Who says a robust explorer can’t simultaneously be a cozy nest? Vripack’s design team says the concepts aren’t contradictory at all. The studio is putting its money where its mouth is, too, with the Defender yacht project. The 98-footer (30-meter) has the ability to globetrot yet will also cater to weekends prioritizing family togetherness.
The megayacht is for a repeat customer of Alia Yachts. The Dutch naval architects and Turkish shipyard recently laid the keel of a 60-meter together, and have a good working relationship. For the Defender yacht, they’re using Vripack’s renowned Doggersbank engineering and design platform. This therefore means a highly flared bow for knocking down spray when taking on oceans. It also means redundant systems, especially important when venturing far from familiar shores. Conveying all of this, the styling flexes muscles and militaristic looks, with grey paint calling attention to the steel hull. Some bare metallic details exist, too. Plus, an LED strip lends modern flair and heightens the drama.
Inside, however, it’s a whole different story. Four guest staterooms and just two crew cabins hint that cruising in luxury will happen more than hard-charging across the globe. The same is true of the wood soles and similar decking that covers the walls and the ceiling in the open-plan layout. Vripack likens these to creating “a seductive wooden cocoon.”
Alfresco areas are just as comforting and focused on bringing the family together. The Defender yacht project has a dramatically stepped swim platform, with sunken steps. This allows the youngest members of the family to enjoy swimming as easily as older members. Fold-down terraces add about another 12 feet total to the spacious transom. They further sit high enough above the water to avoid splashes yet are close enough for the family to perfect their diving skills. Super-size sunpads near the water, meanwhile, let Mom and Dad keep an eye on the kids or family members of all ages stretch out and relax in the warm rays.
Forward a few steps, Vripack has designed the Defender yacht’s aft deck as a bigger-than-usual dining, socializing, and lounging area. More alfresco dining awaits on the flying bridge, beneath the hardtop, where windscreens can protect diners from strong breezes. Finally, toys stow aft on the flying bridge, though the family intends to tow a big tender, too.
Vripack and Alia Yachts anticipate the Defender yacht project to touch the water in about two years. “The fact that we are using the Doggersbank platform ensures a short lead time with all the additional benefits that this proven hull brings,” says Göhkan Çelik, president of Alia Yachts.
“As with all Vripack designs, she has the capability for guests to spend longer aboard should they wish, but the onus is on sprawling space to get the most out of frequent short trips,” says Bart Bouwhuis, co-creative director at Vripack.
Alia Yachts aliayachts.com