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Gulf 95 EXP: Purpose-Built for Partying

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 17:06

The Gulf 95 EXP is beamy for its length, maximizing on-deck space and interior volume.

has sold boats to myriad different owners since its founding in 1982. In fact, 70 percent of its yachts have headed to 40 countries outside of its home in the United Arab Emirates. Even with that, a good number of its clients are from the Middle East. It was some of those very same clients who influenced the creation of the new Gulf 95 EXP. They liked Gulf Craft’s approach to building beautifully appointed yachts that could handle a crowd. But they wanted even more of what Erwin Bamps, Gulf Craft’s chief operating officer, calls “a living experience, like a loft apartment on the water.”

The master stateroom has great headroom and its own breakfast table for private dining.

So how does the 95 EXP accomplish this? First, she’s beyond beamy: nearly 23 feet across, unheard of for a 95-footer. You certainly appreciate the voluminous feel in the saloon. The sense is heightened thanks to wraparound windows aft. Most builders close off the corners, so it’s a welcome departure from the norm.

You’ll also welcome how Gulf Craft didn’t forego walkaround decks to permit capacious relaxation and entertainment spaces. In fact, it envisioned clients cruising to the Maldives and other areas, so it knew the crew needed good on-deck access.

Gulf Craft paid attention to other crew needs, too. Dinner parties and dockside events alike mean platters aplenty need to come out of the galley, and from reliable appliances. Gulf Craft therefore installed a variety of De Dietrich equipment in the galley: oven, fryer, grill, microwave, coffee maker, and three refrigerators. De Dietrich may not be a household name in the USA, but it’s known throughout Europe and the Middle East for its products. Once the chef and stewards are ready to serve up the platters, the pass-through window that the owner requested will make serving easier. Of course, Gulf Craft can change layouts to suit each owner, so future 95 EXP galleys can have a more traditional closed-off bulkhead, even a prep island.

Something future 95 EXP owners won’t want to change, however, is the belowdecks arrangement. There’s tremendous headroom, exceeding seven feet in the master stateroom, VIP stateroom, and two twin cabins. It’s even better in the foyer. Furthermore, the foyer companionway is wide enough for two adults to pass each other without having to press their backs to the bulkheads. When’s the last time you could do that aboard any yacht less than 100 feet—even less than 120 feet, for that matter?

The teak-laid bridge deck offers panoramic views and protection from the sun.

While the full-beam master stateroom has a lovely coffee/breakfast table, it’s a safe bet that most owners will want to take some meals or simple refreshments out on deck. There’s a dining area on the flying bridge, shielded from the strong Middle East sun by the hardtop. An even more ideal spot is the foredeck. Bamps explains that Gulf Craft decided to create two banquettes here because most builders don’t do anything with the available space. Envision the 95 EXP in a secluded anchorage, and the view from the banquettes will be hard to beat.

The view from the teak-laid flying bridge is stunning, too. Here’s where you can easily imagine welcoming aboard the party crowd. A handful of people can gather at the bar, near the dining area beneath the hardtop. Others can enjoy the hot tub with a sunpad just aft. As hard as it may be to believe, Bamps says that the 95 EXP has 50 percent more space here than the 101 Majesty, also built by Gulf Craft.


When it comes time for fun on the water, the 95 EXP naturally has a toy-storage area, complete with a Nautical Structures davit aft on the flying bridge. However, the transom is where the real action is, literally. Gulf Craft devised a flip-out platform that can serve three functions. First, it can be used as a submerged swim platform. It has handy underside steps for making getting into and out of the water simpler, too. Second, it can double as an alternate gangway, since it’s sturdy. And finally, it can see duty as a PWC platform.

Whatever duties the 95 EXP ultimately serves for her owner, a few things are certain. She will handily cater to crowds both large and small. And she makes excellent use of space. That’s something cruisers of all nationalities can appreciate.

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Posted: 2011-06-13 08:24:24