Our top picks at the Düsseldorf Show

31 January 2011By Amanda McCracken

The show might have been light on attendance over the two days I was there but it was humming with superyacht owners. I counted six in one day, all seemingly visiting the Royal Huisman Shipyard stand. And why not? With the recently delivered Twizzle the yard is the talk of the town. As we sift through new projects, they tell me they are cautiously optimistic that talks about possible orders will come to fruition shortly.

How to attract attention: put a model of a beautiful 49m classic ketch, painted navy blue on one side and cream on the other, at the front of your stand. It certainly stops you in your tracks and is a great conversation piece. You will be pleased to hear the yacht is not going to be duo coloured – the owner was not sure which colour to have so he had the model painted in both, and I am glad to say he has gone for the timeless elegance of cream. Look out for this stunner with interesting features such as crew access through the engine room for servicing the cabins when she is handed over in spring 2012.

Other news is that Royal Huisman is extending its range to carbon composites hulls and under way is a research and development programme: 'You can't underestimate the systems... pre-engineering is everything,' says Michael Koppstein.

News from Southern Wind is that the first 94 is on its way to the Med from Cape Town, due to arrive mid March. She will make her regatta debut at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in June. A racer/cruiser she is designed by Nauta and Reichel Pugh and built to RINA.

Currently under construction is the second 94, a 100 footer raised saloon performance cruiser by Farr/Nauta, and a 102 to replace the 100 model. Requests are in for an 80 footer and Southern Wind is looking at moving into the big league with interest in a 130 and 140 footer. Both will have a different construction philosophy as heavy displacement cruising yachts – a big change from the current lighter displacement yachts.

Mulder Shipyard has a client list that spans the world from as far away as New Zealand and Australia to Russia, Spain, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Germany and The Netherlands, for whom it has a full order book of yachts currently under construction. The company is forging ahead with a new facility at Zoeterwoude Rijndijk, which will be able to accommodate eight projects from 18m to 40m. The yard can take yachts up to 45m under cover. Also building at the moment is Bellagio a 15.8m, aluminium motor yacht, projected to reach 32 knots. She is waiting for an owner.

Hot news is the recent signing of a Mulder 98 Flybridge designed by Guido de Groot. Semi displacement and building in aluminium she is expected to top 21 knots.

The star of the show was the AY 74, a 23m flybridge motor yacht from Dutch yard Acico Yachts, distinctive for its deep V hull, curvy retro styling and teak decks, and reputedly almost noiseless thanks to the special sound-dampening measures taken. A three-cabin layout accommodates six, plus there is a crew cabin for two, and room for a jet tender in a stern garage. Interior decoration can be specified by the owner.

With family cruising over long distances in mind, the yacht’s range is 3,000nm at 10 knots but her twin Volvo Penta D13 800 engines can produce up to 24 knots, and a smooth ride is guaranteed by stabilisers. Concept design was the work of Boris Levyant with exterior design and naval architecture from Olivier van Meer Design. There is a hint of more to come from this new Dutch yard – founded only last year on the basis of Dutch Yacht Builders and managed by Swiss naval architect Christian Bolinger.