Irimari: The adventurous new Sunrise built for fun
by Cecile Gauert
Cruising along the southern Turkish coast, with the Taurus mountains in the background, superyacht Irimari seems perfectly at home. Like those impressive peaks rising imperiously inland, the 63 metre yacht is a towering structure, the master of all she surveys.
And there are other qualities she shares with the local terrain. "Irimari is steady like a rock,” her captain Heimo Tauern noted after returning from the first sea trials, which took place just a few miles offshore, “even empty and without the stabilisers.”
Irimari’s maiden voyage through the Rhodes Canal confirmed his assessments. “Even with three-metre waves on her nose, she travels quiet and sturdy,” he says. Swells are no trouble at all and she smoothly reaches a top speed of 16.5 knots.
Irimari is an impressive vessel with six decks (including the tank deck) and a gross tonnage of more than 1,463. The steel-hulled yacht, with its aluminium superstructure supporting large expanses of glass, displaces 1,170 tonnes fully loaded.
Exterior design is by Espen Øino, who, from the groundbreaking superyacht Skat of more than a decade ago to the recent Ester III, both built at Lürssen, does show an affinity for the bold and the bountiful. The designer is quick to point out that all the vessels his studio has produced look different. He is, after all, also known for the slippery AeroCruisers, built at Danish Yachts, and the slim arrows of SilverYachts. But he admits that he’s particularly fond of Irimari’s styling. “These are lines I like,” he says. “I very much like these ample glass surfaces and beautiful views from inside.”
Tauern, who also served as the build captain, provided input that resulted in several changes to luxury yacht Irimari’s exterior. While a captain’s practical sense may not always mesh with a designer’s artistic vision, the collaboration worked. “[Øino] listened to me carefully, which is impressive enough,” says the captain.
Most of the requests Tauern made had to do with the yacht’s operations. “On my suggestion, Irimari was realised with wing stations for the bridge and wing stations for the anchor crew, a small gangboard on the stern, a fixed foremast and — well, this part Espen didn’t like at all — two TV domes fitted on the wheelhouse roof,” Tauern says. He also proposed making the guest cabin layout a bit more flexible so two of the cabins could convert into one large suite.
It may be that the two big domes installed on the forward section of the superstructure were unavoidable. Irimari’s owner, who’s had yachts before, loves spending time on board; quick jaunts to shore for lunch or to seek entertainment are not his style. Once aboard, he stays on board. Consequently, he appreciated the abundant space the design afforded, allowing him to create a high-tech games room and an up-to-date onboard cinema lounge featuring a 90-inch screen.
And since Irimari feels like a ship, he wanted her to sound like one, too. Herbert Baum, co-founder of Sunrise Yachts, pointed out the air horn compressor on the gleaming two-level engine room as he showed me around a few weeks before her delivery. “I was sitting in my office one day when I heard what I thought was a cruise ship. Then I realised, it was Irimari!” he says. The impressive and harmonious sound comes from a five-trumpet F-3 Chimetone air horn, made in Wisconsin by Kahlenberg.
The advantage of seeing a yacht before every hatch and panel has been placed and sealed is the ability to assess the care that the build team has taken with details seldom seen once the boat is finished. And Baum delighted in showing off the undersides of Irirmari - Sunrise’s largest and most technologically advanced yacht to date - the trays with the perfectly aligned wires running through them; the polished chrome finishes; the sturdy doors and hatches; the fully painted compartments housing the watermakers or the firefighting equipment...
Irimari will be well suited as a yacht for charter, with her professional-grade galley, practical clamshell doors for outside deliveries, extensive food and wine storage (aboard is a refrigerator each for red, white and sparkling wines) and a professional laundry with adjacent linen cupboard, among many other well thought-out features.
The yacht’s massive transom door doubles as one of the best superyacht beach clubs. Side doors on Irimari reveal housing for the 8.5-metre custom tender in the port-side garage, and the workout area adjacent to the steam room on the starboard side. All the decks, from the beach club to the sundeck (about 685 square metres in total), are expertly finished with a synthetic material by Bolidt that mimics teak, as on many cruise ships
Several companies shared the responsibility of outfitting the interior of Irimari: Sunrise Yachts, Ekinoks Interiors and Ulutaş. The craftsmen of Sunrise Yachts built the furniture for the mess and crew cabins, which are impeccably finished with bedside hook-ups to charge handheld devices and individual screens. A specific request of the captain’s was the dedicated internet lounge, separate from the crew mess. Finished with a light-hued wood veneer, it has the feel of a cosy chalet.
Partly because of her large windows and extensive A/V equipment – there is an interactive games room on the top deck and a five-metre video wall – Irimari demanded the best in climate control. Noske-Kaeser, a German company that supplies vessels from cruise ships to submarines, handled the yacht’s air-conditioning system, which pipes perfectly chilled air throughout the vessel, including the three A/V racks. The Raytheon Anschütz integrated bridge is both handsome and practical; its walkaround console design allows the captain to get close to the vertical windshield with binoculars in hands. Naturally, the yacht also has more hi-tech watch equipment, including infrared cameras.
For all her strength and boldness, the boat is a good example of a successful balancing act. Out of the water Irimari, with her prominent and bulbous bow that came courtesy of architect Unique Yacht Design, reveals herself to be massive. However, the vast expanse of glass that cuts a diagonal swath across her superstructure contributes to her graceful lines on the water. And her interior, by Focus Yacht Design, is an exercise in subtlety, with oval and rounded shapes tempering a streamlined, contemporary feel. The designers had a rare opportunity “to start with a clean sheet of paper”, says Christian Schaefer, one of the founders of the German interior design company. “The owners wanted something fresh and new, and they were willing to try something unusual and unexpected,” he says.
The owner of Irimari likes copper, and strips of that or other material mimicking its colour and sheen have been incorporated into the design. It forms linear patterns on bulkheads or accents in marble floors and furniture.
Wood serves as another consistent design cue throughout the yacht. “A selection of light and dark woods such as bleached oak and macassar forms a common structure that leads through an array of maritime motifs,” Schaefer explains. Bubbles rise on the video wall surrounded by a “kelp forest” created on the lacquered walls of the main staircase. A shoal of fish scatters over the owners’ bed while clouds billow over the VIP cabin bed. These ideas are translated in an elegant and sophisticated way.
The risk of having a blank slate is, as Focus Yacht Design puts it, that you use space “as a field for experimentation with an abundance of different shapes, colours or materials”. That’s not the case here; the décor on Irimari is consistent without ever being boring. One of the few areas on board with a highly graphic feel is the owner’s bathroom, finished with a veneered white marble from Turkey. The oval tub at the room’s centre brings everything into balance.
Focus Yacht Design also custom-designed pieces of furniture that accent and complement the overall theme. A round table installed forward of the saloon’s entrance foyer highlights the patterns on the marble floor and echoes the style of the ceiling fixture. It also stands on its own as a beautiful and intricate piece that combines leather, metal and wood.
Sunlight flowing from the large windows and architectural lighting underscore how well details on Irimari have been realised, down to the cross-stitches on leather panels applied to the upper saloon walls and copper leaf on the ceiling. The upper saloon doubles as the onboard cinema. The vast and well-lit space also has room for a white grand piano and one of six bars on board.
The hub for entertainment, however, is a deck above, in a glass-enclosed, air-conditioned space in the centre of the sundeck. On other yachts you might find a gym or a dining space here. On Irimari, however, it’s been specially designed for games, with several screens on the wall connected to the tables. “Everything is interactive and the screen can display absolutely anything the guests want to see; it could be images of the day or the yacht’s route,” says Ludovic Roche, sales manager for A/V installer Sambroni and Cie. “It’s all custom work, including the software.”
Irimari is only the third vessel to launch at Sunrise Yachts. The first two were 45 metre sisterships Africa and Atomic - one of the few superyachts to be given as gifts. While both beautiful yachts, they did not quite reach the level of complexity that this much bigger vessel demands.
The two partners who founded the shipyard, Baum and Guillaume Roché, talk of a quantum leap and the advent of “Sunrise 2.0” and it’s clear that Irimari has them excited about the future. “We’re raising our game,” declares Roché.
They’re counting on Irimari being the foundation for this potential growth. And she will be. After all, she is as solid as that Turkish rock.
Photography: Jeff Brown and Mark Sims/Breed Media