Moonen Shipyards in the Netherlands has launched the 42-metre custom motor yacht Sofia for a repeat client. As well as being the largest superyacht launched to date by the yard, Sofia also features a three-seat submarine, a wide range of other technical innovations, and outstanding noise & vibration attenuation. Inside and out, this highly sophisticated custom project captures the essence of why Moonen is among the finest yacht builders in the world today.
A crossover between go-anywhere expedition vessels and the classic modern yachts that are Moonen’s hallmark, Sofia was custom-designed with safety, functionality and redundancy to the fore. Built to Lloyds and MCA, she implements the latest building techniques with top-of-the-line equipment and systems.
Sofia’s owner first teamed up with Moonen almost a decade ago. “In 2004 I embarked on a quest to find a high-quality motor yacht that would allow me to cruise the world in comfort together with the sail yacht,” he explains. “My research led me to Moonen Shipyards, where I purchased the brand-new Moonen 84 Sofia (now Eleonora). I then commissioned a new Moonen 97 to meet my personal requirements, which was duly launched in 2008.
My experiences with Sofia and Sofia II emphasized the quality of design and build of Moonen. The yachts were safe, solid and reliable even in rough weather. I welcomed many experienced sailors and owners on board, and all were impressed by the construction quality, low noise levels and immaculate carpentry work.
When the time came to fashion my new yacht, therefore, the choice to partner again with Moonen was easily made. This third Sofia would be the yard’s largest yacht to date and – unprecedented for her size – carry a private submarine. Although the design started with a two-seat craft, during the construction we switched to a three-seater. This decision influenced the complete design and made the challenge even greater, but Moonen responded with typical flair.”
Sofia also brings together some of the finest creative minds and hands in the Dutch superyacht industry. Designed by René van der Velden, Stolk Marimecs was responsible for the complex naval architecture and engineering. Frank Pieterse and Marilyn Bos – de Vaal from Art-Line then went on to develop the remarkable interior, which features a wide range of genuinely innovative features. The experts at Inoferro had their work cut out to incorporate the wealth of stainless steel detailing, as did the woodworkers and many other craftsmen across all disciplines from Moonen Shipyards. The result is a triumph.
Van der Velden also designed the initial layout for the interior before being joined on the project by Art-Line, who had also worked on the owner’s two previous boats. The result is a plethora of rounded curves, including the phenomenal oval staircase in the center of the boat with a skylight that bathes the interior with natural light. Art-Line also chose the woods and the fabrics in close conjunction with the owner. A unified color scheme applies throughout, combining traditional oak and Zebrano veneers with off-white and camel-colored materials such as coconut paper. All the cabinets have a high degree of complex horizontal joinery, and the entire interior is notably tactile.
“Spatial planning is a very important starting point for every design, and certainly on Sofia where the owner required as great a possible connection between the different decks,” explains Art-Line’s Frank Pieterse. “We set out to enhance the way space is experienced, how the perspectives work, how people move from one area to another. The desire for open spaces meant coming up with various innovative solutions, and our knowledge of the technical possibilities and limitations increased our room for maneuver. At Art-Line we are also very aware of how flexible Moonen is as a yard and we were able to lean on each other’s knowledge to create a very special interior.”
|Length over all:||41.78 m|
|Length Waterline:||38.60 m|
|Exterior design:||René van der Velden|
|Main Engines:||2 x 746 KW (1015 BHP) CATERPILLAR C32 DI-TTA ACERT MKIII WITH DRY EXHAUSTS AT 1800 RPM|
|Top Speed:||14,5 knots|
|Cruising Speed:||12 knots|
|Range @ 9 knots:||5,000 nm|