It seems ironic that the concept of slow yachting pioneered by Arcadia Yachts has quickly propelled the Italian yacht-builder to global prominence. That meteoric rise to icon status rests squarely on the strength of such innovative designs as its 24-metre Sherpa XL.
Envisioned as a “pocket-mega yacht,” the Sherpa XL lives up to the concept with a brilliant design that makes the most of its comparatively compact footprint. There’s no shortage of inviting and comfortable outdoor spaces where owners and their guests can stretch out and enjoy the sunshine, delight in spectacular views, or kick back with a glass of wine and a good book, undisturbed by everyday life’s distractions. Yet all this attention to outdoor living doesn’t detract from the yacht’s interior space and grand scale. That’s quite an achievement, as evidenced by the Sherpa XL’s being named winner of the 2019 World Yachts Trophies for innovation in the 64-foot-to-80-foot class.
Stepping aboard the yacht via its extensive stern swim platform, the sharp-eyed will notice the central portion of the platform stands out with its curious drain slats. Because the sea is meant to be enjoyed, the central portion of the platform lifts and deploys into the water at the touch of a button, providing a comfortable swim-up step for easy post-swim reboarding. A series of underwater lights surrounding the stern provides added assistance should that be an evening swim.
At either end of the teak-capped platform, five illuminated steps either side of an enormous central sun pad lead up to the main deck and its large, inviting cockpit. There, plush outdoor sofas create a wonderful spot for conversations while enjoying the fresh air. At the forward end of this delightful terrace, an outside dining area invites dining alfresco day or night.
Continuing forward leads up a short set of steps to the salon, where a large L-shaped lounge with some facing chairs bathe in light thanks to the Sherpa XL’s full-height windows. Want to flood the space in fresh air? The glass panels can be raised and lowered like the side windows in a car, for uninterrupted views and nature’s best air conditioning.
The seven-metre beam provides a number of interior layout options, including a closed galley at the aft portside end of the salon, its discreet entrance intended to be accessed by crew rather than the owners and guests.
The helm station, at the forward end of the main-deck salon, features a full glass cockpit with three large touch-screen displays housed in a neat module above the cabinet-style helm. Twin Volvo Penta IPS 1350 engines can push the Sherpa XL to a maximum speed of 23 knots and cruise quite comfortably at around 12 knots for a range in excess of 1,000 nautical miles, or around 2,200 kilometres.
The roof of the salon is dominated by a 30-square-metre solar panel array, generating up to 2.5 kilowatts of energy. Depending on owner preference, the salon ceiling may be ordered with the underside of these panels fully exposed for a striking look that simultaneously reduces the need for interior lighting by day.
For those seeking to enjoy the sun with a little more privacy, the upper-deck sun lounge offers 36 square metres of open space. Various furniture arrangements allow multiple seating options from full lounges to sofas and club chairs, depending on the buyer’s tastes. An integrated wet bar makes it a great spot for evening relaxation.
Down below, the master suite enjoys a cabin that merges seamlessly with the bathroom with no partitions so owners can enjoy a space with a domestic touch: large, open, and full of light, partly thanks to yet more panoramic windows that extend down to the water line.
One distinctive feature of the master suite is how quiet it is. There’s no hint of engine noise, largely thanks to the location of the vessel’s side-accessed garage for the tender and perhaps a Sea-Doo. Positioned between the master suite and the engine room as a sound barrier, it assures a solid night’s sleep even when the yacht is underway.
Guests enjoy a VIP cabin located farther forward in the bow, which follows the same open design principle with its open ensuite head. Two smaller guest cabins are each equipped with twin beds and their own ensuite.
A separate crew accommodation is linked directly to the helm for privacy, while an additional optional cabin can be ordered to accommodate a hostess.
Arcadia’s Sherpa XL is clearly built for enjoying la dolce vita—a commitment to savouring life that forms the DNA of the fabled Naples-based yacht-builder. This pocket megayacht clearly delivers on that promise, with over-the-top style on a moderate footprint.