the newly delivered Sycara IV on sea trials on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin
In a marked departure from its customary business operations, Blohm + Voss is beginning work on what it’s calling a series of “predesigned custom yachts,” a.k.a. semicustom yachts, in the upper stratosphere of superyacht construction.
The illustration above is the first of this new line, a 110-meter (361-footer), being called the B+V 110 MY/fast. “Fast” naturally refers to her speed, anticipated to be 40-plus knots at the top end. The pace was inspired by that of Eco, now known as Enigma, which was the fastest yacht of her size – 74 meters, or 243 feet – when she was delivered in 1991. Propulsion for the 110 MY/fast will come from a combination of twin MTUs and two gas turbines putting out close to a total of 110,000 horsepower, coupled to two Wärtsilä gas turbines apiece. Blohm + Voss says that at the top speed, the superyacht should see a range of 970 nautical miles; scaled back to 21 knots, she should achieve 3,000 nautical miles.
If the “predesigned custom yachts” designation strikes you as being odd, you’re not alone. I contacted Blohm + Voss yesterday morning to find out why it chose this wording, versus “semicustom,” but didn’t receive a reply as of this writing. I also requested details on the delivery time and reduced costs, two advantages the yard is touting over fully custom projects. I’ll update this story accordingly if I do receive the information.
In the meantime, as to the interior layout, the B+V 110 MY/fast places the wheelhouse on the uppermost deck, level six, with the owner’s suite occupying the full deck below. The stateroom overlooks the bow and contains a skylight, a reception/waiting area, an office, and a private alfresco area. Instead of placing all the guest staterooms on the lower deck, the yard is arranging accommodations for 12 on the main deck (level three), where there will also be a private theater and, of course, alfresco areas. More indoor and outdoor lounging spots as well as a library, gym, and the formal dining room, which can convert to a conference room, will lie on the fourth deck.
One more noteworthy feature: One of the two tender garages will be designed to accommodate a small seaplane. It’s a feature no doubt inspired by Eco, which toted one for several years.
Here’s something that doesn’t occur often: a yacht delivered early.
That’s what happened last month, when Delta Marine handed over Katya to her owners, who promptly enjoyed a cruise along the U.S. West Coast before heading to the Panama Canal.
I got an early look at the 151-footer in May, and she was shaping up nicely. The red bootstripe and curvy profile were eye-catching. The owners, from the Midwestern region of the USA, hired Jean-Claude Canestrelli of Canestrelli Design to work with the Delta Design Group, the yard’s in-house team. The woods reflected dark, rich colors – specifically, an African mahogany known as Khaya, crotch mahogany, and Cinamora burl. Stone inlays formed the tops of the buffets to each side in the dining area, and the Delta craftsmen were laying more stonework on the sole in the foyer along the starboard side, where a central staircase also resides. I therefore couldn’t venture forward to the master suite, occupying the full beam, or the four guest staterooms below decks. But in speaking with the project manager, I learned that the en suite heads each featured an abundance of stone, something the owners definitely wanted Katya to reflect.
Because the owners plan to enjoy long cruises and offer Katya for charter later this year, there are also generous storage areas for provisions and four commercial-grade refrigerator/freezer combos in the galley. A crew staircase leads to the upper deck so that snacks and meals can be served at the alfresco dining area for 10, and a central bar takes care of everyone on the sundeck. (Hopefully guests will spend more time relaxing there than using the workout equipment that can be pulled out and set up on the teak-lined deck.) Another crew-only staircase allows the eight-person crew to reach their accommodations below decks, and the captain’s stateroom is just aft of the wheelhouse.
It’s also worth noting that Katya is the fifth megayacht to feature Delta’s full-displacement design, which permits more tankage than similar-size yachts. In fact, she can tote 20,000 gallons of fuel. That, in combination with twin Caterpillar 3508 diesels, yield a range exceeding 5,000 nautical miles while cruising at 12 knots.
I plan to take a closer look at Katya during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, where she’ll make her formal debut.