Custom Van der Valk Pilot project hits the water in style
The first images and video footage has been released of a striking new superyacht built by Van der Valk Shipyard in the Netherlands. Kept fully under wraps until now, the 34-metre launch model for a custom-series called Pilot has been designed by Cor D. Rover. As her elegant hull hit the water in advance of sea trials, the exquisitely detailed exterior profile of this high-volume contemporary explorer came fully into view.
This first Pilot combines astonishing looks with an exceptional volume for a 34-metre yacht of 295 gross tonnes. “The project has its origins in a design concept from our office which was aimed at creating the maximum real estate,” explains De Rover. “The client for this bespoke build, an experienced owner of multiple boats, asked to extend the length within this maximum-interior-space principle while taking the contemporary looks to an even higher level of sophistication.
“I know we’ve given the yard an enormous challenge but now the result can be seen in the water it’s clear she is very different to anything in her size range. The Pilot blends robust and masculine proportions with a wealth of curves. This three-deck yacht has a self-contained pilothouse while her raked bridge windows hint at the sturdiness of a commercial vessel. Together with the air grills, inspired by the automotive industry, these shapes create a dynamic overall feel. I am hugely impressed with how the yard has managed to capture all these elements so well.”
Meeting the challenge
Another tricky task for the yard was to include all the large windows and glass ‘eye’ on the bridge deck, amalgamate these with partitions and black-painted surfaces in the superstructure that look like glass, then finish the rest of the yacht in an innovative owner-chosen colour palette of castle tan and stark white. Van der Valk general manager Bram Kooltjes is rightly proud of what his teams have achieved.
“All these exterior details and round forms required a great deal of skill from our aluminium shapers and welders in order to create the base shape. The exterior paint crew then had to ensure the robust lines would be retained within the strong profile. In essence we had to create perfect straight lines on a perfect curved shape, one where even the slightest deformation would be instantly apparent due to the different colours used. Our entire crew did a marvellous job, not least because this is the first vessel that Van der Valk has delivered under American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) rules. Our in-house design team made an enormous contribution in order to complete this project in a short timeframe.”
Al fresco delights
While no details of the equally complex custom interior are currently being released, we can report that the yacht has two large balconies: one on the main deck for the master suite, the other in the hull side for the lower deck VIP. The aft platform also has two 7 x 1.5-metre foldout balconies which serve to double the available area close to the water. A transformer platform and a full aft lazarette for a large Williams tender and a three-person wave runner will add to the watersport pleasure.
As the launch video shows, this custom Pilot offers an abundance of outside deck space. The aft deck features a large dining table and circular seating, each of which easily accommodate ten people. A large wet bar with BBQ is located on the bridge deck aft, with sacrificial air conditioning installed for use in the hottest climates. Twin MTUs will give the Pilot a top speed around the 20-knot mark and the yacht has been fitted with CMC stabilisers.