The Cannes Yachting Festival is fun for a lot of reasons. The weather is usually good, and often perfect. Cannes is the first event of the fall show season, so everyone is happy to be there. And, there are boats—so many boats—to step aboard and learn about.
This year at Cannes, I found myself standing next to a distinguished-looking gentleman whom I almost recognized, but not quite. His name badge revealed that he was Germán Frers, the well-known Argentinian yacht designer. We were aboard one of his latest projects: the Sirena 78.
Throughout the years, his studio has designed breathtaking superyachts, groundbreaking racing sailboats, jet-drive sports cruisers, and pretty much everything in between. The Sirena 78 is his third model for the Turkish shipyard. The yacht has a semi-displacement shape with wineglass sections, a pronounced keel for directional stability, and fairly flat panels aft for efficiency. Broad chine flats add lift.
As it turns out, the Sirena 78 almost didn’t have a flybridge. Frers says he resisted adding one atop his design at first, but acquiesced to consumer demand.
“The enclosed flybridge adds weight exactly where you don’t want it,” he told me. “So, on this version, we have introduced ballast for extra stability—5 tons, down in the keel, along the centerline.”
With the 78’s naval architecture, general arrangement and profile being handled in Buenos Aires, Sirena turned to Holland, engaging the Cor D. Rover studio for interior design. Linda Chevallerau was the project lead, having started working with Sirena on its 88 before moving to the 68.
“Clients liked those, so we continued in that style,” she says. “For me, it’s all about getting the best out of the light. I also brought in a subtle Ottoman flavor—you can see it in the bedding—because the shipyard is very proud of being Turkish, and I wanted to celebrate that.”
The project took about a year, but ended up coming together quite quickly, according to studio head Cor D. Rover.
“We like working with Germán,” he says. “Interior designers always want more space, but it helps that I’m a naval architect too, so I know what
Germán needs, and he knows what we need. He
always gives us more than we expect.”
They certainly made the most of the volumes available. I don’t know another yacht of this size that makes quite such a jaw-dropping impression when you first step inside. There is a more conventional layout available, but Sirena wisely chose to make this first example as attention-grabbing as possible. So the visitor walking in from the cockpit beholds a main deck that stretches endlessly ahead. Its extraordinary length, for there is no lower helm, is enhanced by the central island galley and the long dining table leading forward. A tall windshield and side windows ensure that everyone gets a terrific view, from the chef to the head of the table. The salon seating area aft has freestanding furniture, which the shipyard points out can be rearranged according to your fancy. In rough conditions, of course, it will rearrange itself whether you fancy it or not. The open companionway on the port side looks spectacular, but I felt it could benefit from another handrail on its inner side, or perhaps a pole, to help prevent your guests arriving for dinner before the chef is ready.
The 78’s four en suite guest staterooms are below, in a symmetrical layout around a central companionway. Up in the bow, the VIP stateroom’s berth is offset along the port side. Abaft the VIP are the twin-berth guest staterooms. These are all comfortable spaces for guests, but the amidships master stateroom takes the prize for best use of the hull’s 21-foot, 3-inch beam. The shower and head compartment along the after bulkhead stretch the whole way across the boat, with his-and-her sinks and toilets, and a glass shower in the middle. Owners can opt for a walk-in closet on one side, or a settee and a set of drawers. Hullside windows bring daylight into all the staterooms, where minimum headroom is well north of 6 feet.
There are options out on deck, too, with several layouts available on the foredeck, and a choice up top of an open, partly enclosed or fully enclosed flybridge. A variety of seating plans are also possible.
Sirena offers the 78 with standard twin 1,400-hp MAN V-12s, or with 1,550- or 1,800-hp MAN V-12s. Hull No. 1 has the 1,550-hp package flat-mounted on V-drive transmissions in a roomy, well-
organized machinery space. They felt good from the helm station, where my eyeline was more than 20 feet above the waterline.
The yacht accelerated willingly, even though the engines weren’t quite reaching their rated maximum (for reasons no one seemed entirely sure about). We posted a maximum speed of 25.2 knots. Conditions were far from challenging, with a light breeze and flat sea, but the Humphree fin stabilizers showed themselves to be effective in controlling the hull’s outward heel in hard turns, and we left them on automatic throughout the ride.
At maximum speed, the 78’s range, allowing for a 10 percent reserve, topped 300 nautical miles. A moderately fast cruise of 16 knots provided about 400 nautical miles, while easing back to a full-displacement 11 knots should double that figure.
Visibility from the helm station is excellent, with no reflections in the vertical windows. And, the Sirena 78’s towering profile brings its own advantages: Most skippers will have a view of the horizon around 5 nautical miles in all directions.
That’s a commanding feeling—perhaps not lord of all you survey, but pretty close. Sirena 78 is a boat with lofty ambitions.The Bay of Cannes didn’t seem quite big enough to contain them.
Beam 21ft. 3in.
Draft 5ft. 7in.
Displacement 156,087 lbs.
Construction FRP/carbon fiber
Engines 2x 1,550-hp MAN V-12
Fuel 2,378 gal.
Water 476 gal.
This article was originally published in the November/December 2022 issue.