Superyacht Redefined

Outfitted with a tennis-court-sized flybridge and a pool, the Sirena 88 strays into superyacht territory.

Sirena 88

Sirena 88

You can tell just by looking at the Sirena 88 that there’s a lot of boat in there. Note the plumb bow and the raised foredeck and wheelhouse, not to mention its dizzying height. It’s obvious that the designer started out by imagining something huge, and then just had to ­figure out how to squeeze it all into 88 feet. Usually, motoryachts in this size arrive from the opposite direction, as their shipyards scale up an existing model.

That’s why most 88-footers on the market today look like big flybridge boats, whereas this one looks like—well, it looks like nothing I’ve seen before.

The Sirena brand dates back to 2016, but the yard has been around since 2006, when it was established in Turkey as an industrial composites and stainless steel fabricator. After securing contract build work for European shipyards, most notably Azimut-Benetti, Sirena moved into the boatbuilding business and now has two sailboat brands of its own in addition to Sirena Yachts.

Germán Frers drew the hull of the 88, a round-bilge, semi-­displacement design intended to operate with minimal resistance throughout the performance envelope. The plumb bow is more than a styling statement—it extends the waterline to improve low-speed efficiency, while at higher velocities its remarkably fine forward ­sections will slice cleanly through waves. The interior design is by the Dutch studio of Cor D. Rover.

The Sirena 88 has terrific dockside presence thanks to its imposing height, but nothing quite prepares you for your first glimpse into the interior. It looks and feels huge. It’s all thanks to a 23-foot beam, although headroom might also have something to do with it—a generous 6 foot, 8 inches all through the main deck. Step inside from the broad, shaded expanse of the cockpit and you are faced with big windows, dark hardwoods, light upholstery and illuminated ceiling panels that provide visual depth and contrast. Sliding glass doors to either side of the dining table add exceptional sightlines to the mix. A rational, right-angled layout leaves plenty of open floor and clear walkways.

This sense of having strayed aboard a superyacht—or at least onto something a good deal bigger than 88 feet—continues as you walk forward, past the stairs leading up to the raised pilothouse and into the owner’s suite, a full-beam affair with floor-to-ceiling windows and capacious head and shower compartments flanking a pair of ceramic basins mounted on a marble plinth. A balcony can be fitted as an option. The short companionway forward provides private access via a hatch to the foredeck, with its sunpads and optional dipping pool—a sort of bathtub with teak sidedecks and a glass front.

The foredeck’s pool claims the spotlight, including teak sidedecks, a glass front and sunpads on either side.

The foredeck’s pool claims the spotlight, including teak sidedecks, a glass front and sunpads on either side.

Your guests probably won’t complain if you declare the bow to be your own personal domain—there’s a hot tub on a seemingly tennis-court-sized flybridge that they can use instead, while the tender garage in the stern, its platform stressed to support 1,976 pounds, can double as a beach club. A very functional set of hydraulic steps emerges from the aft edge of the platform and lowers into the water.

Four cabins on board can accommodate eight in two doubles and two twins. The full-beam VIP amidships takes the prize as the most opulent suite with its expansive floor area. There is also space for a laundry room and pantry on the starboard side off the central lobby.

With its cream leather linings, chrome-plated hardware and ­lustrous veneers, this is an interior of high-concept luxury with a mature and understated ambiance that emphasizes the quality of the design.

03a-Sirena-88
03b-Sirena-88

It is not without its faults, however. You might imagine from the hull profile that there would be plenty of volume in the bow for a forward VIP cabin, but the bow sections are so fine and their flare so subtle that the designer had to go up to find the necessary width—a long way up. Consequently, there is quite a steep descent to the head and shower. The whole area needs a rethink, or at the very least some sort of guardrail at the foot of the bed or a vertical handrail on each side of the doorway. The prospect of a bleary guest on his first night aboard trying to find the bathroom at three in the morning bears consideration.

Sirena has expended a lot of effort soundproofing the 88, not just fitting flexible couplings between the transmissions and the prop shafts, but also using insulated mounts for all sources of vibration such as generators and compressors, sandwich panels for floors and bulkheads, flexible ceiling fasteners and soft-mounted floors in all the cabins. The crew accommodation also plays its part, sitting between the owner’s suite and the noise of the engine room.

There is just one engine option, twin 1,550-hp MAN V12s, which in spite of being pretty substantial lumps of iron look rather lost in their absolutely enormous machinery space. The 88’s long ­waterline gives it a theoretical maximum displacement speed of just under 12 knots, and our test figures suggest that 11.5 knots at 1250 rpm is a definite passagemaking sweet spot, giving a range (allowing 10-percent reserve) of more than 1,000 nautical miles. Of course, cruising at 1000 rpm and 9.3 knots significantly improves that range. There are also optional long-range fuel tanks available which greatly extend the range by adding an extra 1,450 gallons of capacity.

The full-beam master stateroom is an elegant affair, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a foldout balcony.

The full-beam master stateroom is an elegant affair, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a foldout balcony.

Ours was a fairly benign evening test of calm seas and light winds off Cannes. The Sirena felt every bit as big as she looks, with full tanks and plenty of people on board—most of whom were on the flybridge, canceling out the benefits of all the lightweight carbon fiber that the shipyard has used up there to lower the center of gravity. As you might surmise from its height and hull shape, the Sirena heels outward in hard turns, although not to an alarming degree.

I found 15 knots to be a comfortable cruising speed. Progress was certainly very quiet, and at all rev increments the yacht had the sort of calm, remorseless momentum that inspires confidence. Increasing speed made very little difference to trim or noise levels, although it did have a marked effect on fuel consumption.

Still, while there might be faster or more economical 88-foot motor­yachts out there, none that I know of comes close to carrying the interior volume of the Sirena. They might be the same length, but that’s where all similarity ends—at 165 gross tons, this yacht is simply in another league. To compare it with those other craft is to fall victim to what those of a semantic inclination might term a category mistake. The Sirena is not an 88-foot motoryacht. It’s an 88-foot superyacht.

Sirena 88

Sirena 88

Sirena 88 Test Report

test-report-Sirena-88

Sirena 88 Specifications:

LOA: 88'
Beam: 23'2"
Draft: 6'
Displ. (light): 185,185 lbs.
Fuel: 2,906 gal.
Water: 634 gal.
Power: 2/1,550-hp MAN V12

Sirena 88

Sirena 88

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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