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Survey and sea trial of the ATOA Expedition by Capt. Olivier F. van Meer N.B.J.A. for Morozov Yachts Ltd.

Morozov Yachts Ltd. has asked me to give my frank and honest opinion of the ATOA Expedition yacht that was built at Dutch Yacht Builders in Enkhuizen, the Netherlands. The concept was developed by Alexander Morozov, with the main goal of creating a sailing yacht for long voyages. This would therefore involve long stays onboard and sailing in remote and sometimes hostile areas, all of which would have to take place in comfort and safety. At a time when expeditions of all kinds are becoming increasingly popular it is not surprising to come across such a concept. There is a great desire among yachtsmen and women to discover the last few remote areas of the earth and to see the remaining natural ice for themselves. My company is continuously involved in all kinds of sailing and motor yachts, both private as well as professional, designed specifically for this purpose. I am so bold as to say that I know all the ins and outs of the details required for such a concept. And believe me, the details make the difference. This concept, which was designed by Heyman Yacht Design in Sweden, is an example of where you recognize details not commonly seen on other yachts. Hull I know from my own experience that Dutch Yacht Builders is one of the finest aluminium yacht builders in the Netherlands. They have built hulls for their own projects, such as the Atoa, which are finished as a total yacht completely ‘in-house’. However, they also act as subcontractor for building hulls for other well-known yards such as Holland Yachtbouw and De Vries. A Hull Built Certificate (solely issued by Lloyds Register) is one of the few certificates that really counts. Building under class does not automatically mean you have a good yacht. Any part and detail of a yacht may be inspected later by an expert for some purpose or other. The quality can always be judged. But precisely how the hull has been built and under which conditions is almost impossible to determine on a finished boat. The fact that an ATOA Expedition comes standard with a Hull Built Certificate provides a solid guarantee as far as quality and safety is concerned. It also indicates the serious approach of her manufacturer Morozov Yachts Ltd. For those who love the idea of seeing polar bears, ATOA’s hull is reinforced for broken ice manoeuvring. The fact that ATOA is a complete ‘in-house’ product of DYB reassures me even further as I know how precise they are when it comes to carpentry, technical installations, painting etc. This yard is on par with the 5 best yacht builders in Holland. Your first question will be: how can ATOA be built cost-effectively at a yard of such high level? The answer is that DYB have very low overhead costs and work efficiently, with short lines and hardly any subcontractors. Equipment My personal criticism of almost all sailing yachts is that for some unclear reason the technical equipment on a sailing yacht is hidden throughout the yacht as if nobody wants to admit to their existence. One does not want to see them or give up any space for them. The technical installation on a sailing yacht generally does not differ from that of a motor yacht. Almost all the same disciplines and items are there. Sometimes they are of a lighter type, but they are also often more complex as they have to be able to function in sailing conditions as well. In my sailing yacht designs I devote approximately 20% of all the available interior space on easily accessible technical spaces, purely to ensure a well-organized technical layout. Only a Master Mariner who ever has to solve a problem on the technical equipment in a nasty 45-knots wind with a short steep sea and a undermanned and unhappy crew would understand what I mean. A well-equipped engine room and a good technical layout is, I believe, the first area where the men are separated from the boys as far as design and concept is concerned. During my trial on ATOA we had a Beaufort 6 to 7 with short waves. The inspections I carried out on all the technical equipment was fun to do. If required it would have been easy to carry out a replacement or a repair, also in much more severe conditions. Everything has space, there is professional lighting and in the engine room it is safe to work even on a choppy sea. But in practive any repairs or replacements will be kept to a minimum as almost all products come from the catalogues that are used for professional yachts and ships; serious stuff!

Creators of: Puffin® - Zaca® - White Rose® - Full Moon® - Celine® sailing yachts Grande Estime® - Goeree® - Admiraltrawler® - Compagniesloep® - Powercruiser® motor yachts Capt. Olivier van Meer is member of the Netherlands Society of Naval Architects N.B.J.A Postal Adress: Breedstraat 164, 1601 KG Enkhuizen, The Netherlands Visitors Address: Oosterhavenstraat 39, 1601 KX Enkhuizen, The Netherlands Telephone: + (31) 0653 311089 E--mail: info@vanmeerdesign.nl www.vanmeerdesign.nl Bank: Rabobank.

Bank adress: Molenweg 5, 1601 SR Enkhuizen NL. Account no.: 31.73.26.333 Chamber of Commerce and Industry reg. no.: 36043732

IBAN number: NL92 RABO 0317 3263 33 VAT no.: NL802949423B01

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Swift code: RABONL2U

All our services, offers and contracts are subject to the latest Regulations and Rates of the Netherlands Society of Naval Architects as registered with the District Court of Haarlem (NL). Copies of these Conditions will be send free of costs on first request.


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Motor sailor? The discussion of whether ATOA is a motor sailor or a sailing yacht is a tricky one. The definition I use is that on a motor sailor the engine is the primary propulsion, with the sails adding some fun and creating fuel saving possibilities. Most motor sailors are lousy sailboats……. and to be frank, many motor sailors likewise make poor motor yachts. Getting the right mix is difficult. Personally I think ATOA is very close to the ideal Ocean Cruiser. This means one can make long sailing voyages as well as motor voyages. In both cases you will not feel ‘50/50’. The performance under engine alone is the same as or even better than on most motor yachts of this size. With the Perkins Sabre running at a relaxed 1800 rpm she does 9 knots on a perfect longitudinal trim and without making fuel consuming waves. The noise of the engine is very low everywhere onboard. Sailing close-hauled at an apparent wind angle of 37 degrees with a boat speed of 8-9 knots in a fresh breeze is what real sailing yachts of this size are supposed to do. We were sailing in waters of only 3.5 metres deep. In deep water she will do approx. 8% - 10% better. Of course the combination of sail and engine works almost always well and one will be able to make averages of 200-240 miles a day, which is what we are looking for. Her relatively long conventional keel gives her the course stability we ‘blue’ ocean sailors love so much. The moderate draft allows for good coastal and inland cruising. This is important as some of the most beautiful places on earth can only be reached by travelling through shallow waters. I manoeuvred ATOA back to her berth. At the end of the day the wind had increased and was gusty. In the small harbour I did not use the bow thrusters; there was no need for it. So regardless of what we call it, to me she behaves like the type of motor yacht I like and she sails like a good sailing yacht. Layout One of the first things that impressed me was that ATOA is built and equipped effectively for cold climates. This in itself is not unique; however, most of the yachts that are built for these areas are not so suitable for more Mediterranean and tropical climates. Often these yachts are warm, dark and a bit too romantic. The internal and external layouts are often not based on being outside much. ATOA’s interior is the ideal mix of what one needs for both hot and cold climates. Good deck space, a large airy deck saloon, and a very seaworthy but not ‘hidden’ cockpit. The interior layout is well balanced, spacious but cosy at the same time; light and airy, but also warm and gentle. The layout is made for family cruising with the occasional guest and/or crew. Small-scale charter is also a good possibility. The forward sail locker and aft hold are amazing. Often this is not even seen on much bigger boats. Normally one has to decide carefully what to store and where. With these spaces you do not have to take such considerations, as everything you need for the trips this concept has been designed for will fit. An important issue is the ability to board under all circumstances when not moored at the quay in the harbour. The specially engineered aft platform with lowering boarding ladder is an effective solution under almost all circumstances. It is possible to board using a full tender with people and equipment, thereby guaranteeing the safe transport of persons and goods. Maintenance When going on all these beautiful voyages and enjoying the relaxed life at sea as it should be, there is one serious drawback: maintenance. Besides the money it involves, it can seriously swallow up a large percentage of a year’s sailing fun. While inspecting ATOA I learned that her ‘owner’ Alexander Morozov experienced the same. With the exception of the low maintenance aluminium hull, good knowledge of the details show how to avoid high maintenance spots. All materials are simple, rigid and strong. All areas of the bilge are easy to clean and the paint system is perfect. To make life even easier the ‘diehard’ adventurer can decide to order this yacht with a bare aluminium sanded hull below the cap rail. The rigging is both easy to handle from the comfortable cockpit as well as provides low maintenance; simple constructions but topquality hardware, winches etc. Any points of negative criticism? Oh yes! But this is a very short list. 1. The entrance of the aft hold is not easy to use and impractical. 2. The cockpit seat lockers do not have drains in large scuppers as they should have. 3. In the interior, specially in the deck saloon, more handrails are required for rough weather For a first examination of a new concept these are non-issues. I believe that these points will be resolved on this first ATOA and I am sure that they will vanish on the next. In short, I like this boat! Capt. Olivier F. van Meer N.B.J.A.

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Morozov Yachts - ATOA Expedition boat report Olivier van Meer  

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