And so the Flying Eagle vision became a reality, with her steel hull and aluminum superstructure being crafted inside 147-foot and 213-foot sheds that Bloemsma & van Breemen erected for the task.
van Breemen says he wasn't nervous about taking on a 157-footer, but he was eager to leave his mark. "From day one, I was an engineer myself, so I wanted engine-room cooling and space cooling throughout the boat," he explains. "We ended up where we can cool all the equipment rooms with a freshwater-cooled system. It's not unique in the way that engine-room cooling is done, but it's unique in the way that all of the spaces are cooled with this system. It minimizes the amount of air openings in the boat."
It also minimizes expenses, Poorte explains: "All the insulation that would require cooling [now] runs on fresh water instead of sea water. That's a big cost saving because you don't have to have seawater-resistant piping."
van Breemen also worked with Vripack to create an amidships auxiliary equipment room to house the water tanks, zero-speed stabilizer activators, and more. "The auxiliary space is under the guest cabins, so we minimized the length of water pipelines running through the boat, and we took all of that equipment out of the engine room," he says. "Normally a boat of that size has an engine room with everything, one space full of machines where it's very hard to get to equipment."
Langton and Reymond say van Breemen excelled on exterior construction, which included complex detailing in the aluminum superstructure. "Once you build it well, you have to get somebody to paint it properly so the details don't disappear," Reymond says. "It was a challenge for him, but he took it in stride."
Vripack placed another stamp on the project with Flying Eagle's tender garage. "We didn't have any height to put traditional overhead deck cranes in the lazarette," explains Marnix Hoekstra, Vripack's sales director. "We invented an ingenious tender-launching arrangement where the tender is almost sailing into the lazarette. Part of the swim platform lowers, and the tender sails itself in, and a hatch closes on top of it. We call it a tender bay." (See box below for details.)
Flying Eagle's interior boasts some nifty features of its own. The skylounge bar, for instance, is an evolution of a setup the owner had aboard his previous yacht, which let him serve drinks outside and inside simultaneously. "Imagine the aft wall of the skylounge," Langton explains. "In the middle of that wall, there's a bar. You cut a hole in the aft wall, and half the bar goes to the outside, half to the inside. On the outside, you've got curved, sliding windows that take the shape of the bar. They open. On the outside of the wall, there's black granite where you can serve the drinks."
The interior woodwork is unusual, too. The main material is mahogany, stained dark with accents of madrone and amboyna, a burled wood that he says is among the world's most expensive. "For the owner's suite, though, he wanted a totally different effect," Reymond says. "It's sycamore. But we used amboyna for the cabinetry, so it's a nice, golden color. It's a big contrast from the rest of the boat, and it was done on purpose. You want to wake up in freshness rather than in darkness."
The owner's detailed vision was key to the entire project, according to all involved. He knew what he wanted from the start and made his ideas clear-in ways impossible to ignore. All interior furniture, including fabrics, leather, and lamps, was ordered before the keel was laid.
Flying Eagle was cruising through the Panama Canal at presstime, with the owner reportedly happily planning to explore the West Coast of the United States. Vripack has moved on to other yacht projects, but boasts how it helped to make Flying Eagle a "Feadship-quality boat" from a non-Feadship yard. Reymond Langton is now working on a 223-foot Lrssen and a 256-foot Abeking & Rasmussen.
As for van Breemen, he's finishing a 90-foot De Vries Lentsch design with hopes of building his next megayacht soon. "I would like to stay in building 32 to 60 meters (105 to 187 feet)," he says. "Sailboats and motorboats, and I would even build a catamaran. Maybe we have a real chance."
Bloemsma & van Breemen (011) 31 515-231785.
Reymond Langton Design (011) 44 20 8332 7789.
Vripack Naval Architects (011) 31 515-436600. www.vripack.com.
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