The results of an extensive 14-month refit of the two-masted schooner Athos have been revealed for the first time in a selection of exclusive images.
The BOAT International June issue cover star was spotted leaving Huisfit, the refit branch of Royal Huisman, in November last year with a 1.25-metre extension to the stern, a reconfigured deck and a total rebuild of the interior.
The yacht, now measuring 63.2 metres, arrived at the Huisfit facility in Amsterdam in September 2021 and has had up to 50 people working on her at any one time. She was originally launched by Holland Jachtbouw in 2010 with design by Hoek Design Naval Architects and remains the flagship of the Dutch shipyard.
For the refit, Hoek Design once again stepped in to oversee the naval architecture, interior styling and layout changes of the guest accommodation, main saloon, crew service areas and navigational deckhouse.
The extension was a key component of the refit and involved the careful reconstruction of the yacht's aluminium hull. “It involved seven metres of metalwork to the hull and new structure on deck,” said Huisfit manager Stefan Coronel. “But all of us involved with the project knew how much the owner loved the original look of the boat, and the new elements needed to look like they had always been there and integrate perfectly with the original parts.”
The additional length allowed for a completely reconfigured owner's cockpit with a two-metre sunbed area and a new teak transom that contains the yacht's original hydraulic stern boarding ladder. The main cockpit area has also been enlarged to create a well-appointed space, including seating for up to 16 guests with flexible tables that can function as coffee tables or dining tables. The flow of the area has been improved too, with easier access to amenities - including a new bar with a fridge and icemaker.
Athos's two deckhouses have undergone significant changes to the layout and modification. The owner's deckhouse on the stern has been overhauled with a new configuration and style. The main deckhouse floor has been raised to one level and redesigned with a focus on natural light, with the addition of a classic-looking bar and sofa seating. Further forward, the former crew companionway has been replaced by a larger, third deckhouse that is styled and crafted in the same way as the other two.
This new deckhouse allows space to house a new navigation and secondary steering station, which, in turn, offers an additional social area for the crew below deck.
In terms of lower deck changes, the owner's deck has been ripped out and replaced with additional portholes on both bulkheads. In a bid to create a warmer and more inviting ambience, hard panelling has been replaced by soft fabrics and planked wood flooring has been carpeted. The en suite has been divided into two and a walk-in wardrobe has been fitted as well.
Modifications can also be seen in the remaining guest accommodation, with new carpeting and upholstery throughout. A chandelier has been added to the corridor connecting the cabins and the original staircase has been replaced with a new space-saving stairway. Removing a dayhead made room for a queen berth and more floor space in one cabin, but otherwise each cabin retains its layout and its original, distinct joinery in cherry, pear, maple or anigre wood.
Elsewhere, the yacht has been given a cosy media room and an upgraded galley, which was completely rebuilt with new appliances in line with modern, professional-grade galleys. In the crew quarters, the laundry has all-new appliances, the crew cabins have new floors and the crew mess has enjoyed the benefit of new worktops.
In terms of performance, Athos has received new booms, new sails and new carbon rigging to ensure improved sail management and performance. Other enhancements include all-new navigation, alarm and safety systems and new lighting throughout. New audio-visual equipment has been fitted and the yacht's tender has also been rebuilt, with a second tender added.
Project manager Jeremy “Bear” Wynne from Wynne Projects Ltd. praised the quality of Huisfit's work. "The multiple modifications have been beautifully done. The attention to detail and finish is excellent. The additions and modifications have not only improved the functionality of the yacht, they have also enhanced the appearance," he said.
Huisfit has several other projects in the works, including the 37-metre Atlantide.
Discover the full story on the refit of Athos in the June issue of BOAT International.