One of the attention grabbers at the latest Monaco Yacht Show was undoubtedly motoryacht Nassima. The yacht was built by up-and-coming superyacht builder Acico Yachts. The history of the yacht project is closely linked with the origination of the shipyard.

It was in 2010, when the order for Nassima had just been placed with Dutch Yacht Builders (Enkhuizen, the Netherlands), that this yard got into financial difficulties due to several fall-out projects, at the climax of the economic crisis. The owner of the Nassima project, also owner of the building group Acico Construction in the Middle East, decided to take the matter into his own hands. He took over the yard, renamed it Acico Yachts, and installed his owner’s representative, Christian Bolinger, as managing director of the yard. All other personnel, including the management and the experienced workforce, remained in place.


The proposition of Acico Yachts remained much the same as that of Dutch Yacht Builders: to produce high-quality superyachts at an affordable cost by keeping the organisational structure lean, and by carefully selecting suppliers for their value for money. While Nassima was originally built for the owner of the yard, the yacht is also on the market and at the same time is a showcase for the yard’s technical prowess. Bolinger: “Although the yacht was built specifically for an owner with a detailed design brief and high specification, Nassima was very well received at the Monaco Yacht Show. She has a number of features that make her stand out from the rest of the pack.”

Car garage

One of these unique design choices is without a doubt the garage, located where most yachts nowadays feature a beachclub. While a garage on a yacht usually refers to the place where the tenders are stored, in this case it is a garage housing a car (a Mini Cooper) and two Ducati motorbikes. When moored alongside, a large crane, positioned on the upper aft deck, can lift out the car and the motorbikes, making it quick and easy for the owner and guests to visit the surroundings on land. For this purpose, the stern hatch is hinged on the lower edge. The yacht’s MOB tenders and the two personal watercrafts are located on either side of the crane on the upper aft deck. Also included in the garage is a shock-freezer, to store the catch of the owner, an avid fisherman. For easy manoeuvring during fishing, an additional steering position was created in the lazarette. The swimplatform is equipped with two large custom-built removable rain showers, a nice change from the small handshower often found at the stern. On the foredeck, a very deep well is created to allow the storage of a submarine, which can be lifted into the water with a 2.8 ton SWL foredeck crane. Alternatively, the location can be used to store a third (crew) tender or jet skis.

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Acico Yachts, Enkhuizen, the Netherlands
Principal particulars
Length o.a. 49.18 m
Length b.p.p. 41.92 m
Beam o.a. 8.79 m
Draught 2.35 m
Displacement 330 ton
Gross tonnage 473 GT
Speed 19.0 knots
Crew 11
Guests 12
Tank capacities
Diesel 76 m3
Fresh water 7.6 m3
Grey and black water 7.0 m3
Lubricating oil 2.6 m3
Waste oil 3.8 m3
Main engines 2 x 1,764 BkW
Generators 2 x 125 kW + 1 x 100 kW
Emergency generator n.a.

Private aft deck

Another unique feature is the location of the master cabin. Instead of the common position forward on the main deck, the master cabin is located on the upper deck aft, where usually the skylounge would be found. This space features the best views with large windows to the side and the aft, and the large sliding doors allow access to a private aft deck. Curtains on either side can be closed to maintain privacy on the  aft deck from guests and crew circulating from the main deck to the sun deck. An additional advantage of this location is the extremely low noise level, also while sailing. When the weather is too rough even for the Naiad stabilizers, and ship motions make sleeping on the bridge deck uncomfortable, the owner can opt to relocate to the full-beam VIP cabin on the lower deck, just forward of the engine room. Another four double-guest rooms are located on the lower deck, making the total number of sleeping guests amount to twelve, without having to resort to pullman beds or convertible cabins. Certainly a plus in charter use.

A large crane on the upper aft deck can place the car,two motorbikes and two tenders overboard

No 7 MbH Okt-Nov voor Website.jpg 48 2 Another advantage of locating the master 1 cabin on the upper deck,  is that the space a forward on the main deck could be arranged E as  a large gym room, with adjoining bathroom g and dressing room.  Just aft of the gym is the laundry on starboard side, and the  spacious galley on port side. A dumbwaiter from Lift Emotion  connects the galley to the upper deck and sundeck. Although the  owner opted not to have a whirlpool on the sundeck, both the deck  strengthening and plumbing are in place, allowing a future owner  to substitute the bar with a jacuzzi at minimal cost.

 Slender profile


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The exterior design and naval architecture came from the drawing  boardsof Olivier F. van Meer, who succeeded well in creating a contemporary classic look, avoiding hard edges in favour of  curvaceous lines throughout the boat. The length of 49 metres in combination with a gross tonnage of 473 GT results in a long and  slender profile, with a bulbous bow to reduce the resistance. The off-  white superstructure sits atop a very light gray-blue hull, a palette  which seems to look different depending on the angle of the sun.  The interior designer, Maja von Dewitz from Swiss design studio  vdp Studio, created a comfortable modern interior, using a  combination of wood, white panelling and gold-leaf accents.


No 7 MbH Okt-Nov voor Website.jpg 48 4An eye-catcher in the lounge on main deck is the gigantic floor-to-ceiling seawater aquarium, which separates the lounge from the aft deck. On the aft deck, the aquarium forms the spectacular backdrop to the bar and lounge area. To improve contact between the lounge and the outside world, a double sliding door can be opened both on port and starboard side of the lounge, to give access to the side decks. The interior of the guest and public spaces was built by List, an Austrian contractor. The crew accommodation and service spaces were built by Acico’s internal carpentry department.

Long range

Nassima was envisioned as a yacht to travel the world as a liveaboard, a fact reflected in her ample tankage of 76,000 litres, which gives her a spectacular range of 6,800 nautical miles at an economic cruising speed of ten knots. When all 3,528 kilowatts of propulsion power are called for, she reaches a top speed of 19 knots. Contrary to most displacement yachts in this size range, both hull and superstructure were built of aluminium, making Nassima relatively light-weight. The advantage of aluminium – besides being Acico’s preferred building material – is that it allows for a very long range in combination with a shallow draught.

In all the systems, a high level of redundancy was built in, to ensure trouble-free cruising in even the most remote areas. Therefore the yacht features three gensets, three watermakers and an extra compressor in the chilled water plant. The air-conditioning installation from Heinen & Hopman is built for the harsh conditions in the Persian Gulf (40°C and 95% relative humidity). On the exterior decks, an air humidification system from WM Europe provides refreshment by injecting water mist into the air at certain intervals. The complete electrical installation was done by Brouwer Elektrotechniek from Urk, the Netherlands, which has a long and fruitful working relation with the yard.

Process management

Bolinger explains that being the ‘new kid on the block’, the yard is focussed on delivering high quality at an affordable cost. This is achieved by lean administration and innovative process management. As an example, he cites that the yard’s design department generates complete 3D models of the yachts, including all interiors, piping systems and structures. This has generated a significant reduction in manhours during the installation when comparing with previous projects. Acico Yachts is now completing a 35 metre sailing yacht, Zaca 115, also a design of Olivier F. van Meer, and talks are ongoing for several other projects. Motoryacht Nassima will attend the Miami Boat Show and will tour the Caribbean this winter season.

Bruno Bouckaert

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