164-Foot Delta Arianna

In building Arianna, Delta pushed the envelope further than ever before on interior volume and guest spaces. By Diane M. Byrne.

In the “bigger is better” circles of the megayacht market, inches count. But sometimes, it’s not the overall length that matters most. It’s what you can do within it. Take the 164-foot hull form that Delta Marine has employed on six deliveries to date, the latest being Arianna. When a shipyard uses a proven design multiple times, the yachts based on it tend to have the same specifications. Nothing wrong with that; proven is a key word, after all, and owners may be content to have a somewhat standard envelope. But when an owner understands things can be done differently while still respecting the physical limitations, the design and engineering teams get to flex some creative muscle.
When a shipyard like Delta encourages its clients to become intimately involved, why not take advantage? If both the owner and the craftspeople seek unusual solutions, sometimes it sets new standards and records — even if that wasn’t the intention.
They should certainly enjoy the yacht's overall atmosphere, the sun and shade alike on the sun deck, and the water toys, including watching the tender launch from the float-in garage. They'll also appreciate how Arianna's already unusual layout is made to be more flexible for specific situations. The second stateroom in the owner's suite is a good example, easily suiting a personal assistant, bodyguard or other staff member.
That statement has a lot of qualifiers. They become easier to understand when you analyze what internal volume is, and what it means in terms of this yacht. Internal volume for yachts, as well as ships, is expressed as the ITC gross tonnage. ITC stands for International Tonnage Convention, which defined the method for converting a vessel’s internal volume as expressed in cubic meters into tons. While other methods of tonnage measurement apply to certain flag authorities and applications, the ITC is ­considered the best way to compare yachts to one another, since it applies to all vessels under a worldwide standard.
On Arianna, Delta's in-house naval architects, aka the Delta Design Group, pushed the volume and space arrangements, working alongside the owner and his project managers from SG Private Wealth Advisors (a California-based family office with clients stateside and overseas). With a beam of 34 feet 1 inch, a draft of 9 feet 7 inches, and more than 7,500 square feet of living area, Arianna has an internal capacity of 822 tons. To put that internal capacity, or volume, into perspective, consider Happy Days, another Delta that used the 164-foot, full-displacement hull design. Happy Days has an ITC of 781. For additional perspective, consider that most megayachts in this size range are designed to be at or below the 500-ton threshold. While that's typically because of regulatory constraints, nonetheless it can limit certain aspects of the yacht.
What all that extra volume translates into with Arianna is a 164-footer that feels a heck of a lot bigger. The yacht is still small enough, as megayachts go, to get into popular ports like St. Tropez, but the owner can do so while enjoying a massive-feeling owner's deck with an extra guest stateroom, plus a main-deck gymnasium and office, that Delta says would have to be smaller in a same-length yacht of less than 500 gross tons.
In a number of ways, Arianna does bring a fresh approach to a traditional industry. Some owners are content with having the general arrangement of their yacht follow more conventional ideas, but for those who enjoy getting involved in engineering and design decisions beyond the basics, custom shipyards are a great way to go.
Delta's ability to adapt its 164-foot hull design in this way was only part of the equation for the owner. The fact that Delta is a family-owned and -operated shipyard was the other. Brothers Jack and Ivor Jones meet and work with yacht clients today just as their family worked with speedboat and commercial-fishing customers when they established the facility in the 1960s. "For me, it was a no-brainer that only a company run by a family can understand my vision," explains Arianna's owner. "I told them that Arianna was going to be a home at sea for my family."
The way that Arianna is being marketed for charter is also unusual. SG Private Wealth Advisors is handling all bookings. Dovi Frances, co-founder and president, says he helped the owner obtain a construction loan and then followed up on the owner's request to interview CEOs and charter managers of top firms. Frances came away with a few concerns, such as Arianna not being differentiated in a charter fleet with dozens of yachts. SG Private Wealth Advisors works with charter brokers and their existing clients, but it is further reaching out to other family offices, wealth managers and more. As Frances says, "We're trying to bring a fresh approach to a traditional industry."
Indeed, several things about Arianna's general arrangement make her more homelike than some other megayachts, including her comfortable Polynesian-influenced decor that features warm woods like wenge and koa. The master suite contains not just the sleeping area and a separate lounge for the owner and his wife, but also that second bedroom, for their daughter.
Located aft on the upper deck, the 1,600-plus-square-foot suite opens onto an intimate deck area, which has sliding glass windows and zippered panels to let fresh air flow through. The alfresco area can be made more private — and safer if their daughter is around — by closing off the spiral stairs leading down to the main deck. It also serves as an entertainment area for smaller groups, for a more intimate setting than Arianna's sun deck or main deck.
Putting the master stateroom up means eliminating the sky lounge, but that’s no loss in the owner’s eyes. “I have personally never spent more than a few minutes in the sky lounge of any yacht,” he says. And in this case, going against tradition allowed for more personalization of the layout. Because the master stateroom was relocated, the forward portion of the main deck is split between a gym and sauna to port and an office to starboard.
Delta Marine, 206-763-2383; deltamarine.com. Arianna takes 12 guests at a weekly base rate of $195,000 to $225,000. Contact SG Private Wealth Investors, 805-256-1613; sgprivatewealth.com. Specifications:
LOA: 164'0"
Beam: 34'1"
Draft: 9'7"
Displ: 552 long tons (half load)
Fuel: 21,900 gal.
Water: 3,000 gal.
Holding: 1,780 gal. (black); 2,170 gal. (gray)
Construction: Fiberglass
Naval Architecture and Exterior Design: Delta Design Group
Interior Design: Delta Design Group
Generators: 2 x 125 kW Caterpillars
Bow Thruster: Quantum QT 150 hp
Watermaker: 3,600 gpd
Sea Recovery Engines: 2 x 1,650 hp Caterpillar 3512B diesel inboards
Speed: 16 knots max; 14.5 knots cruise
Range: 5,000 nm at 13 knots
Colorful skylights in both the gym and the office add a nice touch. Equally nice is the fact that the office atmosphere is inviting, highlighted by a 17th-century Doettling safe that looks as much like a work of art as the 50-inch teak tree-root table in the salon.
In another flouting of convention, Arianna situates the crew mess forward of the galley — "not pushed off to some corner of the lower deck," in the owner's words. "Arianna was about family, and I wanted the crew to feel like they were part of the family and experience." Even though other yacht owners have put a spin on conventional layouts for crew, you'd be hard-pressed to find one with this type of treatment.
It's this type of good relations that should translate well to charter too. While Arianna's owner didn't build the yacht with charter in mind, he came around to the concept because "there is a sense of pride associated with seeing your original vision materialize, and I want to share the experience of Arianna with other people."
That's what happened with Arianna. The owner had chartered a number of yachts and wanted to commission a floating beach house for himself, his wife and their newborn daughter. (Arianna is a combination of his wife's and daughter's names.) He especially wanted his daughter to grow up knowing what it was like to travel the world via the sea. Already familiar with Seattle-based Delta, he knew its 164-foot hull design would work for his needs. When the owner began discussions with Delta in July 2009 and subsequently signed a contract, he put into motion a project that would end up setting a record. Though not the intention from the start, he ensured Arianna would become the most voluminous, full-displacement, all-fiberglass yacht of her length overall (LOA).