Photography by Guido Cantini
Best known for its custom superyachts such as 60-metre Samurai, 41-metre Ruya and 31-metre Virgen del Mar, in 2014 Alia Yachts received an enquiry from a private customer looking to build a fast dayboat that he couldn’t find among existing production models.
“Building small, one-off boats is a very different business for a superyacht builder like Alia Yachts,” admits Gökhan Çelik, founder and chairman of the Antalya-based brand. “If the enquiry hadn’t come from an important client, I would probably have turned down the request.”
Instead, Çelik approached Bill Dixon Design in the U.K., which has a strong track record in the powerboat sector, to develop the naval architecture, exterior and interior design together with Alia Yachts.
“At the time, a typical open-style dayboat just had a small bimini over the helm station, but little or no shade for the guests: what was missing was a rigid hardtop that comfortably covered both the helm station and the cockpit,” says Bill Dixon. “We came up with a 16m design that brings the main salon and galley out on deck, but is with a large fibreglass hardtop, so guests aren’t forced to sit out in the sun all day.”
In addition to the galley / bar unit behind the pilots seats and comfy dinette, the stylish dayboat has unparalleled outdoor spaces, ample sunbathing space both fore and aft, a spacious double cabin below deck with ensuite bathroom and shower, and a second galley with sink and fridge. Powered by twin Volvo IPS 650 units, the boat has a top speed of 35+ knots, up to 40 knots with bigger engine alternatives offered.
Alia Yachts took care to build the boat with the same attention to detail lavished on its superyachts.
The original client was delighted with the result and two more were sold in quick succession, although the product has never been properly marketed as the shipyard continues to focus on its superyacht projects.
That now looks set to change as Alia Yachts is currently in discussions with an American client for a fourth unit and fielding other enquiries from Europe, South America and the U.S.
“With hindsight we’ve realised our 16m dayboat is bigger and better with more amenities than other brands in the same price range,” concludes Çelik. “We’re not looking to turn it into a full production model, but we are ready to build a mini series for discerning owners in the market for a niche product with great looks and good performance.”