Increasingly, superyacht owners are paying attention to how they can enjoy extraordinary amenities when the designers and builders have the freedom to play with dimensions. They gradually understand that volume, and how shipyards and designers use it, is a key driver. The owner of Al Waab, who recently took delivery, is the latest to show how it works.
The 180-footer (55-meter) is the world’s longest steel and aluminum yacht beneath 500 gross tons. Impressively, she offers a surprising 42 percent more exterior space and eight percent more interior space than similar-LOA projects. Alia Yachts’ president, Gökhan Çelik, notes that clients still want healthy lengths and beams, but prioritize the 500-and-under tonnage mark. “We’ve seen increasing interest in this kind of yacht, and so to be one of the first with such an impressive project is an important milestone,” he says.
To ensure the owner simultaneously enjoyed a relaxing, family-focused yacht and an airy-feeling yacht, Vripack employed virtual reality in the early design stages. This allowed the owner, his representatives, and the designers themselves to “walk” around the open-plan layout. That layout includes an unusual split-level master suite on the upper deck, with a 13-foot-long (4-meter-long) private pool on the foredeck. Additionally, it includes staterooms for 10 more guests.
From using matte-finished bamboo overhead to lessen bright reflections from outside to a wide-open, deep beach club at the transom, Al Waab has a warm, welcoming feel. She’s definitely casual, too. For example, there’s an alfresco breakfast area to starboard on the main deck. Actually, it’s a drop-down balcony, which the owner wanted to serve as more than a perch above the water. A lot of the furnishings let family members spend good time together as well. All the while, they’re watching the water, since seating faces outside whenever possible.
Speaking of outside, there’s yet another important fact. Al Waab makes creative use of what sometimes is an enclosed bay in the bow. Two tenders, two PWCs, and further watertoys all sit in a grate-topped bay. Since it’s not enclosed, it doesn’t contribute to her overall volume.
Add in fuel burn said to be 35 percent less than similar-size yachts, and Al Waab sets a precedent. Other owners surely will follow it.
Alia Yachts aliayachts.com