Completed by Auckland’s Yachting Developments Ltd (YDL) last year, the 39.5m Lanakai is the world’s largest all-carbon sportsfisher. She combines impressive performance credentials, an extensive inventory of fishing equipment and a relaxed yet elegant interior. Story and pictures by Matt Crawford.

With her spacious four-deck design, Lanakai’s key features include an expansive fishing-focused inventory, a tailored cockpit, a VEEM twin Gyrostabiliser unit – and speed. Lots of it.

“She’s an impressive vessel on many levels,” says YDL Managing Director Ian Cook. “It’s not until you’re actually on board that you realise her sheer scale and the numerous design elements that came together to achieve her.”

The vessel’s from the drawing board of Michael Peters Yacht Design. “The build began with a blank sheet, allowing ample space to accommodate every desire in luxurious fashion,” says the company’s Chris Critchett. “As a fishing and diving platform she’s truly enormous, and incorporates everything expected of a sizable motoryacht in a sleek sportfisher’s profile.”



YDL applied its composite expertise to the build, creating a light and powerful yacht. “One of the unique concepts from a construction perspective was that all the cabin spaces were built in floating soundengineered boxes and lowered into the boat prior to the deck being fitted,” says Cook. “This meant that different elements of the project could be worked on concurrently, allowing the different disciplines in the yard to move the project forward at the same time.”

Together with YDL and Naylor Booth Associates, the owners created a ‘Kiwi contemporary’ feel with nautical touches, using a palette of blues, creams and stained walnut. Large windows fill the spaces with light. Contemporary art and black and white fishing-focused photography – much of it by noted photographer Zane Grey – hang throughout the vessel, in saloons and guest cabins.

Accommodation is for 10 guests, with a large full beam master, a VIP, a double and twin with two Pullmans. Guest spaces include the large main saloon, which features lounge seating (with storage for fishing equipment underneath), a full dining table, entertainment system, bar and access to the modern galley.

A second interior space is the skylounge, designed for relaxing and socialising. Features include a fullyequipped bar with seating, a desk for guests and relaxed seating. A pop-up privacy screen can divide the skylounge from the bridge or open up the two spaces for views across the water.

The bridge is also a popular space for guests who like to gather here when the yacht’s underway. Purposeful integration, a full-sized chart table to port and communications centre to starboard are just some of the many advanced features.

The electronics package has been designed around fishing and the displays can be easily switched between functions. The gear includes a 360o sonar with a range of 1000m on a periscope that drops out of the hull.


The owners’ passion for fishing is evident throughout Lanakai and nowhere more so than the cockpit. This space has been entirely tailored to fishing. Features include a Pompanette fighting chair and electronic display that mirrors the captain’s view in the bridge.

The cockpit’s smooth edges and finishes ensure easy movement around the space without catching lines – very important when fighting big fish. The design also incorporates big scupper drains and flaps.

Cockpit equipment extends to three large live bait tanks, tuna tubes, a 1000l fridge/freezer which can be filled with flake ice for an instant saltwater slurry for storing the fish, and a barbeque for enjoying freshly cooked catches. A large ‘games room’ is accessed off the cockpit and provides plenty of storage for fishing and diving equipment as well as direct access to the engine room.

Other outdoor spaces include the main aft deck with al fresco dining area and reversible seats for watching all the cockpit action. Up a level the sundeck has loungers and a control station, while up again the upper flybridge has an advanced helm station and a seating area.

The flybridge features the same display as the main bridge. The big open foredeck includes extensive storage for toys and tenders. The vessel carries two Smuggler tenders – 6.5m and 4.8m – as well as two kayaks and other gear. Tenders are stored on the foredeck with a Nautical Structures crane for easy deployment.


Powered by twin 3,150hp MTU 4000 series engines, Lanakai also features 120hp and 90hp Trac thrusters, twin VEEM gyro-stabilisers, two Kohler 80kW generators and four custom Humphree interceptor trim tabs.

“The later decision to install a VEEM Gyro was crucial. It really makes the boat, offering exceptional stability in often challenging conditions,” says Captain Danny Bos. “The boat is so light, long and narrow that good stabilisation was essential.”

Since her delivery Lanakai has been cruising extensively around New Zealand as well as the Pacific Islands.

“It was an honour to be chosen by these very experienced owners to build Lanakai, and we are especially pleased that they chose to work with a New Zealand yard and so many New Zealand suppliers,” says Cook.