Although the 1960s have now become symbolic of a captivating era (albeit one that can now seem a bit remote), they are also something that the shipyard McMullen & Wing – founded at the end of the decade in 1969 – has in common with design firm Vripack, formed at the beginning of the decade in 1961. However, a factor that complicates things somewhat is geographical distance, which unexpectedly and rather mischievously mixed things up so that the two companies are located on opposite sides of the world. McMullen & Wing, specialists in the construction of luxury yachts, tenders and commercial vessels, was founded in New Zealand, whereas the Netherlands is the home of the designers who specialise in yacht design, naval architecture and naval engineering.
But in spite of the substantial gap in time and space, the two companies finally got together and combined their great experience to begin an intriguing process of collaborative, synergy-based work leading to the design of an innovative series of motor yachts: the Flow series.
The series is currently available in a range of two models: the Flow 44, with a length of 44 metres / 145 feet and gross tonnage of 499 GT, and the Flow 51, with a length of 51 metres / 167 feet and gross tonnage of 780 GT. This new series is further confirmation of McMullen & Wing’s active, constant penchant for collaborative international projects, as this new motor yacht series joins another two series designed exclusively for the New Zealand-based shipyard by experts with a global reputation: the Blade series and the Diamond series. The former was designed by British firm H2 Yacht Design and offers a range of two models: one with a length of 48 metres / 158 feet and gross tonnage of 710 GT, and the other with a length of 58 metres / 190 feet and gross tonnage of 1,060 GT. The latter was designed by Canadian designers Gregory C. Marshall and consists of a range of three models: one with a length of 45 metres / 148 feet and gross tonnage of 499 GT, one with a length of 50 metres / 164 feet and gross tonnage of 750 GT, and one with a length of 55 metres / 180 feet and gross tonnage of 900 GT. In this issue, we have decided to feature the Flow series (although of course this does not detract from the high quality of the other two series) to capture our readers’ attention, because as Bart Bouwhuis and Marnix Hoekstra, Vripack’s creative directors, say: “With Flow we wanted to create a yacht that stops you from turning the page.”
It’s a description that really rings true because Flow is in its own right a thoroughgoing case study in design for the sector, with numerous cutting-edge characteristics and countless out of the box solutions developed by Vripack entirely in line with their personal design mantra: “We don’t just design yachts, we engineer fantasies.” For the design of the Flow series, the Dutch team devised and developed a basic concept entirely in harmony with the McMullen & Wing tradition, successfully integrating the technical and aesthetic aspects in a flawlessly balanced way, as Bart Bouwhuis and Marnix Hoekstra explain: “Flow features the most sought-after form which follows function, embraces our holistic philosophy, allows a stunning exterior and harmonious interior with cutting edge naval architecture.”
Consequently, as with all the other yachts built by the New Zealand-based shipyard over its many decades in business, the Flow yacht series has been created with the highest levels of skill and experience, offering the same robustness, reliability, superb control and excellent seakeeping in nearly all weather conditions, so that complete safety and the utmost comfort are assured. At the same time, the Flow series yachts feature a plethora of design innovations that, while rational in concept and functionally feasible, boldly express a forward-thinking spirit that seeks to go beyond the limits of the typical and conventional to explore future landscapes in luxury yachting and offer a new lifestyle on board, whether during short cruises or open ocean navigation.
On the other hand, as Bart Bouwhuis and Marnix Hoekstra rightly conclude: “The design of Flow once more proves that a good design shouldn’t meet all the requirements, it should surpass them, creating a yacht that goes beyond dreams.” Taking the owner’s desire for the vessel of their dreams and turning those dreams into a reality in a unique, individual way is a crucial process, and one that undoubtedly tends to take a substantial amount of time, from order to delivery. This puts the client through a tedious wait that is not always welcome and therefore sometimes causes early dissatisfaction. And sometimes the owner is simply not interested in investing a substantial part of their life in following the progress of the project step by step for an overly long period. As a result, Vripack’s designers have developed various shortcuts for the Flow series that considerably reduce the length of the design process. This was possible thanks to a complete understanding and skilful interpretation of the most recent requirements of today’s market, allowing them to prepare a basic package featuring the most popular, and therefore most frequently requested, characteristics. Any modification or addition can be made rapidly so as to efficiently achieve a fully custom finished product but within preset, agreed timescales. In other words, for some clients, a Flow yacht could already be perfect as it is on the drawing board, while for others, Flow could be an ideal starting point on the way to achieving their preferred configuration. For both, Flow has an aesthetically contemporary, technically cutting-edge appearance, ready for construction in McMullen & Wing’s large modern facilities in high-strength steel, light aluminium alloy and advanced composite.
Flow offers a stunning new hull that is as safe as it is elegant and exclusive, within which Vripack’s designers have skilfully hidden away the numerous innovative elements that make up the project’s real strengths like jewels in a treasure chest. We set out below the shipyard and designers’ brief notes on some of the most significant of these highlights.
Flow offers the opportunity to sit back and relax in the unique all-glass beach house on the main deck while the wake of the yacht flows away to the open sea. While the yacht is at anchor, just open all doors and windows to enjoy the ocean breeze. The boat deck doubles as a shaded outdoor living space extending from port to starboard when the tenders and toys are deployed. With the bulwarks folded down this space offers a massive lounge and party area.
The treasure room on the bridge deck, running from port to starboard and filled with light flowing inside through the full-height ‘windows to the world’, is the perfect location for family dinners and late night conversation. Standing proudly at the centre of the room is the family treasure cabinet, home to the collection of shells, stones and artifacts collected during the many memorable voyages aboard Flow.
After eating there is the opportunity to lie back and enjoy the latest tunes in Flow’s gull-wing lookouts, providing unobstructed forward views of the local scenery. The carefully selected furniture is gracefully integrated with the interior décor and features the finest sitting comfort available. The impeccable handcrafted interior features stunning materials and clever details, as well as tactile natural oxidised copper and calfskin leather.
While wandering the Pacific, the sun deck is perfect for a wide variety of both entertainment and exercise. This area provides climate controlled indoor and outdoor comfort. It is therefore possible to enjoy a cool drink and a fresh snack from the BBQ at the ultimate sports-bar.
If this is not your cup of tea you could also relax in the Jacuzzi, go for a serious workout or linger with friends on the wind-protected lounge pads.
Flow Technical Specifications
|44 m||51 m|
|LOA||44 m / 144’4” ft||51 m / 167’4” ft|
|LWL||43 m / 141’1” ft||49.5 m / 162’5” ft|
|Beam Moulded||8.9 m / 29’2” ft||9.2 m / 30’2” ft|
|B.O.A||9.3 m / 30’6” ft||9.75 m / 31’12” ft|
|Draft||2.8 m / 9’2” ft||3.1 m / 10’2” ft|
|GRT||499 GT||780 GT|
|Displacement max||510 tonnes / 1,120,000 lbs||720 tonnes / 1,590,000 lbs|
|Displacement half load||460 tonnes / 1,010,000 lbs||660 tonnes / 1,460,000 lbs|
|Displacement lightship||410 tonnes / 900,000 lbs||590 tonnes / 1,300,000 lbs|
|Speed Max||15 knots||16 knots|
|Speed Cruise||11 knots||12 knots|
|Range||5,000 nm at 11 knots||5,700 nm at 12 knots|
|Fuel||80,000 l / 21,100 US gallons||130,000 l / 34,300 US gallons|
|Engines||2 x Caterpillar C32 B||2 x Caterpillar 3512 B|
|Rated||800 kW||1174 kW|
|Generators||2 x C4.4 118 kW||2 x Caterpillar C7.1|
|Generators||150 kW Generators||1 x 50 kW Emergency Generator|
|Tenders||8 m / 26’ ft Main Tender|
7 m / 23’ ft Secondary Tender
2 x Jetskis
|8.5 m / 27’ ft Main Tender
6 m / 20’ ft Secondary Tender
5 m / 16’ ft Rescue Tender,
2 x Jetskis
LY3 / MLC Compliant
LY3 / MLC
|Shipyard||McMullen & Wing|