Van der Valk Shipyard in the Netherlands is making excellent progress on the first two motoryachts in its highly innovative BeachClub range. The BeachClub 600 will be launched in Q1 2019, after which it will tour the major boat shows and be available for sea trials. Meanwhile, the first BeachClub 660 Flybridge has already been sold and will be delivered to her owner in July 2019.
The BeachClub range fully embodies the forward-thinking outlook and commitment to excellence that have propelled Van der Valk and its partners to the standing they enjoy in the sector today. With some 50 years of experience, Van der Valk has a well-established and hard-earned reputation accumulated while building over 1200 motoryachts. Ginton Naval Architects and Cor D. Rover are similarly appreciated in their respective fields. And ,together the trio are on the verge of launching something very special with the BeachClub concept.
A new concept of on-board space
As construction advances, it is becoming increasingly apparent how impressive the two new BeachClub yachts will be, especially when it comes to onboard space. Built entirely in aluminium, they boast a contemporary, dynamic appearance with a moderate-V hard-chine hull. The model will be ideal for use in sailing hotspots such as the South of France; southern Florida and the Caribbean. The 19.05-metre BeachClub 600 will feature a twin Volvo Penta IPS-950 propulsion system, giving a top speed of 25 knots; while the 20.50-metre 660 Flybridge will be equipped with twin Volvo Penta IPS-1050 for a speed of up to 30 knots.
The clever design of the BeachClub range means the yachts will provide a terrific amount of indoor and outdoor space. The solution – for which the patent has been granted – is in the smart placement of the engine compartment within the swimming platform, opening up a tremendous amount of uninterrupted space on the lower deck. As a result, the BeachClub motoryachts offer three major outdoor zones: the beach deck with sun lounge, the aft deck, and a foredeck featuring a wide range of layout options. Taking the example of the BeachClub 660 Flybridge, these three zones have a respective volume of 17, 17 and 25 square metres.
The design also allows room for three indoor luxury areas too: an upper salon with indoor helm station and panoramic views, a lower deck salon with galley and dinette, and the sleeping accommodations. Using the BeachClub 660 Flybridge, they measure a spacious square metreage of 21, 27 and 44 respectively. And then there are the fine vistas on offer from numerous places on board thanks to oversized glass surfaces and large sliding doors in the two salons and owners’ suite.
A radical project takes shape
“The BeachClub is a unique project in many ways,” says Van der Valk’s yard manager Bram Kooltjes. “In aesthetic terms, for instance, the range has lots of glass across the entire side profile. Noise levels are kept down by the location of much of the sound-generating equipment inside the swimming platform. The interiors flow seamlessly from one space to the next, with smooth transitions when it comes to carpentry, for instance. And, of course, the yachts provide much more useful space than any comparable vessel.
“The fact that Van der Valk builds the hulls ourselves gives us total control of the planning and quick turnaround times for any changes requested by the owner. Our close partnership with Ginton Naval Architects and Cor D. Rover has enabled us to look at the model from every possible angle and this continues to be a truly inspiring project.”
Cor D. Rover is equally enthusiastic. “It’s been tremendous to see the design coming to life in these first two yachts,” he says. “The propulsion solution and swimming platform aft create an incredible beach club space that strikes the perfect balance between safety and being as close to the water as possible. The resulting connection to the ocean is phenomenal. I strongly believe in the comforting effect of being near the water – there’s nothing quite like it.
“This spot is incredibly flexible and will definitely be the focal point of each BeachClub. It’s very large, can accommodate any number of toys, and invites hours of lounging at anchor surrounded by amazing scenery. Depending on the weather, you can even spend the night in the beach club. The feeling of light and space is simply astounding.”
“The second radical innovation is the elimination of a full-height collision bulkhead reaching all the way to the main deck,” Rover continues. “We instead fitted a partial bulkhead, which allowed us to enhance the connection to the ocean all the way through to the owners’ suite in the bow. This has given a fantastic open feel throughout the lower deck that is really enhanced by the big windows.”
The possibilities are endless. “In the interior concept we are currently building, you can go straight from the owners’ suite to the aft salon without going up or down more than two stairs, and through to the swimming platform in just three steps. This is especially convenient for clients with reduced mobility – it’s possible to live downstairs and spend your time at the water’s edge without ever going up to the wheelhouse.”
Van der Valk is a bespoke builder, and the BeachClub yachts allow for extensive customisation, especially in the interior. Clients can choose between four standard interior styles imagined by Cor D. Rover – Ibiza, Sardegna, Mallorca and Corse – or bring in an interior of their own choosing.
Reaching for the stars
The completely novel ways of doing things that typify the BeachClub concept posed a number of challenges, which have been solved with characteristic flair by Van der Valk and its partners. “Most of the glass panels are curved, with only four being flat,” points out Bram Kooltjes. “Another ingenious engineering solution is the elegant placement of the tender and its lifting solution. However, most of the challenges were linked to the engine compartment/swim platform. The gangway/passerelle extends out of the platform, for instance, which means it had to be placed inside a box between the engines. Similarly, the exhausts of the Kabola heater and the water/gas separator had to be positioned far above the waterline, but the vessels have a quite low profile in that section.”
Cor D. Rover agrees. “The aft compartment propulsion and beach club solution was quite the challenge. We didn’t want to take the combustion air from too low a point in order to avoid soot particles getting into the engine room. We therefore beefed up the two corner mullions of the beach club and made them do double service as mullions and air trunks: the air is aspired above deck and led down to the engine compartment. This clever use of space allows for an open feel while providing a safe solution for combustion and ventilation air.”
A bold approach
The BeachClub concept’s blend of the reliable and the revolutionary, the stable and the stunning, could only have been achieved by the specific partnership between Van der Valk, Ginton Naval Architects and Cor D. Rover. “As a designer, you have to strike the right balance between pushing the envelope and realising something useful and practical. Jaron Ginton has been invaluable in communicating with the class societies and helping us define the limits of the possible. Equally, Van der Valk has been willing to make a prototype to prove to potential buyers that this concept is not only brilliant and trail-blazing, but also functional and realistic.”
Of course, good design can mean not rocking the boat. “Some famous designers see themselves as artists. And they create trail-blazing concepts that look great on paper and end up in museums. But we want our boats to be used by clients. With Van der Valk’s BeachClub concept, I think we’ve struck the ideal mix of the two.”
An unrivalled offer
The cooperation between the yard, naval architects and designers has been seamless. “I very much enjoy working with Van der Valk,” Rover concludes. “They’re exceedingly down-to-earth and practical, even for a Dutch yard. The lines of communication are very short and the hierarchies are flat – no one is interested in anything other than making the best product possible. And the price is very interesting in this size range.”
In addition to the two boats close to completion, work will start very soon on the hull of a second BeachClub 660. With the choice of whether or not to opt for a flybridge version still open at this stage, this new build is available to a shrewd yachtsman looking to get ahead of the game. Once the first BeachClub sees the light of day early next year the already strong interest in the range is expected to grow exponentially, such is the groundbreaking ingenuity of this space-changing concept.