Luxury Charter Yacht ALFA NERO Exterior


Three boats are tucked into the stern garage, but not too snugly, around the pool walls belowdecks. Though the garage opens on both sides of the hull, the portside door is longer. This facilitates management of the 35-knot-fast, eight-passenger Yachtwerft Meyer enclosed limo tender by the 5.5-ton capacity transverse crane. The tender is stored athwartships against the forward bulkhead. Also to port is an eight-meter Novurania utility tender. A six-meter Ski Nautique boat lives to starboard. A 2,500-pound-capacity rotating overhead crane on each side facilitates handling water toys. Room remains to store two PWC and a pair of Vespa scooters.

A vessel's operating noises and vibrations are not a cherished part of the yachting experience. It's not only the boat's sounds that intrude on the experience. The world beyond the gunwales has an effect as well. In Force 5 conditions that produce wind speeds of 17 to 21 knots and six- to eight-foot seas, and with Alfa Nero operating at 80 percent of her maximum continuous rating, decibel readings taken in the portside guest cabin and the main salon are less than 50 decibels. Eel Kant, Oceanco's managing director, notes that the readings were taken without the added effect of drapes and carpets or any other sound-absorbing fabrics. Those are impressive numbers, but that's what Oceanco's clients have come to expect from the company's yachts.

The lower deck serves several functions. Waterline guest entry is at this deck through the midships door that drops down to become a dock for access through the teak-decked foyer. A large double VIP crew stateroom is immediately forward and on the centerline, where the circular elevator begins its three-deck journey hugged by a circular staircase that continues up one additional level to the skylounge deck. Berths for 28 crew in 15 ensuite cabins and Internet workstations occupy the area forward of the foyer. The captain is quartered abaft the bridge on the skylounge deck.

On the port side, opposite the guest entry, is what is best described as the service entrance. Completely segregated from guest traffic, stores are loaded here. Convenient access is to the large commercial galley immediately aft and to the crew stairs and service elevator to the bottom deck, where there is more general and cold storage and the laundry.The wheelhouse, located on the highest deck, delivers a 225-degree view. The office is separated from the wheelhouse by a glass bulkhead, maintaining privacy while providing visual access to vessel operations. A NACOS integrated bridge system displays information on any of seven screens. A CCTV system monitors the yacht through 18 cameras, six of which scan the engine room and seven that keep watch on deck. A night-vision camera keeps watch from the mast. The system records continually onto a hard drive and stores all movement for up to seven days; desired images can then be selectively copied onto alternative media.

With a capacity of nine terabytes, the VOD/AOD entertainment system stores up to 1,000 DVDs and 800 CDs, playing audio into every room including dayheads and lobbies. The onboard cinema offers two viewing options: a 65-inch HD LCD display or a fully automated HD projector system. Both feature THX 7.1 surround sound.

From his years of yachting, the owner developed a definitive yet uncomplicated opinion of what a yacht should be. This vision was successfully translated to Alfa Nero's design.

Make no mistake: Though they share the same full-displacement, bulbous-bow hull design, Amevi and Alfa Nero are not sisterships. Conceptually they are worlds apart. Alfa Nero has 1,250 square meters of living space on an 82-meter hull, while Amevi, at 80 meters, has 1,450 square meters. (Neither figure includes the technical spaces.) That doesn't mean there isn't enough space on board Alfa Nero. Rather, it's quite the contrary. The yacht has a gym on the bridge deck, three distinct dining areas, a separate crew and officer's mess/lounge, a dance room, an engineer's office, pantries on the three guest decks, accommodations for 28 crew and even a VIP crew stateroom. An elevator connects the decks. Realized, she wants for nothing.

Externally, the yacht's most obvious visual departure from conventional yacht design is the open aft deck and minimal overhangs. Defining the perimeter of each overhang is an oval, stainless steel rail that simultaneously serves two of three functions: decorative, illuminative and environmental. Where the rail is over a lounge area, including the owner's veranda off the master suite, it is fitted with misting heads to keep guests in the outdoor areas cool. In the areas where there is no activity below the rail, lights are installed in place of the misters, providing an appealing horizontal outline to the superstructure's form once the sun sets.It was decided the yacht would have the capability to land, but not service, a nine-passenger helicopter on the main deck. The vessel was designed around the heliport, Lenard says. However, the aircraft operation is not to MCA code, and the chopper will not be used for ferrying charter guests.

Using the bottom of the 6-meter-by-3.75-meter current pool for helicopter service is a tribute to Oceanco's engineering ability. When the bottom rises up to become flush with the deck, a rim seal prevents the 8,321 gallons of water from any immediate contamination by the debris associated with aircraft operations.

"The platform moves up and down electrically on spindles, instead of levers or hydraulic cylinders. Meaning there is less chance of the platform accidentally lowering due to the helicopter's weight. There is no hydraulic pressure to lose," says project manager Jeroen Mulder. It can also be used as a dance floor or additional deck space.

"We needed more structure in the stern underneath the pool deck to compensate for the lack of structure in the port and starboard tender doors, the pool and the transverse sliding tender crane," Mulder says. The additional reinforcement raised the deck approximately 50 centimeters, the height of two steps, above the patio and just forward. The joggle adds enough separation between the areas so each has its own individual ambiance.

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