Imagine, if you will, the Bosphorus strait at twilight, neatly bisecting the city of Istanbul between its European and Asian portions. The ribbon of steely blue water shimmers with the lights of the ancient metropolis. All is quiet except for a muted taxi horn in the distance, and perhaps some chatter from one of the cosmopolitan cafés lining the water’s edge. But then you hear it – a throaty roar approaches, getting louder. And in the middle distance you can make out a large grey bullet slicing through the haze. It’s the Mazu Yachts 82, and even far out, it’s nearly impossible to miss her.
Barbar: The ultimate 21st-century day boat from Mazu Yachts
The new flagship of Turkish yard Mazu Yachts is one fast boat. At 24.5 metres, she can still top out at 40 knots and cruise comfortably at 32 knots, thanks to triple 900-horsepower Volvo Penta IPS1350s. Those speeds are also partially owed to a lightweight, yet super-strong epoxy carbon composite sandwich construction that has the vessel displacing a relatively feathery 50 tonnes.
Another reason the yacht stands out even from far away is her distinctly modern, geometric profile. The look is further heightened by abundant glazing, which gives the 82’s hardtop the appearance of floating.
The yard went to great lengths to use single-pane glass wherever possible to enhance visibility and accomplish a clean aesthetic. In accordance with class requirements, those panes are extra thick to ensure structural integrity while in a seaway. The nine-square-metre windscreen, for instance, made of tempered and laminated glass, is more than 22 millimetres thick.
According to the owner of Mazu Yachts and lead designer Halit Yukay, the lines for the yard’s flagship, penned in-house, were inspired by her own sisterships. “It is all branding,” he says. “Even the smallest model, the [11.9-metre Mazu Yachts] 38, has the same lines. We use a combination of specific design traits and what you get is unmistakably a Mazu.” All five Mazu models embody a certain spartan minimalism, albeit with sophisticated luxury within.
The attention to exterior design on the 82, however, is not just for show – it is also for go, and it extends below the surface. Yukay says the hull was engineered specifically for pod drives, effortless acceleration, excellent seaworthiness and economic fuel consumption. The well-balanced hull of the Mazu Yachts 82 means the boat can achieve optimal trim without requiring trim tabs, which further enhances its fuel economy by reducing excess drag.
“The boat accelerates very quickly,” says Yukay, “and by using smaller engines we burn less but can still make good speeds, economically.” At 32 knots, the yacht burns around 330 litres of fuel per hour for a range of about 400 nautical miles, according to the builder.
Extra care was also put into the 82’s interior design. It was conceived to allow the builder to customise each vessel to each owner’s whim. “The Mazu line is semi-custom and you can change the layouts,” Yukay says, as well as “customise the technical specifications of the boat; the speed, the range – you can change all of them.”
Yukay says Mazu’s competitors allow buyers “only to change interior colour schemes or do perhaps one or maybe two bedrooms. But we can customise it however a client wants. We can make this boat a dayboat,
a chase boat, whatever they want.”
One of the custom touches on the first Mazu Yachts 82, named Barbar, is a tiered aft deck leading from an outdoor lounging area to the swim platform (with a transformer platform). Wide steps act as built-in furniture, allowing guests to sit or lie down near the water.
But it’s the 82’s faux free-standing furniture that Yukay is particularly happy to highlight. “That’s really a strong theme with this boat,” he says. “We have chairs, for example, that look like they are floating, but in reality they are fixed firmly to the sole. When you build a yacht that does 40 knots, that is important, otherwise the furniture would move all over the place.”
Inside, a dark colour scheme is balanced with a lot of open spaces, “while 360 degrees of windows allow in plenty of natural light, which was very important to us,” he says. “Everything on board this yacht feels very fresh.” Contributing to this feeling are openable portholes for natural ventilation and a large sliding aluminium roof opening up the main deck.
For the first time, Mazu Yachts worked with an independent designer to create the stylish interior. The 82’s award-winning interior designer, Tanju Özelgin, founded tO Design in Istanbul in 2005 and turns out a full line of interior products that expands well beyond the marine world. His style is widely known as contemporary and abstract but at the same time respectful of humans and their relationship with the environment.
“The use of natural light in the interiors, and the accompanying spacious feel, set this design apart,” says Özelgin. “Also, the main deck is able to transform according to the client’s needs. It can accommodate an evening dinner party of up to 16 guests, but it can also operate as an open-air cinema, a sunbathing deck or a space to just chill out and enjoy the scenery.”
Notably, the yacht’s main deck is all on one level, contributing to a seamless feng shui throughout the space. Özelgin is particularly happy with the “easy flow from front to rear,” by which he means that, when viewed from above, the 82 looks like a large walkaround-style boat, with flat, open decks surrounding a relatively small pilothouse. One of the happy consequences of that design choice is that the yacht’s bow section is nearly as large as its aft deck, and makes for a separate and private entertainment space, particularly when the boat is docked stern-to.
The attention to detail is not relegated to the main deck. For a vessel built with dayboat activities in mind, the 82 also has a comfortable and well-thought-out accommodation level, using a combination of walnut, teak, metal surfaces and accent lighting for an intimate atmosphere.
The designer also kept a close eye on the guests’ point of view. The different elevations – in the kitchen and sitting room, versus the saloon and its continuous aft deck – were designed to provide the best vista of the scenery from each position. “An open dining room is placed on a higher elevation, while the kitchen and bedrooms are positioned lower. This arrangement makes it possible to allow a view of the scenery for both a person sitting in the dining area and a person standing in the kitchen [via a strip of windows in the sitting room opposite],” says Özelgin.
Barbar has a master and two guest cabins, plus a two-person crew cabin to stern, but the Mazu Yachts 82 can be outfitted with up to four guest cabins. “If you want a tender garage on the boat, we can do it. Or if you don’t want a garage and would rather have a beach club, well, we can do that too,” says Yukay. “Whatever the clients dream of, we can do it, and we will design it exactly as they want.”
A lofty goal – and not Mazu’s only ambition. Beyond its 82, the builder is also excited about an upcoming line of full-displacement expedition vessels that will range between 24 and 30 metres, and which will cruise at around 12 knots. The more substantial, ocean-going vessels will be a departure for Mazu, but as we have seen with the 82, this builder is able to turn out larger boats with aplomb. For Mazu, there are big things on the horizon.
This feature is taken from the February 2021 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.