The stunning yachts feature cushioned sun-lounging areas and sleek interiors reminiscent of a New York City loft.
Days have passed in the heat haze and a blur of vintage Dom Pérignon French 75s, Boulevardiers, and Negronis. Secret chambers filled with foie gras, lavender, husky voices, and cigar smoke combined to discombobulate the senses and stream visceral inputs.
Flapper dresses, live jazz, and a grizzled, tattooed chef. Gallons of Krug and Billecart Salmon. A grey gunship pulling alongside our yacht and armed coastguards boarding us to the tune of our Parisian DJ but a cloudy dream. A fairly normal summer for the yachting set off the iconic Côte d’Azur in other words, as we remember it from a few years back.
Then the last hurrah for those still standing. The morning after the night before many times over, with a VanDutch 40 powerboat attending us, tied up, fueled up, bronzed pilot at the ready.
Bright eyed and bushy-tailed, his mission to ferry us from Vieux Nice to the star-studded beaches of Saint-Tropez for lunch under a bamboo canopy by the sea at the iconic Club 55. Twin diesel motors burbling as they guzzle fuel faster than we can inhale, getting us there in high style indeed.
The brand’s story began in 2009 when some smart—and obviously Dutch—characters entered the fray with their design-driven missile for the modern-day Bond villain. VanDutch arrived on the scene with 40 feet of angular, composite carbon, kevlar and fiberglass concealing two enormous 380-hp Volvo diesel engines capable of catapulting the craft across flat water at anything up to around 36 knots; more than enough to arrive windswept, roséd, and in time for lunch at Club 55.
As Fabio Planamente, CEO of Cantiere del Pardo Holdings Srl, which bought VanDutch in 2020 and builds the yachts at their family-owned shipyard in Forli, Italy, points out:
“Building a design object requires a lot of attention to details, which are the ones that make the difference compared to other brands. In our design phase, we are obviously very attentive to new technologies and we are already working with Volvo to have, as soon as they are available, hybrid engines, and then move on to a fully electric engine, as soon as the technology is ready and reliable.”
Unlike certain over-designed yacht tenders, the VanDutch 40, sometimes called a commuter yacht, was conceived of as a complete package to be enjoyed bombing around the Côte d’Azur. Not merely for ferrying people from yacht to beach or point A to point B.
It features expansive sun-lounging areas, cushioned with grippy stuff to stop you falling off the back even at full tilt; and clean, sleek interiors reminiscent of a New York City loft. It wasn’t long before VanDutch made its mark, and started collecting orders from the glitterati, and ferrying superstars around at the Monaco Grand Prix and beyond.
Nowadays the brand offers five different models, ranging from a zippy 32-footer up to a commanding 75-foot beast.
“Choosing VanDutch means joining an exclusive club made up of unique yachts,” as the company puts it. Their “innovation, performance and unmistakable hull lines…. are recognizable worldwide.”
As Planamente notes, “VanDutch is certainly a unique, iconic, exclusive object, devoted to lifestyle, a product that thanks to its strength has managed to cross the boundaries of the nautical world, into the worlds of fashion and design.
“Proof of this is in our countless collaborations with prestigious brands such as Dior, Hublot and McLaren, to name just a few.” With many more to come, we’re sure.