BART VAN DEN HOVEN INTRODUCES THE NEW VOYAGER 61
That’s the feeling I get when sailing on our new Voyager 61.” The words of Bart van den Hoven onboard the yard’s latest flagship.
It’s stunning weather on this June day, which is great news for the team busy with a photo and video shoot of the Voyager 61. And it’s got to be said – the boat’s beautiful light-blue livery brings out the very best in the design’s lines as she shimmers on the water.
The Voyager 61 is seriously photogenic and it’s a pleasure to talk to Bart about this remarkable pocket superyacht from the comfort of the driver’s seat on the flybridge.
AN INTERVIEW WITH BART VAN DEN HOVEN
What did you hope to achieve in developing the Voyager 61?
We have been regularly hearing from clients who are looking to travel further and get to their chosen destinations faster. At the same time, however, they have no desire to sacrifice any of the luxury and comfort they associate with the Van der Hoven brand. Areas like the Mediterranean Sea, Scandinavia and the British coast are becoming increasingly popular. And a fast-displacement yacht made from aluminium is ideal. With a top speed of 22.5 knots the distances quickly seem shorter. And the longer passages are made in considerable comfort in the kind of high-end surroundings you’d associate with a superyacht.
How did you come up with this design?
The Voyager 61 was developed in partnership with the renowned and hugely experienced Dutch superyacht designer René van der Velden. He has successfully managed to retain the characteristic lines of a Van den Hoven and addressed our requirements for lots of space for the interior and moving around the yacht. The yacht’s performance also had to make sailing long distance at high speeds a pleasure.
The design takes good account of the fact that many owners and their guests like to spend the vast majority of their time outside on these kinds of long trips. The exceptionally spacious and super-comfortable flybridge meets this ambition, offering a large second helm station and room for eight people to enjoy sunbathing on the loungers. There is an outside galley with a grill, washing basin and fridge too. And, as you can see, we are sitting in a great position high up on the fly, with panoramic views of the water and environment.
The large size of the flybridge can partly be attributed to the vertical front window in the saloon, which increases the length of both by 1.5 metres. Inside, the spaciousness makes the Voyager 61 truly feel like a superyacht. She looks great too and oozes character. This is a yacht that you would feel equally at home in glamourous locations such as the Côte d’Azur, Ibiza and Italian Riviera.
How do you like building in aluminium?
Well, it is really quite different, let me tell you. From the development stage on aluminium is work for specialists with an excellent reputation who know their business. Building and welding with high-quality aluminium is a different technique that requires a lot of experience. We apply the highest quality requirements and brought together the best from the market to do this job. The result speaks for itself, a stunning yacht that meets our stringent demands.
What do you think of the performance?
Well, I’m talking about my own product and it feels a little uncomfortable to pat my own back. That said, having sailed on so many motoryachts over the past 30 years, I do feel I can be pretty objective. And in all honesty, I have to say this yacht performs exceptionally well. I felt it straight away on the first sea trial. It’s like buying a car: you sit down and you know immediately if it’s been built properly and drives well. Standing here now, I’m sure you can feel that on this Voyager.
Can you notice the difference with steel?
Aluminium yachts have many benefits due to their low weight. They are very manoeuvrable, easy to berth, accelerate quickly and consume very little fuel. I mean, 24 litres an hour at a speed of eight knots is really efficient for a yacht with this much space. Moreover, she is extremely comfortable for the passengers, partly due to the stabilisers.
Is the Voyager for a different public?
The Voyager 61 reflects a desire among some of our clients to sail longer distances and not take long between destinations. They want to visit new coasts and are perhaps looking for fresh adventure. With a top speed of 22.5 knots, owners will be able to travel further in less time, while still enjoying the core values such as high levels of spaciousness, finish, comfort and performance they were familiar with on their previous Van den Hoven. The Voyager 61 offers an ideal blend of good speeds, great looks and reliable value for money.
But we’re also receiving feedback from new groups whom we hadn’t been able to serve before. Last week, we had a client visit us who had a Princess but wanted more options to arrange the interior layout. And that’s possible, of course, as every Voyager is made in aluminium and fully custom-built. People feel that the Voyager has a high-quality superyacht feel, and they love it. The quality is also reflected in the gorgeous stainless steel on board, the finish of the woodwork, and the huge engine room. There’s also a crew area behind the engine room that’s currently in use as a storage space and a laundry with washing machine and dryer.
Will there only be a Voyager 61?
Certainly not. The response was way too positive to not continue on this train of thought. We’ve already started on the Voyager 50 Coupé and have drawings for a Voyager 71 and 80. All three will be made following the design philosophy of René van der Velden. We’re really happy with the timeless design and René’s excellent work. We attract lots of attention when entering a marina and enjoy many thumbs up. You always feel a sense of pride at such moments.
Do you have one yourself?
We have extensively tested this Voyager and are tremendously pleased with the results. I like taking her out for a spin, but she’s not meant to be mine. This model is brand new and ready to be sold. A client could own this yacht as early as next week! For more information or a sea trial, feel free to call me on +31416 319 183. Or just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. You’re very welcome to visit the yard.