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NISI 2400: Smart Engineering and Sex Appeal

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Sunday, 22 May 2011 16:21

Thankfully, there are exceptions to the rule, like the , built by Tricon Marine. No mere eye candy this; she’s a fully classed and well-thought-out cruiser in terms of technology and design.

The main deck saloon is light, airy, and free of bulkheads and intrusive screens.

In fact, the NISI 2400 is the only yacht smaller than 24 meters (78’7”) to meet both RINA Charter Class and MCA requirements. Being classed is a big deal. It’s common to hear large-yacht builders state that their 70- to 100-footers are built in compliance with a classification society’s standards. However, few are officially classed. The NISI 2400, which is 78 feet LOA, has enhanced fire-protection features, meets damage stability standards, and has automated systems in machinery spaces. Side rails are one-meter (3’3”) high. The fiberglass and Kevlar-reinforced hull, designed by Ward Setzer, was tested by an independent party.

As big a deal as being classed is, it’s unheard of for a yacht this size to meet the stringent safety standards of the MCA Code. Among other things, the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency requires two exits from guest spaces in case of emergency. That’s why you’ll find an escape hatch overhead in the VIP stateroom, doubling as a skylight. There’s also insulation around the engine room that will prevent a fire’s heat from reaching guest spaces for at least 30 minutes. Furthermore, piping is all metal for water, fuel, fire-fighting, hydraulics, and emergency bilge pumping.

Even though guests likely won’t see these things, they should make a point of seeing the engine room. First, it’s more spacious than those aboard similar-size yachts, thanks to compact pod drives (traditional diesels are also available). Maintenance should therefore be easier, enhancing everyone’s enjoyment. Second, they’ll get a kick out of the transparent sole. It’s smart, too, instantly revealing leaks or other potential problems.

Equally smart touches extend throughout the interior layout and decor. The NISI 2400 puts a great spin on the typical interior layout—in fact, there’s nothing typical about it. The entire main deck is open: no bulkheads, no pop-up TVs, no nothing to interrupt space flow or sightlines. It’s welcoming and casually cool. What you may think is a bar tucked to starboard is actually a fully operational galley, complete with dishwasher and In-Sink-Erator garbage disposal. For long passages, a supplemental refrigerator and freezer are belowdecks.

The master stateroom features tremendous headroom and a feeling of openness, with reflective surfaces amplifying natural light.

I can personally attest to the wise inclusion of an induction cooktop. Don Marshall, the yard’s chief engineer, showed me how it’s powerful enough to boil water rapidly yet doesn’t heat up the area, minimizing air-conditioning usage. He even placed a sheet of paper between the cooktop and the pot: no fire. The cooktop also automatically shut off after the pot was removed.

The helm, forward and opposite the galley, reveals further sensible new thinking. Christos Livadas, CEO of Tricon Marine, wanted full fingertip control over every aspect of the yacht. This meant touchscreens showing every deck, every cabin, and every tank level. Fuel can be transferred from one tank to another via touchscreen, and there are also buttons to turn off battery power and other engine-room items without having to leave the wheel (or joystick, if you prefer). Marshall collaborated with UK-based Energy Solutions to make it all work.

The yard itself custom-made the marble sinks in the three guest staterooms and master stateroom below. Why? To permit space for towel stowage atop the length of the cabinetry beneath them. All cabins have iPod or iPad control over the television, air conditioning, blinds, and more. The lack of overhead piping, which took more engineering thought, permits tremendous headroom. A 6’7” guest easily stood in the VIP stateroom when I was aboard. Decorative touches like whitewashed and traditionally stained teak, mahogany, ostrich skin, and pony hair heighten what the yard calls the “NISI sexy” atmosphere.

Owners of future NISI 2400 models will be able to incorporate other “NISI sexy” ideas. The crew cabin, outfitted to the level of guest staterooms, can be omitted, or an extra one can be added. The floating ladder to the flying bridge can be replaced with a fixed but still stylish stairway. (As fashionable as the floating ladder is, it’s daunting for some owners and guests.)

Whatever details buyers choose, they can rest assured knowing that the head-turning looks of the NISI 2400 aren’t just flash. Indeed, Tricon Marine has skillfully avoided the “style over smarts” mistakes that other newcomers have made—and some established yards continue to make.

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Posted: 2011-05-22 08:36:44