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One would think that a yacht 279 feet (85 meters) in length would be able to accommodate a lot of guests. However, that is simply not the case. International Maritime Organization rules limit the number of people who can sleep aboard a yacht of any size as soon as the anchor is raised, which means that to lodge 13 to 36 guests, a noncommercial yacht must adhere to Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) classification or to the Passenger Yacht Code (PYC).

The owners of Lürssen’s Areti, like a growing number of today’s large-yacht owners, went with PYC. Builders and designers are incorporating PYC regulations from the earliest stages of new builds, especially with owners like Areti’s, who have owned a smaller Trinity and two Burgers with the same name, and who understand that building to the PYC standards will let them host a growing family and multiple friends on board—without having to give up the look and feel of a luxury yacht.

Like some yachts that meet SOLAS standards, Areti accommodates 18 guests in nine staterooms. The owners’ deck, below the bridge deck, harbors the owners’ suite and two additional staterooms for VIP guests or children. Two more guest staterooms are on the main deck, with another four on the lower deck.

But unlike with SOLAS-certified yachts, Areti’s build team—including U.K.-based Winch Design for exterior styling and interior design—used PYC standards to design those areas without sacrificing the luxurious look and feel that the owners desired.


“Certain areas aboard governed by these regulations have to be flame retardant and have to allow for watertight compartments and escape routes, both in the guest accommodations and in the engine room,” says Dietrich Kirchner, project manager at Lürssen.

Areti’s keel was laid prior to 2016, which meant that in addition to meeting the PYC requirements, the yacht needed main and auxiliary engines that complied with International Maritime Organization air pollution requirements.

Yet, despite all the regulatory hoop-jumping and safety considerations in her construction, Areti looks like a luxury yacht. The wood in her central stairwell is a veneer over aluminum, maintaining a visually rich ambience while rendering the material noncombustible. (The veneer is less than 1 millimeter thick, at least half the width of that aboard other yachts.) Handrails are faux-painted resin.

ARETI_owners lounge©KlausJordan170730-0966_web

“With the well-executed trompe l’oeil effect, your eye tells you it is real timber,” says Matthew Wilkinson, project manager at Winch Design.

Classic joinery work was replicated to make the interior look and feel like solid wood, with the veneer also used in wheelhouse and gym. The parquet sole looks and feels like wood, but is also veneer over a metal substrate.

“Sinnex and Vedder, Lürssen’s subcontractors on the job, did an amazing job of detailing,” Kirchner says.

The interior décor is classic with straight-grain and figured makore wood, hand-embroidered silk upholstery, and iron detailing. Gilt-framed European and Russian oil paintings create a museum-like setting, while the salon has cushy sofas and plush chairs for listening to the baby grand Steinway player piano. A custom makore dining table is here, too.

The central lobby has an elevator that services all levels to the bridge deck. The foyer itself is clad in emprador and Botticino marble, and inlaid with a compass rose.


On the upper deck is a sky lounge with a TV, bar and games table. Nearly full-beam glass doors lead outside to a dining table for 16. The master suite forward on this deck has a 180-degree view. A private spa pool, sun bed and breakfast table are just forward of the suite, and a private balcony allows for an intimate morning coffee. The two additional staterooms on this deck, with flexible bed arrangements for children or adults, are adjacent to the owners’ suite. A helipad is forward on this deck.

The bridge deck has a gym with weights, elliptical cross trainers and yoga equipment. A 12-person hot tub is through double glass doors. Forward are the captain’s cabin, the ship’s office and the bridge. Above the bridge deck is the sundeck, with lounges and a windscreen with dismountable awnings.


Some of the four guest staterooms on the lower deck, in accordance with the PYC, have double-door entrances for fire protection. Aft on this deck are a spa and beach club, where a handcrafted rose mosaic by Serbian artist Andjelka Radojevic adorns the walls. Treatment spaces include a steam room, sauna, plunge pool and hot tub. Birch and eucalyptus branches are in keeping with the experience of a banya, or Russian spa. Showers have temperature, light, sound and aroma settings that range from a Niagara Falls waterfall to a Caribbean storm. The beauty salon includes a room with a heated marble massage table.

Adjacent to the spa is the beach club, where the sole is oiled teak. This space opens via a transom door to the swim platform. Because the owner is an enthusiastic cyclist, the lower deck has glass-walled stowage for eight racing bicycles and four Segway scooters—and a full-time mechanic has a workshop to keep them all working. The hanging bikes are illuminated as if they were a work of art, and a tender is fitted with a bike rack for going ashore.

The lower deck has a spa with steam room, sauna, plunge pool and experiential showers. (Photo by Klaus Jordan)

The lower deck has a spa with steam room, sauna, plunge pool and experiential showers. (Photo by Klaus Jordan)

There are two VIP staterooms on the owners’ deck. Both benefit from large windows and classic appointments. (Photo by Klaus Jordan)

There are two VIP staterooms on the owners’ deck. Both benefit from large windows and classic appointments. (Photo by Klaus Jordan)

The owner also enjoys entertaining, which is why the aft deck has a granite bar with draft beer on tap (with the illuminated tap sporting Areti’s logo). The owner likes to preside over parties from behind the bar, says William Blomstrand, senior yacht project manager at Winch Design.

“The owner is the consummate host,” Blomstrand says. “He loves his boat, loves his family and loves his friends. He enjoys catering to his guests and personally serving them.”

Areti’s owner was so enthusiastic about his yacht that after taking delivery he and various groups of friends spent two months aboard. The movable feast was luxurious, fun and safe, thanks to the yacht’s PYC certificate.

The sundeck, with lounges and a windscreen with dismountable awnings.

The sundeck, with lounges and a windscreen with dismountable awnings.

The Alphabet Soup of Large-Yacht Compliance

The Passenger Yacht Code (PYC) is a Lloyd’s register classification alternative to Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). Put simply, PYC lets yacht owners welcome as many as 36 guests aboard for private or charter use.

Created in 2010, the PYC overrides some SOLAS requirements that are more appropriate for commercial ships than for private yachts. The initial rules of SOLAS were adopted in 1914, in response to the Titanic disaster, and SOLAS has had various iterations since then. It was generally conceived for vessels other than pleasure yachts, which the PYC does specifically target.

The PYC is for yachts of any length that carry 13 to 36 guests on international voyages. Previously, Large Yacht Code (LY3) compliance had been the norm, with less-restrictive requirements.

As with most regulatory requirements, PYC standards require designers to think about the code from the earliest stages of engineering a new build.

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