The demand for explorer yachts is swiftly on the rise, and Turkish yacht brand ROCK is already well ahead on this trend. According to BOATPro data, hull numbers are expected to grow by 10% in this decade compared to the last, expanding the fleet by more than 200, and while bigger boats may steal the limelight, actually 70% of all explorer yachts fall within the 24- to 40-metre range.
With owners drawn to the shorter lead times that smaller and semi-custom yachts provide, ROCK fulfils this demand as the world’s first “compact explorer” featuring a design-centric shallow draught. Plus, ROCK prides itself in offering an impressive delivery time of just 15 months after contract signature.
ROCK is a tough boat with a go-anywhere DNA, designed to be just at home in the freezing Baltic as it is in the placid Med. The first hull was launched in 2018 at the Cannes Yachting Festival with a cruising range of 3,000 nautical miles at nine knots and a top speed of 16 knots, and is the perfect showcase of what the range can offer.
“The search was for a boat that was neither too big nor too small—a boat on which one can spend six to eight months a year. In other words, a home on the sea,” says Mark Meier Von Strenght, owner and captain of 26-metre M/Y ROCK, hull number one. “With a total of 16,000 nautical miles travelled so far—that's about 4,000 nautical miles per year—we have experienced every kind of weather and have never felt unsafe, even in 70 knots of wind and four-metre-high waves.”
The brand’s name—there is the 26-metre ROCK 85, the 34-metre ROCK XL 110 and the 42-metre BIG ROCK 140—comes from the founder of the brand and the family-owned business’s heritage—president Ali Sayakci runs marble and stone quarries as well as Evren Marine yacht repair and refit yard. Such hardy provenance really comes to the fore in the yard’s range of SUV-class explorers, where the acronym stands for “sea utility vessels”.
Dutch design studio Vripack provided the design and naval architecture for a capable, safe and comfortable explorer. And if the lines are reminiscent of a Range Rover car, that’s no coincidence, as ROCK recognised the muscular curved structure of those 4x4s would be a key draw for owners. “Vripack introduced us to the concept of an SUV yacht, and it was love at first sight,” says Sayakci.
Built in steel and aluminium, the ROCK range are sturdy explorer yachts, designed to allow owners to travel the world on board their home, being comfortable and stable in even the roughest and harshest of conditions.
“70% of marinas in the Mediterranean offer berths up to a maximum of 30 metres—that's where ROCK fits perfectly,” explains Von Strenght. “However, the boat does not rely on a berth. We also spend a lot of time at anchor without relying on amenities there, so we can operate completely autonomously and independently of marinas—an explorer, so to speak!”
The unique triangle: Speed, comfort and space
ROCK 85, the brand’s first hull, achieves the perfect balance of speed, comfort, and space. Vripack penned a fast super displacement hull with a high, straight bow for intercepting rough seas. A low aft allows for easy access to the water with an innovative sliding platform, and a draught of just 1.8 metres means she can reach even more places in search of adventure. All of this, plus the metal build, means this yacht delivers an exhilarating experience with remarkable speed. What's more, at just 25 metres, ROCK 85 still enjoys all the benefits of the CE-A category of the European CE regulations.
Additionally, ROCK 85 excels in providing unparalleled comfort and space to its discerning owners and guests. With a beam of 6.5 metres and three decks, the 85’s voluminous, open-plan layout boasts 20% more internal volume than other comparable-sized boats. She can accommodate eight guests and four crew in a volume of 145GT.
On the main deck, full-height windows give amazing uninterrupted views onto the water. This space has a lounge area with adjustable seating and a fully equipped minibar, while the dining area, which can seat up to 12, features one of the largest glass panels found on a yacht this size. The owner’s suite is on this level, characterised by a private drop-down balcony with underwater lighting and child-proofing features available at the press of a button. There are three guest cabins on the lower deck—a double and two twins—and the 15-square-metre bridge deck is given over to relaxing, with seating and al fresco dining. Sunshades create a further outdoor space on the main deck.
“Vripack has perfectly combined elegance and design with the feeling of being at home,” says Von Strenght. “So much so that one feels like being on a 35-metre yacht rather than a 26-metre boat.”
The ROCK XL 110 is a RINA charter-class supersized version of the 85. It has an extra eight metres of length and reaches 265GT, accommodating 10 guests attended by five crew in cabins half as big again as on its smaller sistership. Going up to 34 metres also creates room for a 5.5-metre tender on the transom and a hydraulic lift on the aft deck, which is able to lift tenders between 6.5 and 7 metres. The ROCK XL 110 also has space for five crew, as well as a swimming pool and lounge area on the bridge deck. The owner’s suite has a private spa, gym, office and bedroom, while the drop-down balcony is twice the size. Range is an autonomous 4,000 nautical miles, while a shallow 2.3-metre draught is ideal for exploring shallower waters.
At 42 metres, the BIG ROCK 140 smashes its way out of the 24- to 40-metre category, while still remaining compact. There’s the scaled-up same super-displacement hull with shallow draught for go-anywhere cruising, but the BIG ROCK’s open-plan layout creates a welcoming environment for up to 12 guests and seven crew.
What’s next for ROCK?
ROCK is embarking on an exciting new chapter with the upcoming release of its latest model, currently under construction. This eagerly anticipated addition to the range promises to redefine the boundaries of yacht design and engineering. What sets it apart is its remarkable ability to stay within the CE regulations for vessels below 24 metres while offering an astonishing 30% more interior and exterior spaces compared to other yachts in its size range.
ROCK has truly revolutionised the industry with this innovative approach, introducing a level of spaciousness and luxury that has not been achieved before. The success of ROCK serves as undeniable proof of the growing demand within the market, and this new model is sure to captivate and inspire yacht enthusiasts worldwide.
To find out more about ROCK and what it can offer an adventurous yacht owner, contact ROCK directly.
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