Van Lent’s Andiamo
— By Diane M. Byrne
— November 2003
Let Them Eat Quiche
|Part 2: “I’m not going to build another boat, so I wanted this to be as perfect as possible.”|
Regardless of where they decide to eat, guests are sure to be treated to stunning vistas, given Andiamo’s cruising itinerary. The yacht headed for the Canary Islands on her own bottom after delivery a few months ago so that Mueller could indulge in some diving, then headed to the Caribbean. The West Coast, the Galapagos Islands, the Mediterranean, and the South Seas are among the regions that Mueller figures will keep the yacht busy for the next two to three years. Being an active boater for about 35 years, and having enjoyed the waters ranging from the Pacific Northwest to Mexico aboard sailboats, a trawler, and, most recently, a 53-footer, Mueller says, “I wanted to broaden my range and see the world.”
This is no dockside platform—and no expedition yacht in name only. Since Mueller also intends to take Andiamo into the waters of some of the colder regions in the world, Royal Van Lent constructed her to be strengthened for navigation in ice. The hull has what’s known as an ice belt—a section in which, from about two feet above to two feet below the waterline, the steel is thicker (in Andiamo’s case, 50 percent). And Mueller points out that this also gives peace of mind for times when the yacht will be navigating at night in waters where a wayward object might be encountered.
Interesting to realize, though, that Mueller didn’t set out to commission the first expedition yacht built by a Feadship yard (the other is De Vries Scheepsbouw). She’d actually considered commissioning a traditional-looking yacht. “I’m a very practical person, so to me function is more important than form,” she says. But the more she thought about it, the more she realized the expedition style yielded a few key advantages. Given the fact that the deckhouse is tucked a bit further aft than it would be on a traditional-style yacht, this freed up room on the foredeck to stow two custom 22-foot tenders and yielded more space elsewhere for PWC, kayaks, and other craft (“I like my toys!” she laughs).
The styling suited another of Mueller’s specific requests: locating the master stateroom below decks. While nearly all custom-yacht owners these days request their staterooms be located fully forward on the main deck, Mueller says she didn’t want this because “it’s the least comfortable place, I don’t want to be bouncing around if we’re in seas.” Her stateroom is therefore just forward of the engine room, where there’s less roll and pitch.
As for Andiamo’s performance at sea, Mueller says the average cruise speed of 11 knots (top is 14) suits her just fine. Besides, she adds, “you can’t go fast on open ocean anyway.” The yacht should enjoy good range at that speed, too: 4,150 NM, according to Feadship.
And the crew will enjoy the knowledge that Mueller has a better understanding of what their jobs entail along those many nautical miles. Having already obtained her six-pack license and gone for STCW95 training (a course required of crew that includes fire fighting), she’s in the process of getting her 200-ton license. Her explanation? “I’ll be qualified to stand watch, plus I’ll be a much better owner for having the training.” Besides, she’d requested that Feadship build the yacht to comply with the MCA Code governing the safety of large vessels and additionally had Andiamo comply with UMS (Unmanned Machinery Spaces) regulations. The latter encompasses installing alarms on the bridge to trace or rectify machinery faults; the computerized devices report faults immediately when they occur, and the engineer can then address the results.
“I’m not going to build another boat, so I wanted this to be as perfect as possible,” Mueller says. She adds that she spent at least two years figuring out what safety and comfort features she wanted and what size would best suit these before she even approached Feadship: “I ‘lived’ on the boat—I dreamt it, I walked through it, I used the systems [in my imagination].” And she didn’t have the slightest reservation about owning Feadship’s first expedition yacht. “Now that they’ve built this, this shows what else they can do—and do very well,” she asserts.
What if someone wants to challenge this notion? I can imagine her reaction: “Let them eat cake.”
And I’m not talking aout the literal kind.
Feadship of America Phone: (954) 761-1830. www.feadship.nl.
This article originally appeared in the October 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.