The “skinny’” waters of the Bahamas and Southern Florida have caught-out many a superyacht, mangling propellors or requiring pricey extractions from unyielding sandbars.
But a striking new 90-foot mini-superyacht, making its debut at next month’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, is designed to shrug off shallow depths, courtesy of its innovative hull design and propulsion system.
The 27-meter LeVen 90 is the creation of LeVen Yachts, a new joint venture between Fort Lauderdale-based YachtCreators, Dutch designers Vripack and famed Dutch shipyard Van der Valk, where the yacht is being built.
With a depth of just 4 ft 6 ins, this sleek, new, all-aluminum performance yacht can slip into anchorages or reach sugar-white beaches where others fear to tread. Its secret? The first non-commercial use of German-made Voith Linear jet nozzles.
Proven on commercial and military vessels, the system places the props in tapered, nozzle-like surrounds mounted in tunnels set into the hull.
In addition to protecting the props and reducing draft, the design is claimed to lower noise and vibration while improving fuel efficiency.
LeVen—it means “life” in Dutch—is the brainchild of Florida-based entrepreneur Lucas Silva who was looking for a yacht to cruise with his family to his beloved Exumas island chain in the Bahamas.
Up until 2017, Silva owned the stunning 121-foot Luca Dini-designed superyacht Nono. His family loved the creature comforts, and space for water toys, but he craved the flexibility of a smaller yacht to explore the Bahamian shallows. He traded it for a 50-footer.
“With the 50, we enjoyed the simplicity of use, the connection with the water, the agility and shallow draft,” he explains. “We created the LeVen so my family and I can experience the best of both worlds.”
It’s not just a shallow draft that sets this new LeVen 90 apart. Designed for an outdoor lifestyle, the yacht boasts a nearly 40-foot-long sundeck, expansive bow seating, and a huge rear Opacmare Transformer swim deck for launching kayaks or jet skis.
With full-width doors opening-up the main salon to the rear lanai deck—Silva calls it “The Great Room”—the entire area becomes perfect for entertaining. And instead of the forward end of the cabin being used as a helm station, the space becomes an open, full-width eat-in galley with huge central island and bar stools.
Below decks there are four ensuite staterooms for guests and an additional two cabins for crew. The yacht’s generous 22-foot beam ensures plenty of space to stretch out.
For quiet nights at anchor off an Exumas beach, the LeVen 90 has a bank of lithium batteries, charged-up during the day through hardtop-mounted solar panels. The batteries can power the air conditioning and the yacht’s main systems for up to 12 hours, avoiding the annoying hum of a generator.
Powering the LeVen is a pair of 1,900-hp MTU V12s which will push the yacht to a top speed of 26 knots. With a 3,170 U.S. gallon fuel capacity, the range should be around 400 nautical miles.
Part of the yacht’s impressive efficiency is down to the Vripack-designed hull which features the studio’s patented Slide Hull design. The underwater shape of the hull allows air to travel in channels between its wide chine and bottom, softening the ride and reducing pounding in rough seas.
You can see the LeVen 90 at the Fort Lauderdale show between October 30 to November 3. In the meantime, check out more photos of the mini-superyacht below: