News: S/Y Akalam cruising the Mediterranean Seas

June 30, 2011 by sailor
View large version of image: S/Y Akalam cruising the Mediterranean Seas

With handover having recently taken place, the new 32m/105ft sailing yacht AKALAM, designed by Barracuda Yacht Design and built by Pendennis, begins her new life cruising Mediterranean seas.

The most distinctive feature about this design is the expansive use of glass within both pilothouse and hull. This technical achievement, followed by successful implementation by the skilled craftspeople at Pendennis, has to be regarded one of the defining features about this project and could easily set a trend in future yacht designs.

Once aboard you notice the coamings have been pushed out to almost the full beam-width, creating the second most interesting aspect, which is an unusually large 60sqm aft-deck area.

Twin helm stations adjoin the rear of the pilothouse, meaning this sociable and wellappointed space is unencumbered by crew and protected from the sun and effects of the weather by a large, fixed bimini with removable side-screens, mounted on a central arch.

Once inside AKALAM yacht, natural light engulfs the lower saloon and accommodation areas; a result of no less than 13 windows on each side of the hull, affording the owner’s room, twin guest cabins and lower saloon simply amazing vistas of the outside world. The effect is replicated within the pilothouse, itself benefitting from almost 360° degree views of the outside world from within.
Such is the level of light and sense of spaciousness inside the S/Y AKALAM that, in some areas, there is almost no discernible difference in feeling from being outside than in. The amazing sensory experience continues when sailing close upwind; where the leeward side windows become partially immersed beneath the sea and water can be seen rushing past as the yacht makes way.

Finished in graphite black with matching carbon rig and cream painted superstructure, the aluminium hull and elevated pilothouse combine to give an attractive and traditional look, with gently rising shear, traditional bow and raised counter stern.

The designer’s brief was comprehensive and presented many challenges. The owner took the view the design ‘should not have to follow the concept of a yacht just because it is a yacht!’ Outdoors living was a priority and the inside had to interact with the outside as much as possible.

Inigo Toledo and his team at Barracuda overcame the significant technical challenge presented by the request for so many windows, by focussing rig tension on an ingenious double-bottom rigid aluminium box structure, concealed well below the floor. This created a so called ‘soft-section’ outside the area of the shrouds, reducing stress in the sides of the hull and facilitating inclusion of this amount of windows.

The challenges offered by these innovative and unique design features and the exceptionally high quality finish anticipated by the owner, provided an opportunity for the team at Pendennis to showcase their technical experience and in-house finishing skills, successfully completing the build this spring to the exacting standards of the clients.

Using mainly light sycamore with contrasting dark grey tinted zebrano and touches of olive and panga woods, interior designer, Javier MÅ©noz, has created a sharp and sophisticated ‘apartment’ style feeling and the effect continues throughout the whole of the interior, including the pilothouse, lower saloon, galley, crew area, owner’s suite and two twin-bed ensuite guest rooms.

The custom-made ‘patio-style’ curved sliding glass door from the pilothouse to the aft-deck area is very impressive. A sophisticated privacy setting, using LED technology, turns the glass from completely clear to opaque at the flick of a switch and a gas seal, similar to that used on aircraft doors, ensures complete security once inside.

The side and foredeck areas have been kept clear and free of clutter, courtesy of captive drum winches, concealed turning blocks and under-deck conduits for sheets and lines.

Immediately in front of the mast, there is a dedicated stowage area for the tender, launched and recovered via a boom/crane attached to the mast.

AKALAM yacht has been designed for ease of handling and fitted with a steering system by JP3 including an all-carbon rudder and stock, self-tacking jib and remote control handling of lines and winches. An onboard control system by SPIN of Barcelona monitors many of the yacht’s systems and functions including various parts of the rig and sail trim, tank levels, hydraulic pump monitoring etc and via control over the bow and stern thrusters, enables ‘helicopter style’ turning ability in the tightest of spaces via a single joystick operation.

Close sailing angles courtesy of a retractable dagger-board, varying draught from 3.6m to 5.5m, have been achieved. Upwind at 25 degrees apparent is considered more than acceptable for a yacht of this type, while reducing leeway by at least 5 degrees will enable faster passage times even still. Under power, a 610hp MAN diesel motor provides comfortable passage speeds in excess of 13.5 knots.

Superyacht AKALAM Technical Specifications:

Length 32metres (105.6ft)
Beam 7.6metres (25.3ft)
Draught 3.6m to 5.5m
Displacement 115tn
Ballast 31.4t
Engine 610hp
Water 4,500litres
Fuel 9,600litres
Sail Area 441m2
Cruising Speed 13.5knots

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