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Motoring / Yachts

ILIAD Custom Cats in Strong Demand

World debuts for the ILIAD 53S at Sanctuary Cove and the ILIAD 53F in Sydney have resulted in steady sales of this long-range Australian-concept cat.

Jan 08, 2024 | By Bruce Maxwell
The ILIAD 53F flybridge model is a sistership to the 53S sedan

Launched in 2019 with a range of models to suit different budgets, ILIAD Catamarans has already established a second yard to meet demand, and looks like becoming “the next big thing” in the bespoke powercat market.

Brainchild of Mark Elkington, CEO of ILIAD co-owner Global Marine, the brand reflects his decades of experience and attention to detail, with multihulls in Asia-Pacific, Europe and now America. He also runs the specialist agency Multihull Solutions and fast-expanding The Yacht Sales Co, which apart from many Australian and New Zealand locations has offices in Phuket, Singapore, Philippines, New Caledonia, Fiji and French Polynesia.

Another mastermind of ILIAD Catamarans is renowned Italian naval architect Riccardo Bulgarelli, who worked in Europe for some of the world’s leading shipyards before establishing his own design office in Asia. Bulgarelli has designed and project managed exclusive custom builds to 112ft LOA, and applies this knowledge in helping to create the ILIAD experience.

Global Marine, among other things, looks after financial and management security for clients. Its powercats are built to CE (Cat A) as standard, but owners can equally specify any classification society. A five-year international structural warranty is offered.

The aft cockpit offers lounging and dining

The ILIAD 53F launched at the 2023 Sydney International Boat Show is the flybridge model to the ILIAD 53S sedan unveiled at the earlier Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. Both have kept sales teams busy as buyers warm to their exceptional range, fuel efficiency and the living space that these new boats deliver.

The 53F has the highest bridge deck clearance in its class, and combined with a high freeboard, is reported to handle tougher ocean conditions better than most, while also giving a command performance in more genteel offshore swells.

This impressive explorer yacht is fitted with 440hp Volvo or Yanmar engines, with Cummins as another option, delivering a remarkable top speed of 21 knots lightship when needed, and achieving over 3,135nm when cruising at lower revs. These are market-leading figures, and combined with fuel efficiency, are a huge drawcard for buyers who want to go the extra distance.

Whether being used as a stylish weekender or for a long-planned extended deep seas adventure, the ILIAD 53F offers outdoor living spaces that captivate many who step aboard. The aft cockpit has a bar area, barbecue and dining setting for up to 10 guests.

View from the flybridge while cruising in Sydney Harbour

The massive flybridge features another large dining table and lounge easily seating 10, and its independent galley, barbecue, bar and fridge make it the perfect spot for al fresco dining and entertainment under the stars. The upper helm has premium-quality double seats, allowing drivers to confer with guests.

Adjustable foredeck lounges are popular for sunset cocktails, and a range of leisure toys can be stored in the generous lockers. The optional tender platform can be used for swimming or diving, or sunbathing when the tender is deployed.

The ILIAD 53F interior comprises a forward salon, optional helm station and another dining setting that seats six to eight people. Panoramic window views can be seen from anywhere inside, and an abundance of natural light floods the area.

Principal galley is well-stocked with leading European appliances

The galley, fitted with finest European appliances, is sleek and practical with its island bench, full-sized refrigerator and freezer, and well-designed storage.

As with all ILIAD Catamaran models, the layout of the interior can be customised to suit individual needs and styles. Additional refrigeration and freezer storage may be added, more open-plan galleys provided, timber finishes and upholstery customised, cabin layouts changed, and storerooms, offices and laundries included.

This bespoke concept is a major advantage that ILIAD offers over competitors, as it enables owners to create their own unique vessel at a price that production manufacturers can’t meet.

The master suite in the starboard hull is remarkably spacious, with generous headroom and a luxury apartment ambience. Included are an office desk cum dressing table, separate sofa, hanging closets and an extensive en-suite with walk-in shower.

The master suite occupies the starboard hull

In the port hull the standard configuration is for a twin cabin, and a highly practical forward guest cabin with single or double berths. Each cabin has its own private en-suite, and excellent storage.

Three models of the ILIAD 53S were sold following the Sanctuary Cove show, this version appealing to clients wanting to enjoy unrestricted waterways such as America’s Intracoastal.

Similarly, the ILIAD 53F had a “huge success” after Sydney, said Elkington, with more orders taken, and the extraordinary range of both models was highlighted by the recent cruise of the 53S Tantrum to the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The first ILIAD 53 was sold to a US couple in early 2023, and in July US Youtubers Victoria Chalaya Rico Rox Stoll reviewed the vessel for their popular NautiStyles channel, which resulted in a further 170,000 views and an upsurge of interest in the States, which has become another new market for ILIAD. 

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