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Perini Navi Dahlak, the longer sail yacht at the Cannes Yachting Festival

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Perini Navi Sailing Yacht C 2130
Perini Navi Sailing Yacht C 2130

Hull C. 2130, christened Dahlak after the Red Sea archipelago where her owner sailed as a boy, is the latest launch in the expanding Perini Navi fleet. With hull lines by Philippe Briand and built entirely on site at the company’s Picchiotti shipyard in La Spezia, the handsome new yacht is a sister ship to the award-winning P2 launched in 2008.


Dahlak represents a considerable step up in size, power and complexity in comparison to the owner’s previous yacht, a sailing catamaran 60 feet in length overall. Keen to enjoy the experience of skippering the 38m yacht himself, he studied to obtain his RYA Yachtmaster—unusual even for such a passionate and hand-on sailor.

The owner was insistent that Dahlak is a family boat in every sense of the word,” says Burak Akgul, Managing Director of Sales & Marketing. “By that he meant not only his own family, but also the Perini Navi family. We feel enormously privileged that this owner entrusted us to build his new sailing yacht to explore the world in complete safety and comfort.”

Dahlak and P2 share the same rig configuration and basic naval architecture, including a near-vertical bow to stretch the waterline length to the maximum and a high-aspect ratio sail plan for fast upwind sailing.

But there also are some key differences. The new yacht is constructed entirely of Sealium aluminium alloy, whereas P2 had a composite superstructure, and boasts several technical innovations that illustrate Perini Navi’s ongoing commitment to providing owners with the latest technology that enhances performance, sail handling and onboard comfort.


A major innovation—and a first for Perini Navi—is the yacht’s Lithium polymer marine bus system that provides a total of 136kWh of electrical energy (the DC bus conductor efficiently distributes voltage for constant or “clean” power throughout the vessel). Depending on which sailing and hotel systems are in use while either under way or at anchor, the battery banks can provide up to 8 hours silent autonomy with the fixed-speed generators switched off, resulting in less noise and fewer diesel emissions. Like P2, the lifting keel can vary draught from 3.5m to 5.5m, but the extra weight of the batteries low down in the hull combined with a heavier torpedo bulb removed the need for water ballast.


To further meet the owner’s brief for fast and easy sail handling, in addition to the Harken deck winches the yacht features three semi-automatic electric captive winches engineered by Perini Navi and a carbon fibre furling boom. Providing performance and safety in all sea conditions, the captive winches and boom are synchronized by the Perini Navi Automated Sail Handling System to dramatically improve furling and deployment speeds, while significantly reducing the time for tacking and jibing compared to the previous generation P2.

On P2 the manual sail handling controls were located between the twin helm wheels in middle of the cockpit, whereas the automated system aboard Dahlak has been integrated into the carbon fibre helm stations to be within easy reach when the yacht is sailed single-handed. The lightweight hull and widespread use of composite components, including the 51.40m mast by Southern Spars with composite EC6+ standing rigging, provide a displacement of 162t (gross tonnage is 171GT).


The yacht’s exterior styling by Philippe Briand is designed to highlight the yacht’s racy and dynamic character. Perini Navi worked with the designer to raise the height of the superstructure by 15cm for a more comfortable and luminous interior without affecting the svelte exterior profile. The resulting sense of space to spare is enhanced by the strip skylight running the length of the coachroof that floods the deckhouse with natural light (all the glazing in the salon has been specially treated to filter damaging and heat-producing IR and UV rays). The cockpit has versatile dining and seating options and is well protected by a deployable dodger and bimini top, while the generous transom garage can house a 16-foot Castoldi jet tender—quite an achievement on a 38m sailing yacht. 

The interior layout is similar to P2 with accommodation for up to eight guests in a full-beam owner’s stateroom and two en-suite cabins (the forward guest cabin is ideal for children with Pullman bunks and a single bed on slide rails to create a double). Elsewhere the owner requested minor modifications. The galley, for example, has been extended by one frame and includes a serving hatch, while the deckhouse dining and seating area upholstered in fresh cotton fabrics by Zimmer+Rohde is now separated from the navigation station by the waist-height joinery. The well-appointed and spacious crew quarters can accommodate up to 6 crew in three en-suite cabins.

The custom interior design was devised in-house by Perini Navi. Bleached teak veneers are accented with high-gloss teak and brushed stainless steel detailing, while the floors are of satin-finished teak with white “caulking”. The white lacquered ceiling and leather furniture surfaces in the deckhouse salon provide a light and airy ambience. Pearl grey and blue leather panels and headboards appear in the cabins in combination with ash wood ceilings and soft furnishings by Loro Piana. In combination with Dahlak’s Perini blue hull and oyster white superstructure, the overall effect is sober and sophisticated, yet warmly welcoming and family friendly.

A synthesis of performance and speed, beauty and comfort, Dahlak is our dream come true,” says the owner. “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work so closely with the Perini Navi team, who accurately interpreted our needs and collaborated with us to define every detail and develop each technical innovation. She is a unique and exciting yacht and we cannot wait to take her for a spin.”

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