HEEREWAARDEN – Some years back, Glenn Cornelissen rescued a 14.5m aluminum Striker, a 1976 fixer-upper, from years of neglect. “I got the engines running again, installed new batteries and an inverter and fixed basic things,” he remembers today. “I had fun with it! It was a no bells and whistles project.”

But the project got Cornelissen thinking. As a professional yacht builder, he spotted areas for improvement that led him to a new motor yacht: The Rover-54 is a no-frills, robust, lightly built and timeless craft. Cornelissen found in Van Oossanen Naval Architects the right partner.

“Usually a new design comes in sketches from the hands of a designer. Then a boat is built around an accommodation,” he tells this newsletter. “This boat was developed the other way around: we began with an efficient hull shape, then looked at the interior.”

His Rover 54 will serve as a reliable craft for weekends and vacations, not permanent living, says Cornelissen. Renderings show a vessel with clean lines and a contemporary design.

Cornelissen says it will be suited for inland waters and the open sea and have a range of 1,354 miles at cruising speed.

Van Oossanen gave the Rover 54 his patented Fast Displacement Hull Form for efficient cruising. The multi-chine vessel will have an axe bow, a sharp forefoot under the hull and a long spray rail. Also, it will have a Hull Vane, a wing under the transom that cuts hull drag, eases fuel use and makes a for a more comfortable ride. The result: less power and smaller, lighter engines.

With the Hull Vane and FDHF, the hull hardly produces any waves. CFD calculations show a wave height of only 30 cm at 10 knots, assuming a displacement of 19 tons and two Nanni N4.80 diesel engines. At 20 knots and two Volvo Penta D4-320 diesels, the calculated wave height is 40 centimeters.

Cornelissen plans to market a hybrid propulsion Rover 54 which will have two props on fixed shafts and a bow and stern thruster.

The Rover 54’s forepeak holds a lockable owner’s cabin, a double bed and a bathroom. Aft is a portside toilet and a separate shower room to starboard. The guest cabin has two permanent berths. The galley location is optional: downstairs or upstairs. The saloon holds a wheelhouse and comfortable couches.

“We offer the ship semi-custom,” says Cornelissen. That way we can build efficiently to save costs and allow the customer to give it his personal touch.”

The silhouette of the Rover 54 is marked by sharp lines. The hull remains under 15m so no Rhine license is required.

The bowsprit keeps anchor gear from scratching the hull. The deck offers ample room, such as areas forward of the superstructure. Behind it is a roomy, partially shaded cockpit. The saloon roof has six large solar panels.

Cornelissen said when construction of the first Rover 54 was nigh, the pandemic and rising commodity prices gave him cold feet. “We wanted to self-finance the  construction,” says Cornelissen, “but that became too risky, so we held off until further notice.”

As happens so often, good things come to those who wait. The Rover-54 design was shown to the market and a builder popped up. The Euroship Services yard will build the hull and handle the technical installation.