Toine — By Capt. Bill Pike — September 2001
The Next Level
|Part 2: Amels’ Toine continued|
Mixing style with safety is a tricky matter, even for a yacht builder with commercial shipping connections. Before the sea trial, during a cursory examination of Toinie's Terence Disdale-designed interior, I came across little more than visions of charm and soft comfort, thanks to the extensive use of raised and fielded light oak paneling with burl reliefs, creamy custom carpet, special lacquered furniture, and hand-picked marbles. The sky lounge offered low windows port and starboard and sole-to-overhead windows and glass doors aft, so the lofty view was excellent from virtually any part of the room. On the main deck, all the way forward, the full-beam master stateroom afforded vast and elegant privacy, with separate dressing areas and bathrooms, a king-size island berth, an expansive lounge area and desk, and an adjoining twin cabin suited for children. Abaft the master, a sumptuous dining area divided a huge galley and pantry from a saloon that was even larger than the sky lounge. There were four staterooms for guests on the lower deck, each with twin berths and an en suite head, and further forward, six twin cabins for crew.
Toinie's exterior living spaces were equally charming and comfortable. The sundeck offered a barbecue area with settees, lounges, sunbathing areas, a five-person Jacuzzi, and tables for dining underway. The upper deck was paved with an expanse of teak at the stern that seemed large enough to host a basketball tournament, and just below it was a similar layout, thanks to an emphasis on comfortable outdoor living.
But the real impact of what Amels has accomplished with Toinie began to dawn on me only after the sea trial had actually begun and Amels managing director Sjoerd Veeman had a chance to show me around the vessel. He's a guy who delights in pointing out safety features that are as darn-near invisible as they are up-to-date and commercially oriented.
Chief among these were Toinie's three sliding watertight doors in three of a total of six watertight bulkheads. Constructed of steel by Tebul Oy of Finland, a manufacturer that specializes in equipment for big cruise liners, the doors slide in tracks galvanically insulated from the vessel's surrounding aluminum superstructure. Cleverly concealed in complexly joined jambs, the doors hydraulically activate in an emergency but can be manually deployed if there's a failure of the main gensets and the backup power supply, a dedicated emergency battery bank with a 40-kW Cummins genset concealed in a sundeck locker.
Veeman also pointed out four 16-person SOLAS-approved liferafts stowed in hydrostatically activated fiberglass canisters for gravity release in hidden compartments on the upper deck, a commercial-grade CO2 firefighting system in the engine room (Amels predicts a return to CO2), three Stork fire/bilge pumps with big 11-kW motors, seawater sprinkler heads all over the place, a fire-main system with a total of 16 hydrants, and more fire alarms, bilge alarms, and machinery alarms than you'd find in your average nuclear power plant. Veeman concluded our tour by noting that while the MCA-required fireproofing insulation in the superstructure helps reduce sound levels, other measures also contribute, like double sets of engine mounts, sound and vibration isolators under everything from sanitary pumps to saloon soles, and running gear designed to keep machinery-related harmonics from traveling throughout the vessel.
Once the sea trial was over and I'd said so long to Veeman and the rest of Toinie's crew, a small launch came out from the shore to collect me. Halfway back, I turned to take one last look at the high, dramatically raked steel bow and sleek, stylish aluminum superstructure towering above it.
An impressive sight, and a convincing one. If ever I've stepped aboard a very pretty yacht that was closer to being a commercial ship, I can't remember when.
Amels Phone: (31) 515-232525. Fax: (31) 515-232719. www.amels-holland.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.