Having owned several yachts, the clients who ordered Najiba were fulfilling a long-held dream to commission a pure custom Feadship. To ensure they retained some of the European design influences they cherish, the owners partnered with Vitruvius Yachts and Philippe Briand as designers and naval architects, with Claudio Cicconetti being responsible for developing the general arrangement.
In a textbook example of teamwork, they were joined by interior designer Guillaume Rolland of Studio Christian Liaigre, owner’s project manager Peter Wilson from MCM and the Feadship builders and naval architects on a project that the owners found thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end.
“Najiba is a truly remarkable superyacht and the family are thrilled with what you have created for them,” explained Peter Wilson at the launch, speaking on behalf of the owners to the assembled workforce. “They had seen Feadship quality in other yachts, hence the longheld dream to develop one of their own. Even so, the owners and their extended family could not believe their eyes when the final result was revealed to them this morning.
“My clients are delighted by the way you bridged the gap between dream and reality as well as the excellent cooperation throughout the design and construction process. From my standpoint, too, the professional relationships developed through this four-year journey – helped by the client’s clear direction and swift decision-making – have made it an absolute pleasure. Najiba is a wonderful accomplishment and a testament to the family’s vision and determination.”
Honour and pride
Feadship director Henk de Vries agreed. “We are exceptionally proud of our contribution to this stunning 58-metre vessel. Najiba has a beautiful, complex interior with numerous unique features. The clients are big fans of architecture and design, and took great pride in what they were creating. They were also determined to provide a comfortable environment for their families both at sea and when moored. They have certainly succeeded in this and it has been an honour to work with them.”
Art, architecture and science
Najiba is the first Feadship to feature a Vitruvius Yachts design, the signature of which is clear in her sleek, low and timeless profile. “The owners understood very well that a perfect yacht requires a strong scientific and architectural approach to support the exterior design,” explains Philippe Briand.
“At Vitruvius Ltd we believe that architecture is the link between art and science. Art is also present in the clean and pure exterior lines and the way the interior design by Christian Liaigre plays dramatically with the wood and immaculate white surfaces to transport you into what feels like a whitewashed villa on the beach.
“There is an almost scientific approach in the concept behind the construction. Najiba is the second largest Feadship to be built in aluminium to date and features an extremely efficient hull. The result of the meticulously planned architecture keeps fuel consumption as low as eleven litres per nautical mile at twelve knots, enhancing the yacht’s sustainability.”
The interior of Najiba has a highly original layout, including two master staterooms. An openplan arrangement on the main deck – with no central staircase area blocking the vista – allows for views all the way forward through one of those staterooms (when open) to the bow. There are very few straight surfaces found on Najiba, with a wealth of angles and curved ceilings in an interior that has a sailing yacht feel with lots of teak deployed to fine effect.