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Spring 2006

Article selected from our quarterly magazine dedicated to the largest and most luxurious boats with information, interviews, technical articles, images and yachting news



Yachting catalogue

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Used boats


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Article by
Angelo Colombo

Photos by
Rick Tomlinson
and Hoek Design


Designed by Hoek Design Naval Architects and built at Vitters Shipyard in Holland, Adèle is a lady of the sea with classic forms that conceal avant-garde technological content.


LOA: 54.64 m
Length on waterline: 38.40 m
Beam: 9.50m
Draft: 4.80 m
Average displacement: 298 t
Water tanks: 8.000 litres
Fuel tanks: 24.000 litres
Ballast: 85 t
Construction material: aluminium for hull and superstructure
Engine: 1x1.015 HP Caterpillar 3412 DITA
Manoeuvring propellers; stern and bow, both 125 HP
Rigging: Lewmar and Rondal
Masts and booms: carbon
Mainmast: 53.45 m
Mizzen mast: 27.48 m
Sails: North Sails
Sail area: mainsail 490 sq.m., mizzen 214 sq.m, yankee 620 sq.m, staysail 225 sq.m, MPS 1.300 sq.m, mizzen staysail 300 sq.m.

For further information contact Vitters Shipyard BV, Zwartsluis, The Netherlands; phone +31 38 386 7145; fax +31 38 386 8433; e-mail: website:

Once again we find a creation that unites classic and modern, where the former regards aesthetic details and forms and the latter the constructional and design principles. The coupling of these two elements results in superyachts capable of offering the performance and safety levels which every modern vessel must guarantee, but also the atmospheres which only the forms of the past can convey to those who live aboard and those, a far greater number, who can only observe. Undoubtedly the variation of forms in time, especially where the quick-works are concerned, was not just the mannerism of a designer in search of an innovative formal synthesis but rather a requirement linked to experience of a hydrodynamic nature. The aim is always to obtain the maximum possible in terms of performance and safety from a hull, and this is what leads to seeking - in the appendages, the sail plan, the immersed volumes and the distribution of masses - increasingly new configurations that contribute to the achievement of that purpose. Having said this, it may seem illogical to ask a designer for an avant-garde boat in terms of sea performances which at the same time evokes a classic in its forms. In fact the owners who ask for designs of this sort are numerous, and their needs are satisfied precisely by the evolution of materials and building systems. We need only think of the weight differences between last century's rigs and today's to get an idea of how distribution of masses alone affects this reasoning. In cases like the one we're about to deal with, the designer had to bring in all his technical experience and then enclose it in something different from a hull whose forms are dictated by the most obvious logic, such as pure racer forms. All this is always achieved through careful research. Before arriving at the definitive design of Adèle, Hoek Design built scale models for tank testing from which it gleaned a great deal of information useful for achievement of the end result, experimenting with the response to all types of stress and with seaworthiness and performances. Adèle's owner is a Swedish gentleman who got in touch with the designer because he wanted to change yachts. Formerly he had a 24 metre sailboat with which he made no less than three circumnavigations. Needless to say, we're talking about a sailor, a man who knows very well what he wants from his boat, but this is something that helps the designer, does not hinder him. Adèle's owner was captivated by an old Hoek Design project that was never built, a 164' sloop with classic lines and numerous details never seen before, such as the owner's cabin with deckhouse and cockpit. Mr. Osterlund, Adèle's owner, immediately identified Hoek Design as the people best qualified to give a concrete response to his requirements, probably because the studio, with about 50 boats of this kind produced, can boast long experience. The initial design of Adèle envisaged a length of 164', later extended to 180' to better meet her future owner's needs. Consider that no less than five different models were built - each one subjected to a battery of tank tests - before arriving at the definitive hull. The sail plan configuration also underwent numerous experiments before the designer settled on ketch rig. One of the reasons behind this intense research on the sail plan was that the owner had expressly requested that he be able to handle the sails autonomously, just as he wanted to be able to sail the boat alone, a requirement that had never before been satisfied for yachts of this size. Thanks to the extensive sail area and its ratio to displacement, Adèle can sail at very respectable speeds under all wind conditions, and the running rigging can all be handled with power assisted systems. In order to be able to voyage throughout the year, also in places where there are usually flat calms, Adèle is equipped with a 1.015 HP Caterpillar with shafting line transmission that keeps her going at a fair pace. The interiors, designed and developed by the Hoek Design studio who also did the deck and the general layout, are very special inasmuch as there are really very spacious indoor relaxation areas, but above all because they are developed in three distinct deckhouses whose low, vertical forms are typical of the sailing ships of other times. On deck there are three tenders of sizes suited to the owner's needs: he has already taken Adèle through the icy north and will shortly be heading for Brazil, Panama and other destinations where suitable tenders extend the possibility of visiting places otherwise unreachable.

Going back to the interiors, the amidships deckhouse is directly connected to the great saloon on the lower deck, creating a very large living area which is highly evocative for the views it offers. Farther aft there is a very spacious open air living area, with central dining table and side sofas, from which there is access to the external bridge towards the stern. There are two command stations from which the sails can be handled and observed on all points of sailing. There is another deckhouse aft, which houses the indoor bridge and a relaxation area with sofa and table, while farther aft there is another open air relaxation area with a semicircular sofa and central table. An interesting feature is that from the indoor bridge there is direct access to the owner's quarters on the lower deck which comprise a double bedroom suite, sofa and table, office corner, spacious bathroom and wardrobe with dressing room. Forward of this area there are two twin-bedroom cabins with private bathrooms, accessible both from the corridor connecting them to the owner's quarters and from the stairway that leads down from the amidships deckhouse saloon. The lower deck saloon has natural lighting from two large skylights in the deck. Going forward there is a spacious office opposite a double bed cabin with private bathroom. The whole forward area is for the crew and the service rooms. There are four cabins, three with bunk beds and one with a double bed, all with private bathroom, plus the galley, pantry and crew relaxation area.