Athos + Huisfit = A Major Step Closer to Perfection

The magnificent schooner Athos has been extensively converted – outside and inside – updated and optimized by Huisfit in Amsterdam. It would be hard to improve on the immaculate modern classic that has resulted. Before acquiring the 62 m / 203 ft Hoek-designed, Holland Jachtbouw-built Athos (2010), the new owner chartered her for a year. He fell in love with the boat but saw many ways in which she could be optimized to enhance the  amenities and user experience. As the project evolved in his mind, so the refit list grew. And as the refit work got under way, so additional opportunities to perfect the outcome presented themselves.

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What started as a large refit project soon came to embrace all aspects of the Huisfit proposition: Refit, Rebuild and Renewal. The stern overhang would be extended and, on deck, cockpit layouts had to be redesigned and a new forward navigation deckhouse had to be added. New booms, new sails and carbon rigging would ensure improved sail management and performance. All systems were to be updated. A considerable amount of the interior was to be replaced or reconfigured and updated.

Hoek Design was again involved in all naval architecture work to accommodate these changes, the interior styling and layout of the new owner’s cabin, one of the guest cabins, the main salon, the new crew service area and the navigation deckhouse. Peter Mikic Interiors was responsible for the layout and styling of the main deckhouse and for the overall guest interior decoration.

Huisfit’s capability and reputation for quality led to  obtaining the project. For the owner, it was a bonus to take Athos back to the location where she was originally built in 2010, now Huisfit’s Amsterdam deep water refit facility.

On deck: from stern forwards

Athos’ stern has been extended by 1.25 meter / 4 feet, a seemingly modest extension. Yet the concave and convex curves of the new section called for exceptional skills in the design and build of the aluminum structure in order to fit perfectly into the aluminum hull. The extension, with a relocated pushpit, provides a new two-meter area for sunbeds  behind the owners’ private cockpit.

The cockpit itself has been reconfigured for easier access and got extra amenities, including a fridge and icemaker. The interior layout and furnishing of the owners’ deckhouse have been updated. As a finishing  touch, the new stern section has been complemented by a fine teak transom.

The main cockpit and deckhouse, aft of the mainmast, have been extensively modified to provide a true social hub for meeting and greeting, al fresco dining and relaxed leisure activity.

The new cockpit is wider and longer and can comfortably provide dining for 12 people. There is also informal seating for guests to meet in smaller groups or find a quiet corner to enjoy a read. Coffee tables are flexibly designed in order to adjust to become coffee tables or dining tables. A bar with fridge and icemaker has been installed. Just aft of the main cockpit, re-designed dashboard consoles sit to port and starboard of the ship’s wheel.

The main deckhouse floor has been raised to one level and provides an enhanced outlook. The entire interior, including the nav station, was taken out and a new design installed. The deckhouse looks much larger, the traffic flow is better and the natural light has improved. A new classic looking bar has been built on the portside and a couch occupies the space of the nav station, while smaller dining tables and casual seating maximize flexibility.

More forward the former crew companionway which gave access to the crew quarters has been replaced by a larger, third deckhouse, styled and crafted in the same style as the other deckhouses.

This houses a new navigation and secondary steering station and provides additional social space for the crew and access below. At the same time, the new design of the crew deckhouse improved the flow of the engine room ventilation system and reduced the subsequent noise considerably.

Below decks

The owners’ suite has been totally stripped out, re-designed and refitted. An additional porthole was made on either side and therewith wasted space was eliminated to make full use of idle space. There are now two bathrooms in place of one and a new walk-in closet. Hard paneling has been replaced by subtle fabrics and the plank flooring has been carpeted to create a warm and tranquil ambiance.

Just forward of the owner’s suite, a dayhead has been removed. The space thus obtained has been incorporated into the aft port guest cabin, where a fixed Queen bed and a sofa have been added. Along with the other three guest cabins, the floor has been carpeted and the fielded panels have been upholstered. Everything inside the corridor that connects the guest cabins has been renewed – new walls, new flooring, new carpets, even a new chandelier! The biggest change in this area was the replacement of the original curved staircase to the main deckhouse with a beautifully crafted and space-liberating new stairway.

From the main deckhouse, stairs forward previously gave access to a lower salon in an open plan setting with a showpiece galley. A fireplace was removed and a wall built between the two areas to create a cozy and intimate media room to starboard. A long bookcase built cross-ships and luxurious new furniture complete the scene.

The galley to port, behind the new wall, has been custom-rebuilt and all equipment updated for modern haute cuisine practices. A stewardess station has been added meaning that there is more room int he galley for chef.

In the crew quarters, the laundry has all-new appliances, the crew cabins have new floors and the crew mess enjoys the benefit of new worktops.

And more?

There is too much to list here, but other enhancements include all-new navigation, alarm and safety systems and new lighting throughout. All PLCs have been changed and pumps upgraded. All guest spaces benefit from a state of the art communications and entertainment package. The main tender has been completely rebuilt and there is a new second tender. The bottom of the hull was blasted to bare aluminum before a full respray.

This was a major, full-on conversion project regularly employing up to fifty skilled people for more than a year. Without the exceptional teamwork between the owner’s team, architects, designers and the Huisfit team this project might still be ongoing!

Acting on behalf of the owner, project manager Jeremy “Bear” Wynne from Wynne Projects Ltd. concludes: “The new Athos looks amazing. The multiple modifications have been beautifully done. The attention to detail and finish is excellent. The additions and modifications have not only improved the functionality of the yacht, they have also enhanced the appearanceThe quality of Huisfit’s work is exceptional.”