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This 150-Foot Fishing Trawler Was Remodeled Right into a Rugged Explorer Yacht

This 150-Foot Fishing Trawler Was Remodeled Right into a Rugged Explorer Yacht

Deep-sea fishing trawlers are never described as glamorous. They’re traditionally forward-heavy vessels built with ramps at the stern for hauling heavy catches onto the working aft deck. On the flipside, they’re large, powerful workhorses built for long-distance cruising.

For anyone looking to travel to remote places with choppy waters, a trawler is a great option, which is why a Dutch entrepreneur wound up converting one into his ultimate explorer yacht.

Scintilla Maris is a 150-foot explorer yacht built on the recycled hull of a single-prop fishing trawler. The four-year conversion took place at the yacht’s home shipyard of Damen Maaskant in the western Netherlands.

The interior involved a total refit, but the owner wanted to retain its humble, utilitarian look.

Scintilla Maris

“Damen built the original boat in 1988, so returning there for the refit was a dream,” the owner, asking not to be named, told Robb Report. “I approached them and asked if they’d be interested in launching the same boat twice, and they jumped through hoops.”

That is actually an understatement. The hull was stripped back to bare metal and the interior, infrastructure, decking, and machinery ripped out. A new hybrid-electric propulsion and harbor generator were installed to comply with stricter emission regulations, reduce the yacht’s footprint, and minimize noise and vibration.

Even more impressive was the reduction of the vessel’s substantial 570 GT to below the 500GT threshold, a feat achieved with the assistance of Dutch design studio Vripack, which was engaged halfway through the project.

Superyacht Explorer Scintilla Maris

Instead of a rear beach club, water access is amidships, the same place fish were hauled in when it was a commercial trawler.

Scintilla Maris

Scintilla Maris—meaning “spark of the sea,” a play on the owner’s family name—is his second conversion boat. He previously converted a small tugboat that he owned for 24 years. This time, he set his sights on a larger, more complex project, albeit with the same focus on function. “I wanted a yacht that pairs comfort with limitless capability, and that I can walk about on with wet feet after a swim and not worry that I’m ruining the carpets,” he said.

From the outside, the vessel remains largely unchanged. “I wanted to keep as much of the trawler intact as possible while making the outdoor areas comfortable,” he says. It’s achieved with large open deck areas and seating on every level, including a Portuguese bridge in front of the wheelhouse with a thermostatic seating area that uses heat recovered from the generators. Alfresco dining is on the bridge deck under a protective hardtop and on the unusual forecastle deck. This was originally used for refrigerated fish storage but now serves as a quirky barbecue and bar platform, with direct access to crew quarters.

The biggest modification is a 9.8-foot extension to the aft superstructure to create more interior volume. It allows for platforms starboard and port side to create easy access to the water.

Explorer Superyacht Scintilla Maris

The trawler will be navigating some of the most remote waters in the world, starting with a trip to Norway.

Scintilla Maris

“I have something against the psychological aspect of having a beach club or water access at the stern,” the owner says. “Scintilla Maris has permanent sea access just above the waterline at the center of the boat. With no flaps or mechanical challenges to overcome, getting in and out of the water is highly convenient.”

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Some original features have been retained, including the hatch into the fish hold, now repurposed as a supersized skylight in the full beam owner’s suite. The windows on the bridge—the owner’s favorite place on board—have been replaced, yet remain in keeping with the original glass and brass fittings. The vessel’s original communications equipment, including a single sideband radio and VHF, are preserved in a mini-museum on the bridge.

The new interiors designed by Vripack are built from high-pressure laminate (for ease of maintenance) and have a contemporary loft-like aesthetic. It incorporates skylights, an eclectic color scheme of reds, greens, and yellows, and soft, curved edges that bounce light and protect guests from sharp corners when in rough seas.

Superyacht Explorer Scintilla Maris

“A functional aesthetic that feels both classy and utilitarian,” is what the owner wanted, according to the designers.

Scintilla Maris

“The owner wanted a functional aesthetic that feels both classy and utilitarian without being overly opulent,” says Marnix Hoekstra, co-creative director at Vripack. “Key to the brief was an abundance of natural light, which led to a proliferation of portholes in the hull that was in keeping with the yacht’s original design, and, of course, deck skylights.”

The ambitious cruising itinerary will begin with a maiden voyage to northern Norway, Iceland, and Greenland. Following that, the owner’s sights are on the Northwest Passage, the start of what he hopes are a series of bucket-list voyages to the world’s most remote regions.

Source: Robb Report

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