The Van der Valk yard has completed the latest special project in its custom line, created for the Dutch company Waterdream owned by Prince Bernhard van Oranje Nassau.
An impressive launch party was held for the very first California 52 at the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam. This stylish and bespoke weekender is already making waves in the boating world having been nominated as one of three final contenders for the World Yachts Trophies innovation award.
Designed by Vripack, the 14.62-metre Waterdream was built in just five months from the moment Prince Bernhard welded in the yard number 129 in person. Taking all necessary precautions in relation to Covid-19, the motoryacht was completed on schedule, showcasing the exceptional flexibility of the Van der Valk craftsmen.
“This project showcased the benefits of our yard being able to take care of every aspect of a build in-house, from the aluminium hull to the finest details,” explains general manager Bram Kooltjes. “Everything for the interior was developed in 3D and constructed simultaneously with the hull in order to meet the owner’s request for a fast delivery. Even though there were small delays from suppliers outside the Netherlands due to coronavirus, any staff waiting for specific parts to proceed has the talent and skills to work on another area in the meantime.”
This ability – and the fact that Van der Valk are specialists in aluminium – fits in well with the concept Waterdream has devised with the California line to offer clients a versatile range of layout options. This first custom example has been designed as a first-class family yacht with up to five berths. The owner’s suite is located in the bow and a convertible full-beam cabin placed aft for the children. There is a fully equipped bathroom with shower and excellent space for a galley, although the owners have chosen to place the cooktop on deck to avoid having an extractor outlet influence the super-smooth lines of the exterior profile.
And ultimate dayboat
This decision also reflects that fact that Waterdream is very much a yacht for enjoying the al fresco life. There is surely no other boat in the 50-foot range with such a large outdoor aft section, making this the ultimate dayboat for trips out with friends and family. A large garage can take a tender or stand-up jet ski plus other toys such as seabobs and SUPs. A custom-developed sound system is ready to optimise the relaxation groove or create a party vibe, and with sunbeds fore and aft there is plenty of space for enjoying the sun.
Easy to handle
The central steering position is surrounded by foldable tables and the captain’s seat can be converted into a sofa, giving an extra functionality to the space. “Standing at the 90-inch carbon wheel in this unique steering console during the sea trials on the Ijsselmeer lake, I was struck by how the helmsman is located right at the heart of the action,” adds Bram. “The skipper has superb all-round vision and the yacht was very easy to handle and manoeuvre with the joystick. The Volvo Penta IPS 800s also clocked an impressive 40 knots, making for an exhilarating ride.”
The choice to up the pace even further with IPS 950s is one of the many options for future clients ordering a custom California 52, as is the installation of a gyro stabiliser. The interior style is also based on personal preferences, albeit finished with premium quality materials. Waterdream’s air-conditioned interior has a graceful ambience with light oak panels, teak, various marbles and leathers, brushed steel and brass elements, and a calm colour palette.
The timeless exterior design includes a red, white and blue waterline as tribute to the yacht’s Dutch roots and premium quality. The California 52 concept places sustainability to the fore, with every material carefully considered, an eighty percent recyclability standard and the lowest fuel consumption in its class.