Kickstarting the year in style, Dutch design studio Vripack is set to roll out its most impressive portfolio of launches to date in 2019. With no less than 28 custom yachts and boats scheduled for delivery in the coming months (not including the multitude of designs built on production lines also launching this year), it’s clear to see why Vripack’s three-pronged offering of exterior design, interior styling and naval architecture make it the go-to yacht design solution.
With yacht refits a long acknowledged area of expertise for Vripack, they make up five of the studio’s launches for 2019. Capable of handling refits of all sizes – from 60ft to 260ft – the Dutch innovators approach each project as a “reimagining” of the original design. For Project Intuition II, a 60m Amels motor yacht, the visual reimagining involved close collaboration with the owner and was significantly enhanced by Vripack’s extensive use of a virtual reality (VR) communication tool.
“We have been working with virtual reality since 2014, but this is the first time we implemented it on a significant refit design,” says Vripack’s co-creative director, Marnix Hoekstra. “It involved the entire yacht, interior and exterior, as well as a virtual reality marina so that the client could walk around the yacht, step on board, and take everything in.”
The use of VR even extends to experimenting with how newly shaded exterior areas might work, or how suggested aesthetic amends will tie in with the existing design on a functional level. “The owner assessed the entire yacht interior from the comfort of their home in California,” explains Hoekstra. “Owners don’t want to lose the soul of a yacht that has already delivered so many cherished family memories, but they are intrigued to see what a reimagined design could look like. This collaboration was very much eased by the ability to create a virtual reality world where small details, sight lines and new angles could be fully realized.”
Also contained within the 28 launches in 2019 are 10 full aluminium yachts and nine hybrid/full electric deliveries. Showcasing a huge area of growth for eco-friendly yachts across the industry, Vripack has collaborated with at least seven different shipyards to produce a raft of lighter, faster and more fuel efficient designs.
“Yachts with either hybrid or full electric propulsion present a new era of eco-minded owners in the superyacht sector, however, the choice for lighter aluminium over steel is also most certainly driven by the benefits of fuel efficiency,” says Hoekstra. “It presents a whole new level for the way boats are constructed, designed and built.”
Sail in UNESCO heritage waters
Showcasing all three key areas of expertise for Vripack – exterior, interior and innovative naval architecture – its environmentally-minded projects even extend to more commercial vessels this year. Carving out a niche as the go-to eco yacht design studio, Vripack will see its designs for two 71m LNG-powered ferries launch in 2019. Built in Vietnam, the ferries use sustainable materials throughout their interiors, and will be permitted to sail in UNESCO heritage waters in Holland thanks to zero emissions.
In the words of Hoekstra, “We have a busy summer ahead!”