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Construction begins on the Reichel/Pugh-Nauta 153.5 superyacht

by Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design 24 Feb 2021 20:34 UTC
Reichel/Pugh-Nauta 153.5 superyacht © Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design

A look behind the busy scenes at Royal Huisman's shipyard reveals the impressive full-scale mockup for the 46.82m high-performance cruiser sloop Reichel/Pugh-Nauta 153.5, which started construction this month.

This versatile sailing yacht is designed and built for very experienced owners who presented a brief: "comfort and safety to explore the world, in an extremely lightweight structure to ensure victories in superyacht regattas."

The start of construction marks an exciting milestone for all involved in this project. After months of careful planning and detail design work by the entire team, we can now begin to see this impressive superyacht take shape.

Getting it right

The vision for the Reichel/Pugh-Nauta 153.5 has been brought to life with a full-scale mock-up of the aft half of the yacht's main deck. There is no substitute for the actual experience of walking through, touching, assessing and appreciating all aspects of an emerging construction.

The main goals to be achieved with the mock-up were to explore, develop and optimize the conceptual ideas of the design team before construction begins, and to ensure that the Owners' lifestyle objectives are totally integrated with the engineering, systems, construction and operational requirements for the project. The shipyard's craftsmen subsequently enhanced the temporary structure based on the concerted input from the Owners and their design and build team, consisting of Owners' Representative Nigel Ingram of MCM Newport, Nauta Design, Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design, Bouwe Bekking and Royal Huisman.

Project Manager Nigel Ingram commented that: "Building the 1:1 scale mock-up has proven to be a fundamental part of the design process, enabling the Owners and their team of architects, designers and builders to fine tune the deck layout down to the smallest details with the greatest confidence."

Apart from the enjoyment of stepping onboard the superyacht the full-scale mock-up is the optimum investment in "getting it right" for a yacht - an investment that will still deliver many decades from now. VR 3D may create an exciting "first impression", but when it comes down to assessing those few modified centimeters here or there, "stepping on board" is by far the best way to feel, adjust and optimize the design and ergonomics.

Dutch professional race captain Bouwe Bekking (eight times Volvo Ocean Race competitor) represents the Owners' race team: "No competitive yachtsman would enter a race without the utmost level of preparation. This full-scale mockup provides us with the opportunity to review how the design would work in regatta conditions. It delivers exceptional and very practical value as a design tool, and has given the project's design process the ultimate edge for regatta success. But without sacrificing her cruising side: we found the perfect match!"

From concept to realization

The hull construction of the Reichel/Pugh-Nauta 153.5 commenced earlier this month. Her structure is based on a new, innovative method developed by the shipyard, to make her extremely lightweight due to the optimal use of the materials that the Royal Huisman team knows so well. Complemented with extensive Finite Element Analyses to ensure the very best blend of "proven" and "cutting-edge", and with target performance, excellent racing properties, and sound ocean worthiness she is on course for greatness.

Mario Pedol, of Nauta Design says: "To combine comfort and safety to explore the world with an extremely lightweight yacht to be competitive to carbon composite superyachts in regattas wasn't an easy task. Our early intuition was that an aluminum construction sailing yacht could be much lighter than the existing aluminum fleet. Royal Huisman supported this vision with enthusiasm and accepted the challenge. Extensive research work and calculations, confirmed our initial thought."

Bouwe Bekking adds: "The hull construction of this superyacht is an optimal mix of aluminum and carbon composite, and will be 'featherlight'. Our result will be formidable competition to existing carbon composite superyachts during regattas."

Creating a dual-purpose yacht which seamlessly blends comfortable offshore cruising and winning inshore performance is a specialty for Reichel/Pugh, but nevertheless required extensive design work and collaboration to perfect on this project. While the engineering team focused on optimizing the lightweight construction, Reichel/Pugh carried out substantial research and development of the hull shape. This design will be a leap forward in terms of seaworthiness, comfort, and accommodation that can be achieved within a competitive aluminum racing yacht.

Owner's representative Nigel Ingram adds: "In addition, the Reichel/Pugh-Nauta 153.5 will offer all the benefits associated with existing Royal Huisman yachts: comfort, low sound levels and optimal world cruising characteristics. All good news to the Owners, who anticipate exploring the world in their new yacht."

Royal Huisman's CEO Jan Timmerman says: "The full project team, designers, architects, our engineers are on schedule - mostly working remotely from home - so the development of the design and systems continues while our in-house craftsmen have made a start with the production. The team meets regularly in online meetings and we are all pleased with progress so far. At this moment we are looking forward to the next milestone: the hull turning at Royal Huisman's headquarters in Vollenhove."

The Reichel/Pugh-Nauta 153.5 on track to deliver in 2022.


  • Type: High-performance cruiser sloop
  • Length overall: 46.82m / 153.5 ft.
  • Accommodation: 8 - 10 owners / guests + 8 crew
  • Construction: Aluminum and carbon composite
  • General concept, exterior and interior design: Nauta Design
  • Naval architecture: Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design
  • Owners' representative: Nigel Ingram, MCM Newport
  • Owners' race team: Bouwe Bekking
  • Builder: Royal Huisman
  • Rig: Carbon Panamax by Rondal
  • Year of delivery: 2022

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