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Delta Arianna: Balancing Act

No designer would disagree that shaping a custom motoryacht is a complex and daunting task. Throw in the compounding dimension of also meeting the diverse preferences of the worldwide charter market, and it quickly becomes a project decidedly not for the faint of heart. Delta’s newest creation offers an attractive choice for charter clients while meeting the purely custom requirements of her owners.

Delta’s newest creation offers an attractive choice for charter clients while meeting the purely custom requirements of her owners.

Photos Kristina Strobel, Superyacht Media

Photo Credit Kristina Strobel

Photo Credit Kristina Strobel

No designer would disagree that shaping a custom motoryacht is a complex and daunting task. Throw in the compounding dimension of also meeting the diverse preferences of the worldwide charter market, and it quickly becomes a project decidedly not for the faint of heart.

Such a challenge faced the Delta Design Group nearly three years ago, with the signing of a contract to build a large and luxurious 164-foot (50-meter) vessel conceived with precisely that dual objective in mind. Arianna, the design brief commanded, would be a thoroughly elegant world cruiser reflecting in theme, form and fit-out its owner’s well-defined tastes and lifestyle, while at the same time offering the broadest possible appeal to meet a diverse range of preferences that a comparably demanding charter clientele comprises.

In order to oversee the complexities inherent in the financing, design, construction, fit-out and commissioning of a large motoryacht, the owner took the unusual step of enlisting the management resources of SG Private Wealth Advisors, a Santa Barbara, California-based firm that for some time also provided him broader financial advisory, insurance and other banking-related services. For this more specialized brief, the firm finalized the build contract with Delta Marine, secured construction financing, and provided project management and owner liaison support. Over the longer term, SG Private Wealth Advisors will direct the marketing and administration of Arianna’s charter operations.

In order to deliver the greatest interior volume within the limits of the 164-foot by 34-foot exterior dimensions, the Delta Design Group and clients opted for a full-displacement hull design, an underlying geometry that allows a larger number of guest staterooms without compromising the roominess of each interior space. The resulting deck plan accommodates 10 guests in five ensuite staterooms—four on the lower deck and a fifth on the bridge deck—plus the owners in a supremely private and comfortable master suite on the upper level. Designed to provide Arianna’s owners an exclusive private retreat, the master suite includes, in addition to a full-beam bedroom with king-size bed, a dressing table and settee; an immense master bath with his-and-hers water closets; double vanity, large shower and separate tub; two walk-in wardrobes with dressing area; an intimate lounge/study and the aforementioned fifth accommodation, a separate ensuite stateroom well suited for children or staff. Just outside the bedroom on the upper aft deck is a private lanai that may be opened to sea breezes or closed with removable isinglass panels in cooler latitudes. The entire suite may be opened for charter service or, at the owner’s discretion, closed off to preserve the privacy of this special environment. Either way, Arianna’s extensive accommodations plan can easily manage a sizable guest list for private cruising, and for a large charter party as well.

Photo Credit Kristina Strobel

Photo Credit Kristina Strobel

Common areas are no less welcoming. Guests on the main level can relax on the covered aft deck furnished with occasional chairs arranged around a vast stationary banquette, or inside in a wide-open salon area that offers generous seating for cocktails, quiet conversation or a game of cards. In a separate dining area just forward is a massive solid-slab table that seats 12, and surrounding cabinets of beautifully finished tropical hardwoods including wengé, koa and Macassar ebony. On the broad sun deck two levels above, guests can enjoy socializing at a large full-service bar or seated along an adjacent settee lounge, relax in a jetted hot tub or take the sun on an array of lounge chairs just aft. A composite hardtop shelters the forward two-thirds of the sun deck, extending aft to cover about half of the hot tub. Concealed within the hardtop support legs are a day head on the port side and a storage compartment to starboard. Surrounding the forward sun deck coaming, and by now a Delta trademark, is a frameless vertical glass screen for protection from the wind. An elevator delivers passengers to the sun deck from each of the yacht’s other three levels.

In lieu of the more conventional master suite location forward on the main deck, and mindful of the owner’s active lifestyle, the Delta Design Group has configured this area to include, on the port side, a gymnasium fitted with exercise equipment, dayhead with shower and a large sauna. Just opposite is a richly appointed office with desk, bookcases and an intriguing restored antique safe of German origin. Together, these two areas, imparting as they do a private, club-like atmosphere, seem certain to attract those charter clients whose idea of a worthwhile cruise experience balances restful tranquility with considerably more energetic pursuits.

Photo Credit Kristina Strobel

Photo Credit Kristina Strobel

It’s a safe bet that, when asked to imagine a tropical or Polynesian-themed décor, many would envision a riot of tropical flora executed in brilliant primary and secondary colors—and that, indeed, describes the visual impact of many motoryachts so themed. But Arianna’s owners and designers had other ideas for their South Seas motif, perhaps more restrained but certainly no less inviting. Here, anchoring the design (and consistent throughout the interior) is a rich palette of muted organic hues offered in a tone-on-tone presentation enriched with the varied textures of woven woods, leathers and fabrics in wall coverings, paneling and upholstery, burly solid-wood contours in table bases and edges, natural stone surfaces, the depth of inlaid silk carpeting and subtle leafy patterns everywhere. There is color, to be sure, in the form of blown-glass overhead lighting and other accents as a delightful counterpoint to the broader theme. The immediate effect on even a casual visitor is an overpowering reluctance to leave.

Whether carrying an owner’s party or a full complement of charter guests, Arianna is equipped to deliver exceptional meal and refreshment service. The main-deck galley is centrally positioned to allow immediate crew access to revelers in the dining room or on the aft deck; the ship’s elevator even features a special service door to and from the galley for transporting hors d’oeuvres or full meals to the sun deck as well. The galley itself, which offers a full assortment of commercial-grade appliances and fixtures, is logically arranged for food prep, cooking, plating and service; just forward is a comfortable crew mess and a large walk-in cooler capable of storing provisions for extended voyages.

That’s worth noting, because Arianna’s 5,000-nautical-mile range brings even the most remote and exotic destinations within reach. As evidence of the yacht’s transoceanic capabilities, the pilothouse boasts an expansive array of advanced global-navigation and communication electronics spanning the broad helm console. Anticipating that this area will become a favorite venue for casual gatherings, designers have included here an extra-large, raised observation settee accommodating up to eight people as they share the view ahead with the bridge crew. For mooring operations and maneuvering on inland waterways, Delta developed a swing-out docking station, one integrated into the bridge coaming just outside each pilothouse door, that enables the captain to view progress and direct line handling with a clear view along either side.

Photo Credit Kristina Strobel

Photo Credit Kristina Strobel

Also appropriate to its globe-girdling mission, the yacht’s gleaming engine room is all business. Here too, the hull’s generous beam pays big dividends, in this case in terms of the space it allows for clear access all around each of the twin 1,650-hp Caterpillar 3512B main engines and the two 125-kW Caterpillar generators. And what engineer would fail to appreciate the logical arrangement for easy inspection and maintenance of watermakers, air conditioning equipment, fuel boards and related installations, and the separate, enclosed control room on the port side? All this, and there’s still room for a float-in, float-off tender garage with access via a swing-up door integrated into the transom and swim platform, to permit shore excursions, dive parties, fishing and other watersports. A second tender is secured on the sundeck’s after end, deployed via a Nautical Structures crane for supplemental use.

It can’t be easy for a motoryacht builder to reconcile a detailed, owner-specific design brief with the more generalized requirements of the charter market, but in the case of Arianna, the design team at Delta Marine again has marshaled its considerable experience, encouraging wide-open lines of communication with and active participation of the client to produce a surpassingly agreeable solution in a vessel of remarkable elegance, grace and versatility. Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine a better outcome on either side of the equation.

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LOA: 164ft. (50m)
Beam (max.): 34ft. 1in. (10.4m)
9ft. 7in. (2.9m)
552 tons (half load)
Gross tonnage:
781 ITC
2 x Caterpillar 3512B, 1,650bhp @ 1,600 rpm
Speed (max):
16 knots
Speed (cruising):
14.5 knots (80% MCR)
Fuel capacity:
21,900 gal. (82,900L)
5,000nm @ 13 knots
2 x Caterpillar C6.6 @ 125 kW
Quantum QC 1800 ZeroSpeed
Bow thruster:
Quantum QT 150
Freshwater capacity:
3,000 gal. (11,356L)
2 x Sea Recovery @ 3,600 GPD
Air conditioning:
Aqua Air 60 ton
Lloyds Register +100 A1 SSC yacht G6 Mono MCH
Naval architecture:
Delta Design Group
Exterior styling:
Delta Design Group
Interior space planning and design:
Delta Design Group
Nautical Structures EZ 3000 FB