Royal Huisman will build new 56m ketch sailing superyacht Aquarius

Royal Huisman has announced a new order for a 56m classic sailing superyacht, Aquarius.

The ketch is to be built for an American couple, who want a yacht as capable of Bucket regatta racing as she is of round-the-world family cruising. Naval architecture and exterior styling will be by Dykstra Naval Architects and interior design on the 184-footer will be by Mark Whiteley Design. Aquarius is scheduled for delivery in the autumn of 2017 and meanwhile the owning couple is very much involved in the project at the Dutch yard.

Designer Mark Whiteley said, “The brief called for a relaxed home afloat for the owner’s family and friends, and aside from a split-level master cabin featuring a private deckhouse and cockpit, the accommodation includes a large deck salon, three en-suite guest cabins, a media room and even a dedicated fully equipped gym. One cabin will serve as a bunk-room for the owner’s extended family with twin beds that can convert to a Queen double with a set of Pullman berths above. The gymnasium too will have an optional Pullman fitted.”

He said the interior would very much compliment the classic looks of the hull shape, with raised and fielded white painted panelling, trimmed with an elegant but simple profile of fine varnished timber throughout.

Thys Nikkels of Dykstra Naval Architects said, “The owner’s brief for Aquarius has been for a stunning looking yacht for family enjoyment. We created a slender hull with long overhangs for an elegant and classic-looking yacht, with favourable sea-keeping characteristics that are ideal for worldwide cruising.”

She will be rigged with carbon spars and the standing rigging has been scaled to an air draft that maximizes sail area, but is within the Panamax height limitation for ships travelling through the Panama Canal. While performance underway should be sparkling, below the water she’ll carry a fin keel and spade rudder, giving light airs agility.

“We might see her in a Bucket regatta,” said Nikkels, “but with below deck stowage planned for numerous toys such as a Laser, kayaks, windsurfers and bicycles, she will be as much at home in a secluded bay as on the race course or the high seas.”

Design details include oval portholes in the dark blue hull, a circular skylight around the mizzen mast that will flood the owners’ suite with natural light and a mid-deck lounge with sun canopy above. Aquarius will carry a 6.2m jet drive tender and will have a large 3m side boarding platform. Her twin helms will be well connected to a large shaded main cockpit area, which itself adjoins an even larger glass-rimmed deck saloon.

Following delivery Aquarius and her new owners will head to the Windward and Leeward islands for her maiden cruise.

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