Keep your eyes open in the Caribbean for Akalam, recently delivered by Pendennis. The 32-meter (105-foot) megayacht boasts 441 square meters (4,747 square feet) of sail area and significant design challenges met by Pendennis and Barracuda Yacht Design.
One look at Akalam’s profile, and you can see the biggest challenge met. There’s an abundance of windows for the superstructure, especially the pilothouse, and hull. Though the smoked glass in the hull blends with the rich, graphite-tone paint job, there are one dozen vertical ports to each side, plus a rectangular horizontal port. Now, a sailing yacht’s rig transmits stress to the hull. Therefore, Barracuda Yacht Design created a structure beneath the sole to absorb it and therefore alleviate concerns about the windows. The structure takes the form of a double-bottom, rigid aluminum box.
Another challenge was specific to Barracuda Yacht Design. The owner wanted Akalam to break free of traditional yacht-design elements—ones followed simply because of tradition. Akalam’s owner also wanted a lot of alfresco space. Iñigo Toledo, principal of the design studio, and his team delivered by creating a 60-square-meter (646-square-foot) aft deck, seen above. It comes courtesy of the coamings being pushed nearly to full beam, which is 7.6 meters (25 feet). It’s completely devoted to relaxation, as the steering stations are abaft the pilothouse. A bimini keeps it nicely shaded, and side screens help keep bugs out.
The technical and design challenges seem to have paid off. Akalam can enjoy close sailing angles thanks to a retractable daggerboard. Draft ranges from 3.6 to 5.5 meters (12 to 18 feet). The captain has joystick control over performance, including spinning the yacht nearly in place via bow and stern thrusters. A self-tacking jib and remote-control handling of lines and winches also make things smoother.
As to Akalam’s lifestyle aspects, imagine the natural light that spills inside, from the saloon to the three staterooms, via all those windows. Now imagine the close-up, angled view of the water from the master, shown here, when Akalam sails upwind… quite the picture, no? Barracuda Yacht Design says megayachts like Akalam typically can sail upwind at 25 degrees apparent. For those of you who aren’t sailing aficionados, that’s pretty close to the breeze by most standards.
Also related to lifestyle, the sliding-glass doors from the aft deck to the interior are special. LEDs let them turn opaque at the flick of a switch. They also stay closed via a gas seal. This yields additional privacy if the owner and guests are inside. There, they get to enjoy a decor highlighted by gray-stained zebrano wood, olive wood, and panga wood (a dark wood similar to wenge). Interior designer Javier Mũnoz embraced a non-traditional look akin to that of a luxury apartment.