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Royal Hakvoort signs contract for 45m Hoek-designed superyacht

20 September 2023 • Written by Holly Overton

Dutch shipyard Royal Hakvoort has signed a contract for the construction of a custom 45-metre hybrid superyacht by Hoek Design Naval Architects.

Known only as Project YN 256, the retro-styled project has already started construction and is scheduled for delivery in 2026. The design brief was for a yacht that was both "unique in style" and wheelchair accessible and the project marks the first collaboration between the Dutch shipyard and studio.

Project YN 256 is designed for comfort with long-distance cruising on the agenda for her new owners and has been built with a round bilge displacement hull. A slightly flared bow is coupled with metallic bronze features and a classic-style funnel that doubles as additional storage. Both main and upper decks are wrapped almost entirely in floor-to-ceiling glass with rounded glass corners, offering superior views from all guest areas and welcoming an abundance of natural light. The bulwarks on the main and bridge deck are also in glass.

Unusually for a yacht of this size, the owner opted for a three-cabin configuration, with two full-beam VIP cabins on the lower deck and the owner’s suite located forward on the main deck with a centerline king-size bed, walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite. Glass sliding doors connect the suite seamlessly to an intimate foredeck with loose seating and a private conversation area.

The interior, which has not yet been revealed, is said to be "contemporary, modern and minimalist" with an open-plan saloon and dining area. Other highlights include a gym with oak parquet flooring and a saltwater pool that doubles as a garage for a five-metre tender or allows the vessel to host large parties on the aft deck when the pool is covered. 

Accessibility was key to the design of Project YN 256, so there is an elevator that services all three decks, side decks wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and a hydraulic transformer on the swim platform to allow wheelchair users to be transported from the dock to the main deck. 

Sustainability was also an important facet of the design brief and the project will be powered by a hybrid engine delivering a range of 3,500 nautical miles at 11 knots and a top speed of 14 knots, with the ability to sit anchor in 'silent mode' for up to eight hours. 

The project will be the third motor yacht undertaken by Hoek Design and follows in the footsteps of the award-winning Blue II. For Project YN 256, the design team have employed techniques used in sailing yacht design to create improved weight distribution and hydrodynamic resistance for better efficiency and performance. Another feature adopted from sailing yacht design is a hydraulic side boarding platform, with a side boarding ladder setup amidships.

“It’s been a real pleasure working with such a prolific sailing yacht designer. The ‘outside the box’ thinking is refreshing and allows us to reflect on certain build and design principles that have become so entrenched,” said Klaas Hakvoort, owner and managing director at Royal Hakvoort Shipyard. “We pride ourselves on the diversity of our fleet and how when we say full-custom, we mean full-custom – and Project YN 256 is unlike anything we’ve built before.”

“Despite being located only a few kilometres from our studio, we haven’t had the privilege to work together before,” said André Hoek, CEO of Hoek Design Naval Architects. “They’re in a class of their own when it comes to mid-size full-custom yachts, and I just knew they’d be best suited for this project. And their expertise in this specific segment has already proven invaluable.”

Project YN 256 is being built at Royal Hakvoort Shipyard’s facility in Monnickendam in the Netherlands, to Lloyd’s commercial classification. The MAN hybrid propulsion system consists of two 200kW shaft generators/drives and a 500kW battery bank connected to a 750VDC bus.

Also under construction at Royal Hakvoort is the 61-metre Project Asia.

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