Imagine the late Raymond Loewy, famous for his work in the streamline movement during the middle 1900s (remember the 1953 Studebaker Starliner coupe and the bullet-like locomotive he designed for the Pennsylvania Railroad?), stooped over his drawing board drawing his interpretation of a Bunker & Ellis commuter/cruising boat. The result quite likely would have resembled this Zeelander Z68.
How anyone who sees the Z68 in profile could resist the allure of her oh-so-subtle S-shape sheerline is beyond me. It made me think of a seductive 1930s film star draped over a chaise—and I don’t mean Clark Gable. The clipper bow and rising spray rail just above the waterline add to the impression. And the transom—whew is all I’ll say about that.
The Z68 is fairly tall, but the designers have disguised this nicely by cutting hawse holes and scuppers into the bulwarks at deck level. The shiny rubrail, in addition to being practical, divides the profile in nearly equal parts, reducing our perception of bulk. Although the vertical portlights along the topsides almost disappear within the dark paint, they still add visual interest to the profile. I especially like the vents amidships.
Zeelander had wisely eschewed the common swim/boarding platform slung off the transom in favor of a wide tailgate, shod in natural teak. Four wide teak steps, each bathed in light from the step above, hide behind the gate. “Where’s the garage?” you ask. It’s under the crowned section of the foredeck, which lifts hydraulically to reveal a tender, PWC, and the davit to launch and retrieve them.
Builders in the Netherlands have earned a well-deserved reputation for fine joinerwork, and Zeelander is a member of that club. Inside the Z68, we find the finest woods, varnished to dizzying depths. Soft leather and fabrics in rich neutral tones grace the overheads, settees, and berths.
As you may have guessed, Zeelander works with a number of skillful interior designers to give its customers the ambience they want to create an heirloom yacht.
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This article originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.