Nordhavn, Vripack Collaborate on Expedition Yacht

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 1, 2019

Photo: Nordhavn Yachts

Photo: Nordhavn Yachts

The concept of a world-class superyacht, able to take on the most extreme cruising itinerary, is at the root of Nordhavn’s newest collaboration with Vripack: the brilliant Nordhavn 148. 

Designed to Class with ice capability, the ambitions of this adventuresome, forward-thinking cruising ship are infinite thanks to the combined efforts of the world’s foremost expedition yacht brand and Europe’s premiere yacht design and engineering firm. Individually, they have each specialized in the creation of high-latitude explorer yachts. Together, they will meld their talents and experience to produce a world-class voyaging ship, built to the highest structural standards and designed with contemporary luxury.

The N148 will be groundbreaking, even by Nordhavn measures. The first metal yacht in the history of the Nordhavn product line, this new design pushes the brand to go beyond prior engineering feats and will be built to a greater structural integrity than any other Nordhavn before her. “We’ve talked about building a larger boat for a while now,” said Jim Leishman, Vice President of Pacific Asian Enterprises, Inc., which manufactures Nordhavns. “It would be something specifically meant for the most challenging worldwide conditions.” In fact, the Nordhavn 148 is being hailed as the ultimate crossover yacht: a mix of commercial ship and elegant superyacht.

PAE looked to Vripack, with whom they’ve had a successful partnership on the interior design of the Nordhavn 80, to mentor the project and head up engineering. Vripack has overseen the design of the most notable of Northwest Passage-exploring yachts and have a rich, successful history of building in steel. “This will be a mutual partnership between PAE and Vripack, and we will use each other’s expertise to produce an exceptional and extraordinarily capable yacht,” said Jim Leishman.

What the Nordhavn 148 perfectly illustrates is that when pairing the Nordhavn’s build pedigree with Vripack’s naval architecture expertise and vast experience designing explorer vessels that take on Northwest Passages, the results are explosive.

“Nordhavn were keen to tap into our explorer heritage,” says Marnix Hoekstra, co-creative director at Vripack. “Nordhavn boats are renowned for venturing to remote off-the-beaten-track destinations, and so the aim was to demonstrate to owners that this significant latest model has been conceived by a design studio that has a proven track record in this arena.”

As a no-nonsense go-anywhere explorer boat, the Nordhavn 148 possesses the strong Nordhavn DNA and feel, but with Dutch styling. “As a designer, we really were able to be on the cutting edge in terms of how far we could stretch the Nordhavn brand without losing its heritage. It’s a Nordhavn explorer – designed by Vripack – but it remains a Nordhavn nonetheless. Our aim was simply to reimagine it.”

Key to the design are Vripack’s reinterpretation of particular features, including a flared, rounded bow, the yard’s interesting combination of square and round windows, and an industrial chic aesthetic.

The interior volume of the N148 will be approximately 25% larger than the fleet’s current queenship, the Nordhavn 120, which is constructed of FRP and measures about 400 Gross Tons; the N148 by comparison is expected to measure 495 GT. Aside from heft, building out of steel and aluminum is more custom-friendly, and also provides a more efficient process – both in production time and budget. Jim Leishman expects a new Nordhavn 148 to be completed in less than 2 years.


Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2019 - Marine Design Annual

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