Written by Emma Proctor
As the global yacht market benefits from the growing trend for marine tourism and water-based sports and activities, manufacturers are adapting their offerings to add an array of high-tech extras to their boats – as well as reimagining the way clients use the space on board.
In this vein, long-established Emirates-based yacht builder Gulf Craft recently launched three models featuring an edgy new style and layout. Named the Nomad SUV Range – the SUV tag being borrowed from the car market, standing for Sports Utility Vessel – these innovative vessels incorporate safety, comfort and functionality in a design ideally suited to adventurous families and travellers.
But it’s the flagship and most luxurious of the SUVs that bears closer inspection from market watchers. Introducing the 30.55-metre Nomad 95 SUV.
From the moment you step on board the 95 it’s clear it has been designed to make the most of any time on the water. This is not just about traversing the sea in comfort, what we’re talking about here is a total lifestyle on the waves.
At the end of the companionway from the saloon, the master suite – situated on the main deck – is truly amazing. Surrounded on three sides by spectacular curved windows, the cabin has an uninterrupted 180-degree view of the ocean.
The double bed faces outwards so voyagers can wake up to blissful vistas of the sea. There is a tastefully appointed large shower room ensuite and a private side access door leads to the outside deck and foredeck seating area. This style of main deck master stateroom is a feature that you normally don’t find on any yacht under 35 metres. As such the space scores high in ‘wow’ factor.
Down below, the boat has a three-cabin layout: a forward VIP guest stateroom and two further twins – both of which can be converted to doubles via a clever sliding mechanism. Each stateroom boasts an ensuite toilet and shower. Owners can specify an alternative four-cabin layout below, which should be popular with those wishing to charter the boat.
It is worth noting that the Nomad 95 SUV can be built to Bureau Veritas commercial specification so it can be chartered anywhere in the world – a significant advantage for many potential buyers.
This is an option that can be selected at the point of purchase, so the classification process takes place during the build. Specific components and materials are used to meet the class standard, thus avoiding expensive retrofitting.
The far end of the saloon leads to a sizable galley containing a large double fridge freezer, a dishwasher, an oven, and an impressive amount of surface space. In short, everything needed to run a full complement of passengers and crew. If required, the kitchen can be closed off from the main saloon however all areas of the boat can still be serviced discreetly by the crew by means of a side door. Meanwhile, on the upper deck, a large, fully enclosed wheelhouse protects the skipper and crew in all weather conditions, while also providing separation between crew and guests if privacy is required.
Crew quarters are impressive for a boat of this size. Access is through a full-height door and stairway, which is exceptional for this type of boat – and then the quarters themselves are huge, with space for four crew in two bunk rooms, plus an additional skipper’s cabin with its own head. Central to this is a crew mess area and galley with full-height fridge freezer, as well as a doorway through to the engine room, which is a large space in its own right. It offers simple access to equipment, easy maintenance being essential for those longer offshore passages.
On the technical side, the Nomad 95 SUV features a semi-displacement hybrid hull designed by renowned naval architect Andrew Wolstenholme. Semi-displacement hulls are generally more efficient at medium cruising speeds of around 18 to 22 knots. The hull design here is more efficient at lower cruising speeds, providing a much greater range than fully planing flybridge yachts.
This innovative hull design also allows the yacht to cope well in sudden heavy weather, allowing those who want to venture further afield peace of mind. It shows, of course, a different profile to a fully planing hull too: it’s much finer at the bow, with a more rounded bilge. This allows it to cut through heavier seas much easier; performance-wise it’s safe, it’s comfortable and yet it’s still exciting.
Thrill-seekers are well catered for of course: there’s a huge tender garage offering space for a RIB and two jetskis. There is a tender lift option as well, meaning owners can fit a fourth water toy or additional tender on the back.
But the unexpected feature comes when the garage is open and emptied. Now it can be turned into an ultra-cool, spacious beach club area for relaxing close to the water – staggering for a vessel of this size.
The sky is no limit for the Nomad 95 SUV, as the enclosed upper sky lounge area proves. This versatile space can be fitted out as an airy upper lounge or as an additional cabin – the owner can choose. With either option, the space is fully air-conditioned and allows for truly spectacular heightened views out of the expansive windows. The sky lounge opens to the upper deck where there is enough room for sun pads, tables and easy chairs. Wet bar and grill are standard, and this section has its own ensuite too.
The Nomad 95 SUV undoubtedly brings something truly unique to the private yacht sector as well as the charter market, with space, abundance of light and versatility being the words at play. All this combined with true ocean-going capability.
The overall feeling is that the boat has been designed for extended time out at sea, away from the stresses of daily life, allowing those on board to voyage to far-off destinations and bask in the beauty of the natural environment – with plenty of fun playing around on an array of water toys, impromptu drinks in your own private beach club thrown in.