THE TWO OWNERS OF THE 65M IMAGINE BROUGHT BACK THE HIT COMBINATION OF AMELS, TIM HEYWOOD AND ANDREW WINCH TO CREATE THE 83M HERE COMES THE SUN – THE DUTCH YARD’S BIGGEST BUILD YET.
IF HERE COMES THE SUN BY AMELS sounds like a new album, that would be fitting for the two owners of the 83m, six-deck megayacht delivered by the Dutch yard earlier this year in preparation for this summer’s Mediterranean cruising season.
Business partners and friends living in different continents, the co-owners were looking to upgrade from their 65m Amels Imagine – named after the famous John Lennon song – for a variety of reasons including a growing number of grandchildren.
Names under consideration for their new yacht included the Beatles’ hit Come Together, which also would have been fitting as the owners essentially ‘got the band back together’ by retaining Amels and English designers Tim Heywood and Andrew Winch.
Amels – which celebrates its centenary in 2018 – first worked with both designers during their time in Jon Bannenberg’s studio in the 1980s and the three parties happily teamed up again to create the first Amels 272, the largest in the yard’s Limited Editions six-yacht range (55m-83m), all with Heywood exteriors.
Yacht Manager Yavor Nenov supervised the build on behalf of both owners for Imagine (the first Amels 212) and Here Comes The Sun, which will also be a ‘two-season yacht’ available for limited charter in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
Here Comes The Sun was designed to accommodate the owners’ families cruising separately, although on occasion she could be used by both owners, such as for a business event. The yacht is expected to be used heavily, as Imagine racked up 60,000nm since her launch in 2011 before being sold in early 2016.
Nenov manages all movable and non-movable property for one of the owners, an avid Beatles fan for whom he has worked 13 years and who previously owned two yachts named Let It Be, named after The Beatles’ final studio album. The owner enjoys singing Beatles songs and playing piano, so one sits in the main saloon.
However, the yacht name Here Comes The Sun – the George Harrison-written classic from the Abbey Road album – was inspired by the other owner, who has a house of the same name.
“The owners use their yachts a lot so were really looking for a floating house. One said: ‘I just want this to be like my home.’ The concept is to feel at home, but with the ability to conduct business,” Nenov said at a media presentation onboard Here Comes The Sun in Spain earlier this year, before either owner had even stayed on the yacht.
“We know Tim, Andrew and all the Amels staff from before, and even the individual sub-contractors at the yard, so we were working with the same team as before, which was great.”
The two owners’ trust in the build and design teams meant they were very hands off during the construction period, to the extent that Nenov himself began to worry.
“You would expect an owner to come at least three or four times during the build, but they had so much confidence in the team that neither of them came onboard,” Nenov said.
“In fact, I had to plead with the owner who’s most interested in interiors and said: ‘We’re nearly finished, so please come and see if you like everything. It’s one thing to see mock-ups in Andrew Winch’s office in London, but it’s another thing to see it in a bigger scale in the shipyard and it will be a completely different experience when we go out at sea.’
“Luckily he came and it was a big relief for me and all our team to experience that he was happy and didn’t want any big changes. We were really happy to hear that.”
Building on Imagine
Although a lot of Imagine’s onboard artefacts and art – including the colourful Marilyn Monroe prints by Andy Warhol – have been retained, Here Comes The Sun is a big departure in terms of design.
The major upgrade in size has provided 1,400sqm of interior space and 900sqm of outdoor space including a 200sqm sundeck, but there are also many new design features on the yacht, which is distinguished from afar by its tan hull and white superstructure.
Upon boarding from a tender, the first notable difference is the expansive beach club on the aft of the sea-level lower deck, which sits above the tank deck.
A large swim platform offers space for several sunbeds that match the look of all the outdoor furniture – wooden with white cushions, dressed with either orange towels or orange throw pillows. Orange is also used on the distinctive Here Comes The Sun logo, created and hand-written by Heywood.
Moving inside, the covered area includes a gym to port and a bar and lounge area to starboard, while forward is a steam room, sauna, shower and day head. On both sides, large wings – 5m wide, 2m high – fold down to extend the beam to 18m and offer extra outdoor areas with loose chairs and tables.
Forward of the beach club is the huge, full-beam tender bay, with 12m- wide wings on both sides that lower to offer access to the water. This large area accommodates two 11m tenders, several jetskis and other toys.
Taking the stairs from the aft deck brings you to the main deck and another new design feature – the aft pool. Measuring 6.8m lengthwise and 3.4m across with a water depth of 1.25m, the pool has three submerged chairs and a U-shaped countertop forward and is the centrepiece of the deck’s outdoor area.
Hans Konings, Amels’ Head of Design, believes the new features link together well. “The biggest changes include the aft pool on the main deck and also the beach club on the lower deck, as on Imagine there was only a little bar in this area,” Konings said.
“Now it’s really a proper beach club with a nice sauna, steam room, relaxing areas and much more. The tender bay’s right in front of it, so the pool and all the watersports and activities are concentrated at the back. That’s really different.”
Inside Winch’s world
Here Comes The Sun features a large interior volume for her length, as evidenced by the fact her gross tonnage of 2,827 is comparable with much longer yachts like the 99m Madame Gu (2,900gt) and the 95m Kismet (2,700gt).
However, the interior areas feel comfortable considering the 14m beam because the main deck, owner’s deck and bridge deck all feature exterior walkways on both sides.
Entering the saloon from the pool area, semi-circular doors open to a large round dining table, which can be enclosed or benefit from an open view and breeze.
The lounge area features two L-shaped couches to port and loose chairs and tables, with the area served by a long bar to starboard. The saloon is bathed in natural light from glass windows that run full height along both sides of the room, which also features a piano and television forward.
The saloon sets the scene for the yacht’s interior, which continues the outdoor theme by focusing on natural materials such as oak, walnut and leather, with furniture and features in light, earthy tones accented by autumn-bronze highlights.
Winch, founder and Creative Director of Winch Design, was familiar with both owners and their preferences through his work on Imagine, having previously worked on two custom builds for Amels.
“The owners like wood, leather and soft colours. Nothing shiny; no bling. One owner in particular is irritated by shiny,” Winch said. “Also, they are both quite tall, so the ceilings are high.”
If beige is the dominant tone, brown is the support act and used on the four columns in the corners of the saloon. Decorative? Yes. Functional? Also yes. Each metre-wide column cleverly opens to reveal storage areas, including for a drinks cabinet. Konings is full of praise for Winch, an avid sailor who has always designed for yachts ‘in motion’ since his design career started with 35ft sailing boats.
“The boat is big, but Andrew managed to keep it cosy. It’s really done well,” Konings said. “The material choice helps tremendously because there’s natural materials and really nice chocolate-brown leathers; no high-gloss. It’s very relaxed.”
Forward of the saloon, past the elevator and winding staircase, are the 10-seater cinema and seven – or five – guest cabins with en-suites.
To starboard, the cinema features a four-seat front row and six-seat back row of reclining chairs with leg-rests, plus a small fridge for drinks. Opposite is a large double cabin that seems conventional compared to what’s next.
Forward are two identical ‘two-part’ suites that can each be used as a double cabin with a separate lounge area on the other side of the central TV pillar. However, if required, a Pullman berth drops down to replace the sofa, so could be used for a nanny accompanying young children. Both ‘rooms’ in this large suite have en-suite bathrooms.
Further forward are two double cabins and then the storage area for the 6.2m rescue boat – accessible by a hatch from the owner’s deck above – and the mooring equipment, which can be deployed via two external fold-down hatches.
The full owner’s deck is another major new design feature for the owners. This private 300sqm haven can be accessed externally by staircases on the aft deck and both side walkways or internally by the circular elevator and wraparound staircase that both serve the top five decks.
Winch lets his creative juices flow in the elevator area and wraparound staircase, which are located midships to starboard, and were inspired by one owner’s vineyard and love of making wine.
“The staircase pays homepage to winding vines,” said Winch, who has designed winding vines carved into the stone walls surrounding the elevator lobby. “One owner is also fascinated by Archimedes screw, so we’ve used concentric circles to create almost a vortex effect.”
Aft of the elevator and staircase, the owner’s deck features a large lounge with arguably more seating capacity than the main saloon and some of the yacht’s funkier furniture designs.
There’s also a backgammon table, a television that raises out of a side cabinet and four brown-leather columns that match those in the main saloon. The lounge opens to a large outdoor deck featuring two stern- facing L-shaped sofas and tables.
Forward of the elevator lobby is the intricately arranged accommodation area, with a central lobby leading to ‘her’ area on the left and ‘his’ on the right. Comprising three long, connected rooms, her area is lightly coloured, brightly lit and one of the yacht’s standout interior areas.
“It’s designed like a railway carriage and feels a bit Hollywood, a bit art deco,” Winch said.
Aft of her area is the bedroom, with a forward-facing double bed, TV, a daybed to starboard and a desk portside, where the doors open up to one of the two French balconies that are another new design feature compared to Imagine. Stand with your back to the balcony railing and you can see the full length of the yacht.
Her central room is the dressing area, which has large storage areas for clothes and shoes. Forward is a beautiful light-marble bathroom that features a shower and a dressing table with a large sea-facing window that offers a fantastic view and great natural light.
His area is linked by an L-shaped corridor with access to the aft office, a cosy but engaging room that opens up to the starboard balcony. A diagonally placed desk has seats on both sides, while another corner seat makes for a comfortable room for three. Let the negotiations begin.
Gold-plated, limited-edition discs of The Beatles’ Let It Be and John Lennon’s Imagine hang framed on the forward wall. On the long sea- facing wall, Winch has inlaid eel skin and goat skin, while the ceiling features pony skin – you can even smell it.
“We designed the office so both owners can still run their businesses and companies or host meetings while at sea,” said Winch, whose own company employs 75 staff that represent 16 nationalities and speak 26 languages.
The owner’s corridor then leads forward and features ancient, historical artefacts in a glass display case on the starboard wall, while to port is the bathroom. His zone is darker than hers, featuring autumn colours and rusts, although it lightens up dramatically in the stateroom, where a large forward-facing bed enjoys open views forward and to the sides.
Konings said: “It’s quite impressive if you’re in the owner’s cabin and you look forward, because the foredeck is completely flush. If you’re lying on the bed, you have almost an all-round view.”
The exterior walkways wrap around the entire owner’s deck and access the enormous foredeck, which can be used for sun loungers and other outdoor furniture. It includes the hatch for the rescue boat and can also be used as the helicopter pad.
Bridge-deck dining, sun-deck ‘Jacuzzing’
The bridge deck was conceived to be the main outdoor dining area and features a long table that can accommodate 16 people – and more if extended – plus a bar, a pantry and the yacht’s second galley.
Separate to the main galley on the lower deck, the bridge-deck galley ensures that fresh and hot food can be delivered immediately and is another of the design features that all involved are proud of.
If arriving on the bridge deck via the elevator or staircase, a small ‘grotto’ or indoor waiting area precedes the outdoor deck and can be used if guests or family wish to wait for the owners before moving outside or sitting at the table.
Forward are two double cabins for the Captain and staff, two offices and the expansive, semi-circular wheelhouse, which features brown leather seats and a five-screen dashboard. In front is a white- leather outdoor sofa for crew use that offers one of the best views on the yacht, while the deck also houses six liferafts, three on each side.
Here Comes The Sun is crowned by the sun deck, made up of three areas. Forward is the outdoor jacuzzi, which can fit up to eight good friends or family members and has large lounging areas on both sides.
The covered central area features a dining table, bar and day head to port, and the elevator and staircase to starboard.
Aft is an open deck area with sunbeds, couches and two gorgeous, Heywood-created ‘lobster-back grilles’, a signature design from Imagine that was carried over to Here Comes The Sun at the insistence of one of the owners.
If an 83m yacht was new to Amels, it certainly wasn’t intimidating to Heywood, who in contrast to Winch, works alone and admitted he enjoys teaming up with old friends on new projects.
“The yard had never built a boat of this size before, but I had experience of boats of 115m, 120m, 133m and 147m, so I was very relaxed about this. I said, ‘Let’s work on the GA (general arrangements), get what we need and I’ll put the exterior around it and mould it accordingly.’
“I had no concerns or worries about it. When they saw the design, they were very favourable and the client was happy.
“The external areas are large and because we use loose furniture, they’re very flexible, so you can set up any area as you wish. Although there are great sunbathing areas, there are a lot of areas on the outside decks where you can relax in the shade and that’s what I think is so nice.”
Amels, both designers and Nenov all appear delighted with the yacht, and testify for the owners’ satisfaction, but all are also keen to emphasise that this is a yacht designed with crew and operations front of mind. The chef has worked with one of the owners for 12 years.
The yacht features a service-oriented design with carefully thought- out crew logistics – including seven guest pantry and service areas – to ensure that owners, family, friends and guests remain undisturbed or attended to when they need to be.
Flow for both guests and crew was key in the design as crew satisfaction is essential for a yacht that will be well used, both by the co-owners and through charter.
The main crew areas are forward on the lower deck and tank deck. The lower deck features the main galley and officers’ lounge midships, and accommodation forward – four single officer cabins and 10 two- bunk crew cabins. The tank deck area houses the laundry room, large crew mess – featuring a rogue blue chair at odds with the rest of the yacht – crew gym and hospital.
As Nenov said: “This yacht will get well used, which is nice, as the crew gets to travel and work, not just clean and maintain.”
And as the owners finally get to enjoy Here Comes The Sun – one owner sacrificed owning a yacht during last summer’s Med season – they’ll also have the time and space to start thinking of ideas for their next floating home and its name. They have quite a collection of songs to choose from.
Amels 272: Here Comes The Sun (2017)
Builder Amels (Netherlands)
Exterior Design Tim Heywood
Interior Design Andrew Winch/Winch Design
Naval Architecture* Amels (Head of Design: Hans Konings)
LOA 83.00m / 272ft 4in
Length Waterline 75.87m / 248ft 11in
Beam Moulded 14.00m / 45ft 11in
Beam Overall 14.54m / 47ft 8in
Beam at Bridge Wings 14.41m / 47ft 3in
Depth, Midships 7.30m / 23ft 11in
Draft, Full Load 3.85m / 12ft 7in
Gross Tonnage 2,827
Fuel Capacity 250,000 litres / 66,043 US gallons
Fresh Water Capacity 75,000 litres / 19,813 US gallons
Grey Water Capacity 70,000 litres / 18,492 US gallons
Black Water Capacity 24,000 litres / 6,340 US gallons
Pool Water 29,000 litres / 7,661 US gallons
Main Engines 2 x CAT 3516C 2350kW @ 1,800rpm
Main Generators 4x CAT C18 416 ekW 3-phase 230/400 VAC 50Hz
Emergency 1x CAT C9 200 ekW
Maximum Speed 17.5 knots
Cruising Speed 15 knots
Cruising Range 5,500nm at 13 knots
Guest Cabins 9 for 12 people (18 private)
Crew Cabin(s)* 16 for 26 people
Charter Agent: Fraser
Yacht Services Ocean Management
AMELS WELCOMES BACK FULL CUSTOM ERA
FOUNDED IN 1918, Amels was an exclusive Full Custom builder before introducing the Limited Editions range with Deniki in 2007. As of January 2017, Amels had delivered 26 Limited Editions yachts – including Here Comes The Sun – and will deliver another four by this summer, bringing the yard’s total number of deliveries to 58.
Put simply, the Limited Editions approach combines Full Custom and Semi-Custom by offering six exterior designs by Tim Heywood, the owner’s choice of interior designer and quick production, sometimes under a year from contract signing.
However, the builder recently reintroduced its Full Custom offer as more clients returned to Amels to upgrade to a larger yacht. While the Amels 272 offers the largest Limited Editions yacht at 83m, the Full Custom offer ensures clients can choose their own exterior and interior designer, while making full use of Amels’ facilities for even larger builds.
According to Hans Konings, Amels’ Head of Design, Here Comes The Sun has helped usher in this new era as the latest in a line of flagship builds that have pushed the yard to new heights – and lengths.
“Previously, key new builds include when we went from the 55m (Amels 180) to the 65m (Amels 212), the second in the Limited Editions, and when we moved up to the 74m (Amels 242) with Plvs Vltra. Then we picked up momentum and we did the 60m (Amels 199), which had kind of a different design,” said Konings, who has been working at Amels for 15 years and as Head of Design for the last six.
“We really started to have a base for customers to come to us and grow with us, and that’s the case with the 83m (Here Comes The Sun) for repeat clients who had a 65m before. We have quite a few of these clients who have come to Amels for a 55m then a 65m, 74m, 83m and so on.
“After this, we think people want to have a fully customised boat and aren’t going to go for a Limited Editions or a boat that’s already out there, so that’s why we reopened our Full Custom programme. We want them to stay with Amels.”
Konings has been able to witness first-hand Amels’ steady growth for the past decade, during which time the yard has averaged 10 per cent growth each year.
“About 15 years ago, we were working on one boat and it took us a year and a half to get the second contract. We had about 50 people on the payroll and with sub-contractors, there were about 350 people at the yard at the busiest time of the year,” Konings said.
“If you look now, there are four boats out being commissioned and going on sea trials, and there are six boats in the shed being constructed. We have, I believe, 220 people on the payroll and on any given day, about 1,000 people – sub-contractors like carpenters, pipe-fitters, welders and so on – so altogether 1,200 people at the yard.”
Konings believes the company is set for another growth spurt following the recent launches of their two biggest models.
“Now that Plvs Vltra and Here Comes The Sun are out in the public domain, people see what we can do. Before they saw 20 of the 55m and a couple of 65m, so this is helping steer a new business direction for us.
“It’s normal. If a car builder releases a new car, when it’s in the public domain, it picks up momentum and they sell a lot of them.”