It’s not too late to add this to your Christmas list! A chance sighting in St Tropez inspired fellow Dutch man, Dick van Damme to make contact with and negotiate exclusive rights as the dealer for Australia and New Zealand for this black hulled, exotic and high-powered craft, the VanDutch 40, ‘Coco Noir’.
by Jeni Bone
As Dick recounts: 'It was love at first sight. I had been cruising the Mediterranean and came across half a dozen of them in St Tropez. I saw the Dutch flag, and being Dutch myself, decided to investigate. I went to their office there, then the partners who are based in Monaco, said they would be in St Tropez the next day, so we met, had lunch and then one thing led to another and I am now the dealer for Australia and New Zealand.'
The brand, which specialises in luxury day cruisers, is a familiar sight along the coasts of Italy, France and Spain, but the first of their kind in Australia.
The VanDutch was designed by acclaimed and highly awarded Dutch naval designer, Frank Mulder. Fitted with hydraulic motor hatch and two Yanmar 480 horsepower engines, it will reach a top speed of 45 knots.
The cockpit accommodates eight guests on the sleek and practical seating, covered in Silvertex fabric with quick dry characteristics, and the rear sunbathing platform has room for three. Beneath decks, the lounge room is an entertainer’s delight – with AC, sound system, big screen TV, two refrigerators and oven. The seating converts to a bed, meaning you can always extend your day of play on the water to an overnight or weekend stay.
The bridge, floor and swim platform are created in Esthec, a material that offers all the appeal of teak, without the high maintenance.
Van Damme’s own background is one of 'collecting beautiful things'.
'I love anything that looks beautiful. This was a chance to work with my son, Dennis, whose background is in luxury car sales, with a boat we could enjoy ourselves and create a business.'
With its striking good looks and impeccable Dutch pedigree, the VanDutch 40 is the flag bearer for the brand. 'There is a 30ft and 55ft, but the 40 will be the most popular,' says Dennis, who is enjoying every minute of showing it off around the waters near its location on the d’Albora Marina at The Spit in Middle Harbour, Sydney. 'Our aim is to have a white one, next to the black one sometime next year,' says Dick.
The 40 bears the hallmarks of quality and refinement the Dutch builders are renowned for. 'The styling is superb, but the quality is even better,' says Dick, adding that all the power and fittings have been converted to Australian standard.
'The VanDutch represents a new class of boating in Australia,' says the justifiably proud dealer. 'TheVanDutch is for the discerning owner who appreciates excellence and sheer sophistication on the water.'
Delivery can be arranged within six weeks, depending on your choice of colours. 'Black is very difficult to 2-pac, so that can take between 12 to 16 weeks,' says Dennis.
Dennis, who underwent training in Cannes on the 40, says the newly formed dealership is serious about warranty and personal service. 'There is a one year warranty, and we fully intend to help owners by preparing their boat to go out on the harbour, so they need only turn up and get on.'
The first year of operation, the van Dammes are planning to market and showcase the boat in harbour city. In the years thereafter, they are committed to three sales per annum. At $825,000 they will be a niche product, but covetable among the day boaters, many of whom it is envisaged will live on or close to the water.
More at www.vandutchaustralia.com.au
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3:37 AM Mon 5 Dec 2011 GMT
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