Her unusual name is the first hint that Hyhmä has some serious cruising ahead of her. This 33.83 metre explorer yacht was built by Italian yard Cantiere delle Marche for a Central American client who is passionate about photographing marine landscapes, and its native fauna in particular.
To do this, she plans to cruise to high latitudes, hence the name, which means “the snow that melts touching the water” in Phoenician. This theme is carried through to the yacht’s emblem, which is a composite of a snowflake and the sun.
“It was important for the client to have the ability to stay at sea for up to 30 days at a time with the possibility of long ocean crossings,” explains designer Mario Pedol of Nauta Yachts. “For this reason, we worked closely with the yard to improve the stability of the yacht and the layout of the technical and crew spaces.”
The starting point for Hyhmä was the Nauta Air 108 platform, which was used for the 2016 launch Narvalo, however the owner’s brief called for this already sturdy model to be further reinforced and lengthened, working with Dutch naval architecture studio Vripack.
“The platform itself is completely new,” says Vasco Buonpensiere, sales and marketing director at Cantiere delle Marche. “Everything from the scantling plans and the rudders to the thickness of the steel was changed to suit the style of navigation that the boat will do. For example, it is 22mm thick 40cm above and below the waterline because this is where the boat is most likely to encounter ice or floating debris.”
The extra 43cm of overall length might not seem like a lot, but when combined with an extra 37cm in the beam, this results in a 10% increase of the interior volume — from 300GT to 330GT. The benefit of this extra space can be seen in the crew quarters, which were given an extra cabin, as well as the larger lazarette for storing diving gear, superyacht water toys and much more besides.
Moving inside and the owner’s passion for marine wildlife comes to the fore, with a spectacular glass-sided staircase centrepiece with a pair of dolphin sculptures as the star of the show, leading down from the main-deck master suite to the four guest cabins below. Cantiere delle Marche enthusiasts will recall a similar technique being used to showcase a replica narwhal horn on Narvalo, and the effect is just as impressive on Hyhmä.
“The owner wanted something really chic, but with quotes of the marine wildlife,” Pedol continues. “In general, the interior feels very warm and cosy with contrasting oak and ebony woodwork. It was a case of playing with light and dark elements.”
As anyone who has practiced marine photography will know, getting the right shot is all about timing, and for that reason the yard worked hard to ensure that the owner would never be caught short — battery charging stations and camera storage points were strategically placed throughout Hyhmä to ensure she can easily capture sudden encounters.
One of the key areas for this was the skylounge, which is even larger than on Narvalo. “We modified the forward bulwark to give better views out to sea — ideal for spotting dolphins and whales,” says Pedol. “It was important to emphasise the connection between interior and exterior spaces.”
The choice of deck layout was partially informed by the yard’s extensive market research. “We interviewed more than 100 captains and owners and we discovered that even an explorer vessel spends more than 85% of its time at anchor when the owner is on board,” explains Buonpensiere.
For this reason, Hyhmä’s tenders are stored on the upper deck aft, leaving the swim platform and the cockpit open for socialising and easily launching water toys from that vast lazarette. “What is important for the owners is that they want to do things when they’re at anchor, they don’t only want to sit and eat and drink,” he continues.
Hyhmä’s owner has particularly extensive cruising plans in the pipeline that would take her from the Scandinavian fjords to the Northwest Passage via the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, the Galapagos and the Sea of Cortez.
For this reason, the yacht was built with 46,700 litres of diesel tankage and twin 715hp Caterpillar C18 ACERT engines, which should deliver a globetrotting range of 5,700 nautical miles at a leisurely pace of nine knots.
"It's always more complex than it sounds, because many owners dream about it and commitments often get in the way," Buonpensiere admits. "But for the moment it seems like it's going to happen."