While this high-performance sloop, Ngoni, was being built at Royal Huisman’s main site in Vollenhove, the owner commissioned Amalgam to make a high detail scale model of the design at the scale 1:50.
When this innovative project was first announced, nicknamed ‘The Beast’, the yachting world pricked up its ears. The owner had requested a progressive new yacht, with an ‘edgy’ design to marry comfort, style and high performance, and appointed the teams at Dubois Naval Architects and Royal Huisman to bring it to life. To launch the design during 2014 Monaco Yacht Show, Dubois hired Bristol model makers, Amalgam, to make the limited detail, stub mast model at 1:60 scale seen in all the press photography. That model was designed to accurately mirror the dramatic sheer line of the hull design, with the wide teak planking of the main deck.
Once extensive tank tests were completed to finalise the hull lines, the team building this 58m striking sloop in the Royal Huisman shipyard in The Netherlands were working closely with Captain Iain Cook ready for launch from Zaandam in March 2017. At the same time, Captain Cook re-engaged Amalgam, because the model makers had been recommended by the naval architects, to produce a second, full rig model, measuring approximately 1.2m long.
Amalgam had access to the real yacht CAD to re-design it at 1:50 scale, creating new CAD files for rapid production and assembly in their Bristol workshop. Making the scale model of such a unique design was an honour which required careful planning. The lines of the hull are machined first, then the detail of the deck furniture and mast are constructed with careful attention to the aesthetic finish. The real yacht is built from aluminium and sheer moulded glass, with a carbon fibre rudder arrangement, to aid her performance. Amalgam faced a similar challenge to keep the model materials and base structure light, yet as strong as possible for shipping and transit. Amalgam sent over paint swatches to ensure an authentic match with the real yacht – and produced laser-etched maple sheets to re-create the decking. The scale mast presented a challenge for the architectural team; their solution was to build a detachable mast, by 3D printing the parts and sourcing metal spreaders to accurately match the Ngoni rig design. Amalgam specialise in 3D printing which worked well for the steering console, however, they chose traditional model making techniques where more effective, such as making the handrails for this model.
The final piece was ready for delivery in July, with the hull measuring 1.2m and the full height mast standing at 1.4m. Whilst building the full rig model, the Amalgam team were also asked to create a half hull model, to be presented to Monaco Yacht Club as a gift. The much-awaited sloop has become synonymous with the future of super yacht design.
Captain Iain Cook “The three year build project, and two months of commissioning the real yacht in the water has been an enormously complex challenge, the design process through to construction, preparing 48km of cabling, testing the engines, rudders and power ready for her first sail to the Mediterranean in Spring was a huge effort on everyone’s part. Amalgam have pushed their own boundaries making these Ngoni models, and the quality of the work is up there with the best I have seen.”