For over 50 years, the Netherlands-based builder Van der Valk has crafted motoryachts exclusively from aluminum and steel. Known in the industry for a steadfast attention to detail and a mastery of metalwork, the builder was approached a few years back by Dutch yacht design house Cor D. Rover with an idea.
“They had the concept and were searching for a yard that could execute [it],” Sales and Marketing Head Yoeri Bijker told me, and Van der Valk accepted the challenge. Rover’s innovative design jettisons the traditional engine room, placing the powerplants well aft: The engines and drives actually sit within the swim platform. The Beach Club concept was born.
Making its debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival, the 660 is the second build in the Beach Club series, following the 60-footer that launched last year. She was attracting a lot of attention, so I toured the boat on an early morning while the docks were still quiet.
I started on the roomy, teak-clad swim platform—it measures 9 feet long and just over 19 feet wide—and popped the large hatch in the platform sole. The big door rose smoothly on gas-assisted struts (I used one hand to open) and revealed the 12.7-liter, 800-hp Volvo Penta D13s mated to IPS drives, certainly the only powerplant suite that can pull off being this far aft. I thought of ER checks in inclement weather or while at sea: Bijker told me that there’s access in the lower lounge that requires moving a large settee and as a semicustom builder, they could incorporate a more permanent solution.
Four steps down through an elegant set of curved glass doors built within the transom was the huge living area that is the recipient of space aplenty due to the engine relocation. With no side decks on the lower level, the full-beam lower lounge feels expansive and airy—the glass doors, large hullside windows and open atrium to the upper lounge help. Very few monohulls can offer this type of uninterrupted spaciousness and easy egress to the 660’s namesake, the Beach Club. Aluminum construction eliminates structural bulkheads and what’s needed “can be moved or rearranged depending on the client’s needs,” according to the builder. A centerline companionway splits the well-appointed galley and stairs to the upper lounge and provides access to the forward master and two guest staterooms.
The 660’s foredeck looks to rival the Beach Club for alfresco entertaining. Side decks flank the upper lounge and its matching set of curved glass doors lead to a space that’ll accommodate a dozen guests on a C-shaped settee and a few sunpads. No need to run aft for snacks: a BBQ and wet bar serve the area. While I loved the fixed glass roof that provides the master stateroom with light, I’d go with electrified glass for privacy.
A clean helm station on the upper lounge—with a single helm chair and Garmin suite of MFDs—looked downright comfortable for longer passages, with room for eight friends as well. I’d most likely choose to run the 660 from the flybridge where sightlines appear to be excellent, albeit partially obscured aft by the large settee and overhang of the aft deck. A wing station on the upper lounge level should fit the bill for docking and close quarters maneuvering. —Jeff Moser
Displ. 83,775 lbs.
Fuel 1,057 gal.
Water 198 gal.
Power 2/800-hp Volvo Penta IPS1050
Cruise Speed 21 knots
Top Speed 26 knots
Price $3.7 million