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Altitude adjustment: Aquijo pushing the limits

SuperYacht of the Week
Written by
Charl van Rooy

It is not often that we, as an industry, are challenged to alter our way of thinking and accept a new standard as being within the realm of today’s possibilities. Moreover, it takes years of planning and a dedicated and experienced team to actually deliver such a new paradigm in a single project. The mighty sailing yacht Aquijo is the result of just such a cooperation. We were welcomed on board by her attentive and friendly crew on a beautiful sunny day outside Monaco where Aquijo lay at anchor.

For joint Dutch builders, Vitters Shipyard and Oceanco, Aquijo presented a unique set of challenges driven by the owners’ quest for innovation. The scale of the operation in terms of engineering, development, design and safety was unlike anything undertaken before – she is after all the largest private sailing ketch in the world.

“It started with the owners of the yacht coming to us with accommodation requirements and a preliminary layout (from Dölker + Voges), together with a description of what they wanted: Safety-Comfort-Speed,” explains the man behind the exterior design and naval architectural magic himself, Bill Tripp. As the largest project ever handled by the American office, Aquijo presented challenges and obstacles not ever considered up until now.

Towering 88.4 metres above the waterline are two equal-length masts, designed to split the immense loads when the sails are up. Tripp explains the reasoning behind this particular rig setup: “Boats this size are often three-masted, but from an aesthetics point of view the owner opted for two, which we thought was a reasonable request. From there our work involved making the rig controllable and allowing for many different sail configurations across the entire wind spectrum, from light air to strong winds, We particularly wanted something that would be comfortable to sail when the wind is blowing hard, and not have people onboard thinking about whether they are safe.”

With the combined knowledge of Tripp Design and the innovative team at Vitters, Aquijo is leaps ahead of any yacht of this size in terms of performance capabilities. It was Oceanco’s job to construct the vessel to a standard that would meet that level of ingenuity. Despite her size, Aquijo was built with the practicalities of true open ocean sailing in mind. Guest spaces are kept clean, uncluttered yet styled to feel exceptionally cosy and comforting.

The main deck aft is a wonderful meeting spot where guests can lounge on a selection of outdoor furniture, enjoy a beverage at the large U-shaped bar, or catch up with old friends over dinner at the 24-seating dining table.

A quite unexpected area onboard is the spacious beach club and wellness area. Located on the lower deck aft, this space features a steam bath, sauna and ocean-view Jacuzzi with direct access to the ocean via large glass doors to the large swim platform.

The flybridge is not only a perfect chill out zone during sunny days at anchor, but provides the perfect vantage point from where guests can experience the yacht’s exhilarating sailing performance in a safe and comfortable environment.

For the interiors onboard Aquijo, the owners selected German design firm Dölker + Voges from Hamburg to realise their request for unfussy yet sophisticated indoor spaces that are finished with remarkable attention to detail.

The exceptional guest areas are designed with multi-purpose spaces that cleverly increase Aquijo’s accommodation layout to handle up to 18 persons on board – one of the many features that make the yacht ideal for charter guests with supernumeraries or additional staff. The four guest suites located on the lower deck can easily be transformed into six cabins to suit guest needs for a particular trip.

Throughout the yacht one is inspired by the varied selection of fun and colourful art pieces that have have been personally selected by the owners.

A guest elevator carries one through all the interior decks and stops off on the bridge deck where the owner’s private apartment awaits. The entire aft section of this deck is dedicated to the use of the owner, with a near full-beam suite that leads out onto an impressive aft deck. Oversized windows and sliding doors, paired with a crisp pallet of ocean inspired colours, makes this area truly feel like floating on a cloud.

Aquijo’s volume allows her to carry a fleet of tenders that few motor yachts of this size can offer. Three 8-metre tenders, kayaks, sailing dinghy’s and a selection of scuba diving gear will ensure that even the most adventurous guests onboard will always find something to keep the adrenaline flowing. Aquijo’s skilled crew have been hand selected to offer all guests an enjoyable and safe experience out on the water.

Measuring 86 metres, Aquijo spans 14.5 metres across at her widest point and draws an incredible 11.6 metres with her keel fully extended. This draft can be minimised to a mere 5.3 metres when returning to port or cruising in shallower areas.

Charter guests are now offered the opportunity to experience life at sea on one of the most advanced yachts afloat today. Aquijo is exclusively available for charter through Y.CO in the Caribbean this winter from $450,000 per week. She is expected to return to the Mediterranean for the 2017 summer cruising season, where she will be available for charter from €400,000 per week. To learn how you can make Aquijo your next holiday destination, clickhere.

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