“When deciding to commission the build of TRUANT, we carried out extensive research to find the right yard. We chose Van Dam for their engineering skill, their craftsmanship in aluminium and wood finishing, their flexibility, and their overall attention to detail.
We wanted our Nordia 55 to be a new, more modern yacht than the existing Van Dam 54 and the team at Van Dam were ready, willing and able to help us with that.
With Robert Van Dam we modernised the hull shape, to achieve improved performance and enhanced aesthetic appearance. This increased interior volume considerably in the saloon width and length, and in the owners’ aft cabin and sugar-scoop stern width. We also moved the backstay off the stern and onto the deck, uncluttering the bathing platform.
On deck forward we moved the anchor windlass from electric to hydraulic, put on a pulpit seat, and a flush hatch for the forward lazarette. The cockpit was lowered by 10cm to make it safer and the combings more comfortable; a new design of integrated sprayhood and bimini fashioned; and the 16mm teak deck added to all flat surfaces, coach roof, cockpit sides, and stern.
However the most major changes to a traditional Nordia were in the interior. We really liked the skill of the yard, but not their traditional rosewood and detailing. We commissioned UK designers, Fieldwork Design, to create a wholly new, cherry wood interior, with a high level of investment in wood design and the creation of the feeling of space. We created flowing lines of sight with runs of ebony inlay and bull-nosing in cherry. We used panelling on larger surfaces in all cabins, to bring out the curves and contours in contrasting cherry woods. We softened the interior lines by using curved surfaces throughout, with beautifully crafted entrance steps, curved forward cabin doors, and curved cupboard doors, which transformed the traditional harder edges of the traditional Van Dam design. Fieldwork’s skill with lighting and mirrors, plus all white bathrooms and white spaces in the external cabin walls throughout also enhanced the overall feeling of light and space.
On the floor we chose cherry and holly, to harmonise with the rest of the woodwork. Again detailing was key with curved lines around curved furniture and staggered line endings to emphasise the shape of the interior and furniture.
The chart table and saloon table were inlaid with ebony in a simple compass design, drawing all the design elements together.
The overall effect was a totally new style of Van Dam, using the great skills of their craftsmen to transform their brand. TRAUNT’s interior then formed the basis of the new Van Dam yachts going forward, but no other Van Dam had nearly so much intricate woodwork detailing or such extensive woodworking time investment. From the outset TRUANT was recognised as a unique vessel, the result of a unique investment in crafted care and attention to detail. She was quickly voted the Most Beautiful Boat by all other boats in the 1995 ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) and has been much admired all over the world ever since”.