After polyester, Vedette adds aluminum yachts to portfolio

TER AAR -Vedette Jachtbouw is working on a 10.3m (34ft.) aluminum motor yacht. It’s an undertaking that has set the steel construction specialist on a search for compromises. In balance, weight and propulsion options and other areas.

No matter.

You, too, would be all smiles after winning the 2019 Motorboat of the Year award in the Netherlands and the 2020 European Powerboat of the Year award at Boot Düsseldorf.
Two awards for 1 yacht: the Vedette Navigator 35.

Impressive milestones for a company, founded in 2002,whose portfolio stretches from 5.5-16m (17–48ft.) across 5 model lines. From tenders to luxury motor yachts. In steel, polyester and, soon, aluminum.

Steel construction is the norm in Dutch yacht building and has been Vedette Jachtbouw’s forte from the outset. But in recent years, it has added 2 polyester models: the Cantia Launch and the Cantia Cruiser.

“They are popular with ex-sailors,” says Vedette Jachtbouw owner Hans van Veen. “They are used to polyester as a building material. And we build what clients ask.”

That motto guided Van Veen agreed to the aluminum Vedette for a client who asked for a light-weight craft to dash across large waters into quieter cruising waters.

Vedette 10.30

“That’s undoable with a displacement boat,” says Van Veen. “You’d have to add too much power,” says Van Veen. “A water displacement engine is for volume boats with sufficient torque at low RPMs. But as the boat comes out of the water, you want the opposite: less torque and more revs. But you cannot have both.”

To resolve that conundrum, Van Veen weighed compromises between speed and weight, comfort and sailing qualities, noise and propulsion issues. He dismissed several propulsion modes: water jet (too complex), stern drive (unsuited for a Vedette), Volvo IPS (too pricey) and settled on a conventional, fixed-axle propulsion with a diesel engine at the bulkhead.

The interior of a steel Vedette 9.3 – with a double cabin, toilet and shower under the foredeck – will fit into the aluminum version to keep costs down. The cockpit runs into a swimming platform. Inside is a kitchen unit with round seating. It’s not yet known when the aluminum Vedette will appear on the water.