Boat of the week: This speedy 25 metres superyacht comes with a convertible sky lounge

By Howard Walker 23 November, 2023

The 35 metres Lady Nina might look like just another superyacht for family cruising, but its 64-kmh top end makes it a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

There are superyachts that can go fast. And there are superyachts that can go really fast. Push forward the throttles on Maiora Yachts’s 35 metres Lady Nina and the boat morphs from laid-back, family cruiser to a hard-charging speed machine capable of a 64 kmh top speed.

Her secret? A wave-slicing, fast-planing hull that rides on top of the water rather than pushing through it like a typical displacement yacht. That, and triple 1,925 hp Caterpillar C32 turbodiesels mated to Swedish MJP waterjets.

The waterjets are arguably the true headliner here, replacing conventional props and shafts that create speed-reducing drag. Lady Nina has three, with the two outer ones doing the steering and the centre one acting as a booster.

The profile doesn’t suggest a fast yacht, especially with the vertical bow. But the boat can rip up the ocean at 103 kmh. Photo by Maiora Yachts

The jets reduce noise and vibration, add impressive manoeuvrability, and reduce hull draft. Lady Nina draws just 1.4 metres, making it perfect for exploring shallow waters in the Bahamas and Caribbean. The equipment also gives the Maiora astonishing stopping ability. Though not recommended, it can “crash stop” from top speed to zero in just a single boat length. You just have to pick up a lot of things that flew off the shelves inside the boat.

“It’s a yacht with two personalities. She’s spacious for relaxed family cruising, yet has the power and speed to get places quickly,” Isabella Pico, head of communications for the Italian-based Next Yacht Group, on a tour of the boat at the Fort Lauderdale boat show.  

Viareggio-based Maiora, while better known a decade ago in the U.S. market, is making a comeback. Founded in the 1970s, the builder and its sister companies AB Yachts and CBI Navi, are part of the Next Yacht Group, which came under new ownership in 2021, with strong financial backing to help grow its boat brands.

The inside-outside design is taken to the extreme with a sizable opening ceiling and a full-beam door on the sky lounge. Photo by Maiora Yachts

Lady Nina is the first in Maiora’s composite-hulled 35 Exuma series and was built for a South American owner living on Florida’s East Coast, who was moving up from a go-fast AB. The second 35 Exuma, Pesa II, was delivered this summer, but with a very different interior design. A third is currently being fitted out.

Designed in-house at Maiora, the Exuma—priced new starting around $18.5 million—is distinguished by its vertical bow, a short, almost stubby foredeck, a big open stern and a top-deck sky lounge. Designed in-house, the yacht is also unusual in that it has an asymmetric deck layout to increase interior space. That means there’s only a teak-decked walkway on the port side.

“Big interior volumes are what sets the yacht apart,” says Pico. “The owner wanted to enjoy life aboard with his large family and give everyone their space. Many of his requests make the yacht more livable.”

A large picture window in the owner’s full-beam suite. Photo by Maiora Yachts

That includes the innovative top-deck sky lounge. While it can be a completely enclosed, air-conditioned space, at the touch of a few buttons the side windows lower, the forward windshield drops down, the sliding-glass rear doors open, and an almost full-length roof panel opens up.

The owner, who typically steers the yacht from the upper deck, wanted the opening version because he likes easy conversations with anyone on the top deck. The sky lounge also has a 10-person dining table, a well-equipped outdoor galley, and a large open rear deck with movable sofas and chairs.

The stern has good access to the water. Photo by Maiora Yachts

On the main deck, the owners’ suite is designed across the yacht’s 25’7” beam, with near floor-to-ceiling windows. In the connecting en suite are separate his-and-hers glassed-in shower stalls. The lower deck, meanwhile, holds four other cabins, including an oversize VIP spacious enough on other boats this size to be the master suite.

Up in the main salon, the space is designed for kicking back, relaxing, and watching television. There’s no formal dining area here, with the rear deck doubling as an alfresco dining spot. Possibly the most “formal” feature is the custom-built cooler for the owner’s expansive tequila collection.

A very laid-back salon, with no formal dining area. Instead, alfresco eating happens on the rear cockpit. Photo by Maiora Yachts

Contributing to the yacht’s relaxed vibe is the owner’s choice of furniture. Most are freestanding pieces from B&B Italia, Lema Maxalto, and Zimmer+Rohde, while the interior finishes include wenge and oak, walnut and slate, and Italian Dedar upholstery.

One especially novel feature is the flood-able garage that’s big enough to hold a 6.4 metres Williams Dieseljet 625 tender, while a high-lifting section of the rear deck raises-up to reveal a second garage for Lady Nina’s collection of water toys, plus an 3.4 metres t RIB.

The exterior space on the flybridge. Photo by Maiora Yachts
Lady Nina’s cruising sweet-spot of 19 kmh, says Pico, delivers a range of 2,963 kilometres
If a 64 kmh top end isn’t enough, a prospective owner could always choose triple 2,600 hp MTU diesels. Top speed then rockets to a positively zippy 74 kmh.
The open stern on the sky bridge. Photo by Maiora Yachts
The open-plan main salon. Photo by Maiora Yachts
Rather than have a formal dining table, the owner opted for more relaxed eating outside in the cockpit. Photo by Maiora Yachts
The full-beam main suite. Photo by Maiora Yachts
Professional galley. Photo by Maiora Yachts
The pilothouse. Photo by Maiora Yachts

This story was first published on Robb Report USA