Modern classic explorer yacht Blue II was launched to international fanfare in spring of last year. In a marriage of old and new, her 1960s styling belies the modern technical platform on which she was built. Not just pretty, she's practical too, with an Ice Class hull and hybrid propulsion package to suit an adventurous owner. Here at the Virtual BOAT Show, we take a virtual tour of the newly delivered 56 metre Turquoise headturner...
Blue II's design takes its cues from classic steamships and captures the essence of the golden age of yachting, with a modern twist. Key features include an aluminium superstructure and an ice-classed hull, making Blue II perfectly capable of exploring the Polar regions and navigating the Northwest Passage with ease.
Her owners didn't set out to build a boat from scratch - their romantic plan to convert an old ship into a hardy explorer vessel was thwarted over concerns with the quality of the old steel plating. And so the Hoek-designed Project Lombok was born, christened Blue II when she hit the water in May 2020.
Much like with any explorer project, large tenders were an essential part of the brief, but the owners were insistent that they were not stored on deck. The curved sheer and low freeboard wouldn't allow tenders to be launched through a side hatch either, and so tender operations were moved to the aft deck, deployed through hatches, with a custom six-tonne crane that stows almost invisibly athwartships.
It may also come as a surprise that this modern classic explorer is powered by a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system, allowing Blue II to adventure further than most with a range of 6,000 nautical miles. Other technical features include a satellite communications dome, which is seamlessly integrated into the composite funnel.
Meanwhile, the 785GT interior has been designed in collaboration with British design studio Vickers. A simple palette of glossy teak, white paint and soft beige features throughout for a bright and understated feeling of elegance. Vickers also introduced a number of tricks to make the interior seem even more spacious, including cantilevered desks in cabins and the upper deck lobby, which don’t take up any floor space. Double doors to the baths for the VIP and two largest guest cabins seem to enlarge each of them.
In Blue II, Turquoise found the perfect balance between old and new for a state-of-the-art yacht with a classic appeal that will be able to stand the test of time.