There are times when the stars align to allow for the creation of something superior and this time it was the creation of Marie, Star of the Sea, a 57-meter ketch from the same team that brought us the gorgeous Adèle. Marie was a joint collaboration between Hoek Design and Vitters Shipyard, both Netherlands based businesses with a long history of collaboration. This collaboration, driven by a clear vision from the owner, resulted in one of the most stunning yachts to be built in recent years. Marie is a modern classic; yes that does sound like an oxymoron, but it’s not. The yacht has traditional styling that includes long overhangs both at the bow and stern, a raised coachroof not unlike those found on classic yachts at the turn of the last century, yet below the waterline and in the rig it’s all high-tech and extremely modern.
The owner wanted a high-performance yacht, but one that had traditional, classic lines so rather than a full-length keel apropos of yachts from the past, below the waterline there is a modern, sleek underbody with a lead bulb keel apropos of a contemporary racing yacht. Same too with the rig. Both the main mast and the mizzen are keel-stepped, and both are built out of carbon fiber. The sails also have carbon as the principal load bearing fibers and the running and standing rigging are made from PBO, a fiber that has the highest tenacity of any fiber available. The idea was to create a powerful sail plan that would work in conjunction with the modern underbody to give Marie the kind of performance reserved for racing yachts. With the mainmast towering 57 meters and the mizzen at 37 meters, there is ample sail area to provide incredible performance. The carbon in the sails and masts plus the ultra-light, incredibly low stretch PBO rigging keeps the entire sail plan very light. This, in turn, increases performance in many obvious and some not so obvious ways. Less weight aloft means less heeling and pitching which provides a smoother ride which in turn reduces fatigue on the crew and guests.
The deck layout is clean with all lines led aft to a central control panel at the helming station. This leaves an open deck with classic teak decking contrasting with varnished teak deckhouses, gleaming stainless dorade vents, and oval mirrored skylights. This combined with a varnished teak toe rail results in a superb welcoming look.
The deck layout is separated into a number of main areas. There is the spacious foredeck perfect for sunbathing and other water sports, a large deckhouse amidship that features a spacious cockpit for crew and guests. Aft of the deckhouse and cockpit is the helming station and central control panel that houses the winches and hydraulics needed to operate the sails. Further aft is a unique and completely separate deckhouse and cockpit area strictly for the owner. This allows the owner, if he so wishes, to escape the bustle and activity of a working yacht under sail and retire to a private space away from others to relax and enjoy the beauty and serenity of his yacht. Both the owner’s private cockpit and the central cockpit area are covered by a permanent bimini’s to protect the owner, crew, and guests from direct sun and other elements.