Ileria – Proteksan-Turquoise's beautifully balanced 50.4m superyacht
by Bruno Cianci
Proteksan-Turquoise has produced a yacht of which her owner is justifiably proud. Ileria, at 50.4 metres, is a good-sized full-displacement yacht; built to the highest European standards, she features a sleek profile and lines, which remind many of Proteksan-Turquoise’s Vicky with her voluminous interior and well balanced layout.
Many stories of success come from happy partnerships, and yacht design and boatbuilding are no exceptions. Since the Turkish yard Proteksan-Turquoise and French designer Jean-Guy Vergès began working together in the 1990s, their ever-strengthening partnership has led to the birth of 10 yachts.
‘The owner of Ileria had a clear picture of what he wanted in terms of styles, shades and materials,’ says Vergès, ‘and a visit on board my previous work with Proteksan-Turquoise helped me get a better feeling of his wishes and expectations. Besides large volumes, the owner wanted contrasting woods with off-white lacquer and mixed fabrics of the same range of very light shades, with a contemporary feeling and central Asian touches – the owner being originally from that region.’
‘In early 2010,’ says Chris Dawson of owner’s representative Master Yachts, ‘we were invited by the owner to advise on and manage the construction of Ileria, from inception through to completion. This was undertaken with care and diligence to ensure the end result precisely mirrored the owner’s vision and expectations.’ The owner is a self-made businessman who loves Turkey, cruising in the Eastern Mediterranean and spending time on board with his friends and family.
The exterior design and the engineering are the work of the builder (hence the similarity to Vicky), while Vergès conceived her light, bright and airy interior and her exceptional outside deck spaces that flow beautifully from the beach club aft, up to the sun deck three decks above. ‘An efficient, clear and clean layout makes this yacht very easy to live on board in comfort,’ says Vergès, ‘while large open decks, a specific request from the owner, complete this picture.’
Another highlight, according to the designer, ‘is the interior’s styling with a mix of very contemporary loose furniture and restyled pieces of historic details (from the owner’s country of origin) such as the doors’ motif and bedside panelling taken from an ancient Central Asian rug pattern that I reworked to suit the overall interior design’. The use of such rectangular patterns, visible everywhere, has somehow become Vergès’ trademark. ‘Yes, most of the yachts I do get a specific motif,’ he agrees. ‘Each of them is particular and unique as it reflects either a typical detail found in the history of art of the country of origin of the owner, or recalls a place around the world he feels close to.’
The choice of colour scheme and finishing materials also greatly influenced the final result: ‘There is a mix of classic pattern walnut wood cut by contemporary matt and glossy off-white lacquers which creates a real modern interior,’ adds Vergès, ‘still keeping the overall warm and cosy feeling.’ High quality Turkish stones gave the final touch in all the en suites. The warm walnut parquet and the bright leather panelling work, finished with stitching edges, are the final touches of quality in Ileria’s interiors and correspond to the owner’s taste.
Ileria features seven suites, including a full-beam master and VIP suite on the main deck, a further VIP on the upper deck, and two double and two twin cabins are located on the lower deck. Of the four lower-deck guest staterooms, two have queen berths and en suites with bathtubs, while two twin cabins have Pullman berths and en suites with marble lined showers.
The main saloon is complete with sofas, easy chairs, side and coffee tables. Out from the main saloon to the open aft deck is a seating area whose fulcrum is a teak dining table with a buffet for service on the port side. The galley is on the main deck, with a pantry servicing the dining. The latter, seating 12 to 14 guests, is ideal for entertaining.
The full-beam owner’s suite with king-size berth is aft of the owner’s bathroom, which features steam room, shower and separate oval bathtub. The owner’s office is aft of the owner’s suite and adjacent to the on-deck VIP suite. An astonishing sea view can be fully enjoyed even while seated at the desk.
The upper deck aft area and upper deck lounge ensure privacy for relaxation whilst providing flexibility for a variety of uses. Opposite the pantry to starboard is a second VIP suite with queen berth, adjoining bathroom and more windows providing spectacular views. The upper saloon on this deck is light, bright and airy and features a large-screen TV that can be raised and lowered for use. The outside deck behind the upper saloon has a teak dining table seating up to 14 with buffet servers nearby and deep seating all the way aft with sunpads.
The sun deck, probably the owner’s favourite area, boasts a forward wraparound seating area and coffee tables providing wide vistas. There is also a bar with a shaded dining area aft and a fully shaded lounging area. The sun deck hardtop has a sliding sunshade, while a spa pool is all the way aft, rather than in front, with more sunpads positioned on both sides. In normal conditions this area is used either as a relaxing chill-out area or as a focus for larger events with family or friends, but at the owner’s request it can be quickly turned into an outdoor gym.
The wheelhouse, where wood and black leather are the main materials, features vertical windows with good visibility that could have been improved still further had smaller LCD navigation screens been installed. The ships office and radio room are to port, with access to the captain’s cabin to starboard. All navigation equipment is by Furuno.
On the lower deck aft is a spacious garage where a 6.2m Castoldi tender and water toys are safely stored, including two Kawasaki jet skis. Ileria carries up to 11 crew plus captain (in six en suite cabins) to ensure the owner and his guests have a truly private and relaxed yacht experience.
Powered by two 1,100hp Caterpillar 3508B engines, Ileria achieves a top speed of just over 14 knots with a range of 4,500 nautical miles at the cruising speed of 12 knots. She is equipped with zero speed stabilisers assuring on-board comfort when the yacht is both anchored or under way.
A beautifully balanced, well thought-out boat, designed to the highest specification, Ileria is proof again, not only of the strong Proteksan-Turquoise reputation for global standards of quality, but also of the value of a really good partnership.