Established in 1961 in the northern corner of the Netherlands, the Vripack studio now sits on the site of a lofty former bank in a town that's famed for its canals and regattas. Its co-creative directors Bart M. Bouwhuis and Marnix J. Hoekstra tell Katia Damborsky where not to go in Monaco, why London's mean streets are a must-visit, and how pizza boxes came in handy after a boat restoration...
What design trend in yachting do you like the least right now?
M: I can appreciate a good concept but when it’s clearly ‘lazy and crazy’, it serves no purpose at all, other than showcasing the incompetence of the originator.
B: For me the sheer lack of focus to make yachts more sustainable. Simply specifying a heat reflective paint gives the owner a 8-10 per cent reduction in heat load, saving an equivalent on required AC power, ergo fuel burn, of the generator.
What’s the most valuable advice you’d give your younger self?
M: LBS (listen before you speak).
B: Boring, but agree and to add: truly listen to understand. Don’t rush to assumptions.
Where do you go for design inspiration?
M: I hit the streets and preferably the edgy, scruffy side of London and Amsterdam.
B: Sitting in an anchorage on our boat and watching my favourite YouTube channels including two on Scandinavian land-based architecture - a win-win.
What’s your fondest memory on a yacht?
M: Doing the dog-watch during a crossing on board the sailing clipper Eendracht when I was 15. The impressions from that voyage I can still vividly remember.
B: Our extensive first family holiday on our sailing boat after I personally did a three-year restoration of her. It just all worked out for all of us, if you forget the pizza boxes for insulation on the roof.
Where’s your favourite place to eat close to your studio?
M: At home, on the porch with my family.
B: Our local yacht club.
Do you prefer the ocean or the mountains?
M: How can this even be a question? Next one, please.
B: Ocean no doubt. Also in wintertime as, especially then, it can have a great touch of brutality.
If you had a yacht, what would it look like? What kind of size would it be and what kind of features would it have?
M: A 60ft sailing Pilot cutter fitted out for circumnavigation.
B: A smaller-size stunning-looking classic sailing yacht, compact with good speed and just the basic accommodation for two people with a large cockpit. On the other hand, also a stunning-looking floating home is becoming more interesting …. I’ll do both.
Where’s the best place in Monaco to escape the crowds during the boat show?
M: La Condamine at Place d’Armes, a true gem with awesome street food and only locals (so please do not go there!
B: Strolling through the Fisherman’s Garden next to the Oceanographic Museum while enjoying an ice cream.