Sirena 88: Frers, Rover Mastermind Turkish Builder’s Flagship
Designed by German Frers and Cor D Rover, the Sirena 88 is the Turkish builder’s high-volume flagship, which features five cabins including a stunning main-deck master suite with fullheight windows, private jacuzzi access and optional balcony.
Cor D Rover is rightly proud of his intricate work on the Sirena 88, after the Turkish shipyard challenged the Dutchman to design an interior that would appeal to owners around the world. “The brief was: ‘Give me an interior design that we can sell globally.’ Simple brief. Difficult to fulfil,” Rover says.
“Sirena wants to be able to sell this yacht to an American, a Chinese, a European and so on. As such, we wanted the yacht to be rich, luxurious and global.”
With six units already sold – to owners in North America and Europe– the Dutchman appears to have fulfilled his brief.
Rover worked alongside the legendary German Frers, who handled the exterior and naval architecture, having done the same for Sirena’s existing 64 and 58 models that debuted in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
In contrast, the 88 marked Rover’s first design from scratch for Sirena, although he did restyle the interior of the 64 for a new-look model unveiled at last year’s Boot Dusseldorf.
The Sirena 88 was among the largest yachts at this year’s Boot Dusseldorf, having made its world debut at last September’s Cannes Yachting Festival, during which it won ‘Best Innovation of the Year’ at the World Yachts Trophies.
Whether it sits in or out of the water, the 88-footer is a true showstopper, distinguished by a high, wide-bodied hull and leaving first-time visitors in a spin as to what they’ve just seen and how it all fits on a sub24m GRP hull.
Rover’s portfolio includes the exterior of the 220ft Benetti Seasense, a star of the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show, yet he thinks size matters more than length to owners. Sirena – which has built over 400 motor and sailing
yachts since 2006 – believes its 125GT flagship has the largest interior volume in its class, made possible by a whopping beam of 23ft 2in.
“The client of tomorrow wants an SUV,” Rover says. “Big volume and relatively high speed, and that’s what we achieved on the Sirena 88, with five staterooms. That’s the same number of cabins you have on a 150-footer.”
With a background in naval architecture and mechanical engineering, Rover designs both exterior and interiors, and his Amsterdam studio has worked with leading yards including Italy’s Azimut (Magellano series) and Taiwan’s Horizon.
Rover specialises in packing a lot into big-volume yachts, yet even he was impressed by the esteemed Frers, who turned 79 on July 4. The Argentine is best known for sailing yachts and has been designing Swans since 1981, but has occasionally worked on a few motor yachts including the exterior of the 85m (280ft) Lurssen Pacific.
For the Sirena 88, Frers designed a 78ft 7in dual-mode hull that operates at both semi-displacement and planing speeds, despite its girthy 23ft-plus beam.
In fact, its 7.1m beam is 50-80cm wider than some recent flybridge models built by leading Italian and British yards with a similar-length hull. When you see its two comfortable twin cabins either side of a central hallway, it makes you wonder how it would all fit if the hull was narrowed by a foot or two.
“The floor width is phenomenal. We did the layout together with German, who offered us a great hull. I’m a naval architect myself, so I know what he goes through,” Rover says.
“To get this space to play with is a blessing as it gives you more freedom. Even 15cm can be the difference between putting in a bed or not being able to put in a bed.
“Floor space is everything, especially as the number of cabins was key. We had to fit five ensuite staterooms while remaining under the 24m rule.”
The Sirena 88 has a carbon-fibre laminated superstructure that incorporates a raised wheelhouse in front of the flybridge, which is available in several layouts. Hull one features a large jacuzzi and sunbeds aft, although the latter can be replaced by a full-width sunbathing area.
An attractive L-shaped bar takes centre stage to starboard, behind the twin-seat upper helm, which overlooks stairs down to the main wheelhouse, where there’s even a bed that can be used by the Captain.
The main social area of the flybridge is to port and features a long sofa and table, and loose chairs, while this side also offers access to the bforedeck, a nice way of connecting the outdoor zones.
The foredeck includes a large sunbathing area in front of the wheelhouse and a fun ‘dipping pool’, although a C-shaped sofa and table are another option for this area.
Ideal for a couple, the forward pool is ideal as the preserve of the owners and offers fantastic views, but you might question how it affects the view from the owner’s suite – if you haven’t already been in the owner’s suite.
THE GREAT INDOORS
The walk back is along the starboard side deck to the covered cockpit, where six people could dine comfortably, eight at a squeeze. There’s also the option of a wet bar and fridge in the port bulwark.
Inside, the saloon features opposing sofas, while a TV can drop down from the ceiling on the starboard side. Forward is the formal dining area, which benefits from great views on either side through sliding glass doors that can be fully opened to allow in the sea breeze.
The galley (which can be designed as an open galley) is to port and Rover points out that its ceiling doubles as the bed of the wheelhouse, an example of how he worked not just with lateral space but also vertical.
The saloon’s sliding doors (above) offer a breeze and wide views through the cockpit; the dining area (below) benefits from wide sliding glass doors on both sides
“Putting it all together is a three-dimensional puzzle,” he says. “It’s all interconnected.” The starboard hallway leads past two sets of stairs – one to the wheelhouse, one to the lower deck – and along to the master stateroom,
arguably the yacht’s piece de resistance.
Feeling more like an owner’s suite on a megayacht, this enormous full-beam bedroom offers stunning sea views on either side through full-height, full-width windows.
To make the most of these views, two comfortable chairs and a table make a cosy coffee corner on the starboard side, while a long desk to port presents one of the more serene office environments you’ll enjoy on any
yacht. If this isn’t enough, there’s the option of a drop-down balcony.
Yet arguably the most innovative aspect of the layout is the forward area, where two beautiful, wooden-panelled cabinets with drawers and recessed lighting frame the showpiece bathroom, which takes centre stage.
Lit naturally from above by a wide skylight, the bathroom is a visual centrepiece and, in a masterful design touch, brilliantly uses the forward jacuzzi as a water feature above the mirror. And if you want to jump in the jacuzzi rather than look at it, marble stairs from the bathroom lead up to the foredeck, through a lifting door.
For privacy, the bathroom can be concealed by sliding, mirrored doors, but this is an ensuite to be admired, not hidden.
“It’s cool, right? In the morning, when the light is shining on the pool water, it’s beautiful, and you can see it all from the bed,” Rover smiles.
“Even in the evening, with the light shining through the jacuzzi, it looks amazing. It’s soothing to me, like a zen feeling. It’s an experience.”
GUEST CABINS GALORE
The lower deck is a jigsaw of the highest order, featuring VIP cabins both midships and forward, and two twins in-between, all with ensuite bathrooms. Furthermore, in front of the engine room is an impressive fullbeam crew quarters that houses double and twin-bunk cabins, cooking and dining areas, and shared bathroom facilities.
The staircase to the lower-deck cabins is fairly steep and it’s three more steps aft to the midships VIP, which would be a great full-beam master suite on other yachts of this length.
The large forward-facing bed is flanked by bedside cabinets and to starboard by an elegant bathroom, while to port is a desk cum vanity table with a large fold-up mirror, all benefiting from light through the large hull window. Portside options also include a dinette.
Just forward of the bedroom door is a useful communal area with cupboards, drawers and a coffee machine that would be hugely appreciated by many guests in the morning.
After you take three steps up to the main staircase’s landing point, it’s three steps back down to access the other guest rooms, with the first door opening to the portside twin cabin and the second to the starboard version.
Both are very comfortable, with two single beds and a Pullman, plenty of storage, and an ensuite bathroom forward.
The forward VIP starts with a hallway with three doors, to a walk-in wardrobe and the bathroom on port side, and on starboard to the shower. It’s a couple of fairly high steps up to the sleeping area in the bow, so despite
being billed as the second VIP, it may not be suitable for the elderly.
The lower deck can feel like a lot of stairs when viewing all four cabins, but it’s worth remembering that most guests will only be heading to their room.
“I’m playing with every centimetre I have and trying to optimise the use of space,” Rover says. “I see boats that throw away a lot of space.”
If the forward cabin feels like Rover pushing his three-dimensional puzzle to the limit, he’s quick to reassure you that his creative juices were still flowing. In the yacht’s optional four-bedroom layout, this area can be adjoined to the master suite, creating a split-level stateroom.
“The forward VIP space becomes part of the owner’s suite,” Rover says. “It can become an office, a hammam, anything, and styled like a New York loft. It’s a very interesting option.”
Following all the invention and surprise, it’s almost refreshing to find out the aft garage is, well, an aft garage, with space for a tender and jetski, although it can also be customised. After all, the fixed swim platform can carry 800kg and there’s a hydraulic crane for lifting and launching, while other features include a hydraulic bathing ladder and telescopic gangway.
Due to the global appeal of its biggest-ever yacht, Sirena is now busy keeping up with demand, with delivery of the second and third units scheduled for the third and fourth quarters of this year respectively, and
hulls four to six in 2021. A Sirena 88 may even appear at next year’s Miami Yacht Show.
“I’m very happy with it,” Rover admits. It’s likely the owners will be, too.
The original article first appeared in Yacht Style Issue 54 (Charter Issue 2020) – see below:
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Yacht Style has released Issue 54 (July-August), its Charter Issue for 2020. Flying Fox, the world's largest charter yacht, stars on the front cover of the 208-page magazine, as the 136m megayacht prepares to return to Asia later this year.