The old concept of yachts with shaft drives in revival

Aft Cabin Yachts

The old concept of yachts with shaft drives in revival

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The layout of aft cabin yachts provides that there is a cabin in the entire width of the hull instead of an open area for relaxing on the main deck, immediately behind the swimming platform. The open area for recreation in this case is most often moved to the roof of this cabin. The engine room in this arrangement  can only be located amidships, so the classic aft cabin boat is powered by shaft drives. This layout is especially common on yachts of Dutch manufacturers (De Alm, Elling). They build boats for the northern seas, seaworthy, strong and all-weather. For such yachts, the larger the enclosed deck area, the better. There again, for the sake of ease of use, you have to sacrifice the beauty of the exterior.

However, a new breed of aft cabin yachts has recently emerged. These are the so-called crossovers that combine the practicality of a trawler with the excitement of a cruiser. These yachts also have a “cabin” at the stern, which can be more accurately called a beach club. This conditionally closed area is on the same level with the swimming platform. Large sliding glass doors can be fully opened and voila - there is a large semi-open area that can be used as a party zone. If desired, the same zone can be used as an additional cabin. The new aft-cabin yachts are designed for a completely different use than the classic ones: they are boats for warm seas, where outdoor recreation areas play the same important role as closed ones. The Navetta series by Absolute and the Beachclub line by Van der Valk are good examples of the new breed of aft cabins.

Both types of Aft Cabin Yachts are represented in itBoat catalog. To purchase a boat with aft cabin leave an inquiry on the page of the boat you like, and the broker will contact you. itBoat provides an escrow service that allows you to make secure transactions for buying and selling aft cabin yachts for crypto. We accept any cryptocurrencies, from bitcoin and ethereum to stablecoins. If you are a seller or broker looking to expand the number of your potential buyers by accepting crypto, please contact us at [email protected] and we will find the solution for you.

How are aft cabin yachts built? 

Classic aft cabin trawlers were made from steel, but today GRP is a most common material for production boats and aft cabins are no exception. Some boatbuilders also use aluminum for this type of yachts.

GRP boats are made using plastic molds. A mold is lined with gelcoat and layers of fiberglass cloth, which are then impregnated with resin using a method called Vacuum Infusion Process. When the resin dries out, the hull is taken out of the mold. The superstructure, including the aft cabin, is manufactured separately and then  joined with the hull.

Unlike composite yachts, which are cast in the same molds, aluminum yachts are built on individual frames which gives more freedom for customization and individual approach to layout and deck spacing. Aluminum is cut in pieces, welded in order and painted.  

What types of engines are used on aft cabin yachts?

Due to the design features of aft cabin yachts, the engine room can only be located amidships, as the aft space is used for an additional cabin. Therefore, sterndrives, outboards and pod drives are not suitable for this type of boat. 

But some manufacturers managed to find a room for Volvo Penta IPS engines with pod drives in the back of the boat. For example, Van der Valk used a small alcove under the swimming platform to house these compact engines.

The pod drive option may be of more interest to those who would like a more maneuverable yacht. The peculiarity of this propulsion is that the prop is located on a turntable. You can easily control the position of the props using the joystick. The conventional shaft drives are less dynamiq, but they do have their own advantages. They are well proven, consistent  and easy to maintain.