Avant-Garde Open

The VanDutch 40's vogue look is unmistakable, and her build and details are noteworthy.

The first time you see the [VanDutch][] 40, your reaction, like mine, will probably be: Oh, wow! She’s for A-listers seeking a stylish and open day boat that makes a statement, whether they’re tearing across a harbor or pulling up to a shoreside eatery. The 40’s for megayacht owners who prize her distinctive lines and open spaces, with comfortable seating for guests who want a dry ride to shore. And she’s a modest overnighter for those who want to make a day run to a favorite destination, staying on the hook or perhaps in the marina.

Vanguard Dutch Marine began business in 2008: not the best time in the past 15 years to start a new yacht-­building operation. Yet its vision for a line of fast-and-fun open designs, as realized in the mind and on the drawing board of the legendary designer Frank Mulder, was launched in 2009 in Europe, the culmination of Dutch engineering and leading-edge manufacturing techniques.

The bottom is an interesting blend of sharp and vertical stem forward, large spoon-shaped turn of the bow to a deep-V underbody forward, full-length chines that widen and vary in angle going aft and a modestly flat planing surface aft with tunnels that help minimize draft and optimize output. The ride is soft, comfortable and dry, and the balance provided by locating the twin diesels with V-drives aft makes for quick acceleration and outstanding handling. Twin 480-horsepower Cummins diesels push the VanDutch 40 to speeds of 40-plus knots.

Minimalism and creative thinking are on display everywhere aboard, from the VanDutch 40’s sculptural windscreen to the flush-mounted hatches on the foredeck and stout disappearing cleats all around. A flip of a switch can effortlessly raise the yacht’s aft sun pad for excellent access to the engine compartment, and another one will deploy a hidden anchor from the bow. Esthec decking adds a teaklike look with minimal maintenance, while Silvertex fabric adds a quick-drying quality to cushions all throughout the yacht. And the all-white cabin is a chic couple’s hideaway.