Reporting from the 2023 Palma Boat Show, Alex Smith takes us on a full tour of the Van Dutch 40...
What a fun, bonkers and oddly appealing boat this is. It might be the second smallest of the four boats in the Van Dutch line but like the rest of the fleet, the Van Dutch 40 is keenly optimised to cater for high-end day boating entertainment – and more specifically, for the day-charter run from Ibiza to Formentera and back.
As you might expect from Van Dutch then, it’s all about sunbathing at the aft end, partying in the central cockpit and meditative reflection on the tapering foredeck. You don’t get any cooking facilities because if you want food, you get it delivered by caterers.
But if you want drinks, they are immediately to hand all over this boat, thanks to all manner of fridges, ice makers, sinks and worktops. In fact, when you nestle into the cockpit’s sheltered and sociable lounge seating, you get the option of a vertical fridge built (rather decadently) into the centre of the table.
And as you would expect, music is also well catered for, with plenty of speakers integrated into the bulwarks and seat bases. Down below, it quickly becomes apparent that sleep is no more important than cooking.
While this space is easily big enough for a bow cabin and a starboard galley, what you actually get on the show boat is a windowless seating zone, brightened by overhead bow hatches and chilled by AC vents, so you can cool off in the port shower, get a bit of respite from the sun or relax with a drink and some tunes.
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And back up on the foredeck, things feel just as playful… The crew from Van Dutch Balearics talk excitedly about the ‘Infinity Bow’: the foredeck equivalent of an infinity pool, which reaches out into the surrounding seascape with nothing to distract your eyeline.
Apparently, it’s a great place to lounge with a drink, as well as a very popular spot for yoga. But you do have to keep your balance because just as the hull’s aesthetic is preserved through the absence of windows, so the foredeck takes the purist approach by sidestepping unsightly guardrails.
Now clearly, the Van Dutch 40 is not for everyone. But as an engrossing diversion at the Palma Boat Show and a feel-good ambassador for the Van Dutch way of doing things, this 16-man plaything is an infectious demonstration of what zero-compromise day boating is all about.
Enjoy the tour…
Van Dutch 40 specifications
LOA: 40ft / 12.48m
Beam: 11ft 1in / 3.42m
Engine: 2x 220hp Volvo Penta D6
Top speed: 38 knots
Starting price: €695,000 (ex. VAT)