Repeat clients are a key success factor for all leading yachtbuilders but it is rare indeed for three generations of the same family to order their own distinctive custom build from the same yard. The new EDGE 65 under construction at Van der Valk in the Netherlands breaks new ground in other ways too, combining a 40-knot top speed with the ability to make ocean crossings in comfort and also explore the shallow waters of the Bahamas. With a fold-out platform spanning some 48 square metres of deck space offering the ultimate in outdoor life and a bespoke interior from Carla Guilhem, this is a special project in every sense. And with the second hull also now in build, the transition to a successful new series is likely to be seamless with larger models already under development.
The launch model of the exciting new series, the EDGE 65, will serve as a sister vessel to the 90-foot Van der Valk motoryacht LeVen. The latter was built for the owner’s parents in 2019, while the 34-metre tri-deck explorer Lady Lene was delivered to his grandparents last year. All the family’s rich superyachting experience is being leveraged on with the EDGE 65 as they create the ultimate weekender for the Bahamas in partnership with Van der Valk, exterior designer Cor D. Rover, interior designer Carla Guilhem and Studio Delta Naval Architects.
Access all areas
The yacht will feature a number of firsts for Van der Valk in order to meet a highly specific client brief. Her draught of under three feet opens up all but the shallowest waters, while a top speed of 40 knots hastens deep water runs between the islands and the first leg of any weekender departing from the home berth in Florida. Power will be provided by outboard engines in the form of four Mercury V12 Verados, offering an exhilarating total of 2400 hp.
“It is unusual for a Dutch yard to install these engines on a luxury yacht of this size and the EDGE 65 will be the heaviest possible size that could be propelled by outboards,” says Van der Valk general manager Bram Kooltjes. “Mercury Marine’s new automatic gear shift technology allows us to come to just over 30 tonnes while retaining the outdoor and indoor real estate required by the owners. Petrol engines are still widely accepted in the US and this project will prove that it is possible to offer a premium-Dutch-quality aluminium yacht with this type of propulsion. To still attain 40-plus knots in this size and specification has required optimising every aspect of the yacht to benefit speed and reduce underwater friction. She is going to be an awesome sight in every respect.”
In good step
Another vital demand from the owners is to have this powerful performance accompanied by optimum seakeeping comfort. To ensure this happens Van der Valk has teamed up with the Swedish company Petestep to utilise its revolutionary hull technology for the first time on one of its yachts.
“Combining such speeds on a 65-footer with superyacht standards of comfort was a very exacting brief,” says Petestep CEO Jonas Danielsson. “We worked closely with industry- leading experts in CFD software on an extensive series of simulations to see how the boat would behave in all kinds of water. This involved calculating the resistance and pressure components of some five million air and water cells as they interacted with the design.
“Each simulation took between half and one day to complete and we carried out around fifty for this project. The wealth of data which resulted led to the decision to add three Petestep deflectors to the hull of the EDGE 65. Fitted in a V-shape to push water down and aft, they will give a lower amount of wetted surface, a greater degree of lift and a forward thrust from the redirection of the spray. The ultimate result is a major reduction in resistance, a boost to the speed and a very dry ride for those onboard.”
Comparing the base hull of the EDGE 65 with the Petestep hull, the program predicted a 30% reduction in slamming forces. “While we’ve consistently seen such numbers on smaller vessels with our technology, we’d not expected them to be so high on a 65-footer. It is really good to work with a reputable yard like Van der Valk on this project: it has the potential to open up a new market for large luxury boats that are relatively fast and allow for both shallow water access and ocean trips.”
Close to the water
Exterior designer Cor D. Rover is equally enthusiastic about his partnership. “We’ve worked with pleasure on various projects at Van der Valk, which is a jewel in the Dutch boutique yard crown and collaborates with other key players such as Guido de Groot, Vripack, Jaron Ginton and Diana Yacht Design. A great deal of expertise has come together on the EDGE 65 too, not least from the owner side with their impressive experience of boating. Together we have designed a kind of cabana on the water with an optimised amount of enclosed real estate and the option to be as close to the water as possible on a 20-metre boat.”
The large aft deck morphs into an outdoor pleasure platform with fold-down balconies creating some eight square metres of additional space. This arrangement also makes it easy to launch and tie up watersports gear, which the outboards would otherwise make impossible in this area. There is also room on the flybridge for a dedicated crane to enable the yacht to carry a small tender and/or jet ski that will bring even the shallowest beaches into play.
“Open the fully extending sliding doors to the interior and the entire main deck becomes one open space with accommodations below,” continues Rover. “Nothing is new here in itself but the combination of all these aspects in this size most certainly is. I truly think that the EDGE 65 is going to be the best possible boat for the Bahamas.”
She will certainly look the part thanks to an Aston Martin Racing Green hull colour chosen by the owners to make the yacht look like she is being absorbed by the water in that part of the world. “We have drawn a powerful and sporty exterior design with a masculine feel that perfectly matches her invitingly feminine interior,” Rover concludes.
The design of that interior is going to be another treat as Carla Guilhem returns to Van der Valk to bring her unique take on an Art Deco-inspired beach style. “The yacht will primarily be used on weekenders and bustling day trips with friends,” says Guilhem, who previously worked on Lady Lene and has recently completed an inspirational interior on a newly delivered 25.50-metre Van der Valk Flybridge.
“The owners of the EDGE 65 have no interest in a traditional lounge, preferring to entertain guests in a country kitchen galley arrangement with bar. They know people spend very little time indoors when day-tripping around the Caribbean and, when they do venture inside, they will have an informal place to sip cocktails and gather around the island chatting.”
This relaxed vibe will be heightened by a smooth blend of modern-classic marine elements with a colourful Bahamas beach feel. “We have created a very natural style with lots of oak wood and a sophisticated range of textures. Clean grey & white tones, round corners, panels with textures… The overall theme revolves around chilling in the Caribbean.”
A few darker tones are found in the ensuite master stateroom and the two cabins with a shared bathroom. As guests won’t be staying for long periods there is no need for lots of storage. The queen-size bed in the master suite has been shaped to remove any sensation of triangularity, part of an approach aimed at generating relaxed open rooms that will feel very spacious for a 65-footer on overnight trips.
While Guilhem is developing a beautifully bespoke interior for this EDGE 65, other options will be available in the future should it become a successful series. Clients will be able to opt for a two-cabin layout with a larger master suite with bathroom if preferred in an interior that also features an impressive wheelhouse. Solar panels are being placed fore of the latter to boost the yacht’s independence and reduce generator use.
Van der Valk will also offer an inboard propulsion option for future EDGE 65s, all of which will benefit from the tremendous amount of engineering and smart thinking that has gone into this stunning launch model. A second hull is already under construction at the Van der Valk yard and the yacht is available for new owners to shape to their own vision.