The new Nisi 2400 (‘island in Greek) from Tricon Marine is a demonstration of just how much can be done in China
There is a move towards using semi-displacement hulls for motor yachts to meet the perceived demand for economical performance and a longer range. They are a sort of halfway house between the heavy displacement yacht and the planing motor yacht, which sounds like a great solution but can produce a very wet boat at low speeds. And, such boats tend to meet a brick wall of performance at a little over 20 knots. Now, a builder in China has come up with a new generation of semi-displacement design to introduce a yacht that is the closest to perfection that I have found in years of doing sea trials. Nisi from Tricon Marine is a yacht that combines brilliant seaworthiness, exciting speeds, a luxurious yet practical style, and the highest quality.
The hull design is the key to this performance. Tricon turned to Setzer Yacht Design for this, and the result is a slim hull with a very fine entry that flattens out as it runs aft. This is combined with a sharp turn of the bilge that converts into a chine forward. There is a skeg for directional stability and a plumb bow that adds to the waterline length. The narrow hull does compromise the accommodation space, but what they have lost in the beam they have made up by having a very compact engine installation that allows more of the length for accommodation.
Combine this unique 24-metre hull with an advanced propulsion system comprising three 600-horsepower Cummins diesels coupled to the Zeus Pod Drive, and you have the recipe for performance. Nisi might be a semi-displacement hull, but she can top out at 30 knots. This gives that unique combination: a yacht that can operate comfortably at modest speeds and yet give the excitement of speed when you need it.
Matching speed to seaworthiness is the difficult part of any design but the fine entry at the bow enables Nisi to cut through moderate waves without disturbing the cocktails. In larger waves, there is some lift at the bow but the ride remains level and controlled, and there is a distinct absence of spray, suggesting that everything is under control. Even when you push the yacht hard and you think you have overdone it, Nisi comes up smiling, making this a very forgiving design. In following seas, the yacht runs well but in rough seas there might be a need for throttle control to get the bow to lift. It is wonderful the way that Nisi responds to the throttle making you feel really in control of any situation. In beam seas, the stabilisers take control of the motion. Even without the stabilisers, the ride is still controlled and comfortable.
The advantages of the triple engine machinery installation are many. There is the compact size and these smaller engines are cheaper and lighter that a pair of heavier diesels. There is redundancy built into the systems so the yacht can run happily on one or two out of three engines. This is the propulsion system of the future and it is a wonder that other builders have not taken up this option.
Another benefit of the pod drives is that they can be coupled into a joystick system so there is the benefit of precise harbour manoeuvring. A bow thruster is fitted and it might be useful in strong winds but the joystick control linked to the rotating pod drives does everything you ask of it.
The narrow hull does comprise the interior space compared with other wide beam yachts and the two side by side double guest cabins have beds that only have access from one side. An alternative solution would be to replace these doubles with a double and a single to get more useable space. There is no compromise in the full-width master suite, and this has a wonderful spacious feel that is enhanced by the use of large mirrors and light colours for the decor. The style here is stunning and inviting with large side windows for light and limed wood with a warm tone making a nice contrast to the lighter colours. The bathroom and closets are generously sized. In the bow, there is a VIP cabin that follows a similar style but on a smaller scale.