WAALWIJK – In February, the BOAT International Design & Innovation Awards yielded a surprise in the ‘New Series’ category. It even stunned organizers.
“Proving our judges are anything but predictable,” they said, “the top scorers in this category could not be more opposite in style, function, builder location or even the home ports of their owners.”
The ‘New Series’ award went to Leven-90 – a private label of YachtCreators, a Fort Lauderdale company that seeks out builders worldwide for its one-off projects: sportfishing boats, trawlers, tenders, fast motor yachts, superyachts etc.
For the 27.5m LeVen-90, it worked with Van der Valk Shipyard and the Vripack design studio.
“It started off as a custom one-off,” Vripack Creative Director Bart Bouwhuis tells DutchYachtBuilding. But it soon became a prototype for a series after Vripack and Van der Valk convinced the owner to share the design and naval architecture.
Van der Valk delivered the first LeVen in 2019 and may well build the second.
“YachtCreators came to Vripack and us because we represent that ‘Dutch-built’ quality label,” says Van der Valk Sales and Marketing Manager Yoeri Bijker. “We have been building quality yachts for 52 years. We were very pleased, of course, with the superyacht award.”
The LeVen- 90 is designed for island-hopping day trips in the Bahamas. It has luxury overnight accommodations below deck. Below the waterline sits Vripack’s beamy but shallow draft (just 1.3m) “slide” hull that reduces drag and draft.
It is also the first known private yacht with a Voith linear jet propulsion system. Akin to a water jet, but located under the boat, it creates a minimal wash of water, is virtually noiseless and achieves speeds in excess of 25 knots.
Bouwhuis says key to the Leven is the design philosophy behind its open-plan main deck. “Every stepped deck has a dedicated function. Our approach was more akin to landscaping than layout design.”