A compact explorer with bags of volume, the Sirena 68 is proving a big hit for Turkey’s Sirena Yachts, says Kate Lardy
The numbers speak for themselves. Ten hulls of the 21.4-metre Sirena 68 were sold before the first one touched the water and debuted at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September 2021. Six months later, by the time the new model reached the Palm Beach International Boat Show, eager buyers had snapped up the first 27 boats.
This success is particularly startling when you realise that Sirena Yachts is only six years old. Its parent company, Sirena Marine, though, has yacht-building experience that precedes it by nearly a decade. It built the Euphoria and Azuree sailing yachts and partnered with Azimut to design and produce three models at its facility in Turkey. That partnership ended in 2015 – soon after, Sirena Yachts was born.
The designers behind all of Sirena Marine’s brands are some of the most well-respected names in the business. World-renowned Argentinian designer Germán Frers, responsible for some 1,300 yacht designs over more than half a century, penned the Sirena 68’s exterior and naval architecture, while superyacht designer Cor D Rover, who has headed his namesake studio in Amsterdam for almost a quarter of a century, handled the interior.
So why does everyone seem to want a Sirena 68? First, its modern trawler style with generous interior volume speaks to today’s intrepid yacht owners looking to stretch their sea legs and make the most of their boat. And it has the engineering and build quality to back that up.
“We build boats to go and explore. It’s not an expedition yacht; it’s an explorer. But in order to do that, you need to build a boat to be able to travel,” says Constantinos Constantinou, chief executive of Sirena Yachts’ Americas office. “What does that mean? Bigger fuel capacity, bigger water capacity, bigger blackwater systems, backup systems on board. We build the boats consistent to the philosophy. There are boats you see out there that have the [explorer] look, but they’re not built for the purpose. People that are looking at our boats are usually experienced boaters that can appreciate what it is that we offer.”
The 68 is built to CE Category A certification, the highest certification for recreation craft under 24 metres in Europe, which means it is suited for extended ocean voyages. It’s meant to handle winds that exceed a Beaufort wind scale of eight (40 knots) and seas over four metres – that’s pretty much anything less than hurricane conditions. “There are certain construction standards [with regards to] flotation, stability and the ability to discharge water in heavy seas. If you take water over the bow, you need to be able to discharge that water very quickly. So, the decks need to be sized and scuppered in a particular way to be able to let the water go off,” explains Constantinou.
The semi-displacement hull shaped by Frers is sea kindly and swift, able to make 26 knots with the 1,000-horsepower Volvo D13s option, and cruise at 20 to 21 knots. But scale back to 10 knots and it can go 1,200 nautical miles between fill-ups. Fitted with Humphree interceptors as standard, which reduce roll and slamming by 50 per cent, the 68 also comes with the option of stabiliser fins or a Seakeeper gyro or, better yet, both. Of course, efficiency is on everyone’s minds these days. “The spectacular thing about this boat is that at 19, 20 knots, it burns 74 gallons [280 litres] total, which is exceptional for a yacht of this size,” says Constantinou.
Matching the build standards is a quality fit and finish and a liveable layout. “The interior looks and feels spacious and easily accessible,” says Rover.
Central to the layout is the galley aft on the main deck, which has the option of an aft counter that spills out onto the deck when the sliding glass door is fully opened. “The open galley concept is a focal point in the saloon, a relaxed social spot, a gathering place for family and guests,” says Rover. “The design of the galley has therefore been taken to the next level and integrated into the overall design concept, and it stands out in terms of functionality.” It’s convenient to both the saloon dining opposite and aft deck dining, while forward is the lounge and helm.
The lower deck can host three or four cabins with the standard layout encompassing a full-beam owner’s cabin aft, a twin to port and the VIP forward. Plus, there is the possibility of adding a small bunk or single berth cabin to starboard.
Up top is a generous entertaining space and a second helm station. “I would say with confidence that this is the biggest flybridge in a 68,” says Constantinou. The yacht shown in Palm Beach sported a few upgrades here, such as wraparound seating aft, a U-shaped bar with stools and a pop-up television. But even the standard layout has plenty of room to host several parties with two seating areas plus a bar and barbecue.
There’s more outdoor social space on the foredeck, with a table and settee facing the sea breeze and a gigantic sunpad. The wide side decks have reassuringly high rails and bulwarks to ensconce guests making their way up here.
Rover developed three distinct looks for interior decor: Inspiration, Serenity and Elegance. Inspiration is light and airy with a deliberately soft transition between the exterior and interior.
“The pale and light grey colours almost give you a Zen-like feeling. The tranquillity of the colour scheme brings peace and contemplation. At the same time, it challenges you to go out and explore,” he says.
Serenity is warm and homely. “The light honey-coloured wood and soft semi-gloss lacquer embrace you as you enter the saloon. This inviting atmosphere makes you feel right at home. Accents of cognac leather complete the look, creating the perfect atmosphere for making memories on the water with family and close friends.”
Elegance has a more dramatic feel. “The bold dark wood and anthracite lacquer create a very masculine and energetic look without being heavy,” says Rover. “A high contrast is created by the use of the finest white leathers and fabrics, resulting in an interior that feels stylish yet contemporary and encourages you to push your limits. This modern look feels like an open loft and harmonises with the colours of the yacht’s exterior.”
Sirena Yachts builds on a production schedule, whether it has a buyer or not. But with its 68, there has been no space for spec construction. It is surprising that the builder still offers so much customisation considering how full the order book is. In addition to the various layout options, the design team works with clients to cater for specific requests. For instance, the owner of the yacht shown in Palm Beach requested teak flooring in the heads instead of Corian or marble. Of course, any of the soft goods can be changed, too.
The 68 has quickly become Sirena Yachts’ bestselling model. At the time of the Palm Beach Boat Show, in March 2022, buyers would have to wait until the end of 2023 for their boat; by now, it’s well into 2024.
First published in the August 2022 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.shop now