Owners playing key role in new custom Explorer
Van der Valk Shipyard in the Netherlands has confirmed another new assignment in its expanding feet of explorer motoryachts. The 23.55-metre Project Capella has been ordered by clients determined to create the ultimate home-at-sea for their family. Exceptionally involved in every detail of the design, they are creating a custom explorer that will travel far and wide when launched in the spring of 2023.
The owners have already built up lots of experience with yachting and are deploying all their expertise of Project Capella. A range of smart practical solutions have been specifically thought through both for how an explorer vessel might operate and the family’s knowledge of the way they like to sail. Specific requirements range from a steel hull and heavy-duty engines to an open-plan main deck and a fun flotilla of toys.
Big fans of Guido de Groot’s work, the clients have spent countless hours with him devising the exterior and interior design. Diana Yacht Design are also playing a key role with its naval architecture expertise while the team at Van der Valk are enjoying working with owners who are keen to make the most of the custom approach offered by the yard.
“They started out with a detailed briefing that could be fully taken into account during the design and development stage,” says Van der Valk’s General Manager Bram Kooltjes. “The family is personally involved in the everyday decisions that can make a difference to their inner wellbeing when on the yacht. Project Capella has a distinctly masculine and rugged look while also taking inspiration from previous Van der Valk successes such as Seawolf – they loved her hardtop, now with straight windows – and the stern area of Venera.”
Off the grid
The owners were determined from the outset to have a round-bilged steel hull with a bulbous bow. Comfort is everything on this displacement vessel with a low centre of gravity still being assured by her aluminum superstructure. Considerable attention is being paid to noise and vibration attenuation on a self-sufficient yacht that will have low fuel consumption and a range that allows for lengthy spells away from busy ports.
To further facilitate the yacht’s autonomy, she will be fitted with heavy duty industrial engines. RCD 2 approval was another requirement and twin MAN engines will provide the desired 1800 rpm. As the owners will mostly be driving the boat themselves the engine room has been made easily accessible from within the interior. To ensure privacy on the odd occasions when Project Capella is operated by crew, a separate access point to the two cabins below deck has been provided.
Ambitious plans are in place for family expeditions and the main deck social area encapsulates what a shared pleasure these will be. It features a large country kitchen around which the main salon revolves within an entirely open-plan layout. A window above the kitchen unites the occupants with the flybridge and facilitates communication between the two areas so that no-one is left out.
More details on Project Capella‘s contemporary European interior will be shared at a later date but we can reveal that she sleeps eight people in a master, VIP and two guest suites with twin beds that can convert to doubles. Despite all the facilities for serious passage making, the owners will also have great fun around their home port in the Mediterranean on a yacht which will include a dive compressor and a spacious lazarette for paddleboards and much more besides.