There’s a bit of a kickback in motor yacht popularity trends going on as we head into 2014. This week, Rossinavi announced the sale of new build project FR029, a canoe-stern centre pilothouse classic style motor yacht. She’s handsome, and with her prominent funnel and auxiliary mast features, this is the yacht version of a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, design reminiscent of the early 20th Century.

“We started this project with healthy skepticism,” says Claudia Rossi at Rossinavi. “Now, we are very proud to have this particular project under construction. It is attracting a lot of interest from magazines, brokers and clients. We are sensing that a new market segment could open for us thanks to this yacht. Perhaps there are more antique yachts lovers than expected?”

FR029, which the yard will deliver in 2015 is a 39m displacement reproduction, the design of which the yard has developed in close collaboration with the owner and Studio Tassin in Genoa, Italy.

Rossinavi's newly-signed 39m classic explorer FR029, due for delivery in 2015, and below, a sketch for the restoration of 42m Ravn

Meanwhile, in Denmark there lies an existing vessel that is strikingly similar in style. MY Ravn is a 42m restoration project ready to be undertaken by a classic-inspired owner. The proposal for the restoration has been assembled by Odenwald surveyors with Hyde Yachts and with the collaboration of Anders Design and Diana Yacht Design on interior and exterior design and engineering, respectively. 

“Ravn is predestined to serve as an expedition gentlemen’s yacht, which one could imagine carrying a small Riva tender on deck,” Odenwald suggests in their promotion for the vessel.

Ravn and Rossinavi’s FR029 are cut from the same cloth but they are very different vessels,” says Mark Anders, the British designer who developed the sketches for the Ravn restoration. “FR029 is a modern build based on a classic 'private' yacht, whereas  Ravn was designed as a working supply vessel with deck cranes, a large foredeck working area and hold below. 'Classic' style is apparent in both. While modern, cutting-edge yacht design and materials development allows designers to push the envelope of what is possible, I get great satisfaction in taking something that already has a history, in some cases varied, and breathing new life into it.”

Ravn has a brass-fronted wheelhouse that was likely installed to prevent interference with the ship’s magnetic compass. It’s a stunning feature of the design that no longer has any practical purpose.

Anders likes to preserve classic vessels’ character but give them an interior upgrade. “On a project such as Ravn I would look to preserve the exterior and create an up to date interior with classic hints,” Anders says. “So a clean practical interior not out of place with its classic surroundings but taking care not to create a classic reproduction.”

Elsewhere, the Feadship Heritage Fleet, which offers a forum, advice and technical support for owners of classic Feadships continues to expand under the leadership of Victor Muller, Rory Brooks and Arthur van Berge Henegouwen.

Heavenly Daze, part of the Feadship Heritage Fleet, available for charter through Y.Co