Covid-19 may have brought the world to a standstill in 2020, but Al Waab II’s tight 24-month build stayed on track. At Alia Yachts, in Turkey’s coastal city of Antalya, the 55-metre hull and superstructure were joined in June 2020, and the completed project was delivered in July 2021. Now enjoying time at sea, we take a look back at some of her standout features.
The amount of volume found on the sub 500 GT 55-metre platform is noteworthy. The exterior design and naval architecture, which hails from Vripack’s experienced drawing boards, balances the considerable issues of weight, space and function with ease.
“The amount of volume on a yacht of this size is absolutely unique,” says Bart Bouwhuis, co-creative director at Vripack. “We achieved it by optimising space and taking a holistic, collaborative approach to the design; gaining 10cm depth here, raising the ceilings by another 3cm there. The focus is not just on the volume itself, but how you use the volume with the purpose of giving maximum enjoyment to the owner. We don’t waste any space, anywhere.”
“We’re very proud of Al Waab II. We believe it is the longest steel and aluminium yacht below 500 GT in the world, setting a new standard in external & internal volumes offered to a client in this category,” says Alia President, Gökhan Çelik. “Yachts are getting longer and wider, but owners still want to stay below the 500GT 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 for Alia.”
The exterior design, with its extensive use of glass, provides optimum sight lines and optimum routing paired with logical layouts that all help to improve the living experience at sea. For the owner, who first stepped foot on board the in-build yacht in August, getting a feel for what life on the water will be like once the yacht is complete was thrilling.
“The owner was really surprised by how much volume has been created and the sense of large open space that the design delivers,” says Francesco Pitea, CEO at SF Yachts, which has served as owner’s representative throughout the project.
Spread across three decks, the intimate family areas include a drop-down bulwark in the cosy dining area and an almost endless owner’s aft deck. “Geometric lines shape the open-plan interior and the minimum of fixed furniture contributes to the homey atmosphere. Creating a family apartment at sea became the founding principle of the entire design,” said interior designer Annemarie Dotinga. In total, Al Waab II can host up to 18 guests in seven staterooms and 10 crew.