Design | Produced by Royal Huisman
Hanuman, 42 metre of classic style
With such a tremendous history, the new sailing yacht Hanuman could only be magnificent. She is built as a modern recreation of one of the most famous and best-loved yachts in sailing history, the J-Class Endeavour II, which challenged Ranger for the America’s Cup in 1937. The glorious battle between the two yachts is depicted in countless maritime paintings and has inspired awe in generations of sailors. Hanuman, a dream project for many, is the third classic yacht built for Jim Clark by the Dutch yard Royal Huisman. With sleek, classic lines, Hanuman not only echoes the glamour of the biggest and arguably the most beautiful of the “Super Js” but surpasses the original with her state-of-the-art lightweight build, technology and stunning hand-polished wood interior designed by Pieter Beeldsnijder Design.
Endeavour II was built for Tommy Sopwith in steel at Camper & Nicholsons’ yard in Gosport and measured 135.5 feet. For his yacht, Sopwith drew on all the expertise of his vast aviation design (his other passion) and construction business. Hanuman is longer at 138.1 feet (42.1 metres) and draws on no lesser expertise. Naval architects Dykstra & Partners, who designed a rebuild of the J-K4 Endeavour at the Huisman yard in 1989, have created a tensile Alustar aluminium hull, carbon composite deckhouse and a 52.6-metre carbon mast. The sheer, elegant deck is deliberately uncluttered to facilitate easy sailing manoeuvres and technology is mostly hidden to retain a classic appearance.
Below decks, by contrast, Dutch designer and naval architect Pieter Beeldsnijder has drawn upon fine traditional materials such as hand-polished French walnut and teak with reference to the period to create all the warmth and ambience of a bygone era. “The boat feels very pretty when you come on board, very nautical, very cosy. It has that type of royal feeling in the luxury areas,” says Beeldsnijder. “My brief was to create a rich, nautical look from the 1930s. Hanuman was not to look like a replica but you should be able to see she is built in 2009. She takes the spirit of the original Endeavour – royal, nautical and functional.” Beeldsnijder did not consult the original for his design, but drew on his considerable experience of classic yachts and his work with Jim Clark on the 156’ sloop Hyperion in 1999 and the 295’ schooner Athena in 2004, also by Royal Huisman. “I don’t look in books and at old boats, I just did it from the database in my head. I have done so many classic boats. I know Mr. Clark very well.”
Stepping down the elegant staircase from the finely proportioned deckhouse with twin couches in cheerful nautical blue and white striped cushions, is like stepping back in time. You are greeted by beautifully polished panels, carved details and overhead deck beams in a hallway leading towards a beautifully appointed main salon at the widest point of the yacht (a 6.6-metre beam). The overhead deck beams and cleverly curved wood panelling follow the exterior hull lines. “There are very strong beams in the construction and the chainplates for the shrouds come through so guests can feel the power and strength of the boat when inside,” says the designer. Forward is the crew area for eight, while the two guest cabins (one twin, one double to port) are aft of the salon and the owner’s stateroom is to the stern, all with private facilities. “Dr. Clark likes dark wood very much so the guest and owner’s area are in American walnut but I like to have the crew area a little lighter so I used teak. This area has a Newport type of feel – paint and teak trim, very nautical,” adds Beeldsnijder.
The salon is the centrepiece of the yacht with a formal, elegant dining area and a dining table in French Walnut and burlwood, surrounded by French Walnut panelling and glass cabinets to one side and a lounge area with L-shaped divan in gold beige wool and silk, and a coffee table to the other. The floors are laid in American Walnut so the overall effect is to showcase the beautiful wood. The owner’s photographic collection decorates the walls, hiding a flat-screen television on the forward bulkhead too. Such is the attention to detail that there are even specially created mobile and i-Phone holders in wood in the owner’s study and in the salon. A carving of the Hindu god Hanuman – a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion – is at the centre of a relief in the salon, above the hidden television and facing the couch. “What I like very much is to have a sharp eye on details,” says Beeldsnijder. “Everything has to stand out.”
All the furniture aboard is designed by Pieter Beeldsnijder as is every panel, fixture, light and details such as the Hanuman carving. The furniture, mostly in French Walnut, is crafted by experts at Royal Huisman. “What stands out is the beautifully curved furniture which looks solid but is actually lightweight, constructed of veneers and close cell foam,” says Beeldsnijder. The furniture and the interior of Hanuman has been hand polished using methods developed almost 200 years ago. Renovation experts Acanthus International hand applied the finish in a 14-step process using traditional methods of bleaching, colouring, French polishing, colour distressing and a light patina. “The hand polish on the furniture and panels really makes the wood come alive. It draws the room together into a unit.” Aft is the owner’s suite, narrowing as the yacht stretches to the stern. “It was difficult to create a spacious feeling, I was afraid I would never fit everything in,” says Beeldsnijder. “But by stepping up the bed and making the furniture almost floating in the interior it feels remarkably spacious.” Again polished wood and magnificent carvings dominate, as in the guest cabins. The bathrooms and the galley feature marble on honeycomb, teak and hand-brushed paint. Hanuman won her first test, a race against a recreation of Ranger in August last year, setting the score straight. With five new versions of these legendary yachts on their way, we look forward to modern history being made.