The supercar inspired sailing yacht Doryan
by Roger Lean-Vercoe
*Don't call Doryan a racer-cruiser *
Seeing the 35.5 metre Doryan close-reaching through white-capped, two metre waves in a 30-knot levanter off the Italian port of San Remo, knowledgeable observers might categorise her as the latest of the increasingly popular new breed of fast cruiser/racers that frequent the Med and Caribbean regattas – but they would be wrong.
Despite naval architecture from racing specialist Judel/Vrolijk and advanced carbon-composite construction from Baltic Yachts – resulting in a super-light 93-tonne displacement – Doryan is, by design, most emphatically not a cruiser/racer. So what is this impressive high-tech yacht all about?
Doryan is designed for cruising
“The owner and his family love cruising and the cruising lifestyle and, by inclination, might have been more suited to the volume and facilities offered by a motor yacht,” says Doryan’s captain Piero Platone. “But the environmental aspect of a sailing yacht, with its lesser fuel consumption, was more attractive to them.”
To test the notion, the owner first bought a used Solaris 72, but finding it lacked the volume his family needed, they explored the custom market. “The owner wanted the very best,” Platone continues, “and having seen the 34.5 metre Canova, this eventually led him to Baltic Yachts and Judel/Vrolijk.”
That vibrant hull colour is explained by the owner’s love of supercars – particularly the metallic red of his father’s favourite Lamborghini
Doryan's supercar inspired design
That vibrant hull colour is explained by the owner’s love of supercars – particularly the metallic red of his father’s favourite Lamborghini.
His other requirement: sufficient volume to allow a large and comfortable master suite, plus three cabins for his children and their nanny, as well as a well-sized guest cabin and all the other usual onboard facilities for long-distance cruising. These needs were originally difficult to reconcile with high performance, until Nauta’s Mario Pedol suggested the hull and deck be built from infused carbon, and the interior fit-out be done with lightweight foam-cored joinery.
Doryan proves carbon can be quiet
Carbon-hulled cruising yachts carry a reputation for being noisy, given the material’s sound-transmission properties, but Pedol disputes this.
“Carbon yachts are perceived to be noisy because in the past this material has been used almost exclusively on racing yachts, where weight saving wins over noise suppression. But with suitable noise prevention measures in place – and we engaged Van Capellen to recommend these – carbon can provide the same low noise levels as aluminium,” he says. Notable as silence may be the ultimate luxury for superyacht owners.
“While such noise suppression measures cost us three tonnes, the yacht’s displacement is still considerably lighter than a full aluminium hull. As for material cost, carbon is more expensive than E-Glass and Kevlar, but these materials need additional man-hours to lay up, so the final cost is comparable.”
Doryan's huge guest cockpit
One of the more challenging aspects of the design was to fulfil the owner’s request for a bimini-shaded guest cockpit. The mere size of this huge area, which contains a luxuriously large dining table and convertible lounging/dining, meant that the structure would necessarily be large. Nauta’s job was to ensure that this did not dominate the profile of the yacht – something it’s achieved with resounding success.
Built from carbon, the structure arches up from the low-profile deckhouse in a deliciously delicate curve. Small glass panels on the forward corners raise to reduce draughts, while the remainder of the cockpit can be enclosed by clear protective screens to preserve the view. At the request of the owner’s wife, a curved sliding glass window is integrated into the forward windscreen and electrically powered. While sunbathing on the fully cushioned deckhouse top, she can easily reach inside the cockpit and grab a cold drink, book or phone from a tray mounted on the companionway handrails.
The airy interior on board Doryan
Inside the deck saloon, an air of understated elegance is created by a simplicity of line and the use of traditional teak and ash for floors and furniture. Most important, it is a highly practical space that echoes the layout and function of the open cockpit, while adding air-conditioning and protection from the elements. It also excels in its ability to combine comfort with exterior views, which are readily available whether standing or seated.
The owner decided on the internal layout – with himself forward and crew aft – to take maximum advantage of the extra headroom and volume available forward, and the minimal noise in this area from machinery spaces, as well as late night crew activity. The counter argument – that motion here in a seaway can be severe, as can anchor noise – is valid, but two good-sized cabins aft of the engine room can provide an alternative resting place for the owner in these circumstances.
Forward of the saloon, stairs descend to the large owner’s cabin, a very pleasant VIP en suite double, and a smaller single cabin for the children’s nanny (the head of which has a second door to the passage so they can be used by visitors). The master suite is an elegant room in which the wood joinery is softened by off-white fabric panelling and is kept bright by a pair of highly practical forward-opening deck hatches and four portlights. The adjoining bathroom is trimmed in marble and features both a bath and a shower, while the walk-in wardrobe adjacent to the cabin’s entrance stores all the clothes most owners would need, even for an extended cruise.
This forward passageway is penetrated by the mast, whose glistening white perfection is unashamedly exposed to view. Also present is the upper part of the lifting keel, but unlike in some yachts of this size where it can dominate and dictate the interior layout, this keel is totally unnoticeable, being built into the side of the stairway from the saloon and completely hidden within its wood panelled casing.
Aft of the deck saloon, two further cabins for the owner’s children complete the guest accommodation. Both are twins with en suite shower rooms, one with an additional Pullman berth and the other convertible to a single, with a desk for homework.
The stern of the yacht is occupied by a professionally equipped galley, crew mess, navigation station and three crew cabins. The open-plan nature back here makes this area seem vast. Even though Doryan is beamier than most 35 metres, it is quite difficult to reconcile the ability of the hull to accommodate this spacious crew area with a large deck saloon and so many good-sized cabins. The fact that it does, and still feels so airy and spacious, is credit to Judel/Vrolijk and Nauta.
Equal consideration has been invested in the yacht’s technical areas. Like most engine rooms in sailing yachts of this size, headroom is just 1.5 metres, but the layout and accessibility of all components make working here quite bearable, especially as the engineer has developed optimum storage for the necessary spares and tools.
Of particular note is that the yacht has 2,520A of lithium batteries which will allow 10 hours of “silent mode”, without a generator running. This wraps in “light” air-conditioning (partial cooling with forced air ventilation) and the cooking hobs in the galley, but not the oven, for which a generator is required. That’s perfect for peaceful evenings in a calm anchorage.
Doryan's sail plan
The mechanics of sailing the yacht have also been well thought out. A pair of belowdeck captive winches can handle either the jib (a very practical 105 per cent) or staysail, while these can also be sheeted to a pair of primaries in the cockpit. The Code Zero or Code 1 gennakers are flown from the bow and can be sheeted to primary or secondary winches as appropriate. A captive winch also handles the mainsheet, which tracks across the deck between the bimini-covered guest area and the twin steering pedestals.
Laudably, steering is entirely manual and gives excellent balance and sail-trim feedback to the helmsman. As incorrect balance can mean a very heavy wheel this gives plenty of incentive to get the trim correct. Doing so pays dividends, both on speed – which readily matches Judel/Vrolijk’s predicted polars – as well as the helmsman’s muscles.
Baltic, Judel/Vrolijk, project manager MCM and Nauta have all combined to deliver a very competent, fast and comfortable blue-water cruiser.
“This project,” says Mario Pedol, “has created what we feel is an ideal yacht: a beautiful lady with exciting performance, but calm and relaxing at the same time and, of course, she is elegant. In one word, she is a real granturismo.”