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Autumn 2006

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



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Article by
Angelo Colombo


Designed by Tony Castro for an American customer, Arcadia is one of those splendid examples of how the classic can be coupled with the modern and with the most recent technology.


length on waterline: 31.55 metres
beam: 8.24 metres
draught: 4.34 metres
displacement: 284 t.
top speed: 12 knots
cruising speed: 10 knots
range at cruising speed: 5.000 nm
classification: MCA, Lloyds ?100A1, SSC, Yacht, Mono, G6, LMC, UMS
building material: Corus "Alustar" Temper
engines: 2 x 540 HP Caterpillar 3412 DI-TA
fuel capacity 43.474 litres
water capacity 7.780 litres
deck gear: custom made by Rondal.

For more in-depth information contact Royal Huisman Shipyard BV, Flevoweg 1, 8325 PA Vollenhove, Holland; tel. +31 527 243131; fax +31 527 24 3800; email; website

The Dutch shipyard Royal Huisman may be said to be an expert on superyacht. We need only think of Athena, the biggest private sailing yacht ever built: one of her strong points is precisely this combination of classic and modern. But there are also other examples where the yard has demonstrated its ability to create a design philosophy, interpreting it each time with stylistic and technical solutions that are always innovative. Arcadia is the fruit of this experience and of the yard's usual ability to do everything in-house, right down to the most apparently insignificant details on board. But Arcadia is also the fruit of a trend that is gaining ground among yacht owners, which is to say a tendency towards less gigantic vessels that can reach smaller marinas and ports in places otherwise inaccessible. The owners who ask for yachts of this kind are looking for long range vessels with relatively reduced fuel consumption and for interior volumes that can ensure the right level of comfort on the most demanding cruises during which every inch of the yacht is experienced. With Arcadia the Royal Huisman yard has realised the dream of an east coast American whose first request was a yacht which was not oversized with regard to his actual needs but which at the same time was suitable for ocean cruises, without excluding voyages to the poles. This is why one of the owner's main requirements was the choice of construction material - aluminium - which in comparison with steel reduces hull friction by about 10% and offers about 25% more range and 17% more efficiency with equal fuel consumption, thus guaranteeing reduced running costs. Moreover, with the intention of sailing to the poles, the owner chose this building material for its high mechanical resistance to impact: the great elasticity of the alloy functions also at very low temperatures. But we must add to all this, as mentioned previously, the owner's desire to have a yacht where functionality and luxury are coupled in the best possible way, but in accordance with classic stylistic canons. So Tony Castro's work in developing this yacht - he himself spoke about a fine challenge - was undoubtedly demanding. Also because the owner is a yachtsman with many years of experience behind him and therefore with clear ideas about his final aims. But the designer saw this as an advantage, inasmuch as such an owner can understand all the design processes necessary to overcome problems of a technical nature with regard to problems of a purely aesthetic nature. One of the finest jobs in the design phase was the parallel development of Dick Young's interiors and the external lines by Tony Castro, work which was necessarily carried out in harmony by the two designers in order to achieve an optimal result. Having arrived at defined forms, meaning establishment of the volumes and waterlines, the designers submitted the results to the Dutch Hydrodynamic Institute which supplied an analysis of the hull's hydrodynamic flow as well as the results of the pressures and waves produced thereby. All this supplied data necessary for optimisation of the hull and for the right dimensions and forms of all the appendages, as well as clear references about the hull's seakeeping properties, especially with regard to its righting tendency. Undoubtedly a highly attentive design which we could appreciate personally on our brief sail aboard. What struck us most about the interiors was the solution of the VIP cabin: a sliding door transforms it into two cabins, complete with everything, including bathroom. Needless to say that when used as a single cabin it becomes an actual suite with sitting room and all. Other outstanding elements are the fine finishes in mahogany which give a very pleasant warmth to all the spaces. Then again the windows and portholes in the superstructure and in the ship's sides, the sliding doors in the interiors, the excellent visibility from the bridge and the panoramic view from the saloon and upper deck. Plus solutions such as the mast for sensors and aerials created in carbon by Rondal to avoid shifting weights upwards. And that's not all. For example the navigation systems are the most modern found on the market today, like the computerised system for handling all the data arriving from the sensors and instruments, as well as from apparatus such as radar, a solution that means you can have everything under control by way of two monitors on the bridge: from engine and plant efficiency to the environment in which Arcadia is sailing. The design is developed on three decks plus a small upper deck for open air relaxation. The lower deck aft houses the large VIP cabin described above, transformable into two double cabins, which occupies the whole width of the beam and is accessible from two doors that overlook a small quadrangle at the sides of which there is a companionway to the main deck and an access door to the two guest cabins in the same area. Both with private bathrooms, one has a double bed and the other has twin beds. Amidships the great engine room also houses all the on-board systems such as generators, air-conditioning etc.. This is directly accessible from the crew's quarters which take up the whole forward portion of the vessel and include two double cabins, one with double bed, an office and a relaxation space for the crew. The main deck includes an open air zone aft, protected above by the extension of the upper deck, where there is a large dining table and chairs. From here you access the saloon with sofas, bar, a large retractable plasma TV screen, card and coffee tables and access to the adjacent dining area which is in a central position. Proceeding forward there's a daytime bathroom, service rooms and the splendid owner's cabin which enjoys the spectacle and brightness offered by the large superstructure windows and plenty of space for an office corner, a spacious bathroom, a dressing table area and a double bed. The upper deck is occupied by the large, welcoming command bridge where the technological content is obvious at a glance. Aft there is another saloon and relaxation area from which, farther aft, the tender area is accessed: two RIBs handled with a custom designed davit. Given the owner's requirements, Royal Huisman created a special system for handling the heavy stern anchor on the port side of the transom by means of customised mechanisms, thus avoiding damage to the structure and ensuring easy casting and weighing. Another noteworthy element is the excellent soundproofing, with a vibration level that is imperceptible even at full speed. Arcadia's Zero-speed stabilisers also function optimally. In conclusion, a unique yacht with numerous equally unique and interesting technical aspects to investigate: such as the floating sole system and the stern platform with vertical movement to lower its level.