An unconventional line of explorers has proven a handsome bet for Numarine. Risa Merl spends some time aboard the Turkish builder’s new flagship in Cannes...
Four metres might not sound like much when it comes to the size of a superyacht, but in the case of Numarine’s XP series, it certainly went a long way. The 37XP is based on the same technical platform as its smaller predecessor, the 32XP. That extra four metres (4.47 to be exact) in length helped add 200 gross tonnes to the 37XP’s internal volume and afford a layout with three master cabins. The latter of which was a key part of the brief for the multi-generational family who plans to use her.
The first 37XP, named Alaia, was built for a Turkish owner who has had at least three yachts previously, including a Numarine 32XP. “Our typical customer base is not a first-time boat owner,” says Numarine founder and chairman Ömer Malaz. Alaia’s owner was drawn to Numarine as he appreciated that the Turkish shipyard offered good value. “Turkey has low-cost labour, so what we save in labour we can put towards higher-value materials like carbon fibre or good insulation,” Malaz continues. He points to his own yacht, on which the yard saved two tonnes of weight by having a full carbon T-top.
This speaks to Numarine’s flexible approach to building its explorer yachts. Development of the XP range started in 2016 with the 32XP and has evolved to include the 22XP, 37XP and the 45XP. Numarine’s original brief for the XP series was to create a line of spacious, comfortable displacement yachts with excellent seakeeping and a wealth of amenities usually found on larger yachts. The semi-custom XP series was designed so that shared technical platforms could be stretched or edited, as is the case with the 32 and 37.
“The explorer series started with the idea that different sizes would be easily transferable, and recognisable as well,” says designer Can Yalman, who created the exterior design and general arrangement of the 37XP. Yalman, who has a background in industrial design from Parsons School of Design in New York City, has been with Numarine since its launch, even designing the yard’s logo. He penned the builder’s performance yacht series as well as the more recent explorer yachts. Yalman gleans inspiration from other modes of transportation as well as from Mother Nature. He wanted the explorer series to resemble a sea creature, with a “strong, rugged and robust look”, the designer says. Defining features are the knuckle bow and an X-shape in the superstructure amidships, which separates the full-height saloon windows and main deck master windows.
From an exterior styling perspective, the 37 is a clear continuation of the 32, designed to keep a recognisable brand identity throughout the explorer line. Yet at the same time, there are unique details to each size in the XP range. As the 37 is longer, the lines are extended, cleaner and more understated, adding a hint of elegance to the rugged exterior.
“The lines on the 37XP are a refinement of the robust look of the 32, with softer lines that accentuate the longer length and with fewer interruptions to create a balance between strength and elegance,” Yalman says. “And with the 37XP we wanted even more glass.” The 37XP has huge floor-to-ceiling windows in the saloon with side sliding doors. The main deck owner’s cabin also incorporates full-height glass. The single piece yields a cleaner look and gives guests uninterrupted water views from within.
“Our exterior designer is a boater,” Malaz says with pride. Both Malaz and Yalman have spent many years on the water, and this background surely informs elements of Numarine’s yachts. Yalman also oversaw the interior design of all but the fourth of the 32XP yachts. For the fourth iteration, built for Alaia’s owners, Numarine brought in Italian design studio Hot Lab to create an interior package.
This collaboration has continued on the 37XP, which is offered in a standard layout with two different interior designs by Hot Lab. Even so, the 37 can be further customised with options for a cinema, a larger gym or even a country kitchen. And clients are still able to personalise the interior decor to suit, as was the case with Alaia’s owner. Creating a custom interior for Alaia added about four weeks to the build of the yacht.
“We worked with Numarine and this client before on a 32XP model, so it was almost an obvious choice to keep the same team for the 37,” says Enrico Lumini, a partner with Hot Lab. He says the yard and owner provided a clear brief, with reference images, so the design only had to go through one revision to achieve what the owner wanted. “The brief was for something more classic than his previous Numarine, and richer in terms of details and materials,” Lumini says.
The interior of Alaia is undeniably glamorous, with a black, white and grey colour scheme and hints of art deco inspiration. Shimmering crystal chandeliers and light fixtures, chrome details and mother-of-pearl handles add to the overall feeling of glamour. To meet the brief for richer materials, Hot Lab also used woven leather in furniture panels and white nabuk leather on the ceilings. The furniture is made of dark brown striped oak, complemented by Sand Erable wood on the walls.
The main saloon is an open, cavernous space that takes advantage of the yacht’s eight-metre beam. The sofa, armchairs and coffee table are by Fendi Casa, while the grand dining table and accompanying chairs are from Promemoria. Forward of the dining area is the galley to port. Instead of a grand foyer on the main deck, the staircase sits across from a gym set to starboard, which basks in plentiful light thanks to a swathe of windows.
The owners plan to use the boat with their two adult children and grandchildren. The adults won’t have to squabble over accommodation as there are three owner-sized cabins found on board, the first of which is the main deck owner’s suite with a desk to port, seating to starboard and a full-width his-and-hers bathroom forward. In all of Alaia’s bathrooms, emperador dark marble is used for the countertops and custom basins, juxtaposed by white Carrara marble in the showers and on the floors.
The second owner’s suite is found on the lower deck. Stretching full beam, it has an inviting sofa to starboard that can double as a bed for one of the grandchildren. There are four more equal-sized cabins on this level, one double and three twins with custom-sized beds that are larger than typical twins. The big, round portlights in these cabins have a traditional nautical feel and can be opened to let in the fresh air. A pantry with a fridge in the lower deck lobby allows the family to grab snacks without bothering the crew.
But the true owner’s suite, the one that these owners will use anyway, is on the upper deck. Having three master suites is not without compromises. The upper deck owner’s cabin is placed where a second saloon would usually be found on other yachts. But instead of a communal space, Alaia has an aft-facing bed that overlooks the huge private owner’s deck.
“The positioning of this master cabin makes it my favourite spot on board,” Lumini says. “There are great views of the surroundings and a protected entrance for privacy.” The suite is entered directly from the main stairwell, which leads into a dressing area with an array of closets and then into the cabin itself. This deck is entirely dedicated to the owner, other than the bridge, of course, with its attached captain’s cabin. Though even the wheelhouse is owner-friendly, with a settee and table where guests can enjoy the views during their travels. After the Cannes Yachting Festival where the yacht made her debut, Alaia’s owners travelled to southern Turkey, cruising through early autumn.
When it comes to lapping up life outdoors, the flybridge delivers with an extended platform on the 37XP. A dumb waiter sends food from the galley up to the flybridge for the family to dine al fresco at the massive table. There is a secondary helm on this deck and a spa pool set aft. Guests can also partake of outdoor living in the beach club, where a glass-fronted sauna allows them to enjoy views of the water while they sweat.
Creating a boat as robust as she looks was essential for Numarine. The XP series is built with a steel hull, which Malaz considers a must. “At the end of the day, explorer owners will always prefer a steel hull,” he says.
Naval architect Umberto Tagliavini designed the hull for the 37XP as well as Numarine’s previous builds – his collaboration with the builder dates back to its first planing boat. “The brief for the 37XP was that the hull must achieve good performance during navigation and have great stability to allow the owner to use the boat in all weather conditions,” Tagliavini says. To reach the desired performance standards, CFD calculations were made at different displacements and speeds.
With CFD the naval architect can see what modifications to make to find the best solutions and in this case, studying the CFD analysis led to designing a particular form of the bulbous bow. “The hull is a traditional displacement boat with a new form for maximum performance with maximum comfort,” Tagliavini says. The 37XP has a top speed of 14 knots and cruises at 12. A range of 6,000 nautical miles can be achieved if cruising at eight knots, or 5,000 nautical miles at 10 knots.
Another part of the brief to the naval architect was for large technical spaces, including a roomy engine room and the ability to stow a big tender on board. Tagliavini notes that making space for the big crane needed to launch the tender was a challenge in itself. Numarine designed the XP series with redundancy in mind for long-range travels. Everything has a backup – if there is a problem with the generator, there are two more.
While a Numarine 45XP is on the horizon, the 37XP is the current flagship, and it has got off to a good start, with four more hulls sold to American customers via a partnership with Denison Yachting as of the time of writing. Malaz is proud of his yard’s flexibility to answer the needs of clientele hailing from different parts of the world. “Knowing what a typical American customer wants, we can manage their requests, like creating a country kitchen layout, which some of the next 37XPs will have,” he says.
The next hulls in the XP series are underway. Malaz has been able to dodge supply-chain issues by thinking ahead. “As soon as the pandemic started, I ordered materials and supplies for a year ahead so, besides a three-week shutdown, production didn’t stop,” he says.
Malaz is pleased with the niche they have carved out within the explorer yacht market segment. Though Numarine still builds its performance hardtop and flybridge yachts, Malaz plans to continue investing in explorers, eventually introducing another new model to the line-up. “We plan to stay with explorers for some time to come,” he says.
First published in the February 2022 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.SHOP NOW