The Linssen Variotop®. A floating legend
A yacht equipped with a Linssen Variotop® is actually a very special combination of an inside and outside helmsman’s position and a fly-bridge. With a Variotop® you are sailing ‘outdoors’ and you can combine the aft deck or open cockpit with the wheelhouse to form one big external space. If the weather gods are less well disposed towards you, just close the Variotop®, and you will actually be connecting the helmsman's position to the aft cabin, creating an impressive internal space. In this way the Variotop® unites the compartments and therefore the crew.
The Variotop® is a folding roof that covers the wheelhouse so that it is completely watertight and insulated thanks to ingenious locking and sealing systems. Close the Variotop® and the wheelhouse doors and the open helmsman's position is instantly transformed into a heated Variotop® wheelhouse where it is a pleasure to be. On a warm summer's day, just cruising along, the boat gently rolling at anchor or leisurely moored to the quay, the Variotop® – now like a fully fledged bimini top – provides wonderful cool shade.
The four variables of the Variotop®
Nothing is as changeable as the weather. Especially in our own wet country. Sun, rain, cloudy skies. They alternate faster than we’d sometimes like. In order to deal with these vicissitudes and fluctuations in a pleasant way, we developed our Variotop® wheelhouse system. Varying in order to adapt to the elements, that’s the thought behind it. With the arrival of the new Grand Sturdy 480 AC Variotop®, this is the perfect time to home in on this folding roof, which is much more than just a roof.
A Linssen with a Variotop® means that you, as a boating enthusiast, can be flexible enough to adapt to all weathers. When the sun shines, you want to be outside enjoying the open air. When it rains, you prefer to hide away and seek shelter. In addition, when the weather is bad, it often gets colder. Then you don’t just want a roof over your head, but preferably a well insulated roof. Our Variotop® wheelhouse system contains four variables that you can control to cool and/or heat the wheelhouse. These four variables are: the Variotop® folding roof, the height-adjustable cockpit bench, the doors and the bimini function.
More than a roof
Of course, we don’t have to explain anything more to Linssen owners. But people who don’t know us very well often don’t have the full picture of our Variotop® wheelhouse system. They see Variotop® only as the name for the roof, whereas it is in fact an integrated system for the wheelhouse. Variotop® means the entire room, the layout of the steering saloon and the steering position. Of course, the folding roof is an iconic feature, but it’s only one part of the system.
Cockpit bench up, wind in your hair
Sailing means making contact with the elements. And preferably with the pleasant elements such as sun and wind. The slightest breeze is a breath of fresh air in hot weather. Have you opened the folding roof to get a breath of fresh air? The cockpit bench for two people is electrically adjustable in height and depth. If you raise the bench, you can sit with the wind in your hair. It also gives you a perfect view of the water. If you want to cool down a bit more, a compact wet bar with sink and refrigerator is always within easy reach.
Outside or inside space
The wheelhouse of the Grand Sturdy 450, 480 and 500 is a high-quality finished space in which you will want for nothing. Here you can sit behind the chic steering position with all the necessary instruments around it. At the push of a button, the Variotop® roof can be fully opened and folded back. This creates an enormous amount of outdoor space on the aft deck. Within a few seconds you can control your 450, 480 or 500 from a real flybridge. When you close the roof again, you create a comfortable extra interior space with lots of privacy.
Open and yet windproof
The wheelhouse doors are an important part of the Variotop® system. In spring, when the sun is shining but the temperature could be a little higher, you can still sail with the roof open. If you keep the doors closed, you won’t be in the wind but you will be in the sun. As the weather gradually warms up, you open the doors and let the wind do its work in the wheelhouse.
Bimini: keeps out the sun, lets in the wind
You can also use the Variotop® folding roof as a fully-fledged bimini top. This extra function is very pleasant, especially if you’re sailing in warmer areas such as southern Europe. In the bimini position, the roof is kept slightly open. This means that you have a sunroof over your head, while the wind can simply pass under the roof. Exactly what you need in a Mediterranean climate or during those increasingly hot Western European summers.
Not every yacht can cross France without any problems and set course for the Mediterranean. The 450 can and the 480 will be able to shortly. This is not only because of the dimensions of these two stars of the Variotop® series. The well thought-out Variotop® system also makes a significant contribution. The fact that the arch in which the Variotop® roof disappears when it is opened can be folded down, means that the clearance height is reduced. And your sailing opportunities in France considerably increased.
Since its introduction on our first Grand Sturdy 500 in 1996, Variotop® has become a household name in the Dutch yacht building industry. A striking and sympathetic product that many boating enthusiasts have fallen for over the years. With our Variotop® model line, consisting of the 450, the new 480 and the 500, we want to let an even larger audience enjoy this still revolutionary invention.