This week saw a small group of journalists descend on Palma de Mallorca to join the crew and build team behind Royal Huisman’s 47.6m sailing yacht Wisp, which was delivered earlier this year.
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 the STP shipyard for a day of sailing.
“It is a great opportunity for us to be able to show you one of our projects, as it is a rare occurrence with many owners being very private,” said public relations officer at Royal Huisman, Jurjen van 't Verlaat. “You can’t fully appreciate the work we do till you get out of the harbor and see how the yacht sails, and this is the purpose of this press day.”
Guests were given the opportunity to look around the interior, which features a large owner’s suite aft of the vessel. Sliding doors allow the owner to close off parts of his space, which comprises an en suite master cabin that makes the most of the beam – 9.5m at its widest – and links to a walk-in wardrobe and library adjacent via a charming rotounda. A beautiful staircase leads you to the owner’s private cockpit aft where the owner can enjoy views out to sea without being disturbed.
“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.”
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.
"We've completed more than 100 boats in this style," said Andre Hoek as we walked round the yacht. "However, this is the first project we have done with Royal Huisman and it has been great to work with them. They produce great quality products and are very passionate people and work to a high level of perfection. We've tried very hard to work with them in the past but it's never worked out. They are known for building high quality boats but they are not the cheapest."
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 the next issue of SuperyachtDesign Q22.
Rhoades Young Design
Hoek Design Naval Architects BV
MCM - Yacht Management (Newport)