A light, nimble, spacious and social Swedish yacht comes calling on U.S. ports.
Carbon fiber as a construction material has long been the choice of certain sectors of the military and aerospace industries, favored for its lightweight strength and durability. Yacht builders have taken notice, realizing carbon fiber’s potential in the areas of noise and vibration reduction, speed and fuel efficiency, malleability and weight savings. Taking all those advantages and packaging them together was an irresistible draw for Delta Powerboats when it began producing boats in the early 2000s.
Delta has proprietized the process a bit to build its line of boats, from the smallest — the 26 Open — to the flagship 88 Carbon Sport Yacht, which made its U.S. debut at the 2016 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. We’ll let the builder’s own words tell the tale: Sheets of carbon fiber are carefully reinforced with a vinylester and divinycell resin and then vacuum infused within the hull or superstructure mold. This process guarantees that the resin is evenly distributed and there are no areas of compromise.
Combine the technical aspects of building with carbon with the latest in propulsion, and the result is a near-85-foot yacht that can reach nearly 40 knots while saving up to 40 percent in fuel costs, according to Delta. Triple Volvo Penta IPS 1200 diesels, which each crank out 900 hp, are the powerplants, delivering a 38.5 knot top speed. In addition, the joystick can control the boat’s movements at speed, not just at the dock, so driving the yacht is flick-of-the-wrist simple.
While the technical aspects of the 88 Carbon are impressive, passengers can’t lie in the sun on a sheet of carbon fiber or sit and enjoy a cocktail seated atop divinycell resin, so let’s talk comfort, style and luxury.
Owners with real flesh-and-bone friends — not thumbs-up icons on the smartphone — will immediately notice and appreciate the three separate social areas on the yacht. The first is on the aft deck and consists of a bench settee, a dining table and five portable chairs. There’s room for 10 to sit and for eight to enjoy an alfresco meal. An awning extends out of the roofline to provide full coverage of the aft deck. The second social area is at the bow, where a C-shaped settee wraps around a table and twin sunpads are forward of that. The area can be as social or serene as its occupants desire.
The last outdoor gathering area is on the flybridge — heck, it is the flybridge. The centerline captain’s chair is flanked on both sides by doublewide companion seats, so five people can be at the helm. Aft of that, facing to the rear, is a C-shaped settee that can easily seat six people, and probably eight. It wraps around a table, for dining and drinks. A wet bar is aft and includes a sink, a refrigerator and plenty of working surface.
Inside, the 88 Carbon feels very high end, with teak on the walls, accenting the ceiling, used as furniture and even on the sole. Remote-controlled OceanAir blinds are leather covered. Two leather sofas flank the walkway from the aft deck to points forward, creating a conversation pit that spans the salon and seating up to 12 people. Just forward of the salon, passengers will find the galley to starboard and a formal dining area to port. A teak table is surrounded by eight matching dining chairs, and the chef should have no problem creating a fantastic meal, because the galley is fully equipped with a five-burner Miele cooktop, a microwave/convection oven, a six-foot-tall side-by-side refrigerator/freezer and plenty of Corian countertop prep space. Delta even supplies cutlery, glassware, pans and casserole dishes. A Miele dishwasher will handle cleanup.
Forward of the galley/dining area is the helm, which includes three captain’s chairs, a leather companion loveseat to port and a futuristic-looking dash. The base of the dash is sloped slightly upward, to make switches more accessible and gauges more readable, and the face of the dash is a floating pod — a feature being utilized by more builders. Three flat 19-inch Raymarine multifunction displays are housed in a rectangular unit that appears to float above the dash. The Volvo Penta joystick is built into the right arm of the captain’s chair, so the driver can steer the boat without even leaning forward; however, the joystick doesn’t control speed, so the driver will have to reach for the throttles on the dash to speed up or slow down.
Four staterooms, all with an en suite head, share the belowdecks space on the 88 Carbon. The VIP is in the bow, while two twin cabins occupy the space between the VIP and the amidships master, which spans the nearly 22-foot beam. The king-size berth’s head rests against the port hull side, and a seating area is opposite it, complete with a bench settee, a table and a desk/vanity top with a seat and a small refrigerator. Wide hull windows on both sides let in natural light.
The master head includes one long Corian countertop with twin sinks, Corian flooring, a Tecma toilet, a glass shower enclosure, storage and a wall of “opacity” glass between the stateroom and head. The shower includes a wand and a rain-shower head.
Aft of all the accommodations, and accessed separately, is another stateroom with four bunks, a head and a small galley, which can be crew quarters, if the owners don’t want to operate the yacht on their own, or accommodations for kids or grandchildren. In total, 12 people can sleep on the 88 Carbon — more, if folks don’t mind stretching out on sunpads and settees.
While the Ft. Lauderdale show marked the debut for the 88 Carbon in the U.S., we doubt the yacht will be the lone 88 in the country for long.
|LOA||84 ft., 5 in.|
|Beam||21 ft., 9 in.|
|Draft||5 ft., 7 in.|
|Displacement (Max)||121,254 lbs.|
|Power||Triple Volvo Penta IPS 1200, 900 hp each|
|Price as Tested||See dealer|
|Delta Powerboats, Saaremaa, Sweden; deltapowerboats.se|
|Delta Carbon Yachts, Miami; (305) 673-3334; deltacarbonyachts.com|