Nabil Ibrahim takes a look at one of the surprises of Fort Lauderdale, the CL Yachts CLX96.

Nabil Ibrahim

CL Yachts as a brand has only been active for a few yeas. Born from the famed Cheoy Lee (a shipyard that first delved into the luxury yacht market back in the late 1950s), CL Yachts aims at evolving fully into the leisure side of the market.

It’s first run of A, B and CLA series yachts were traditionally styled flybridges. Although sleek, efficient and backed by the yard’s heritage (The roots of the Lo family’s shipbuilding journey reach back to the 1870s) the CL range played it safe, attracting owners whose requirements were quality over innovation. And then they launched the CLX96.


Making her debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show after a long trek across the Pacific Ocean and through the Panama Canal, the radically styled CLX96 not only marks a stylistic departure from safely styled flybridges, but she brings with her a new niche: the Sea Activity Vessel (SAV).


Although built with the younger more adventurous international clientele in mind, the first CLX96 has been outfitted especially for the huge U.S. market. Milan-based Jozeph Forakis penned the rugged look – a futuristic style, taking design traits from explorers, superyachts and the yard’s workboats – highlighted by the two-level deckhouse and the inverted windshield. Not only does the screen clear water quicker than a raked screen, but it also keeps the interior cool by reducing the greenhouse effect. As well as a spacious foredeck lounge, the X-Series also benefits from a forward sundeck on the bridge deck, with a skydeck aft. Up here, guests are treated to commanding views of the sea, making the most of the amenities, including an outdoor grill, fridge and ice maker.

Life’s adventure: CL Yachts see every voyage as a chance to create meaningful moments of connection.
Born from the famed Cheoy Lee (a shipyard that first delved into the luxury yacht market back in the late 1950s)


Locating the bridge on the upper deck allows the main deck to be split into three areas. Aft is the salon, an open loft-like living area with almost uninterrupted views of the ocean. A large galley/bar supports the six-seater dining table and forward is another lounge ideally placed for entertaining.

Design details: From integral tanks created as part of the hull structure to performance-enhancing lightweight furniture, every CLX detail is thoroughly thought


For the first CLX96, below deck consists of the Master Suite forward, with guest cabins port and starboard, with the VIP amidships. Rather refreshingly, the captain and crew cabins benefit from a cosy crew lounge – because a happy crew means a happy yacht.


CL Yachts has broken new ground with its CLX96. Not only is the Sea Activity Vessel like no other CL before, but it’s mix of superyacht and workboat design pushes it towards the next generation of owner, one who wants plenty of space to entertain with the ability to hit a top speed of 25-knots at full load.