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The Van Dam Nordia Shipyard in Holland built outstanding go anywhere cruising yachts. This Nordia 55 was built by them in 1995. She was the first of the the 55s and was specified to her original owners wishes, including a cherry interior designed by British designers Field Work. She has circumnavigated the globe and after being stored ashore for a few years, she had a massive refit at the Berthon Boat Company - paint, systems and new forward accommodation area. In this ownership, she was further upgraded - including new wrap and AV in 2021, and of course, she's a Nordia…
“When deciding to commission the build of TRUANT, we carried out extensive research to find the right yard. We chose Van Dam for their engineering skill, their craftsmanship in aluminium and wood finishing, their flexibility, and their overall attention to detail.
We wanted our Nordia 55 to be a new, more modern yacht than the existing Van Dam 54 and the team at Van Dam were ready, willing and able to help us with that.
With Robert Van Dam - we modernised the hull shape, to achieve improved performance and enhanced aesthetic appearance. This increased interior volume considerably in the saloon width and length, and in the owners’ aft cabin and sugar-scoop stern width. We also moved the backstay off the stern and onto the deck, uncluttering the bathing platform.
On deck forward, we moved the anchor windlass from electric to hydraulic, put on a pulpit seat, and a flush hatch for the forward lazarette. The cockpit was lowered by 10cm to make it safer and the combings more comfortable; a new design of integrated sprayhood and bimini fashioned; and the 16mm teak deck added to all flat surfaces, coach roof, cockpit sides, and stern.
However, the most major changes to a traditional Nordia were in the interior. We really liked the skill of the yard, but not their traditional rosewood and detailing. We commissioned UK designers, Fieldwork Design, to create a wholly new, cherry wood interior, with a high level of investment in wood design and the creation of the feeling of space. We created flowing lines of sight with runs of ebony inlay and bull nosing in cherry. We used paneling on larger surfaces in all cabins, to bring out the curves and contours in contrasting cherry woods. We softened the interior lines by using curved surfaces throughout, with beautifully crafted entrance steps, curved forward cabin doors, and curved cupboard doors, which transformed the traditional harder edges of the traditional Van Dam design. Fieldwork’s skill with lighting and mirrors, plus all white bathrooms and white spaces in the external cabin walls throughout also enhanced the overall feeling of light and space.
On the floor, we chose cherry and holly, to harmonise with the rest of the woodwork. Again detailing was key with curved lines around curved furniture and staggered line endings to emphasise the shape of the interior and furniture. The chart table and saloon table were inlaid with ebony in a simple compass design, drawing all the design elements together.
The overall effect was a totally new style of Van Dam, using the great skills of their craftsmen to transform their brand. TRUANT‘s interior then formed the basis of the new Van Dam yachts going forward, but no other Van Dam had nearly so much intricate woodwork detailing or such extensive woodworking time investment. From the outset, TRUANT was recognised as a unique vessel, the result of a unique investment in crafted care and attention to detail. She was quickly voted the Most Beautiful Boat by all other boats in the 1995 ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) and has been much admired all over the world ever since”.
Since build, TRUANT has been through a number of upgrades and modifications. She has always been maintained to a high professional standard, in care and systems. The aim has been constant maintenance and improvement from the time of build, with the budget to match.
The interior has been treated with the utmost care, with protective covers and wrapping when appropriate for ocean crossings and local passages. The floors have been protected with fitted covers and rugs.
In 2011, TRUANT underwent a substantial refit at Berthon Boatyard, UK.
All machinery and equipment was either replaced, or stripped and fully serviced. For example, all the Reckmann furlers were sent back to the manufacturer in Germany and returned as new. All main engine pipes were changed, the heat-exchanger removed, oil samples were taken and the injectors serviced. Steering cables were replaced. The Maxprop was manufacturer stripped and serviced. All deck hatches, front-opening windows and port lights were replaced; the sprayhood and bimini were replaced; new heads were fitted; and so on.
All the electronics and communication systems were upgraded and modernised with a PC-based navigation system, with Maxsea chart-plotting software. In addition new Furuno displays and a Furuno chart-plotter were put in the cockpit.
Some other new items were added or refitted such as; on-deck forward fresh water flush; fresh water hose in the cockpit; fixed dimmable LED bimini light and fixed LED boarding light; fresh/salt water option on aft loo; all new curtains and blinds, and sofa in the forward starboard cabin. A dry-exhaust system was installed for the generator.
The aluminium hull was repainted and clear-coated in 2011 and is a very distinctive metallic green colour, with silver detailing. The mast was stripped, repainted, and all reassembled. All new standing rigging was installed with customised fittings.
In the 2011 refit, the owners worked closely with Berthon Boatyard, to change the configuration of the forward cabins, so that there can be one VIP, en-suite cabin, with a full-sized double bed and sofa arrangement, or two cabins, as originally designed. This is a most ingenious design and execution, utilising the original centre panels and allowing fully-flexible accommodation. Much time, effort and skill were expended to ensure that the quality of the woodwork matched the excellent craftsmanship of the original build quality.
After owning Nordia 55 TRUANT she was carrying out a number of updates to communications, electronics and other systems. In 2021 it was decided that TRUANT needed some work to her exterior paintwork.
After a lot of research, her owners decided to give her an Avery Body wrap of topsides and superstructure. This work was carried out with great care.
At the same time, the underwater profile was fully prepared and MAC Glide antifouling was prepared. This Antifouling wrapping guarantees no more antifouling work for at least the next 7 years. After took her on land this September, it was just needed to clean with very very low pressure. Details view the website.
During this refit, all systems were thoroughly serviced and reviewed.
RCD Status: Our understanding is that the yacht is exempt from the essential safety requirements of Directive 94/25EC (Recreational Craft Directive) as she was built and placed into use within the EU prior to 1998.
Hull, Deck & Superstructure Construction:
Keel & Rudder:
Engine & Gearboxes:
Maintenance & Performance:
Propulsion & Steering:
Fresh Water & Water Heating System:
Grey/Blackwater holding tanks:
Heating & Ventilation:
Summary of Accommodation:
Anchoring & Mooring Equipment:
Covers, Canvas & Cushions:
Tender & Outboard: