Joined by naval architect Andre Hoek, designer Jonathan Rhoades and director of yacht management at MCM Michael Tyrwhitt-Drake, we were welcomed on board by captain Guy Hayward and his crew. Setting off late morning, captain Hayward took the helm as we headed out of STP shipyard for a day of sailing.
"I met the owner of Wisp in the Med after he saw one of our boats – Erica,” began Hoek as we walked along the foredeck. “He asked his captain, ‘Who designed that boat?’ to which he responded, ‘It’s a Hoek design’. And so they called my office but I was away on holiday, sailing with my family. However, it turned out that we weren’t far from where they were at the time, and we met up 50 miles down the coast, which didn't please my wife.
“When we met, we began to talk about the boats he had seen, what he liked and didn't like. He gave us a brief and we did a sketch design, which was developed over a period of six months. He wanted something with only two cabins in order to make more space for the owner’s area.”
"What you see is the result of a team effort and a client that inspired people with his own attention to detail.” — Michael Koppstein
Rhoades Young was commissioned to create the interior and worked closely with the owner and Hoek to maximise internal volume. Hoek explained that when the English studio joined the team, they made suggestions that would see changes to the owner’s cabin and captain's cabin but that no other areas were altered.
“It was great to work with them," Hoek said while explaining the biggest challenge for the team was in incorporating the vast number of ideas and details required. “It was interesting to explore how to make things better.”
The interior features a large owner’s suite aft with sliding doors that allow the owner to close off parts of his space, which comprises an en suite master cabin, a walk-in wardrobe with a library adjacent. Between these is a charming rotounda with a beautiful staircase that leads to a private cockpit where the owner can enjoy views out to sea without being disturbed.
The 252gt cutter-rigged classic sloop can accommodate six guests in two double and one twin en suite cabins. While two of the cabins aft are dedicated to guests, the forward cabin – adjacent to the galley – is used by the captain but when additional space is needed, the captain can move into one of the crew quarters forward.
“The project went well but it was tough,” explained Michael Koppstein of Royal Huisman USA. “Compromises were avoided at all costs and everything had to fit perfectly, which required a lot of engineering. For instance, the arch piece that sits on the roof of the owner’s cockpit required that the seating close to it be a certain dimension, while maintaining a good visual and then you have a big main sheet right above it.
"It all required carefully considered engineering – everyone pushed the project to the nth degree. What you see is the result of a team effort and a client that inspired people with his own attention to detail.”
On the day, and in good weather conditions, Wisp achieved in excess of 15 knots giving those on board an idea of what the owner can expect in performance next week when she departs for the Caribbean, where she will be based over the winter. It will be the owner’s first trip on the yacht since her maiden voyage to Norway earlier in the year.
Read more about the project in our sister publication, SuperyachtDesign Q22, the first issue of 2015.