colours will make the most of the natural light offered by the large windows. Elements from nature in the form of stones and green plants enhance the soft tones while the white surfaces are offset by stainless steel elements.

The owner requires a carpeted look without having carpets so the contrast of walnut planks and oak inlay floor strips with the rest of the décor will meet this preference. Strip lights are used for most ceilings with spotlights only installed in the wheelhouse and bathrooms. Project Micamo will be a wonderfully inviting environment for all who come.

Optimising space
Every centimetre of the open-plan main deck has been meticulously planned:
• Lounge seating converts into a dining place with a high-low table
• The galley uses the available space very well, including room for a high fridge.
• A milk-glass panel petition gives separation while avoiding spills over the vertical backlit soft leather strips

The lower deck will be equally cool, with a VIP suite in the bow, a guest cabin and a crew cabin that can also be used for guests. The master suite mirrors the quality of these accommodations with large windows flooding the space with light. Uniquely for a Dutch-built yacht, it includes a Japanese bath tub in an 1144mm x 800mm format.

New beginnings
Project Micamo is a yacht of premiers in other ways too says our sales manager Yoeri Bijker. “This is the first time that Van der Valk and Guido de Groot have worked for a client from Japan, a country more known for its sailing yachts and wooden motorboats. The yacht has an unprecedented degree of customisation for her size and enormous potential to become a flagship example of Dutch excellence. We’re excited at what the future holds!”