Inside Vripack and The New Yachts Company's concept Maharani
Backed by the creative freedom provided by the 50m PRIME platform, Maharani puts the owner and guests first in this “human-centred” design
They’re calling this new creation Maharani. It’s built on a variation of the PRIME Megayacht Platform, which was first unveiled to the industry at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show. What this platform does is push all the technical and mechanical spaces to the tank level to allow the owner and designer total freedom to create their ideal superstructure styling and interior/exterior layout – all in a 50 metre, 499GT package.
“Today’s owners are younger and value intelligent ergonomics and versatility in everything they buy,” says Barin Cardenas, founder of The New Yachts Company. “Current 50 metre layouts cater a bit too much to technical needs – the galley is next to the dining area leading to noise and smell issues, the wheelhouse and engine room are in premium locations for crew ease, and there’s privacy and efficiency challenges as owners, guests, and crew areas are spread out all over… if our industry is to attract new owners then we have to improve the owner experience without the need to build a larger and more expensive yacht.
“So we reimagined the use of space on board to focus on the owner first and then everyone and everything else. The engine room, wheelhouse, and galley were relocated to areas better for both the crew and the owner. New entertainment areas were created or enhanced and guests were directly connected to them,” he says. “Our goal was to bring more value to owners; give them privacy, multi-use spaces and all the possibilities typically only seen on larger yachts.”
On Maharani that has translated into wide open spaces on the main deck, offering uninterrupted views from the main saloon through the second lounge forward and beyond. The area typically gobbled up by the galley is open to the sea; the dining table runs fore and aft to starboard in an efficient use of space; and the team have found space for a sizeable pool on the foredeck.
“By moving what would be the skylounge to the forwardmost area of the main deck and unifying it with the foredeck,” says Bart Bouwhuis, co-creative director of Vripack, “you can face forward and enjoy the views while underway. It is a much more elegant way to navigate.”
This “daytime deck” forms the basis of Maharani’s design. In the centre of the interior, a staircase climbing from the lower to the sundeck encircles a glass lift, while a soaring two-story façade creates the feel of a luxury penthouse suite.
Above is another deck dedicated to the owner, with an aft-facing semi-circular master suite, a forward-facing gymnasium, and endless deck areas. “Guest privacy was another focus so this upper deck is the second full deck solely dedicated to the owner and his family,” Cardenas says.
The sundeck provides another private owner and guest space with a bar and a cosy seating area encircling a fire pit aft; the wheelhouse is forward in a raised pilothouse design.
On the lower deck, an expansive beach club is directly accessed from the guest staterooms. The galley, crew mess and crew quarters are conveniently situated forward.
“There is no other 50 metre that has a same-level deck from the swim platform to the beach club and into the guest accommodation,” says Bouwhuis, “but we have the technical background to make this a good design.” The current beach club design includes a sauna and spa, which could be easily interchanged for toy storage or reconfigured for tender stowage.
On the tank deck, PRIME’s difference becomes apparent. Here, the engine room is situated amidships, much like in commercial marine applications. This required raising the deck’s height to accommodate the engines and necessitated a slight increase in headroom on all levels, which meant design modifications to maintain the sleek, tri-deck, fast displacement design. Noise mitigation for the all-aluminium, glass-friendly Maharani was of paramount concern and shaft decoupling is implemented throughout.
“This all started when we took the PRIME platform and put the client in the centre. What would he want and what can we as an industry give him?” says Bouwhuis. “I challenge any other 50 metre project on value for money. We are offering a different way of creating without having to spend more money on a much larger boat.”