In a business where some yacht builders would sell their grandmother for a page of ink, Hakvoort Shipyards is an anomaly. It makes no effort to publicize its yachts, preferring to focus on building and to let the work speak for itself.
Albert Hakvoort, grandson of the yard’s founder and its current patriarch, is a stern Dutchman cut from rugged cloth. Hakvoort and sons Klaas and Albert, Jr. complete only one or two yachts a year, but what yachts they are. The past decade’s production includes the lovely 165-foot Don Starkey motoryacht Lady Marina, the trendsetting 121-foot Vripack expedition yacht Freesia, and the 79-foot schooner Mandarine, a thoroughly modern yacht below the waterline but graced with a low sweeping sheer and a classic teak cabin above.
The latest creation from Hakvoort is Campbell Bay, a 147-foot displacement motoryacht with naval architecture by Diana Design and interior design by Andrew Winch. As I toured the yacht with Albert Hakvoort, it was evident that the yard had not only maintained, but enhanced its reputation with this build. From the absolute perfection of the anchor handling system on the foredeck to the neat and functional layout of the engineroom, this is an exceptional yacht. Even to the patterning of the saloon’s overhead, where a slightly darker shade of lacquer makes the shallow reveals appear deeper than they really are, every detail has been addressed.
As I settled into a comfortable armchair in Campbell Bay‘s saloon, owners Stanley and Peggy Bey, sitting together on the adjacent sofa, recounted the path to their new motoryacht. Their “short list” of possible builders did not include Hakvoort until they visited the quiet village of Monnickendam with broker Ken Denison in 2000.
The Beys were quite impressed with a partially completed yacht that was roughly based on Hakvoort’s earlier Lady Duvera. Also a plus was Hakvoort’s new joinery plant, just opened in nearby Purmerend. As Albert Hakvoort explained to me on a visit to the facility early that year, taking full control of their own interiors was just another step in ensuring the level of quality for which the family strives.
The Beys are experienced owners, having spent 17 years sailing and the past 13 years in motoryachts. They have cruised their prior yachts extensively and offered them for charter, as well. The same is true of Campbell Bay. Working with longtime captain Rusty Allen, the Beys integrated their own ideas with his suggestions from earlier charters to develop a yacht that should appeal to just about anyone.
Long enamored of the Netherlands and its maritime heritage, the Beys incorporated hints of Dutch culture into Campbell Bay‘s décor. In addition to Dutch miniatures, which adorn the bulkheads in the saloon and several other spaces, there are tiles that illustrate classic Dutch sailing craft. These surround the fireplace in the master suite’s anteroom, a space Stanley Bey refers to as his only “purely personal indulgence”. He is insistent that this is a library, not an office, and indeed, no computer or fax machine is in evidence. He feels a yacht should be reserved for total relaxation and enjoyment, and work has no place in that.
So committed to this concept is Stanley Bey that during my visit, he mock-admonished one guest, with a laugh, “If you’re not having fun, get off my boat!” That delightful spirit extends to Peggy Bey and the yacht’s crew, as well.
There are four guest staterooms belowdecks, two of which are fitted with twin berths to sleep a portion of the Beys’ seven grandchildren. A smaller fifth cabin, the door to which is hidden in the guest foyer’s mirrored bulkhead, is fitted out in sailboat fashion to accommodate extra kids, a nanny or a tutor. Such flexibility is also a tremendous advantage in accommodating diverse charter parties.
The mirrored cabin door is not the only one hidden in this area. A sliding watertight door, required to meet the yacht’s MCA certification for charter service, is built into the joinery so nicely that the only clue to its existence is an unobtrusive seam in the carpet. It is proof positive that you need not choose between form and function; you can have both.
A winding stair from the guest area to the main foyer is one of the better designs I’ve seen. The steps are wide and well spaced, unlike so many spirals, which are tight and uncomfortable at best, if not downright dangerous. The foyer opens to the dining room and the master’s library, as well as to the starboard side deck. Here, the mandatory but inconvenient weathertight door folds out of the way in port, and a handsome walnut door with beveled glass lights provides a welcoming entry.
The same rich ebony-accented walnut joinery carries throughout the saloon and dining room, where a light overhead and a cream carpet, custom loomed to Winch’s design, soften the appearance. Built-in cabinetry, here as in the staterooms, is cut away at the base to give the look of loose furnishings. Two sofas and a pair of armchairs surround a heptagonal table whose tiny triangular drawers carry nameplates with the days of the week. On the dining room bulkhead hangs an oil painting of picturesque Glencoe. To students of Scottish history, it’s a subtle hint of Peggy Bey’s heritage. She’s the Campbell in the yacht’s name; Stanley, with a slight change of spelling, is the Bay.
At the after end of the saloon, double walnut doors with beveled glass, matching that of the foyer, lead to an open afterdeck. A testament to Hakvoort’s workmanship, they are not only beautiful, but safe and easy to operate. Cross-cabled to provide counterbalancing, the doors cannot slam shut in an unexpected roll and injure an unwary guest.
The same comfortable foyer stair extends to the upper deck, which carries a pilothouse forward and an intimate lounge aft. Here, a rattan sofa and overstuffed leather chairs join a game table for four, with a sisal carpet and classic wide wood blinds completing the tropical theme. So reminiscent is the lounge of Hemingway that you can almost smell cigar smoke and hear ghosts whisper of the day’s fishing. The Beys, appropriately, have dubbed this the Havana room.
Topside, the entire upper deck, without an upper helm or tender stowage, is reserved for guests. There is a whirlpool spa forward with sunpads on either side. A fully equipped bar is amidships, with lounge chairs aft. A cantilevered forward awning retracts into the radar arch, and an after awning stretches from the arch to simple masts built into the bulwarks.
As the Beys recalled their experiences in completing and enjoying Campbell Bay, the only negative seemed to be recollections of windy days when the eel-packing plant adjacent to Hakvoort Shipyards was at peak operation and the air was, shall we say, “rich with the aroma of the sea”.
It is, I think, a small price to pay for a grand yacht.