A Numarine Yachts Experience | Discovering the 32 Meter XP
Updated: Nov 3, 2019
by Captain Daryn Dalton
The Bahamas to Istanbul
While on-trip in the Bahamas, a call came through that I had a flight booked to Turkey – to go see a yard that is building a 32 Meter Explorer Vessel – the 32XP.
Jumping at the opportunity to check off another country that I had not yet visited and to see the build process of a Turkish yard – we departed the Bahamas immediately in order to make it back to Miami in time for my direct flight to Istanbul. I had been assured by Jack Nitabach of Numarine North America that all I needed to do was get my Turkish Visa online, make the Miami – Istanbul flight in time and he had all the rest of the details ironed out.
Upon arrival, I was picked up by the Numarine driver in a black Mercedes van and taken to Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler perched on a picturesque hillside overlooking the bridge that separates Asia from Europe. After a quick essential trip to the rooftop for a breathtaking sunset, I set off for dinner at Lucca to meet the Numarine team.
Omer, the Owner and Founder of Numarine; Orhun, the Marketing and Sales director; and Jack Nitabach, the Chief of US Distribution and Service – were my hosts. It was a great insight into the driving machines behind the Numarine brand. Instantly it was evident that Omer was passionate about his product and intimately involved in the details that mattered to him – as a long time boat owner and enthusiast himself. His main interests being speed, silence and lines – I believe in that order.
Discovering the 32XP
The following day was an early trip out to the Numarine yard to see the production of the 32 XP. I was greeted by Hull #2 in the shed behind the gate and was immediately struck by the volume. The yard employs roughly 200 employees and during my visit – had roughly 5 projects on the go in all stages – including Omers new personal 26XP. The yard is clean, functional and busy. First stop was the bustling carpentry department, before exiting to the various stage builds and then parts room stocked and stacked to the ceiling with everything from Sea Bobs to stabilizers fins, latches and doorknobs to propellers. The huge cafeteria where all employees share the lunch break is impressive and boasts large visual progress reports of each of their build projects on the wall.
I was then introduced to Malcolm Hutchison, the technical director and one of the numerous designers – while trying my very first Turkish coffee. He was going to take me through the nooks and crannies of the 32-meter explorer I had come to see. Again the volume jumped out at me as we entered up through the beach club to the main deck aft.
My goal was to find as many flaws as possible and spot the shortcuts that are able to give this vessel its €8,750,000 price tag.
Hull #2 was approximately 3 months from launch in its 12-month build process. It was actually a great time to visit as it had the balance of being able to inspect framing, wiring and plumbing etc. without any of the panels, carpentry or overheads. The engine room was busy receiving its twin CAT C18 715bhp through a “soft” spot in the boat deck and main salon. An interesting concept is that the port side of the vessel has a wider deck than the Starboard side. It is unnoticeable but offers a grand feeling when entering the preferred port side tie without stealing any space from the main salon. The walk around on the boat deck is wide enough for two people to pass without brushing shoulders. It is space like this that give this 32 Meter the feel of a 40 Meter yacht. Heading into the main salon it was hard to miss the large carbon fibre support beams. This is part of an effort to reduce the weight of the vessel by 4 tonnes and further lowering the center of gravity. Making our way through the 6 stateroom-299 GT vessel everything is exposed – giving great detail into the construction and workmanship. My goal was to find as many flaws as possible and spot the shortcuts that are able to give this vessel its €8,750,000 price tag.
We are asked to move as 6 men bring past a large slab of textured marble that you cannot help but reach out and touch. Below in the guest and crew accommodations, the product of one of Omer’s passions is revealed — sound insulation. Each cabin is a box floating within another box insulated by soundproofing. Under every cabin is a layer of sound insulation mat and in every bulkhead and wall is a sandwich of sound absorbing layered material and rubber to dampen any sound. As I look up at the way the overhead floats behind yet another layer of soundproofing on specially designed rubber mounts to eliminate any vibration to the cabins – I realize I cannot hear the carpenters and fitters in the space above.
The bridge deck is an open canvas. Hull #1 has a master cabin and hull #2 is going for the more conventional Skylounge option. The first option seemed a bit foreign to me but it made a lot of sense after I saw it firsthand. This has also shown Numarines ability to customize each 32XP to the owners’ needs. They draw the line at changing any structural members and as long as the exterior lines are kept – they are pretty much open to anything.
The vessel is built to RINA Classification and is built as an Expedition Yacht with a 4000 nautical mile range – including enough storage to take care of the deepest stretches of the imagination. This became very evident once we got back down to ground level and looked at her from the keel up. With 6.5ft draft and wheels set protected above a solid keel running forward to the bulbous bow. Fins from the CMC stabilizers, both for underway and at anchor, extrude out at amidships. A hydraulic 45KW bow thruster provides 650KG of thrust and accompanied by a 30KW stern thruster set in a tunnel just forward of the wheels to provide another 470KG of thrust. Rudders are maneuvered by a robust electro-hydraulic steering system.
Off for a quick bite to eat at a local café where we met the very charismatic Ali who assists with the marketing for Numarine before making way for the Viaport Marina to see the latest 26XP as she got her photo shoot done. The lines of the 26XP are striking and she could be immediately spotted from the entrance of the marina. As the camera and yachts crew got ready for departure, I explored.
Quality and details on interior finishings are amongst my clients highest priority so this was an initial focus. She showed large spaces, including a generous sized enclosed galley and a separate wheelhouse which is not common on a vessel this size. The guest cabins were finished beautifully with all the detail you could expect from a larger yacht. The cabin layout was clever with a very large and spacious VIP up forward to compliment the full beam master. The details and interior design down in the cabins I felt exceeded other vessels of this size. We threw off the lines and set out into the glassy and overcast surroundings without much of a sea to feel her out but she ran true, solid and quiet.
The next Morning Omer was outside the hotel at 5 am to pick us up for the airport and our short trip to Gocek. Sitting next to Omer on the plane gave me some good time to speak candidly with him. While discussing quality vs cost and some of the teething problems that every new vessel will experience he said this to me, “We have made mistakes like every boat builder but never made a mistake on purpose, they have always been genuine mistakes and never because of a shortcut or saving.” The consistency of full welds at frames and plating as well as polished stainless steel brackets and drip trays under pumps (that would never really even been seen) showed that cutting costs was not a top priority for the Numarine yard.
The fresh morning travelling through the rural mountain villages was a great break from the flatness of South Florida. We came down a winding road and stopped for a quick photo op on a peak where we could see Omers 34ft tender waiting down on the quiet little dock below.
After a quick stop at a waterside bakery, we rounded the bay to the sight of Omers’ Numarine 78HT tied stern-to in the crystal clear water. We were treated to a traditional breakfast onboard consisting of delicious local cheeses, bread and fresh produce, before a quick swim and visit to see Hull #1 in Gocek. The Technohull with twin 400 Mercury Racing outboards was indeed the way to beat the mountainous rocky roads. It walked the talk as we topped out at 80 MPH en route.
On approach to Hull #1 she stood stockily and poised against the serene Turkish countryside backdrop. Strangely what I thought to be the most prominent feature, the windows, did not jump out at me at all. Rather it was the subtle way the flare of the bow redirected into the chine.
Hull #1 layout puts a full beam VIP on the main deck where a conventional master cabin is normally located. Big windows on either side of the VIP show that we are underway. There is zero noise or vibration and it is evident the over-engineering of sound insulation has paid off. Just off the stairwell and entrance to the VIP is the Gym. Big windows for light and enough space for a row machine and treadmill. I feel this space could easily be used as a welcome lounge, office or mini art area. The dining room is light and spacious with seating for 8 people comfortably. Being located next to the galley, it leads aft into a modern lounge before exiting to the aft deck.
The galley is equipped with fully commercial grade Stainless Steel appliances. Although the 32XP comes standard with Viking and Miele appliances, as this galley is commercial grade and local to the Med – they chose a local brand for Galley equipment. This set up provides many service ways to the entertainment areas and does not leave for anything wanted. The chef also gets to enjoy his workspace with a great sea view. Up next – the bridge deck. All this is set above 4 ensuite cabins with a guest foyer.
The bridge deck is a wrap-around from the large boat deck aft to the sunbeds on the bow, its height gives it a great deal of privacy from the dock.
The very impressive and private owners state room (complete with ensuite bathroom) has a view that leads out to the 600 sq ft boat/ bridge deck. The possibilities here are endless, it could be used for a swimming pool, tender, toys, or dance floor – this space is an open canvas. The quintessential basket ball hoop would be a perfect fit here.
The bridge is ample and will give both Owner and Captain a feeling of pride. Raymarine is the navigational equipment of choice and is commissioned by Raymarine techs to ensure that it has been properly installed and calibrated.
Underway, she made 7.3 knots burning 8.5 gallons and had no roll on a hard turn to starboard. It was an exceptionally flat day but she felt sturdy on her waterline. Captain Tony assured me of his experience and confidence with her in foul conditions. Exiting through the bridge and up to the fly bridge gave us a 360 view complete with all the staples of a luxury superyacht – a dumb waiter to the galley, BBQ, sink, fridge, icemaker and flybridge. A large dining table sat under the hardtop with a lounge space aft.
After docking, I asked Captain Tony for his permission to spend some time in the engine room. Immediately the stainless spiral staircase down to the ER caught my attention. The bilge and fire pump arrangement is one you would expect from a vessel that decides to take the title of Expedition Yacht. The twin CAT C18 715bhp are side-by-side with Cummins Onan 65KW gensets on either side of the engine room. An Alfa Laval fuel polishing system, Hamann black water treatment, American brand pumps and compressors surround the space. The Engines have catwalks right around and the headroom will please even the tallest of engineers.
Going aft through the watertight doors to the beach club shows another open canvas area with shower, head, secondary laundry, and storage area. If you are of the diving kind, then this would make a world-class dive center. If you you are into the beach club scene, then daybeds, a lounge and bar it is. There is enough space to create a Spa with a massage table and sauna if you like – or set up a Watersports Center and go all out with toys. Omer said they ended up with so much space they were not sure what to do with it, rather than overdesign it, these are one of those spaces left for the buyers imagination.
That concluded our tour of Hull #1 and it was off to see “the King” of Gobun – a long time friend of Omers who is a local legend and owner/operator of Gobun Restaurant. The only thing more inspirational than the food and scenery here is this man’s story of how he overcame adversity in the pursuit of a vision – driven by the desire to provide for the people around him. I would hate to dilute the story and feel it is one best told by the King himself over a bottle of ice cold Raki looking out over the crystal waters. As it was Omers last weekend before saying goodbye to his own Numarine 78HT (and welcoming his brand new 26XP) he had it brought round to Gobuns. We completed a late afternoon hike up to the peak and dinner on the water’s edge. It was truly a magical place to experience that I hope to visit again soon.
The Final Day
Our trip began at sparrows with a beautiful and brisk tender ride to the mainland before flying back to the Numarine Yard. En route a text came through to Orhun that they had just won the Asia Boating Award for Best Expedition Vessel at the China Boat Show. The 32 XP also took a win at the International Yacht & Aviation Awards and was a nominee for The World Superyacht Awards. These awards are the result of the experience and talent of Umberto Tagliavini who is a 30-year awarded naval architect, Can Yalman who is the meticulous designer and the rest of the crew at the Numarine Design Office. Back at Hull #2 in the yard, it was impressive to see how much had been done in the short time since we had left. Cabinetry had started to be fitted and her machinery was in place. This last day after being on the finished product really helped give perspective to the way in which things were done and also to some of the changes that had come from improving on Hull #1.
We battled traffic back to the hotel where we decide to grab a bite at the on-site restaurant and have an early night as we would spend the next day travelling back to Florida. We were just about to order when Jack said: “You feel like a steak?”
He says he knows a place close by and makes a call. A very short cab ride later we are dropped at an establishment with a line out onto the street. I am thinking, this is not the makings of an early night, however as we arrive Jack has us led over to our table. There is perfectly marbled meat sitting in glass fridges at the entrance and the wait staff are impeccably groomed despite the casual vibe. A shirt on the wall of a man wearing sunglasses sprinkling salt elegantly on a piece of meat is a giveaway as to where we are.
Nusr-Et Steakhouse – the begingings of where #Saltbae began. The Numarine crew seem to spend enough time here for Nusr-Et himself to recognize Jack and allow us the chance to get the mandatory picture. Keeping in the theme of my entire Turkey experience of impromptu and pleasantly unexpected surprises, I devoured the most incredible piece of steak I had ever eaten, which was the perfect finish to an epic trip.
Get in touch with Jack if you would like to have a Numarine experience of your own. Jack@numarineusa.com