Written by Rebecca Laughton
13 July 2023
Striking lines that hint at a forward rake in the windscreen, side slashes of hull glazing, and performance that can get you close to 50 knots – the new Midi Ilumen M35 from Dominator Yachts certainly makes her presence felt, and the first hull, which is named Safespace, turned heads during her presentation to VIPs at the One & Only Resort in Portonovi Marina Montenegro at the start of July.
Dominator describes the M35 as “bold, aggressive and sexy from far distance; refined, elegant and sophisticated from near.” The model essentially takes the ethos of the larger Ilumen models and packs it into a pocket-size yacht that can serve as a dayboat with overnighter accommodation for couple, or perhaps as a luxury tender or chase boat to a superyacht. The sleek exterior and customised interior certainly speak to superyacht levels of build.
The exterior lines are dynamic and blend rounded and edged features – and there are special touches too, such as the custom stainless-steel air vents. The design team repurposed elements of the larger Ilumen model for the M35, which means it retains family DNA in elements such as the A-pillars for the reverse windshield and carbon hardtop; the Dominator rollbar; the glazed bulwarks; and a moonroof for stargazing.
At the stern there are two large sunpads, forward of which is a comfortable cockpit where the dinette and helm station are located. The cockpit is well-equipped, with a barbecue, an icemaker, two fridges, various cup holders, storage compartments and innovative wireless chargers integrated in the teak. Adjustable teak tables can be installed for a full alfresco dining experience for up to eight people.
The foredeck, which can be accessed via a stairway from the cockpit, is designed to be sleek, minimalistic and free of unnecessary elements, resembling a sports car. However, as with everything at Dominator Yachts, it can be equipped and customised with sunpads.
Below, high-quality materials replicate the feeling of being on a superyacht, and the large hull windows ensure the interior is flooded with light. The open plan space serves multiple functions depending on the desired usage. Toward the bow, a C-shaped sofa with an electric high/low table can be converted into a bed. To port, there’s a compact galley equipped with a sink, fridge, coffee machine and storage facilities, which are all concealed in a smart way.
To starboard, the Midi M35 features a bathroom, separated from the cabin by a smart glass bulkhead that can convert from transparent to opaque translucent at the touch of a button for privacy.
A lot of consideration went into the selection of woods used on Safespace, which contrasts dark and light grey oak with Nubuck. There’s ash grey parquet for the flooring, and neutral Alcantara with dark grey leather details and hibiscus stitching for the bulkheads and deckhead. Matt and glossy oak is used for the furniture, while the ensuite features Astana Grey marble whose veining carries hints of orange.
Attention has also been paid to the engineering and hull design, and the result is a planing hull with excellent seakeeping performance on waves, good handling, and high cruising speeds. Indeed, depending on the engine option selected, the Midi M35 is capable of reaching a top speed between 35 knots and 48 knots. Optimisation of the hull design also confers up to 300 nautical miles of range at cruising speed, making it ideal for weekend cruises or island hopping.