45m Brig

Type of ship 45m Brig
Length overall 45m
Length hull 40m

In September 2018, North Star contacted us on behalf of the new owner of what was then called the sail training ship ‘Mercedes’. We were asked to carry out a demanding design and engineering assignment. In itself not special because apparently we often attract difficult and demanding projects.


We knew her well from our earlier work on the ship when she was transformed from a fishing vessel into a sail training vessel. In the past 38 years, our office has signed on a very large number of complex renovations and new builds for traditional and classic sailing ships in many versions; as yacht, sail training ship and as sailing passenger ships.

Naval Architect and Designer Olivier van Meer was born and raised on such a vessel and sailed these ships himself as captain. So this all cannot be a coincidence.


Probably for that reason and because we have everything under one roof when it comes to design, styling to engineering and production preparation, North Star has chosen our office. 

A clever combination with the execution of the work at Balk Shipyards in Urk, situated almost ‘around the corner’ for us. They also specialize in unusual and complex projects.


Until now we explained the easy part. Now comes the difficult one.


From the moment of arrival of this beauty work horse at Balk Shipyard in October 2018, it was made clear that we had no more than 6 months until the date of delivery of the first stage of this huge modification.

This first stage was extreme in all aspects and the route was to go from of a raw traditional sail training ship to a high end quality and sophisticated traditional privat yacht. 


Our Naval Architects and Design work included the complete design, engineering, calculations, construction and styling of all elements of the project, like: hull construction, rigging modifications, a new interior- and deck layout, the interior design, the styling of interior and exterior, drawings of all fundamental technical systems and many details.  

And all this to be approved by the Owner as well as by Class in the same extreme short time.

There is no need to explain that this only could be done with a strong team that has knowledge, experience and mutual trust in each other as fundaments.

This counts specific for Balk Shipyards as well as North Star who guided the Owners communication.


Just one of our many great opportunities here was the fact that the Owner did give us the freedom in order to integrate many details that make these kind of ships the selected fleet of headturners.

I cannot recall a project in our office history where so much design, calculation and engineering work has been done is such a short time. 

We are proud to have been able to participate in the creation of this total make over where, at the end, an old lady literally have been preserved for the next century as a fresh beauty.