360°: Vripack's Al Waab II comes to life with a splash of VR magic

13 May 2021

For many owners, the concept of enjoying a ‘home at sea’ is what drives their passion for yachting. But when industry standards and regulatory constraints come into play that simple vision is often lost. Not so for the owner of Vripack’s new 55 metre yacht, whose desire to use his boat as a family apartment became the founding principle of the entire design. Underpinned by the Dutch studio’s engineering expertise and inexhaustive creativity, the result is the very essence of living on the water.

Renowned for a holistic approach to design, the interior, exterior, naval architecture, and engineering all derive from Vripack’s design boards. Virtual reality was used to fine-tune the turnkey solution, enhancing the owner’s understanding of space planning, sightlines, and layout all from the comfort of his home in the Middle East.

“The virtual reality was a big surprise to the owner, and he loved it because it made it so easy to understand the space and its interaction with the outdoors – far more so than renderings and sketches. Ultimately that resulted in the entire design working in such a way that it exceeded his expectations,” said Vripack senior designer Robin de Vries. 

Design emphasis has been put on the yacht’s vast exterior areas and structural elements have been kept to a minimum to allow unobstructed views of the sea. The intimate family areas, including a drop-down bulwark in the cosy dining area, are paired with an almost endless owner’s aft deck.

“Geometric lines shape the open-plan interior and the minimum of fixed furniture contributes to the homey atmosphere. Creating a family apartment at sea became the founding principle of the entire design,” said interior designer Annemarie Dotinga.

Comfort at sea

Due to her main dimensions, the comfort rating has been increased by 40% compared to other 500GT vessels, ensuring excellent seaworthiness and comfort at sea while greatly reducing seasickness incidence. In addition, the elongated hull design has a Bahama draft of 2.1 metres allowing her to travel safely in shallow waters. The efficient lines plan of the optimized hull uses around 35% less fuel than other 500GT vessels at the same speeds, increasing her range with the same amount.

"I am thrilled to have selected three companies of such pedigree and calibre in the yachting sector to work with. I am very much looking forward to the build being complete in the near future, and keenly await the day when I can experience life on board and travel the world with my family and friends," said the owner of Al Waab II, who appointed Alia Yachts as builders and SF Yachts as project managers and owner’s representative.