56m AQUARIUS is ‘close to perfect’: her owners simply want a larger yacht – and even more impressive performance.


56m AQUARIUS is ‘close to perfect’: her owners simply want a larger yacht – and even more impressive performance.

It is a great compliment when owners value the experience of their yacht so highly that the only material change they want is to build a larger version, with exactly the same team. Yet that is the story behind the decision of the experienced husband and wife owners of the world cruising ketch AQUARIUS (56m / 186ft, Royal Huisman, 2018) to create a stunning new 65m / 212ft ‘big sister’, AQUARIUS II.

The team (described by an independent commentator as “some of the most experienced and talented brains in the superyacht world”) comprises owners’ project manager Godfrey Cray, Dykstra Naval Architects, interior designer Mark Whiteley and superyacht builder Royal Huisman.


AQUARIUS at the St. Barths Bucket Regatta: ‘close to perfect’


The owners’ brief retains a strong emphasis on performance. AQUARIUS II will feature a state-of-the-art carbon rig and integrated sail handling from Rondal, structured luff sails, and a retractable keel for optimal stability under racing conditions. AQUARIUS was first in class at her St. Barths Regatta debut in 2019 and will be showing her pace once again this March. Hence the comment “After all, I want to keep winning Bucket races!” from her owner.

It is equally important for her owners to retain the elegance and family comfort of AQUARIUS, with her exquisite and timeless exterior styling, classic interior and harmonious layout – all to be enhanced in AQUARIUS II by significant additional space and volume to optimize a luxurious yet understated lifestyle.

“AQUARIUS has proved to be an exciting sailboat,” commented her owners, “and she sails gracefully and powerfully. Her layout has exceeded expectations, with ample opportunities for both privacy and socializing. She is a ship for everyone.”

Family enjoyment onboard AQUARIUS:
one of many features that answer that role is the
mid-deck lounge area with sun canopy, easily set up when at anchor.


AQUARIUS II will feature Royal Huisman’s industry-leading hybrid technologies for power generation and management. The benefits include ‘peak-shaving’ for optimum energy efficiency and flexible power generation.

The Royal Huisman team always takes it as high praise when clients – such as AQUARIUS’ owners – come to us for a repeat project or, equally, recommend us to friends, family or associates. We have been fortunate to receive this compliment on a regular basis over the years.

Design and engineering preparations for AQUARIUS II are now well advanced, with construction of the Alustar® aluminum hull and superstructures scheduled to commence this summer. Delivery is scheduled for 2024.

Royal Huisman CEO Jan Timmerman concludes: “We are very honored with the trust the owners of AQUARIUS have in Royal Huisman. The talented team is very motivated and delighted to be working on such a prestigious project.

Regular repeat orders and referrals are no coincidence. They show we must be doing something right. In truth, we need to get many things right to earn such confidence but that doesn’t mean we never get a thing wrong. The key factor is the effort we put into solving problems and learning from them. Clients give us different reasons for their repeat orders, but among the most regularly mentioned is client focus. This includes dedication to building what the client wants, with the greatest attention to the detail; high standards of customer service before, during and after the build experience; and a flexible, can-do approach to design, engineering and production, that drives innovation to resolve complex challenges and fulfil the owners’ dream.

As a result, we are able to consistently realize individually defined, highly regarded and reliable custom superyachts. And that translates into satisfied clients. None of this is easy. But it does give our team immense joy and satisfaction, especially when they have the privilege to realize a dream such as AQUARIUS II.”


Below: AQUARIUS truly defines what it means to be a ‘modern classic’: a stunning yacht of rare beauty, combining classic hull lines with a powerful modern rig and a clean, contemporary chic above and below decks. AQUARIUS is ‘close to perfect’: her owners simply want a larger yacht – and even more impressive performance.

Main specifications of AQUARIUS II

Shipyard project number: Project 408 | type: Performance Ketch | length: 65m / 212ft | owners’ project manager: Godfrey Cray | naval architecture + exterior styling: Dykstra Naval Architects | interior design: Mark Whiteley Design | construction: Alustar® aluminum | rig + handling: Rondal carbon rig + Integrated Sailing System | builder: Royal Huisman

The English press release with editor’s notes can be found via the following link (opens in a new tab).

Various design mockups of AQUARIUS (I) months ahead of the start of the actual production: getting it right. Virtual reality can be very realistic as well, but ergonomics, interactions and a “physical live” experience cannot be 100% imitated with a Virtual Reality (VR) headset or a digital 3D-model. Curious to see and learn more? Please find the article “Design mockups” at this website: News > Inhuis stories & updates [link]

The core owners’ brief for AQUARIUS remains essentially intact for AQUARIUS II. The owners sought to create a stunning looking yacht, with a classic profile, for family enjoyment. The yacht should have favorable sea keeping characteristics that are ideal for world cruising as well as standing her in good stead for the occasional Bucket regatta. This should be:

“a modern classical yacht with a clean, uncomplicated look. Not a pirate ship but a modern, fashionable and chic looking yacht with performance, reliability and quality – a sailor’s yacht.”

The success of the project can be judged by these additional owners’ comments:

“We set out to build an elegant, muscular sailboat and the shipyard and the design team delivered a yacht that is both of those things and more. The build experience at Royal Huisman was a good one. The boat has exceeded our expectations and we are thrilled with what the shipyard built.”

“AQUARIUS is a joy to sail and a joy to live on and her collection of features makes her a perfect boat for our needs. It is a dream come true to own a boat like this, and to look at her and sail her with such a strong sense of accomplishment and appreciation.”

Curious to see and learn more of AQUARIUS? Please visit [link]

St. Barths Bucket Regatta 2022

More and more superyacht owners have come to recognize that the thrill of the regatta circuit coupled with the relaxed social ambiance they can enjoy ashore with fellow owners, guests and crew at a regatta makes the perfect complement to their ocean cruising itineraries. The entry list for this year’s edition of the upcoming St. Barths Bucket Regatta – from 17 to 20 March – contains over thirty yachts of which seven are delivered by Royal Huisman including AQUARIUS. Curious to see and learn more? Please find the article “St. Barths Bucket Regattas: in pictures” at this website: news > inhuis [link]