Nordia 95

Van Dam Nordia and Simonis Voogd Design bring a refreshing angularity to swift cruising under sail.

Nordia 95

Compared with the fluid shapes that characterize so many modern sailing yachts, the Nordia 95, in the two-dimensional state we see here, seems almost Cubist. Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and other Cubists shattered naturalistic forms and space in the early 1900s — the surfaces of their paintings intersecting at seemingly random angles as they tried to represent all aspects of three-dimensional reality on the fl at canvas. Though often defying interpretation, these paintings nonetheless maintain harmony, albeit on the tense side.

In the spirit of Cubism, some of the lines Simonis Voogd used to create the deckhouse appear to be arguing with one another. The coachroof sits at a rakish angle, like a sportsman’s cap as he guides his 1939 Jaguar SS100 roadster along a country lane. The forward edge of the triangular sail panel that anchors the house breaks at an obtuse angle, seeming to urge the structure forward. Although the designer’s choice may seem random, careful study reveals that the slope of the coachroof closely matches that of the sail panel as it descends forward to the deck. A straightedge placed along the underside of the coachroof’s extension shows that if you continue that line to the deck, it intersects the base of the front windows. This is a subtle and artistic way to reinforce the yacht’s forward-looking stance.

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Small details, which we may not see right away, often add interest to a design. Quoting the shape of certain minor elements at various locations throughout the design unifies the whole. I think this is especially true of classically styled yachts, the soft angles and sweeping curves of which comfort our senses. Simonis Voogd, too, has employed details to create harmony — to ease the observer’s first impression of dissonance. The triangular shape of the sail panel on the house appears again in the bow pulpit. Another triangular shape — lopped off at the top like the others — forms the safety rail at the transom. It’s more of a paraphrase than a quote, but in it, the designers have picked up the slope of the cockpit coaming abaft the twin helms and the trailing edge of the coachroof’s extension.

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In keeping with the aggressive, edgy look of the Nordia 95, the design team has given it a straight sheer line, a straight and nearly plumb stem and a very short counter aft. I love a plumb stem — I suppose because of my affection for the New Haven (Connecticut) sharpies and sandbaggers of the 19th century and the modern, hyperperformance, offshore, multihull and monohull racing yachts. In all these examples, the plumb stem means business. Although this one is just a hair less than plumb, it still makes the appropriate statement.

Notwithstanding her aggressive appearance, the Nordia 95 is meant for cruising. Her lifting keel gives the owners access to most harbors and anchorages; her large social cockpit, forward of the business end and sheltered by a sliding tinted-glass panel, invites guests to enjoy one another’s company while the yacht is under way; and her tender garage in the transom encourages forays ashore.

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On the other hand, the 95 is not cuddly, as are yachts of the classical genre, but the tension in her straight lines and sharp corners is precisely why she will excite and lure buyers and devotees. Few yachtsmen will be able to ignore her edgy presence, especially as she sails to a fresh breeze, her fine entry making light work of the seas and her shallow underbody trailing a flat wake.

LOA: 95'0"
LWL: 88'3"
Beam: 23'7"
Draft: 8'2" / 14'9"
Displ.: 126,766 lb.
Displ./LWL: 74 (lightship), 82 (cruising trim)
Sail Area: (upwind) 5,188 sq. ft., (downwind) 9,774 sq. ft.
Sail Area/Displ.: 43.6 (upwind S/A lightship), 32.4 (upwind S/A cruising trim)
Power: 320 hp diesel

Van Dam Nordia Shipyard, 011-31-297-324517; www.nordia.com
Simonis Voogd, 011-31-228-321900; www.simonis.com