When the pandemic first hit in 2020, the world went to ground. Those in the know went to sea. And those with newly acquired hindsight who wished to never be grounded again went knocking on the doors of Vripack.
The premise of Vripack’s new 40m (131’) project is a boat that is pandemic-proof. An explorer that unites the convenient spoils of shoreside hospitality with the comfort of a home on the water. Designed for a first-time yacht owner, the quintessential Vripack boat is both a Mediterranean cruiser and go-anywhere trooper. It blurs the lines between a European family holiday-home and a global mobile bolthole.
For the novice owner with no broker, representative or idea where to start, the story began with Amazon. A Google search for books on great yacht design brought him to the doors of Vripack, whose robust, all-encompassing, trawler-style boats hit the sweet spot.
The exterior needed to be masculine, warrior-like and hardy. The interior was to echo the family’s finely styled residences; a hint of Scandi-chic meets laidback beach house. Central to the design is the dedicated owner’s deck – a luxury aboard a 40m vessel. Had the family progressed the concept to build, it would have served as the heart of the yacht during extended periods onboard.
The owner’s level enjoys a glass-encased full-beam amidships suite, with a large, equipped gym forward that looks out onto the raised main deck. It’s connected to a relaxation area with bow seating. Romantic touches include as a full-sized bathtub in the bedroom, with a walk-in wardrobe concealed behind the contemporary four-poster bed.
“This design started out as a floating hotel room and evolved into a boat that could deliver safe passage at sea for an unlimited time period” says Vripack co-creative director, Marnix Hoekstra. “It’s a home, hotel and yacht rolled into one.”
The main deck houses a full-beam VIP forward and an open-plan salon, dining, socialising workspace. Family-friendly details are found in the children’s zone with a nest chair (first developed in Vripack’s design innovation hub, the Vripack Brewery) and a smoked-glass wine cabinet that helps to transition the interior ambience from day to night. A combination of natural lights and dark shadows draw guests into the heart of the yacht. It’s a theme that’s mirrored in the contrasting tones and textures of French oak, cream linen and tan leathers.
True to Vripack form, the bridge deck enjoys an elevated wheelhouse and a dedicated boat deck for a 12m (40’) Axopar tender, bikes and large toys. Atop the bridge, a sun deck with viewing seats and jacuzzi. Four further guest cabins reside on the lower deck.
The 40m project is a design that effortlessly cruises the Italian Riviera, looks good on a Greek island-hopping charter, yet has the means to head off further afield whenever the desire strikes. A yacht born out of Covid for a family destined to be free.