Fishing Trawler to Luxury Yacht Refit

After four years in the shipyard, the 150-foot former fishing trawler Scintilla Maris emerges as a cruising yacht with surprising interior style.
Scintilla Maris
The owner says work aboard Scintilla Maris was less of a conversion and more of a rebuild on an existing hull. Courtesy Vripack

How do you turn a fishing trawler into an expedition yacht whose interior feels like a contemporary, light-filled loft?

Essentially, that was the challenge presented to the team at Vripack in the Netherlands when they signed on to help with the four-year rebuild of Scintilla Maris. The owner of the 150-foot vessel, which launched in 1988, says he was drawn to the go-anywhere sturdiness of the Dutch fishing trawler but wanted to “create something that offers optimum comfort and quality of life rather than luxury.”

Scintilla Maris
The owner wanted a home away from home, but aboard a hull that could cruise anywhere. Courtesy Vripack

At the Damen Maaskant shipyard, also in the Netherlands, the first task was to reduce Scintilla Maris’ original 570 gross tons to below the 500-gross-ton threshold that keeps vessels within a less-complicated regulatory framework. The hull was stripped back to bare metal, and the entire interior was gutted. Vripack designed new interiors built from high-pressure laminate, a tough material that is also cost-efficient and easy to maintain. Vripack also added skylights, curved feature walls—to avoid straight angles and squared edges—and a color scheme that includes reds, greens and yellows. One example of how this was done is in the full-beam owner’s stateroom amidships, where a skylight was converted from the original hatch to the fish hold.

Scintilla Maris
The entire previous interior was torn out of Scintilla Maris and replaced by this Vripack interior. Courtesy Vripack

Today, Scintilla Maris accommodates 10 guests in five en suite staterooms. There are also quarters for nine crew. Power is a hybrid-electric system to comply with stricter emission regulations, reduce the yacht’s carbon footprint, and minimize noise and vibration underway.

Look for Scintilla Maris to be out exploring the rest of this year on the waterways of Norway, Iceland and Greenland.