In an old episode of the British car show Top Gear, there was an exchange between presenter Jeremy Clarkson and guest Simon Cowell about the latter’s order of a Mercedes-Maybach. Clarkson was dismissive of the car, but Cowell defended his choice, saying the Mercedes-Maybach is not a car to drive oneself but, instead, a car to be driven in. The onboard experience is what matters most; form follows function.
I was reminded of that episode when I saw Sirena’s new flagship, the 88 RPH.
First and foremost, she is big. And that big epithet—at least where semidisplacement motoryachts of a similar designation are concerned—is a key ingredient of luxury. Argentina-born designer Germán Frers gave her a high bow and a nearly plumb stem that barely impinge upon her 88-foot length overall and 23-foot-2-inch beam. Just a couple of examples of how that design translates into spaciousness on board: The anchor locker in her prow measures 8 feet, and the headroom throughout most of her engine room is 6 feet, 5 inches. The headroom is better still in most of the accommodations.
As for oomph and the onboard experience, the first 88’s powertrain consists of twin 1,550 hp MAN V-12s, V-boxes, shafts and five-blade props spinning in half tunnels, facilitating a relatively modest draft of a little more than 6 feet. We were fairly heavy off Cannes, France, with 25 people aboard, 85 percent fuel, and the other tanks at close to 50 percent full or empty, depending on your disposition. (Her full-load displacement is 220,000 pounds.) The weather for our spell aboard was summer-evening glorious: a gentle breeze, sea-state negligible, which meant little action for her Humphree All Speed electric fins and Interceptor bars.
She managed a top-end speed of 22.9 knots, meaning just over 2,300 rpm on the rev counters and a total fuel burn of 160 gallons per hour. Sirena quotes a 25-knot maximum speed with a lighter load.
At 18 knots and 2,000 rpm, she consumes around 120 gallons of fuel per hour, so potentially, she has 430 nautical miles of range. At 10 knots, the V-12s whirred at just under 1,100 rpm and politely sipped their way through 17.5 gph, meaning at least a 1,660-nm range with the standard tanks; range increases 50 percent with optional long-range tanks. Indeed, bumble along at 9 knots, and she has the potential for more than 2,100 or 3,100 nm, depending on the tanks. Frers says the Sirena hull shape, which was thoroughly tank-tested prior to the first model launch, is particularly efficient across a wide range of hull speeds.
Her GRP hull is resin-infused, and her deck and superstructure are a carbon-fiber hybrid. Floating doors reduce sound and vibration; decibel levels in the wheelhouse fluctuated from 52 dB(A) to no more than 65 dB(A), which is the level of normal conversation. Visibility to the horizon was good from the raised pilothouse, although inevitably that high bow will cast quite a shadow.
There is an asymmetry to the deck layout, in that the side decks are configured differently from one side to the other. The portside deck runs forward from the aft deck down to a galley door forward of the salon. The starboard-side deck runs forward to a set of steps that lead to the foredeck.
Heading inside from the aft deck, Cor D. Rover’s Amsterdam-based studio created a dark-oak interior that balances the bright natural light. The main deck has an open-plan salon and dining area, and owners can choose various arrangements of the furniture. The surrounding glass delivers splendid views; picture windows on each side include full-height sliding doors to the side decks. Farther forward are a galley to port and an entryway to starboard.
The owners’ full-beam master stateroom is forward on the main deck with full-height glazing along each side. A desk is to port, and there’s a full-beam head with a bath, shower stall and separate head compartment. The master also has private access to the foredeck, which has a rectangular hot tub. Tucked within deep bulwarks, the foredeck really works as a private terrace. There’s even a “secret garden path” to the space from the forward port corner of the flybridge, which has its own hot tub as well as all the usual alfresco essentials beneath a hardtop with an electric sunroof.
Four en suite guest staterooms are on the lower deck. The biggest is pretty much amidships, with the stateroom occupying two-thirds of the beam and the remaining third given over to the head. Two of the other staterooms have twin berths, and the stateroom at the bow has a double berth. The double-berth stateroom is virtually split-level; you walk up a few steps to get to the bed with hullside windows on either side, the lowest providing flanking views and the highest serving as skylights above the bed. (If I were guest aboard, this would be my spot.)
Cabins for three or four crew are between the engine room and owner’s stateroom. A beach club is all the way aft, beneath a lift-up transom door. This space doubles as toy stowage. The fixed stern platform and overhead crane can handle a tender weighing 1,760 pounds.
The Sirena 88 RPH has range if owners want it, speed when they need it, room for a growing family, first-rate fit and finish, and a design that stands apart. Jeremy Clarkson might not be impressed, but I was.
Take the next step: sirenayachts.com