ENKHUIZEN – VMG Yachtbuilders will soon launch a unique, 15m motor yacht. Named IJver (Dilligence), the exceptional craft Olivier van Meer and his team of naval architects, designers and engineers drew reveals much craftsmanship, vision and innovation.

The aluminum vessel was designed for the tricky, shallow waters off the northern Dutch coast, where large sections of sea run dry with outgoing tides. And it had to look like a boat, says Van Meer. So, no boat bling. No filler to get a silky-smooth hull. “It was OK to see some construction,” Van Meer tells this newsletter.

The hull shows a very faint outline of the boat’s skeleton. “See how beautifully those welds are made? The welders made a super-tight hull. They usually sand and fill,” says Van Meer.

The client asked for a comfortable, family boat that can safely run aground and wait for high tide. The yacht had to be made of high-quality materials with a single, large hold featuring old-fashioned bed boxes, placed lengthwise along the hull’s inside.

Van Meer digested the basic idea in a rushed, 2-minute chance encounter at the Barcelona Airport with the client whom he knew. Remembers Van Meer: “We were both in a hurry. The client quickly got to the point. ‘Olivier, I want a boat to cross the Wadden Sea shoals with my children and grandchildren, but I also want to be able to sail to Berlin’.”

Van Meer says he immediately “got that onboard atmosphere the client wanted. It’s a boy’s dream!” Van Meer recognized it. He was born and raised on his parents’ 22m gaff schooner. From his bunk, he was in direct contact with the outside water world through a porthole. “I’ve never experienced this before in my 30-year career as a designer,” he says. “Feeling so close to what a client wanted. Given my childhood experience, I completely understood.”

He drew a crossbreed between a cutter and a luxury motor yacht with an almost-plumb bow and a swept fan stern. He opted for aluminum to save weight and because it handles salt and sand better than steel. Lacking a wooden deck, the boat is low-maintenance. It has solid bilge keels and 8 mm bottom hull plates to rest on dry land. It has a single hatch cover, of aluminum and composite, with rubber ‘Jeep closures.’ With little effort, a large part of the hold can be opened up letting guests sleep under the stars.

The hold lacks cabins. There is a foldaway table, sliding benches and much storage. Longitudinal bunks against the hull can be shielded off giving each a  pillow porthole. Against the rear bulkhead is an oil-burning heater and easy chairs. There is a starboard galley, portside stairs to the wheelhouse and wet gear storage dried by an 8 kW Victron charger/inverter.

Forward is a toilet and shower. Next, the owner’s cabin is the only room with AC. The forepeak holds self-draining anchor gear, storage and a SidePower bow thruster. The vessel has a support sail for stability on a mast that can be lowered and also used to reel in a dinghy.

The technical installation, by Cornelis Jongkind and Brovo-Shipbuilding, sits under the stern deck. The below-the-wheelhouse engine room holds a 180HP Volvo Penta D4 with a closed cooling system. The generator is a 4-cylinder Kohler of 7 kW, 1500 rpm. The boat features a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer.

The flat-bottomed yacht is bound to move with the waves and winds. To keep things pleasant, Van Meer opted for a gyrostabilizer to avoid having protruding parts under water. There is also an Enteron wastewater treatment system, which purifies wastewater in a non-chemical way.