Fans of retro lines will not resist to the charms of this dutch boat
YACHT CLASS N°9 (June-july-august 2017)
Perfect marriage between a certain tradition and a fine modernism, the Favorite 1500 has found in the South of France the perfect spot to show off her assets. Starting with her exterior design that some will find irresistible. This visit culminated with her high level of finishing reminding us that the Dutch shipyards have not lost their touch. Quality is definitely on the menu.
Text : Alain Brousse - Photos : Bluei Productions
As a foreword, one precision should be made to avoid any confusion. There are two "Mulder" in the Dutch yachting world without neither business nor family ties : Mulder Design, a naval architecture studio, and Mulder shipyard. In our case, the relevant one is obviously the latter, creator of this Favorite 1500.
Born in the Netherlands in 1938, Mulder Shipyard started its wood construction activities with canoes and small regatta sailboats before launching a range of mahogany day-cruisers from 8-10 metres. In the 1980's, it set the bar higher and designed a family of motor units from 13-20 metres, with a steel hull and aluminium superstructures. The first flybridge, the Mulder 74', made its debut in 1998, followed by the 68' Convertible, penned with the architect and designer Guido de Groot. In 2015, the shipyard delivered its first 34-metre and a 36-metre should be launched this summer. The company knows that while the future lies in "big" units, the present still comes with more modest models such as the Favorite 1500 whose profile was dictated by the yard in collaboration with the designer Guido de Groot. We immediately noticed her superstructures, rather small compared to her length. The explanation lies in her mixed programme, combining navigation on the sea and on canals, which forces her to pass under bridges, hence her limited draft. Regarding aestheticism, this Favorite will delight vintage lovers. Her "tuliped" bow plus her steep and rounded transom strongly contribute to her flattering "retro" profile. We fully support her exterior design penned by Guido de Groot and we praise his talent.
The hull smoothly slides in
Anchored in the port of La Rague, the Favorite 1500 is literally stuck between two flybridges. The manoeuvre is delicate, especially since she only has her length to operate the 90-degree bend to the port exit. Which requires the pilot to play with both the bow and stern thrusters in addition to the engines reversers, two Volvo Penta D6 435 hp diesels coupled with a shaft drive. But she slowly pivots with a reassuring precision before finally reaching the Mediterranean, rippled enough to get an idea of the hull behaviour. Immediately, the hull is gentle. It stubbornly cuts off the water and nothing seems to stop it… certainly some very bad weather could, although she seems quite capable to handle rough conditions. When accelerating, the Favorite 1500 slightly lifts her head. Maybe a slight elevation of the height of the comfortable helm station should be considered to ensure perfect visibility. Unless the captain is taller than 1.80 metres, like many Dutchmen…
With both the sunroof and cockpit bay window closed, we appreciated the reasonable noise level and the absence of vibrations. Nick Mulder, the son of the CEO who attended our test, made a point to show us the engine room and its professional installation and insulation work. Once at the helm, in front of the leather dashboard, we push the forward-reverse levers to the maximum regime : 3.250 rpm. The speed : 22 knots. Using the yield curve, we set the cruising speed at 2750 rpm, i.e. 15.8 knots, and concluded that she has a 390 miles range. Good enough for a classic weekend cruise or even extended vacation. The owner showed us his logbook. This is not his first boat and he sailed this one on his own from the Netherlands to the Mediterranean, mainly via canals. Now he ambitions to discover our coasts with an ultimate goal in mind : Corsica ! He actually lives on board and his one-month experience has not made him regret his acquisition.
Teak is ubiquitous
For Mulder, the teak remains the ultimate noble and marine wood, hence its large presence on this Favorite 1500. Starting with her exterior, including the deckhouse, fitted with narrow slats, in accordance with the classicism. Naturally, we immediately thought of the additional weight but as Nick Mulder reminded us, this model is entirely in aluminum. This compensates that. The question of maintenance was also raised, especially since the teak is natural. "Passion makes acceptable some constraints", answered Nick Mulder. We also admired the stunning main fittings parts in stainless steel. Regarding comfort, the owners are full of praise for the cockpit volume, with its couch against the transom and its saloon (four-seater table and a U-shaped sofa). We must admit that even in navigation it is pleasant to admire the wake at 20 knots on the saloon sofa. Note that this one can become a sunbed. At last, there is also the coachroof where could fit a large sunbathing mattress. That's all for the open-air relaxation areas, let's head now to the indoor well-being !
From the cockpit, a glass sliding door and a sliding window open onto the main volume, where is located a comfortable lounge-dining room for six. Facing this bright place, which can be used for snacks, meals or any kind of relaxation, a storage cabinet built up against the pilot seat supports the TV screen. The sunroof is practically an essential option to sail on the Mediterranean. A few steps, lifting off on the small laundry room, lead down to the galley, in teak of course. The chef will never feel isolated in his den that features a sink, a four-burners electric hob, an oven and a dishwasher, plus many drawers and cupboards. In the same wooded atmosphere, we open the door of the master, fitted with a double bed and a wardrobe. En-suite, it features a toilet and separate shower. It also features a second twin cabin, logically smaller, with a bathroom-shower and toilet.
Characterized as "mixed" by her creators since she is conceived for fresh and marine waters, the Favorite 1500 is an outstanding illustration of the Dutch expertise in finishing. Quality is everywhere. How not to fall for both modern and vintage forms ?
- Overall length : 15,60 m
- Max beam : 4,75 m
- Draft : 1,10 m
- Fuel : 2 500 l
- Water : 600 l
- Displacement : 20 t
- Material : aluminium
- Engine : 2 x D6 Volvo Penta diesel
- Power : 2 x 435 ch (2 x 320 kW)
- Max speed : 21 knots
- Cruising speed at 2 750 tr/min : 15,8 knots
- Naval architect : Vripack Naval Architects
- Exterior designer: Mulder/Guido de Groot Design
- Interior designer : Mulder
- Builder : Mulder Shipyard (Zoeterwoude – Pays-Bas)