A no th er H oek / V itte rs co lla bo ra tio n th athasp ro

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A no th er H oek / V itte rs co lla bo ra tio n th athasp ro
Another Hoek/Vitters collaboration that
has produced a sailing superyacht to set
the pulse racing Michael Howorth
Marie
Superyacht report
30
Superyacht report
Y
ou don’t have to be sailing aboard Marie
for long to realise how appropriate are the
black mast, black hull and screaming black
gennaker: this is a yacht that sails like a
witch. One puff of wind and she’s off. It’s a fantastic
experience to stand at the wheel controlling the power
she has to offer. She’s as light as a feather, and I can’t
suppress a huge grin as she cleaves her way through
the waves, leaving a creamy white wake frothing silently
astern. Another headsail is unfurled, and she picks up
even more speed. The burst of acceleration is thrilling.
There is something magical about a warm Caribbean
breeze in your hair and the spray on your cheeks as you
put a powerful superyacht through its paces. Captain
Wes Cooper has to almost physically wrench the wheel
away from me when it’s time to turn back to port. From
my point of view, with Antigua still behind us, Trinidad
suddenly looks wonderfully inviting. It’s only a two-day
sail away, after all!
I wonder at what a menacing sight Marie must be
for any observer. Even the communications domes
have been painted black. Add in the fact that she is
registered in Bloody Bay in the Cayman Islands, and
carries a collection of antique cannons on board that
could sink any rival on race day, and you realise that
Marie’s appeal is partly piratical.
But behind the hints of menace there’s much artistry,
of course. Dutch designer Andre Hoek first unveiled
plans for Marie in June 2008. An evolution of the
triple-award-winning sailing yacht Adèle, the
54.8-metre ketch Marie has an identical hull, keel,
rudder and sailplan, but she features a new and entirely
customised interior and deck layout. Like Adèle she was
engineered and built at the Vitters Shipyard before
slipping gracefully into the water last year. Don’t be
deceived by her classic clooks; her hull and rigging are
thoroughly modern with a level of performance that
would shame many racier looking craft
The fabulous looks and speed of Adèle have been
influential, inspiring such yachts as the 53-metre sloop
Erica 12, also constructed at Vitters, and the 62-metre
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I couldn’t suppress a grin of
immense satisfaction
while on board Marie
Top: The spacious cockpit,
well laid out and ideal for
breakfast, lunch and dinner
on deck.
Facing page, below:
Captain Wes Cooper at
the starboard wheel of the
twin helm station, from
where there is an excellent
view forward.
Left: The custom-built
sailing tender boasts
electric power.
Right: The secluded
owner’s aft cockpit has
direct and private access to
the master suite.
Superyacht report
34
There is something
magical about a warm
Caribbean breeze in your hair
schooner Athos, built at Holland Jachtbouw.
Marie’s experienced owner wanted something similar.
He had already owned the 35-metre Tenacious, but now
he had set his heart on something bigger that would
lead the field in superyacht sailing regattas. He hasn’t
been disappointed: Marie’s performance is outstanding.
She has already achieved a speed of six knots in 7½
knots of breeze and over 17 in just 20 knots of wind.
Her deck and interior layout, the work of Hoek Design
and David Easton, make her very different from Adèle.
On Marie, the owner wanted an enlarged main
deckhouse, while he dispensed with the forward
deckhouse altogether, giving him more freedom to
tailor the interior to his own requirements. He also
wanted twin steering wheels, with different levels of
gearing to enhance the sailing experience. They have
been positioned forward of the owner’s deckhouse at
the rear of the spacious main guest cockpit and are
protected by a permanent bimini top fitted with
overhead windows so that you can see the 1,445 square
metres of North Sails.
An extensive weight-saving programme was
implemented, with composite PBO rigging from Future
Fibres and High Modulus-designed carbon spars built
by Southern Spars in New Zealand. Furling booms and
lightweight interiors improved the performance even
further. The hull is constructed in Alustar to class with
ABS and full MCA LY2 specifications. Veteran project
manager Nigel Ingram of MCM Marine Construction
Management acted as the owner’s representative,
incorporating many of the ideas he acquired during his
time on the build of Adèle.
Wide-open side passages make for easy access to
the massive foredeck – a great open space that is
wonderfully uncluttered. It has been kept clear by the
clever use of hi-tech rigging and sail-handing
technology. Below deck, Marie has an advanced
hydraulic system controlling the captive and drum
winches, bow and stern thrusters, and the other
hydraulic functions – all controlled by an in-house PLC
system developed by Vitters.
Superyacht report
Just forward of the deckhouse is a large dining table
set athwartships – a great alternative to the cockpit
when the yacht is at anchor or moored stern-to in
harbour. Forward to port is the lovely black-hulled,
yawl-rigged tender Marietta, custom made to be carried
here. Based on a 1910 Mylne design, she’s a cleverly
constructed sailing tender that like the rest of the yacht
is full of surprises, in her case an electric motor with a
31-mile range. This can be very useful on those
occasions when the wind dies as you make your way
back to the mothership. Lift the launch on to the chocks
on deck, plug it into the mains socket and the batteries
charge overnight, so that the multi-purpose craft is
ready for use the next day.
The main mast has a hydraulically controlled mast lift
that can take two people 35 metres above the deck – a
perfect safe viewing platform for those with a head for
heights. Huge doors in the foredeck are almost invisible
such is the quality of the workmanship that created
them, yet they lift up to reveal an internal garage in
which the yacht carries a 6.2-metre Pascoe tender.
The interior is by Andre Hoek in partnership with
David Easton in New York, who was also responsible for
Tenacious. As aboard that yacht, he has used
lightweight raised and fielded anigré wood panels that
offer a bright and welcoming style. The main guest
accommodation is aft, with the owner’s suite furthest
aft. It is directly connected to the owner’s deckhouse
and aft cockpit, which is large enough to accommodate
a full-size massage table.
The master suite can also be entered through its own
spacious private deck-saloon-cum-office – itself with
direct access to and from the owner’s aft cockpit. A
steam room in ‘his’ bathroom and a bathtub in ‘hers’ are
enticing prospects after a hard day under sail.
Two guest suites feature double beds that can be
split apart to become singles. Concealed pullmans
increase the yacht’s guest capacity from 8 to 11. There
is also a substantially sized separate steam and shower
room to starboard. The double-bedded VIP cabin,
forward of the main saloon and to starboard opposite
Top: Marie’s lower main
saloon is a perfect
hideaway. The nautical
antiques add a distinctive
touch.
Far left: A detail of the
Steinway baby grand .
Left: Marie’s signature ‘M’
logo the engraved hub of
the ship’s steering wheel.
Right: One of the two
beautiful skylights set into
the main deck.
Far right: To starboard, the
secluded dining room for
formal entertaining.
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All of Marie’s nautical
antiques come with an
amazing story
Superyacht report
38
Lightweight wood panels
create a bright and
welcoming style
Top: The full-beam master
suite has a king-size bed
offset to port with a library
corner for quiet
contemplation to
starboard.
Top left: The owner’s
shower is decorated with
colourful tiles.
Far left: Classic sailing
paintings of ships and sea
battles adorn the
passageway bulkheads.
Above left: One of the
two identical twin guest
cabins just forward of the
master suite.
Left: A spacious galley
means a happy chef – and
great gourmet meals
on board.
Right: The owner’s study
with daybed in the private
deckhouse aft.
the dining room, is a delight with its mirrored panels
and ornate skylights that remind one of ships of old.
The main saloon takes the form of a split-level studio
designed for the owner’s wife, after whom the yacht is
named. The Steinway baby grand piano on the lower
level had to be fitted onto the deck of the lower saloon
long before the main deckhouse was installed.
An elegant separate dining room is forward to
starboard with an antique mirrored skylight. It has table
silverware dating from 1896; each item is lovingly
housed inside cabinet drawers lined with non-tarnish
materials to keep the shine.
So what about those antique weapons? Well, they
make superb artworks. The pieces include cleverly
concealed antique cannons on deck that fire
broadsides and glass-fronted lockers containing
muskets and duelling pistols. Everything, including the
World War II Japanese binoculars kept in the main
saloon, has an amazing story behind it. In the main
saloon you can find a signal cannon that was once the
property of Napoleon, along with a ship’s bell engraved
in 1600. Among other treasures are Portuguese rail
cannons dating from 1840, French rapiers from 1630,
and a whole drawer full of duelling pistols. Hidden away
are the odd blunderbuss, antique double-barrel
shotguns, midshipman’s dirks, swords and plenty of
sabres all ready for rattling.
A favourite of mine is the pair of substantial cannons
weighing over 100kg each, made in Paris in 1796 and
later acquired by the British India Company. Now
restored to full working order, they are fired regularly at
sunset to signify that it’s cocktail time.
Marie’s captain is also fond of using them as a salute
to arriving guests, as we found out when we sailed into
Falmouth Harbour in Antigua aboard another yacht. As
we approached he fired off a broadside of blanks and
spun the yacht in a half circle in her own length, to fire a
second. It’s a unique feature of this yacht, which
manages to make so much from modern technology
and yet hasn’t lost the thread of the ancestral line of
seafarers past, in whose wake we all sail. SyW
Superyacht report
The specs Marie
Specifications
Length 54.60m (180ft 0in)
Beam 9.50m (31ft 0in)
Draught 4.80m (15ft 9in)
Berths Guests: 8 + 3. Crew: xx
Hull/superstructure Alustar
Displacement 298 tonnes
Engines Single 820kW (1,100hp)
Caterpillar C32
Fuel capacity 28,100 litres
Fresh water capacity 8,722 litres
Naval architect/Interior layout Hoek
Design Naval Architects
Interior design David Easton
Owner’s representative Marine
Construction Management/
Nigel Ingram
Class ABS/A1
Compliancy MCA LY2
Sail areas
Mainsail 530m²
Mizzen 230m²
Yankee 600m²
Staysail 330m2
Genneker 1,610m2
Crew quarters: These
occupy the forward part of
the lower deck.
main deck: Concealed
garage doors house the
owner’s Pascoe tender.
VIP cabin: Separated from
the remainder of the guest
accommodation.
BUILDER/CHARTER
Builder Vitters Shipyard, Zwartsluis,
The Netherlands. Tel: +31 (0)38 386
7145. Email: [email protected]
Website: www.vitters.com
Charter Fraser Yachts.
Website: www.fraseryachts.com.
Marie charters for €200,000pw
ENGINE: A single engine
backs up sail power and
has ocean-crossing range.
main deck: The upper
saloon opens onto the
main cockpit.
lower deck: The mizzen
mast is a design feature at
entrance to master suite.
She’s a menacing
sight but she’s also a
great beauty
40
staysail: Filling the space
between main and mizzen, it
adds yet more sail power to
Marie.
main mast: The track-way for
the man-a-loft hoist, which
delivers one of the best views
on the water.
gennaker: The massive sail,
carrying the yacht’s logo in
red, is a thrilling and menacing
sight.
Side decks: Wide side
decks add to wonderful
feeling of space and
openness on deck.
hull shape: The long, low
and beamy Marie manages to
mix comfort with outstanding
sailing performance.
natural light: Plenty of
ports in the deck mean that
the accommodation areas
don’t lack natural light.

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