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Acapella superyacht Croatia
January 05, 2021
Every day we hear or read stories about ordinary people doing remarkable things. This is one of those stories.
It was 2004 and we were on our way to meet Niksa, a young guy in his late twenties who owned Andjeo, the very first luxury ketch based in Croatia. Niksa's family comes from a seaside village called Doli, just outside of Dubrovnik, this was where Andjeo was moored during the winter. Upon meeting the family in Doli, we were straight away won by their warmth and hospitality, they told us about the family's 100 years of shipbuilding tradition, their stories of their ancestors transporting salt and oil, both considered as ‘gold’ were captivating.
Andjeo was immaculate. The amount of ‘personal touches’ that run throughout the boat such as a large anchor on the dining table carved by Niksa’s father told a story of passion and dedication. Andjeo was an exceptional vessel, no other vessel in the Adriatic could compare with Andjeo. She was our best-selling vessel with the clients coming back every year. Some of the best testimonials we received were for Andjeo, the clients from all over the world, sharing their memories and beautiful stories about Andjeo and the crew. Having chartered Andjeo for 17 years, Niksa had decided to sell Andjeo. He told us he wanted to build a sailing yacht.
Last summer Niksa invited us to Korcula. Korcula used to be the centre of Croatian shipbuilding industry but sadly over the years the industry totally declined. Niksa took upon himself a mammoth task to single handedly re-open an abandoned shipyard so that he can build Acapella. We have seen many yacht constructions but mainly in large shipyards run by a team of project managers, architects, electricians etc, but at the abandoned shipyard we found Niksa, his brother and his father helped by 2 workers. Make no mistake; Acapella was not an easy project. Faced with long delays due to Corona, suppliers going bust, deliveries missing and many more, Acapella fought many battles before seeing a daylight.
Timeline of Acappela. Dora, Niksa and Tomo in front of Acapella on Korcula. Below, you will find a short interview with Niksa about the Acapella construction.
1) How long did it take to build Acapella?
Niksa: The actual work on Acapella took us around two years, but the idea to build a large sailing yacht started much earlier. For years, I had been producing schemes, and developing various marine systems.
2) How much did it cost to build Acapella? Who were your major suppliers? Where did you source most of materials?
Niksa: We invested around 7 million Euros. We did not want to compromise on anything, Acapella was to be built to the highest standard using the highest quality materials, so we sourced the materials from the top producers from USA, Germany and Turkey. We wanted the ultimate comfort and luxury.
3) Who is behind the Acapella design?
Niksa: The initial plan was produced by Tomo (my brother) and myself. Salt and water studio did the interior design.
4) How does Acapella differ from other yachts in the Adriatic?
Niksa: We wanted to rise a bar a little more so we came up with a three master cabin concept. Most of the yachts on the market offer 1 master cabin, we wanted to extend the comfort and luxury across the yacht. We are also the first and only Croatian flagged sailing yacht with a permission to sail in the Adratic. For those who might not know, a special permission is required for a sailing yacht over 40m in the Adriatic. There are a number of newly built motor sailers like Lady Gita, Rara Avis, Aurum Sky but all of them are motor sailers, Acapella is a sailing yacht with over 1 million Euro invested in sails. Think about an Oyster, a Swan or a Perini Navi yacht.
5) We know that most of the work on the yacht had been done by you, your brother and your father? Who else helped?
Niksa: We had a very small team with us, we wanted to give a change to people who were experts in design and construction but had not worked with yachts before. We were very pleased with Salt and Water Studio.
6) How did you come up with the name Acapella?
Niksa: It was Tomo's idea. We talked about the beauty of Acapella signing and how an important space it holds in Dalmatia - so one day Tomo said why we would not name the yacht Acapella?
7) What inspired you to build Acapella?
Niksa: Certainly not the commercial side of yachting, we are well aware the competition is huge and we are just a yacht in the Adriatic, but love for sailing is something else.
8) What those who charter Acapella can expect? Do you offer any special experiences?
Niksa: First and foremost, sailing, those who charter luxury sailing yachts very often enter the Adriatic with an Oyster, a Swan or a Perini Navi, we want the world to know that Croatia has also something to offer too. Acapella is also a 5 cabins yacht that is a quite rare layout with large sailing yachts that predominately offer a 3 to 4 cabin layout. We believe we can offer a much better sailing experience due to our local knowledge and a network of suppliers. Our prices are also much more competitive, the clients get much more for their money in Croatia than in the West Med.
9) What advice would you give to anyone looking to build a yacht of this standard in Croatia?
Niksa: Make sure you understand the shipbuilding quite well, as there are many people out there happy to take advantage or you or mislead you.
This is the reason why we have been chartering yachts in Croatia for over 20 years now, for these people who inspire us and remind us that everything in life is possible if you put your mind and heart to it. For more information on Acapella, please get in touch.