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Athena from the glory days of sailing ships

Edward Green |
Athena, a 90 meters sailing yacht by Royal Huisman, evokes memories of the era of majestic sailing ships and their blue waters adventures. Any old captain would sell his souls for her 19 knots under sail and the latest technology.

Athena is a result of four years of teamwork and excellent marine engineering. Pieter Beeldsnijder, in charge of exterior and interior design, and Dykstra Naval Architects led the shipyards' craftspeople. They made, without exaggeration, a piece of yachting history. Athena is three masted schooner with length overall of 90 meters (295.28 f), loaded waterline length of 60.52 meters (198.56 ft), and the beam of 12.20 meters (40.03 ft). Her draft is 5.77 meters (18.93 ft), and hull speed under sail 18.9 knots.

Beeldsnijder selected a lightly stained Mahogany for the interior to enrich a classic comfort known from the age of old sailing yachts. Designers cleverly divided accommodations and living areas into human size proportions and created a feeling of an old world charm with a good touch of luxury. With a reappearing scalloped corner detail Beeldsnijder fine tuned these areas. Rebecca Bradley was responsible for selecting furnishings and fabrics and she absolutely feels the sea spirit. Fantastic job, indeed.

Every detail inside Athena is there for a reason, and a good one. From a spacious kitchen from a 5-star hotel, to the reading room taken from a home of British lord, luxury is visible in every detail. However, here we mean luxury in its purest form, with great eye for details and without too much baroque that for some represents luxury. It's hard to describe Athena without superlatives and maybe the best thing we can say is that designers knew where to stop because in projects like this it's easy to go too far.

The three mast schooner rig by Rondal provides some 2,500 square meters of sails and is complete with in mast furling for the topsails and in boom furling for the carbon fiber gaffs. Some 55 Rondal captive and drum winches allow lightning fast tacks under full sail whilst sails can be set and stowed at the press of a button (or two!). Using Alustar plate mast construction the tallest of Athena's three masts fits snugly, at low tide, through Panama's controlling bridge height of 62 meters.

Athena receives up to ten guests in her five stateroom layout which features a master stateroom, three double staterooms and one twin stateroom. She also accommodates for eighteen crew to ensure a relaxed and luxurious experience on board. Royal Huisman was awarded the "Royal" warrant in 1984 in recognition of 100 years of quality and excellence. We don't have to explore their other ships, Athena alone is enough for a royal award.

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