As the patriarch of American maritime magazines, Yachting was proud to celebrate its 100th anniversary last year. But Burger Boat Company makes us look wet behind the ears-they were already well established when we published our first issue in 1907. Founded in 1863, the Manitowoc, Wisconsin, boatbuilder is fast approaching its 150th anniversary, yet it continues to grow, evolve, and set new benchmarks. Within the past five years, the company has replaced all of its aging buildings, expanding to better accommodate its order book of larger yachts. Just over a year ago, Burger delivered Mirgab V to a Middle Eastern client. At 144 feet, it was the largest yacht Burger had ever produced.
Now, in another first, Burger has delivered twins, two 126-foot trideck motoryachts for one owner. While the construction of a nearsistership for another buyer is common, the launching of absolutely identical twins by a custom yachtbuilder is virtually unknown. In the case of Areti I and Areti II, the rationale was practicality and logistics. The young Russian owner travels frequently to Europe and to the U.S., so he wanted a yacht available in each area. The obvious solution was to order two, keeping one on America's East Coast and the other in the Mediterranean.
When Burger delivered the 125-foot Arara (later Kakapo) in the 1970s, she was the largest aluminum yacht in the world. As a protege of her designer, Jack Hargrave, I had a chance to participate in her development, so it is especially interesting for me to compare and contrast her with the Areti sisters some 30 years later.
Though only one foot longer, the new yachts are far, far larger when compared by deck area, volume, and displacement. The Aretis' beam is nearly two feet wider, and forward, the main-deck house is carried out to the full beam, where Arara had walkaround side decks. Areti I and II are trideck arrangements, while Arara, designed to travel the U.S. inland waterway system with its bridge-height limitations, had only a raised pilothouse, and not raised much, at that.
Arara carried three guest staterooms plus a convertible guest lounge below deck. The Aretis have four guest staterooms belowdecks plus a master suite on deck.The new yachts also have a full bridge deck that carries a wheelhouse, captain's cabin, and skylounge, plus an open-top deck with guest amenities including a spa, bar, and dining area.