What's In Build: 34m explorer Lady Lene takes shape at Van der Valk

6 May 2021

Lady Lene is a bespoke build currently underway at Dutch shipyard Van der Valk, built to serve as a family yacht for cruising far and wide. Penned as an “explorer like no other”, Lady Lene is the latest evolution of Van der Valk's all-aluminium explorer offering with delivery set for the end of 2021. BOAT takes a peek inside the sheds...

What was the brief for Lady Lene?

The owner and the shipyard were already well acquainted after working on two previous projects together, and so it was only natural that the owner returned to Van der Valk for his next build. He was looking to downsize from a 37-metre motor yacht to a “smaller explorer with less crew”. Instead of starting from a blank page, designer Guido de Groot turned to one of the Dutch yard's recent launches – the 29-metre Venerafor inspiration. Lady Lene adopts Venera's high bow but softens its military lines in favour of curves that run the length of the yacht with an extra deck and tonnes of glass.

Lady Lene had to be the perfect fit for a multigenerational family with plenty of space for entertaining and an interior elevator – requirements that eventually saw the project jump from 28-metres to 34-metres in length. “This 34-metre all-aluminium project encapsulates the family’s thoughts on how an ideal motor yacht should look and feel,” the yard said. “It takes into account every stage of life, being completely wheelchair-friendly with an interior lift for easy between-deck access.” To bring the owner’s vision to life, Van der Valk enlisted the expertise of Ginton Naval Architects and Diana Yacht Design for an all-Dutch design team.

What has been the most challenging part of the build so far?

Above all else, Lady Lene had to be fully wheelchair accessible, which is no easy feat on a 34-metre. Squeezing a three-storey elevator into the design presented a unique set of challenges for the team, coupled with classification rules that stipulate threshold heights between the exterior and interior. All the decks on board Lady Lene are designed to be completely level with no protrusions or steps - not even a passarelle. To ensure the yacht met RINA Class standards, Van der Valk’s solution was to replace the threshold at the door openings with a drip gutter instead.

What are the standout features on board Lady Lene?

The 'view-factor' was an important element of the owner's brief and glass features heavily throughout the design. Large panels wrap the entire upper and lower levels, but Van der Valk's work with glass is perhaps best shown in the "dinette" which is illuminated by a single eight-square-metre window. Lady Lene can sleep a total of ten guests in a full-beam master suite, two double cabins and single on the lower deck, while the VIP stateroom sits high up on the bridge deck and benefits from an aft terrace. 

Another standout feature of the design is its hull form with a "wave-piercing bow and a performance-enhancing Hull Vane appendage," the yard said.

What is the status of the build and when is the scheduled delivery date?

Delivery is slated for the end of September 2021 with 75% of the interior already complete.