Captain Christophe Junca is a familiar face to everyone at Moonen, having spent many months at the yard over the past decade working on the refit of the Moonen 84 Phoenix and the build of the Moonen 97 Livia. Now Christophe is back in Den Bosch overseeing the extensive refit of the Moonen 97 Nimbus.
Welcome back to Holland, Christophe. Can you tell us a little about your career?
I’ve been a captain since 1999 and first came into contact with Moonen in 2005 when my wife Claire and I oversaw the refit of Phoenix (ex. Gogar Lass). This was our first experience of the enormous difference Moonen quality makes in practice. We enjoyed sailing this Moonen 84 until 2010, when I became Livia’s project manager.
By then we had the first of our two children so it was good to be on a secure, solid and very reliable boat that is made to sail the world without any troubles. We eventually left Livia in the summer of 2013 and spent the next two years running the refit of a 32-metre sailing yacht called Lunar Mist. This was fun but it’s good to now be back working on a motoryacht!
What does the Nimbus project involve?
The new owners are a couple who previously owned several high-end sports fisherman yachts. They were looking for something more comfortable, spacious, quiet and convenient to spend extended periods on board. A longer range was also important as they intend to explore the US coast, Caribbean and, this coming season, Scandinavia. As experienced owners they recognised that Moonen offered the best possible quality in the 30-metre range and were pleased to find Nimbus (ex. Alaska), which was launched in 2011 and didn’t have a huge amount of hours on the engine.
The boat was in good condition. Why did they decide on a refit?
With their plans to cruise so extensively the owners wanted to remould the yacht to their own tastes and requirements. It’s no secret that Moonen had its financial challenges last summer but as soon as they were resolved the owners had no hesitation in bringing their new yacht home where she’ll get the best possible treatment.
It’s been great to arrive at a new cycle of life for the yard… Everything is running smoothly and the owners have added extra work as the project has progressed. Everyone is doing a great job, including all the subcontractors – you feel very confident here as a captain because of the long-lasting relationship between Moonen and its co-makers.
What does the refit involve?
A lot! We’re renewing 90% of the interior, which is a significant undertaking in its own right. The audio-visual systems are being upgraded, as is the navigation and communication on the bridge. We’re leveraging on the latest engineering thinking at Moonen in terms of noise and vibration attenuation, adding special air cushions on the generators, making changes to the main engine exhaust, and mounting all pipes and hydraulics on rubber anti-vibration and anti-noise brackets. Lots of improvements are being made on the power management front, we’re rebuilding the mast to fit the new navcom devices, and installing 4G Wi-Fi. Add in a new paint job and a custom designed bimini for the aft deck and you have quite some work.
Is everything progressing well?
Yes, I’m very happy with how things are going on the refit. I enjoy working on this kind of boat:
I know them well, which is an advantage for me as captain and the owners. Each Moonen has her own character and every owner their own input on how life is spent enjoying time on-board. It’s been interesting to watch over the years how things change in terms of the way people are sailing and the different owner wishes. When you come to a yard like Moonen you know these diverse requirements can all be met and it’s a real pleasure to work with the craftsmen here again!