The U.S. Pacific Northwest is renowned for its megayacht builders – some small, some large. Even though Aleutian Yachts became one of the smaller firms when it opened its doors in 2003, its plans are no less big. Over the past six years, the Tacoma, Washington facility has been focused not only on steel-hulled yachts, but also ones from 82 to 122 feet, a size range that’s dominated by fiberglass boats.
Unfortunately, because another boat builder uses the Aleutian name for a line of offshore cruisers, the issue was raised that buyers may mistakenly assume the two companies are collaborating. That’s why Aleutian Yachts is now operating under its subsidiary name, Citadel Yachts. But it’s sticking to its original goal of building sturdy steel yachts, and it’s pointing to its latest delivery, the 92-foot Miss Lisa (seen here on launch day), as an example of how it can delivery a quality cruiser to owners looking for something to stand up to demanding conditions.
Citadel’s founder and CEO, Greg Ward, got his start in the commercial shipbuilding and fishing industries, and he firmly believes steel is the best material for safety and durability and results in less roll than either fiberglass or aluminum. Miss Lisa’s owner also has experience with steel-hulled yachts and wanted a new boat to enjoy long-range cruising in a variety of sea states. In fact, when I first learned of the project, I discovered that the owner intended to explore much of the East Coast, among other places. Mark Masciarotte, the owner’s representative – and a past president of the International Superyacht Society, among other things – says, “I am quite certain that Miss Lisa is the highest-quality steel expedition yacht ever built in America.”
Strong statements like that make me more convinced that I need to see a particular yacht in person, which is what I will do next month when Miss Lisa debuts at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
I also plan to get a good look at the interior, designed by Joseph Artese Design. Because those long trips the owner plans will mean plenty of meals being prepared onboard, the galley is a central focus. The size of the room apparently rivals that of a saloon or skylounge aboard most similar-size yachts, and barstools lining a cooking and prep island allow friends and family to sneak a taste while the chef’s attentions are elsewhere. Anigre paneling and tongue-and-groove overheads as well as teak and holly soles are other reported highlights.