The 49.98-metre wider 165 Cecilia launched in May, and is undergoing final fitting out prior to sea trials expected to start this week. SuperYacht Times visited the yacht in Ancona for a sneak preview.
Photo: Justin RatcliffeIn many ways, the Wider 165 Cecilia is a sister ship to the award-winning Wider 150 Bartali launched in 2016. Her muscular exterior styling by Fulvio De Simoni is immediately recognisable and she is based on the same naval platform, although the extra hull length has optimised her gross tonnage to just below the 500GT threshold.
The yacht also features the same diesel-electric propulsion package, comprising four variable speed generators connected to alternators that produce electricity to power the pods with contra-rotating propellers (CRPs). Energy can also be stored in Lithium battery banks, allowing the yacht to cruise in silent zero-emission mode (ZEM) or run the hotel loads at anchor. At the time of our visit, the power management system was hooked up to load banks on the dock for testing.
Photo: Wider YachtsPhoto: Wider YachtsHowever, critical elements of the engineering, layout and design have been tweaked to improve the operation of the yacht and further increase comfort for owners and guests.
The layout of the technical areas, for example, is very different. The 150 has two technical rooms, one forward and another amidships. But on the 165 the power management system, generators and battery banks are all housed in a split-level compartment in the bow for a more rational installation of the high-voltage system and shorter cable runs. The yacht further benefits from last-generation EST-Floattech batteries and upgraded software for the power management system.
Another difference is the float-in tender garage. As on the 150, this doubles as a beach club and is designed to drive in a Wider 32 by lifting up the aft platform on hydraulic rams. But on the 165 the space is also set up to house a U-Boat Worx Super Yacht Sub 3.
Photo: Wider Yachts“The mini-sub option was a request of the owner from the start,” says Jeremy Roche, Wider’s sales & marketing director. “The challenge was that its draft is too deep to drive it in or out like the tender. Sideloading was also out of the question as it weighs nearly four tonnes, which you don’t want hanging off the side of the boat.”
Instead, the shipyard opted for a gantry train that lifts the sub and carries it beyond the stern of the yacht. This crane is a very visible piece of hardware that reduces the head height in the garage above the tender pool, but Roche points out that in case of resale, it could be easily removed and the mini-sub dock converted into a dive centre, hammam, or similar.
Whereas on the 150 the main deck owner’s suite was full-beam with a forward bathroom, on the 165 the cabin and bathroom are split along the centreline. The apartment also features a private sauna, gym, study and two fold-down balconies.
Another improvement is that the exterior main deck is on a single flush level, so guests can walk from the aft deck to the forward lounge/dinette, hot tub and helipad without having to reconnoitre any steps.
The sundeck, which now overhangs the side companionways on the deck below, is around two metres wider than on the 150. This provides appreciably more space, especially for the fixed sunbeds around the forward hot tub.
The open upper deck and sky lounge has proved one of the most popular areas aboard the 150, and on her larger cousin, the room has been further improved with sliding glass doors on both sides for easier access to the side decks and more exposure to sea breezes.
The interior design is again by Ideaitalia, but this time the young La Spezia-based studio chose limed oak that has been sacrificed to accentuate the grain before being laid in contrasting panels to create a 3D effect. The soft sheen of burnished copper for the stairwell, polished stainless steel accents and a selection of Calacatta, Bronze Armani and pure white Tassos marble, come together to create a fresh but warm interior ambience.
Overall, Wider 165 benefits from a series of smart technical and layout improvements that have resulted in a more rational design with less of the prototype-feel of its predecessor. Some high-tech but arguably unnecessary features found on the 150, such as the automated hardtop canopy covering the lounge area on the foredeck and fold–away pilot’s chair on the bridge, have sensibly been done away with. The result is a vessel that finesses many of the avant-garde features and, of course, the diesel-electric propulsion that Wider has so firmly pinned its marketing hopes on.
There remains a question mark over the future of the Wider brand after the 165 is delivered in August. Like the 150, Wider’s Malaysian investor whose holding company owns several shipyards active in the cruise ship sector, including Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven GmbH in Germany, commissioned Cecilia.
Following restructuring last year, a representative from Lloyd Werft was installed as managing director of Wider. The company is giving nothing away, but the rumour on the dock is that the brand and shipyard are for sale and at least one serious offer is undergoing negotiation.
Cecilia will make her international debut at the Monaco Yacht Show in September and is for sale at €30,000,000.