Linssen’s ‘Variotop’ for shorter yachts
MAASBRACHT _ Begun as a small yard in 1949, Linssen Yachts is today a market leader in steel displacement yachts. It makes about 70 cruising yachts a year and its annual in-water boat show _ on May 8-11 this year _ always shows the yard’s innovative knack. Center stage at the 2015 show will be a Grand Sturdy 36.9 AC sporting the yard’s Variotop.
Linssen developed the foldaway top cover already in the mid-1990s for yachts of 40ft and up. Now it is available for yachts starting at 36 ft. (11.1m). The Variotop is a folding roof that covers the wheelhouse rendering it watertight and insulated thanks to ingenious locking and sealing systems.
“On longer yachts, the hydraulic construction took up space,” says Paul Beelen, chief of marketing at Linssen Yachts. “We have made the Variotop electric which saves space. Also, the top frame holding the canvas cover when it is not used can be fold back completely instead of partly.”
The Variotop _ pictured in 3 positions _ creates a combination of an inside and outside helmsman’s position and a fly-bridge. It lets you combine the aft deck or open cockpit with the wheelhouse creating one big external space. Close the Variotop and you will connect the helmsman’s position to the aft cabin, creating an impressive internal space.
The Variotop closes and opens with the push of a button. Moored, anchored or underway it provides shade and shelter from the elements and unobstructed 360-degree views. The folding section can be closed off by swinging doors. The Variotop ends the hassle of zipping and puzzling canvas tent panels together. It is no afterthought but is integrated into the overall construction of the yacht from the outset, says Beelen.
Making the Variotop available on under-40ft Linssen yachts responds to consumer demand, says Beelen. Linssen yachts start at 10m and are slowly creeping up to 18m.