Dutch design boards and superyacht yards are currently alive with traditional designs that are remarkably easy on the eye

If you want proof that classical yacht designs with long, overhanging ends are timeless, look at the superyachts that are being built at Royal Huisman of late. They stem from the foremost Dutch design boards Dykstra Naval Architects and Hoek Design. The likes of Pumula, Wisp and now this elegant new Aquarius ketch are all dark blue, modern classic designs. Plus Huisman has another 37.1m/122ft Dykstra currently in build, details of which are being kept quiet, but is thought to share a similar style.

Over the last couple of years the prestigious yard has also launched two pilothouse classic shapes, with retro style working-boat plumb stems, in the 55.42m /181.8ft Dykstra Kamaxitha and the 46m/152ft NextGEN Hoek ketch Elfje.

The combination of Dutch design and build quality is obviously striking a chord today. In an era where motor megayacht owners continue to crudely compete on length, it’s rewarding to see owners of sailing superyachts choosing graceful lines over size.

That said Aquarius is still a sizeable yacht. The 56m/184ft ketch will have carbon rigs scaled to an air draft that maximizes sail area whilst recognising the Panamax height limitation. She is being built for an American couple for family cruising.

“We created a slender hull with long overhangs for an elegant and classic-looking yacht with favourable sea-keeping characteristics that are ideal for worldwide cruising,” says Thys Nikkels of Dykstra Naval Architects. “The generous sail area combined with her ketch rig and modern underwater body with fin keel and spade rudder will assure light air agility to her otherwise all round performance. We might see her in a Bucket regatta, but with below deck stowage planned for numerous toys such as a Laser, kayaks, windsurfers and bicycles she will be as much at home in a secluded bay as on the race course or the high seas.”

The design details feature oval portholes in the sleek, low profile dark blue hull, a circular skylight around the mizzen mast, and a mid deck lounge area with sun canopy above. “The interior will compliment her elegant profile and traditional lines with beautiful raised and fielded white painted panelling, trimmed with an elegant but simple profile of fine varnished timber,” says designer Mark Whiteley. “The brief called for a relaxed home afloat for the owner’s family and friends, and aside from a split-level master cabin featuring a private deckhouse and cockpit, the accommodation includes a large deck salon, three en-suite guest cabins, a media room and even a dedicated fully equipped gym.”

Aquarius is due for delivery in the autumn of 2017 and it is thought her maiden voyage will be to the Caribbean.