In a repeat project, Royal Huisman improves on close-to-perfect

VOLLENHOVE – No, there was nothing wrong with Aquarius, the owners of the 56m (186ft) sailing yacht told Royal Huisman, the builder of the cruising ketch that was launched in 2018.

They just wanted a bigger, more performant version that would do well in both cruising and racing. This is what they had in mind: “A modern classical yacht with a clean, uncomplicated look. Not a pirate ship but a modern, fashionable, and chic looking yacht with performance, reliability, and quality. A sailor’s yacht.”

With those marching orders, Royal Huisman began work on Aquarius II, a 65m (212ft) version, along with project manager Godfrey Cray Maritime Ltd of New Zealand, Dykstra Naval Architects of the Netherlands, and British interior designer Mark Whiteley.

The delivery of Aquarius II is scheduled for 2024. The new, improved yacht has a carbon rig with integrated sail handling from Rondal, Royal Huisman’s sister company. It has structured luff sails and a retractable keel for optimal stability under racing conditions.

The original Aquarius placed first in class in the 2019 St. Barths Regatta. The yacht, which can accommodate up to 8 guests in 4 suites, will return to that ‘bucket’ race this month.

Royal Huisman says Aquarius II retains the elegance and comfort of the original Aquarius but offer more space and volume. It will feature hybrid technologies for power generation and management, including intelligent energy use through ‘peak-shaving.’ Design and engineering preparations for Aquarius II are well advanced. Construction of the aluminum hull and superstructures is to begin this summer.

“We are very honored with the trust the owners of Aquarius have in Royal Huisman,” says Royal Huisman CEO Jan Timmerman. He adds his company “is very motivated and delighted to be working on such a prestigious project.”

Repeat orders and referrals are standard for Royal Huisman. “They show we must be doing something right,” says Timmerman.

“The key factor is the effort we put into solving problems and learning from them. Clients give us different reasons for their repeat orders. These include a dedication to building what the client wants, high standards of customer service before, during and after the build experience and a flexible, can-do approach to design, engineering and production that drives innovation to resolve complex challenges and fulfill the owners’ dream.”