Mediterranean waters have already passed under the hull of Meraki, since she recently saw delivery from Vitters Shipyard in The Netherlands. Fitting for a yacht whose name means doing something with passion and love, the sailing superyacht has worldwide cruising, including remote regions, in her sights.
Measuring 163 feet (49.7 meters), she is even more suitably named because her owner has been hands-on right from the start. For instance, he wanted a classic-looking yacht with traditional tumblehome. She first showed off her looks in public in January. What’s more, that tumblehome also serves a practical purpose, to keep Meraki at an optimum heeling angle. To ensure the design looked right and performed right, the owner assembled an impressive team. It includes two renowned sailors, one of whom is additionally a naval architect, and Hoek Design. One of the sailors is Chris Bouzaid, who competed in two America’s Cup challenges in the 1970s. The other is Clay Oliver, a naval architect behind some America’s Cup boats plus the creator of a widely used sailing-yacht speed-prediction program.
Surely, that program came into play when Meraki was in development. The owner wants to not only cruise but also be a strong competitor in regattas. Addressing these varying needs, the yacht has “a vast number of additional staysails, asymmetric spinnakers, and a code zero” besides her mizzen jib, mizzen staysail, and gennaker, according to Vitters. Furthermore, the Yankee staysail has a removable inner forestay. Therefore, the sail can convert from cruising mode to racing mode.
When not racing, Meraki can treat nine guests to comfortable adventures. Taking in the scenery is best from the forward cockpit. It has a handy sprayhood, too. The owner, meanwhile, has a private aft cockpit, which also leads into his suite. Finally, while the crew gets a central cockpit for steering, they can use the forward guest cockpit. Plus, it leads into the crew’s quarters.
Hoek Design hoekdesign.com
Vitters Shipyard vitters.com