Published in: Sunday, 01 January 2012
Features > Sunreef – Che (Page 1/1)

Sunreef – Che

Sunreef launched their biggest catamaran yet, 114-footer Che, and it shows just how far the Polish builder has come in quality and style as the owners prepare for a lengthy, global cruise

The moment we stepped aboard the 37-metre grey hulled catamaran Che as she lay at anchor in Gocek, Turkey the spell that Asia casts so well over things of beauty fell upon us.  Here is sailing superyacht that is so full of eastern promise that one immediately knows that the owners have a love of the cruising grounds that Malaysia, Thailand and Burma have to offer. Sunreef Che 6The black and white flag denoting the Yin and Yang symbol was flying from the spreader and immediately you could see the reasoning behind the need for two hulls. In catamaran living, one simply cannot exist without the other. Sunreef Che 10Before buying this yacht, the owner and his wife, a well-travelled couple from Belgium had owned another Sunreef catamaran. Like this one, she was called Che. But the Sunreef 74, at 22.5 metres, was cramping their style. While they liked the classic dynamic lines of the smaller boat, they decided to go for a bigger boat. When the Polish-based builder first suggested their new 80 design with its elegant hulls, large side windows and a rather high freeboard, the owner decided he wanted something more simple and perhaps more dynamic. Sunreef Che 14Replacing the pod shapes with more streamlined, thinner hulls and lowering the freeboard seemed to press all the right buttons. But the owners had two priorities and were not prepared to compromise. They sought internal space and comfort coupled with an exciting sailing performance. Additionally, the owners had benefited from the same crew for some years and wanted to accommodate them in comfort and with the necessary amenities aboard the new yacht.  The size of the yacht grew with each meeting between Sunreef and the owners. Starting at 22 metres, designs were then drawn for 32 and 35 metres before the 37-metre configuration was settled upon – the largest yacht ever built by Sunreef. 

The owners’ future sailing itinerary includes a five-year, round-the-world trip with long stops in French Polynesia. This element became the driving force during the design stages, and it explains why they wanted to make sure everyone on board could pursue the adventure in the most optimal living conditions.Sunreef Che 21 The final accommodation layout consists of an owner suite, three guest cabins and crew quarters all housed inside the two pods. Unusually, the galley is prominently placed on the main deck, beside the saloon and immediately behind the inner helm position. Sunreef Che 16The interior design was very much influenced by the owner's wife, who chose all the materials and colours. She also stipulated the yacht should be “something slightly eccentric yet nevertheless, extraordinary.” Teak decks are conventionally used outside, but everywhere else, bamboo is the wood of choice including all interior flooring, bulkheads doors and furniture. The caramel coloured versatile wood is everywhere yet never overwhelms. Sunreef Che 17Providing some contrast to the wood is grey coloured upholstery while high-gloss turquoise-coloured tabletops add drama and decoration. Being experienced sailors, the owners knew a thing or two about cruising long distance by boat and insisted upon a modern and practical interior with plenty of storage areas. Sunreef Che 24The interior design emerged exactly as planned – an intimate, Zen-like ambiance enhanced by the clever use of lighting on board. Discrete LED lights, halogen regular lights or side bed lights, can illuminate cabins. It is all in the detail; the insides of all the cupboards and wardrobes in each of the cabins are painted different colours and have matching cabin decorations, pillows, bed covers and towels. Sunreef Che 18It is, however, the allocation of space on the main deck that will be forever memorable for us aboard this yacht. Using the adage that the kitchen is the heart of every home, the owners chose to put the galley inside a glass box at the centre of the yacht and make it a part of the interior lounge. Both owners love to cook and when not doing so, they enjoy being involved in the process by watching crew prepare food. Sunreef Che 22The request to have one huge open space comprising a big saloon, lounge area, helm station and a professional galley enhances the impression of one, fluid and uncut area. But creating this all in one space was a cause for major concern at the shipyard. There was still the need to isolate the galley from the saloon and the cabins below, to block noise and smell and at the same time, guarantee maximum comfort for guests. In short they had to make sure that the yacht would be suitable for both long-range travel and exclusive charters. Sunreef responded by building a glass-enclosed galley with blinds that can be closed by the guests or crew to preserve privacy if required. Sunreef Che 4Another concern the shipyard had to conquer was the demand from owners that storage space had to be customised to contain and protect specific objects that were supposed to be stowed in the particular compartments chosen by them. To ensure everything fit perfectly, the yacht’s entire inventory of china, glass and cutlery was sent to the shipyard ahead of time so as to have custom-built drawers. The owner also requested the installation of a special wine cellar in the hull that is capable of storing over 200 bottles of wine – this is a yacht where an invitation to dinner is definitely not to be refused. Sunreef Che 5One of the most challenging aspects during the construction and design was to meet all the safety requirements applicable to yachts over 24 metres while keeping the perfect look of a luxury superyacht at the same time. The shipyard needed to implement all MCA standards to ensure full compliance, yet the owners wanted to make sure the yacht looked beautiful and the aesthetics were absolutely impeccable at all times. 

For instance, the owners insisted that the bright orange life rings were to be covered in grey canvas to match the yacht hull colours. Although this decision undoubtedly breaks flag regulations, the captain assured us that he and his crew drill in man overboard situations weekly and the covers have never hindered the deployment of the life rings. 

Global performance standards

 Sunreef Che 15Che, at the time of its launch, was the biggest sloop-rigged catamaran in the world built in aluminium, and it was the first of this size to be classified LY2 by the MCA. Consequently, the shipyard needed to figure out how to meet all these stringent requirements without compromising on the yacht's weight or losing on performance. Numerous studies on the boat performance and ease of manoeuvrability were carried out. Her 40-metre mast was built of carbon, as was the 16 x 2.5 metre boom. The yacht’s cross beam and martingale were both built in-house out of carbon composite. Sunreef have perhaps every right to be proud of their description, stating that Che is an “all terrain vehicle” designed for a round-the-world trip in absolutely all sea conditions. Sunreef Che 12Sea trials proved this from the start when the yacht showed that the lengthy and careful calculations made by the shipyard were correct. Speeds under power exceeded the predicted 14 knots. Under sail in the cold waters of the Baltic Sea, Che’s 680-square metre spinnaker proved the yacht to be fantastic fun, achieving an average cruising speed of 16 knots, with speeds subsequently topping out at just over 20 knots. Sunreef Che 26As experienced sailors who enjoy long offshore passages and frequent ocean crossings, performance was always one of the critical criteria. The owner believes in working with the sails instead of just pushing buttons. He enjoys the sports-like exhilaration that sailing big boats brings to the fore. He specified a true sailing yacht with all equipment within easy reach centralised on the fly bridge. All hydraulic winches and rigging are clearly positioned and not hidden away, which helps to minimise structural weight. Sunreef Che 25

It was the Frenchman, Francis Lapp who, with his son Nicolas, founded Sunreef yachts. They chose to do so during 2000 inside the Gydansk shipyard. Now some 50 or so boats later, they are able to look back on their venture with a certain amount of pride at its success.  In that time they have turned a run down shed inside the Polish shipyard better known for its Solidarity and Lech Walensa connections, into a business that employs a work force of nearly 500.  The company specialises in the building of power and sailing catamarans from 18 metres and upwards with the facilities to build them to 60 metres.  To date the largest is Che at 35 metres built for a repeat customer. Sunreef Che 3We did not get to sail Che in Gocek but did sail in Ipharra, a smaller Sunreef at 33 metres. The little sister proved to be good at the job and if big sister matches or exceeds those capabilities, then the owner of Che has met his match and Yin is at one with Yang. Che is available for charter, either from her own website, or through Sunreef.Sunreef Che 12

In Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia:

In China:

Technical Specifications – Sunreef 35m Che

Length                                   35 m

Waterline length                  31.74 m

Beam                                      12.8 m

Draught                                 2.5 m

Displacement                        115 tonnes

Hull Material             Aluminium

Spar Material                        Carbon

Mast Height                          47m

Mainsail                                 390 m2

Gennaker                              415.00 m2

Genoa                                                210.00 m2

Solent                                     100.00 m2

Storm Jib                               25.00 m2

Engines                                  2 x 455 HP Cummins

Fuel capacity                         2 x 9000 L

Water capacity                      2 x 2650 L

Navcom system                   Furuno Navnet 3D

Classification             Bureau Veritas

Compliancy                          MCA LY2

Flag                                        Belgium

Interior Design                     Owner and Sunreef Yachts

Construction                         Sunreef Yachts

Exterior Stylist                      Jeanne Bertail, Sunreef Yachts