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Van der Valk building first custom motoryacht for Japan

The owner of Project Micamo is keen to sail on his own keel to the Ogasawara Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site located some 1,000 kilometres south of the main Japanese archipelago.

Van der Valk Shipyard in the Netherlands is taking its fully custom approach to the next level with the 21.27-metre Project Micamo. This bespoke flybridge motoryacht has been ordered by a client with precise requirements in terms of range and led to new rules being set by the Japanese flag state authorities. With a sophisticated exterior and interior by Guido de Groot Design, Project Micamo is set to showcase the finest Dutch craftsmanship to Japan in a unique way when delivered. It also confirms how far Van der Valk is prepared to go to meet custom demands.

The owner of Project Micamo is keen to sail on his own keel to the Ogasawara Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site located some 1,000 kilometres south of the main Japanese archipelago. A 24-hour ferry service runs to the archipelago from Tokyo and the maritime authorities have strict rules in place for commercial vessels that are equivalent to those applied to container ships. No regulations were in place, however, for a 20-metre pleasure craft making such lengthy passages so these had to be specifically adapted for Project Micamo.

“It has been a major undertaking for Van der Valk to fully comply with these rules in terms of construction, stability, buoyancy and safety,” explains general manager Bram Kooltjes. “Clear communication has been vital as we also have to meet all insurance requirements. The design and build of Project Micamo are following an extensive list of conditions that include a second watertight bulkhead in the accommodation and a watertight door in the corridor, items you’d normally only see on 300GT-plus superyachts.”

Meticulous preperations

Months of dedicated engineering, careful calculations, stability booklet updates and more have underpinned construction of the hull. “It may be an extraordinary degree of customisation for a 21-metre motoryacht but the owner could find no series/semi-custom boat on the market for his purposes that could sail such long distances in comfort,” adds Kooltjes. “Van der Valk’s expertise with bespoke builds and experience of the patience required for such projects has enabled our yard to carve out a niche market.”

Co-Founder & Managing Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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