Meet the next-generation 17m catamaran ideal for first-time buyers

13 September 2021

The story of GranOcean is one of lasting human connections. It’s a tale of collaboration, trust and creativity rolled into an era-defining series. It all started when Vripack designer Joost Mertens took a call from Q7 Marine in 2020. The brokerage firm was consulting for Australian yacht builder GranOcean, a leader in the construction and development of custom power catamarans. They required a world-renowned design partner to assist with the interior on their latest series model, and the Q7 broker knew Vripack to be the right fit.

“We first established a relationship with the broker when he sold a Vripack Doggersbank many years before,” says Mertens. “Based on what he knew about Vripack from then, he believed our style and vision to be perfect for GranOcean and thought it would make a good match.”

He wasn’t wrong.

Novel experience

W55 is GranOcean’s new range of luxurious flybridge catamarans with a Vripack-designed interior. It appeals to a range of different clients, regardless of yachting experience or age. It’s an ideal set-up for first-time buyers who are keen on personalising details on a semi-custom platform, not to mention an efficient, easy-to-handle boat that boasts superyacht flair.

The premise is an interior design that offers owners three separate styles using a range of fabrics and colours within a customisable design template. The Scandinavian style features light tones, bare wood materials and blue hues. Elegant Chic is more of a traditional approach, using darker woods, warm leathers and burnt orange accents. Metropolitan offers a masculine bachelor penthouse vibe, with dark woods, steely grey tones and a sophisticated green shade.

By optimising onboard space and storage, the final aesthetic can be tweaked to suit individual’s preferences.

“Some owners like to personalise a design to their preference, and we support them in that process,” says Mertens. “As yacht designers, we approach the interior considering both style and function. Our Vripack DNA is evident in the many small recesses and integrated shelves we created for storage and in the practical detailing throughout.”

Stylish solutions

Hull number one was sold before Vripack joined the discussions, which meant the W55 general layout had already been decided by GranOcean and the owner. It’s one of the common limitations when building a semi-custom boat, but Vripack was extended creative freedom to make improvements to the interior flow, onboard storage, and creative detailing. These are changes that all subsequent owners will benefit from, alongside shortened delivery times, proven engineering, and reduced costs.

Innovative solutions – such as an extendable cabinet adjoining the galley and main salon with an integrated television screen – make great use of the available space. The staircase has been realigned to provide a visual connection and serve as a subtle room divider. Signature Vripack detailing, including fiddle rails and diagonal lines, run throughout.

Most important of all is the natural light that fills the interior, complementing owners’ choice of soft leathers, textured fabrics, and cool woodwork.

Building a brand

As a series build the W55 is already proving a success, with the first three hulls sold. Catamarans naturally combine generous deck space with large interior volume, but the W55 also offers easy maintenance, innovative storage solutions and functional style.

“Vripack is a yacht design studio underpinned by naval architecture and that never fails to ensure both clients and guests feel at home at sea,” says Mertens. “Being a 55-foot catamaran, the W55 has a wide beam providing a lot of space on deck. Traditionally interior volume can be limited, but we’ve worked with the hull shape, not against it. The result is flexible, modular layouts with tactile, dignified styling that can adapt with the owner as desired.”