Meet Rock, “SUV Yacht” Set to Roam the Oceans

Some explorer yachts are pretty rugged in appearance. Others are more pretty than performance-oriented. This was the problem that Ali Sayakci found when he wanted to build an explorer of his own. Thankfully, “it was love at first sight” when Vripack showed him what it calls an SUV yacht. And, in about a year’s time, that love will launch as the 79-foot (24-meter) Rock.

Rock is under construction in Turkey at Evadne Yachts. It opened its doors in 1994 as Evren Marine to service a variety of vessels. New-yacht construction became the focus in 2005, ushering in the new name, too. Evadne Yachts and Vripack have previously collaborated on a series of smaller boats, including a shippy-looking 46-footer (14-meter). Their relationship led to Rock being constructed at Evadne Yachts.

Rock Evadne Yachts Vripack explorer

So, how did Rock start out? “My utmost concern was how to make a sturdy and rugged yacht with sex appeal,” explains Sayakci. Nothing on the market “met the aesthetic and technical criteria I was looking for,” he adds. Furthermore, he felt that there’s too much of “an adolescent race of length” going on among megayachts. “While they’re providing more space and comfort, at the same time, they probably are alienating the passengers from a connection to the sea and nature.”

When Robin de Vries, a Vripack designer, introduced him to the SUV yacht concept, he knew he’d found the right solution. Given her length, Rock can easily access some of the lesser-visited anchorages in the Mediterranean. She has a high, vertical bow for countering big swells when in transit. Simultaneously, she has a fast-displacement hull design. She should see a 16-knot top end under Caterpillar power plus a 3,000-nautical-mile range at 12 knots. Once at her destination, Rock will invite Sayakci and his family to indulge in the views, and water activities, due to lowered bulwarks and stairs leading to a deep swim platform.

Rock Evadne Yachts Vripack explorer

To meet more of Sayakci’s aesthetic needs, de Vries mixed hard angles with traditionally soft yacht shapes. Interestingly, de Vries says, the inspiration for the hard angles came from marble, increasingly abundant aboard yachts in recent years. Those angles are as apparent in Rock’s styling as they are inside. (Note the prominent 3D walls in the saloon, made of maple.) The contrast comes in the form of soft fabrics for furnishings.

Further of importance, Rock’s general arrangement is “more like a modern loft than traditional yacht,” de Vries says. “Onboard, the family will always be facing the sea.”

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