Dream big, think small. That’s the maxim driving the recent wave of sub-90-foot “pocket explorers” that—minus helicopters and massive crews—have similar globe-traversing capabilities of full-size explorer yachts, which combine range and seaworthiness with the potential to live off the grid for days or even weeks.
Legacy builders such as Nordhavn, Grand Banks, and Marlow have been joined by newcomers Sirena, Numarine, Bering, Azimut, and others that eschew the 1970s trawler aesthetic for a more stylish, contemporary look. Azimut’s Magellano 60, for instance, pairs a sharp forefoot—for good seakeeping—with large open spaces across the interior and exterior. The 60-footer’s “Dual-Mode” hull allows it to hit 26 knots and achieve a range of 1,020 nautical miles at nine knots. Plus, it’s designed to run on HVOlution biofuel, reducing CO2 emissions by 80 percent.
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For those who still appreciate a small footprint but need more space than the Magellano 60 offers, the Numarine 26XP has been designed on both a planing hull, capable of 31 knots, and a slower, displacement running surface. The intrepid 85-footer features a tall bow, an enclosed pilothouse, and copious windows—though from an adventuring standpoint, the displacement version’s most important attributes are its range of 3,000 nautical miles at nine knots and a seven-foot draft, which enables not only transoceanic travel but also access to shallow waters when you arrive in port. Like the Magellano’s, the interior is all about space and comfort, with four staterooms that include a full-beam primary.
The king of the pocket explorers, though, is the Arksen 85, with its all-aluminum construction and range of up to 7,000 nautical miles. The chiseled, double-curvature in the hull points to a no-nonsense expedition design, but it is the low displacement-to-length ratio that increases efficiency across multiple sea conditions. The soon-to-be-launched hybrid version, Project Ocean, includes generators, electric engines, and solar power. While the interior is less stylish than the Magellano’s and the Numarine’s, it’s equally as open and functional. And with space for toy and tender storage, the Arksen is equipped for the journey and the destination.
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