HOW WOULD AN OWNER GO ABOUT BUILDING A YACHT SPECIFICALLY AS A CHARTER VESSEL? WE LOOK AT HOW THIS 70 METRE NOBISKRUG WAS DESIGNED FOR MASS APPEAL WHILE BEING UNIQUE ENOUGH TO SECURE
BOOKINGS OVER RIVALS.
Designing a yacht from scratch can be a daunting task for any potential owner. For serial owners of new-builds however, there is something very satisfying about the build process that draws them back to the shipyard yacht after yacht. The owners of Sycara V were looking for something specific for their fifth custom yacht: the ability to be a very successful charter yacht.
After a series of Oceanfast-built yachts came the 46 metre award- wining retro fantail cruiser Sycara IV, built by Burger Boat Company in Wisconsin. Envisioned for coastal cruising, Sycara IV evokes a sense of a bygone era. The 70 metre Sycara V, on the other hand, is a very different beast: a modern motor yacht specifically designed with luxury charter in mind and built in Germany by Nobiskrug. Such a build is a balancing act because the designer must incorporate details, colours and styles that suit the owners and yet appeal to the charter client. After all, a successful charter yacht that keeps the clients coming back season after season is one that is versatile enough to accommodate a range of chartering tastes.
Visiting Sycara V during the Antigua Charter Show afforded us the ability to gauge her charter amenities in comparison with the competition, and while there were many worthwhile yachts in attendance, no other shone quite as bright. My first question to Captain Stewart Fontaine was if he had activated the at-anchor stabilisation. It was a windy day and Sycara V was moving noticeably less than the yachts on either side. But it was her very stable hull form and the availability of 47.5 tonnes of freshwater ballast keeping her sitting still!
Sycara”s interior and exterior styling are by Australia-based Craig Beale of Pure Detail, who has worked for the owners before. The yacht has a contemporary, penthouse ambiance with wide open spaces and a light palette of blue and pastel-coloured fabrics and pale woods. Each of the five decks is convertible for multiple options that are owner driven but have entertaining the charter client in mind.
The main saloon has a Yamaha Clavinova digital piano and a 1.5m plasma screen hidden behind a commissioned artwork of a St Barth”s beach scene. The uninterrupted space between the dining area and the library/media room forward spans a full 25 metres. A bar divides the dining area and the seating space
Beginning with what is the most used portion of any yacht, the sun deck offers three entertainment areas. Aft, it incorporates a concealed barbecue, bar, a coffee table and a dining area for 12. Amidships, there is a climate-controlled gymnasium and a massage treatment room. Forward is a spa pool for eight, sun loungers and two observation seats overlooking the bow.
Divided between the business end and the owner”s suite, the upper deck comprises the integrated bridge, a spacious captain”s cabin, ship”s office and the wheelhouse. The Portuguese bridge has an elevated seating area with settees and built-in sunpads, this area can also be covered with removable awnings.
The owner”s suite has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a private deck and also includes a lounge area. The exterior deck has clear, frameless doors that can be closed for privacy, although the area can be reached from the main deck by curved stainless-steel staircases. It includes an alfresco dining space that can be private or used by the whole party.
The main deck is designed to showcase versatility in its dining arrangements and entertainment options. The aft exterior portion offers wraparound seating with two tables that can be converted from coffee tables to a dining table, increasing the dining capability to 24. The dining room can further be divided forward by the Murano glass- topped bar and pocket doors splitting the open-air dining areas from the air-conditioned main saloon. A library/media room forward of the main saloon features an L-shaped sofa, games table and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment.
Five guest suites fill the accommodation deck, four kings – two offering additional single beds plus Pullmans and one single cabin with a Pullman; the owners know how important it is to have flexible berth options. Each suite has its own colour scheme and en suite.
Sycara”s second signature space is the beach club, which is accessed through the tender garage or the bathing platform. The area has a Murano-topped bar, a 42 inch plasma television and access to the toys in the tender garage. This area also has a dayhead with shower and a pantry with a separate washer and dryer for beach towels. The jet skis and rescue tender are housed on the bow, there is also room for in the giant bosun”s locker sized for a Mini Cooper.
The beach club is accessed through thebathing platform – it offers a bar area and seating. Sycara У boasts at-anchor stabilisers for stability and a bulbous bow for increased fuel efficiency
Having a well-designed and well-built yacht is not enough these days; a happy, professional crew is the third component of a successful charter yacht. One of the best ways to keep crew happy is to give them ample living quarters and appropriate space to do their jobs. For high-end charter yachts, ample stores are a must for everything from decorations for themed parties to sets of china and exotic foods. On Sycara V, there are walk-in coolers and plenty of extra storage. The crew mess is finished to guest-equivalent standards including leather settees, a 40 inch television in the mess, and individual televisions in each cabin, as well as a walk-in closet for the 16 crew to store extra personal items.
Sycara Vis testament to the owners” knowledge gained through years of yacht building and ownership, which translates to what will undoubtedly be a successful charter yacht. She meets the needs of all involved: the owners, the guests, and a happy crew, able to create a great charter experience.
Displacement 1,488 tonnes
Engines 2 x 2,130hp Cat
Speed (max/cruise) 17/14 knots
Range at 14 knots 7,000nm
Thrusters Bow 200kW (268hp)
Generators 3 x 250kW Caterpillar C9
Fuel capacity 49,923 gallons
Freshwater capacity 8,242 gallons
Owner and guests 12
Tenders 9.5m Novurania Chase, 7m Novurania Launch, rescue tender
Construction steel Classification Lloyd”s, MCA, ISM/ISPS
Naval architect Nobiskrug
Exterior styling Craig Beale, Pure Detail
Interior design Craig Beale, Pure Detail
Source: Boat International №4 2011