A streamlined bulb forward, fairly flat sections aft and 4,570 horsepower enable the aptly named Blue Belle to top out at 21 knots. This is well above hull speed, yet the hull shape and aluminum construction still allow efficient displacement cruising at lower speeds and a transatlantic range of 3,500 miles.
Blue Belle was built by Mondomarine, with engineering by Sydac, exterior design by Cor D Rover and interior design by Isabelle Blanchere. She carries four guest staterooms, two of them full-beam VIP suites and two with twin berths.
The owner's suite spans the full beam of the main deck forward, allowing space for an office. One deck up, abaft the pilothouse, the skylounge is laid out in a perfect circle and opens to an alfresco dining area sized to seat all 10 guests. The tender is also carried here, leaving the hinged transom area free for use as a swim platform or boarding dock. This arrangement also allows the top deck, both forward and aft, to be devoted completely to guest relaxation in complete privacy. Mondomarine, (011) 39 019 828 516;
The new 153-footer from Christensen is not the type of yacht you're used to seeing from this Northwest builder. In fact, it won't take much more than a quick glance to see that Mystic is a move in a sleeker direction; taking a closer look, it's clear Christensen pulled off the new look with class.
On the exterior, note the oval, oversize windows topside which have a much more European look than those on Christensens of the past. Inside, the oval theme continues in the large open foyer, which has twin oval-glassed doors to the afterdeck. An enormous aquarium in the saloon will certainly catch the eye. It separates the entertainment area, which has a hinged plasma television, from the formal dining area.
Guest accommodations are on the lower deck and include two VIP staterooms forward and two doubles aft. Christensen Yachts, (360) 695-3238;
Dream lay alongside the dock outside Amsterdam's elegant maritime museum early last May. I was fortunate enough to be aboard when her owner took delivery from Feadship and prepared to head south to the Med with a group of family and friends. Not even the cool, overcast day could dampen their spirits as visions of the near future came alive through the reality of this finely finished motoryacht.
The light tone of Dream's anigre joinery and sculpted carpets provides a perfect neutral backdrop for the collection of Chinese porcelain and antiques that graces her interior. The wood is cut and finished differently in each room, with veneer patterns including herringbone, diamond, sunburst and others. Inlay designs also accent some panels.
The experience and knowledge of the owner and crew, moving together to Dream from an earlier yacht, is apparent in the yacht's design and outfitting. From small touches, such as an easy-to-access crew mess table, to larger ones, such as the central guest elevator, Feadship has skillfully fulfilled their specifications.
Dream is expected to enter charter service this winter, and Feadship has taken extra steps to ensure guest comfort. An integrated dynamic positioning system, incorporating a retractable stern thruster, a tunnel thruster forward, and zero-speed KoopNautic stabilizers, will minimize Dream's motion whether she's under way, idling on station or at anchor. Feadship Holland, (011) 31 23 524 7000;
Many expedition yachts have an appearance that suggests the ruggedness of a commercial vessel, but Newcastle Voyager has the pedigree to prove it. Her builder is Kevin Keith, whose family has turned out many a workboat from shipyards south of Jacksonville, Florida. Naval architects DeJong & Lebet, also of the area, routinely pen designs that meet rigorous U.S. Coast Guard standards for carrying hundreds of passengers.
With solid construction and safe design thus assured, Newcastle Marine turned to designer Luiz de Basto to provide the fine touch necessary for this yacht's elegant interior. De Basto laid out an intricate pattern of dark-finished raised-panel mahogany, offset by light carpeting and overheads, and fabric bulkhead panels in a variety of shades and textures.
Newcastle Voyager has four guest staterooms belowdecks and an owner's suite on the main deck, but my guess is that most guests will spend their days on the two uppermost decks. The bridge deck has outside dining and a skylounge larger than the main saloon. The top deck carries a whirlpool, sunpads and lounge chairs forward, a bar and tables aft, and a sauna amidships. Newcastle Marine, (386) 447-0999; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.newcastlemarineinc.com.
Abeking & Rasmussen 188
Perhaps better known in years past for magnificent sailing yachts, Abeking & Rasmussen has capitalized on its skills in naval and commercial shipbuilding to undertake the construction of ever larger motoryachts. Zenobia, an excellent example of the current fleet, was delivered in January and headed immediately from Germany to strut her stuff in the warmer climes of the Med.
Her Donald Starkey exterior exhibits a cohesiveness that is missing in too many modern yachts. The small house on her top deck adds to the yacht's profile, rather than appearing an afterthought, and the transition of the line of her Portuguese bridge rising into the top-deck bulwark mirrors that of the raised sheer below. A modern interior by Alberto Pinto completes the tasteful design of Zenobia. Abeking & Rasmussen, (011) 49 421 673 353 1; email@example.com; www.abeking.com.
New Orleans boatbuilder Trinity continues to consistently splash new yachts; the latest in the 125-plus range is Chevy Toy. With a comfortable cruising speed of 17 knots, according to Trinity, her owners won't mind putting this ABS and MCA-classed yacht through the paces. Her power comes from 1,800 hp DDC/MTU 16V2000 engines.
Chevy Toy has four cabins, plus the owner's suite. With a beam of 28 feet, no one should feel cramped. Dee Robinson, who at this point is quite familiar with Trinity builds, handled the interior design for Chevy Toy. Trinity Yachts, (504) 283-4050; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.trinityyachts.com.
Blue Scorpion was just days from delivery when I boarded her in June, and the intensity of the last-minute crush aboard was matched only by the fervor ashore as an enlarged and enhanced Baglietto yard readied itself for a full slate of upcoming yachts. There are at least six over 100 feet on the order book, five by Blue Scorpion's designer, Studio Paszkowski.
With mirror-smooth, deep-blue topsides and an Oriental-style oak interior that demanded considerable attention to detail, Blue Scorpion is a reflection of her builder's well-known ability to complete demanding commissions. Decks, for instance, are inlaid with squares of Wenge, finished in a rich burgundy, and the galley is a masterpiece of stainless steel with dark-blue and ivory accents. Blue Scorpion is more than a pretty face, however, as exemplified by her engineroom, which has excellent access and maintainability. Baglietto, (011) 39 0187 598 31; email@example.com; www.baglietto.com.
Buzz about Oceanfast's 228-foot motoryacht, Aussie Rules, began long before she splashed. Now that she's afloat, talk of the yacht has only increased.
Aussie Rules is an outdoors person's dream, considering all the toys and tenders onboard. Consider this: she carries a 42-foot sportfisherman, a 30-foot center console, a 22-foot Novurania Equator, two 18-foot Hewes Bonefishers and a 13-foot rescue boat. Lined up, that makes for a combined LOA of 371 feet.
Aussie Rules can comfortably accommodate up to 16 guests, who, between the toys and the yacht's 8,000-mile range, never have to worry about rushing back to shore. Oceanfast, (011) 61 894 949 999; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.oceanfast.com.au.
Perini Navi 210
In the storied harbor of Viareggio, Italy, where 150-foot yachts are as plentiful as diamonds in a Tiffany & Co. window, Felicità west was an absolute knockout. There was no mistaking her as we approached, not just by her 210-foot length, but also by her towering mainmast rising 197 feet above the water. The mizzen is a mere 167 feet, and between them, the two masts carry nearly 20,000 square feet of upwind boom-furled sail area that has propelled her to 17 knots under sail alone.
This, of course, is a tribute to the hull lines and rigging design of Ron Holland, chosen as the first outside designer of a Perini, and to her lightweight all-aluminum construction, another Perini first. The superstructure styling and interior design are the work of Nuvolari & Lenard.
Felicità west is the owner's third Perini Navi sailing yacht, the first being a 141-foot ketch and the second, an interim 164-footer for use while the new yacht was under construction. Her deck is cleverly divided into three zones, with space for her 12 guests to congregate when desired or to seek areas of solitude when they've had enough togetherness. Perini Navi, (401) 683-5600; (011) 39 058 442 41; email@example.com; www.perininavi.it.
The Westport 130 is a classic that just gets better with each issue. Her composite hull has a fine entry and moderate deadrise aft. It is stiffened with PVC coring that is a key component in an overall system of keeping the yacht quiet. Other elements include an underwater exhaust system and resilient engine mounts to block machinery noise, and soft wall coverings to attenuate any sound that sneaks through the insulated bulkheads and decks.
Intended for delivery as a turnkey vessel, the Westport 130 comes with all furnishings and equipment, right down to linens, cookware and china. She is the custom yacht for owners who don't want to sweat the details of a custom design. Westport Yacht Sales, East Coast: (954) 316-6364; West Coast: (206) 298-3360; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.westportyachtsales.com.
Codecasa traces its roots back more than 100 years to Giovanni Battista Codecasa and remains under the ownership and hands-on management of the Codecasa family. It is not just the company's name, but the family's name, as well, that rides to sea on each vessel. Extensive facility upgrading was under way during my visit to the builder's three yards in Viareggio, Italy, earlier this year, and the building sheds were full.
Apogee played a large part in filling that space, her 203-foot LOA matched by a beam of nearly 37 feet and a loaded draft of around 12 feet. Built of steel with an aluminum superstructure, she is a serious seagoing vessel built to Lloyd's class. Her Caterpillar 3516B diesels, turning at a continuous-rated 1600 rpm and driving six-blade propellers, can take her 6,000 miles at 14 knots without a stop. Top speed is 17 knots in light condition.
Interior volume, in keeping with Apogee's dimensions, is immense. Guests are accommodated in four large double-berth staterooms and two twin-berth staterooms, in addition to the spacious, private owner's suite. Apogee's crew of 16 is berthed in nine cabins. Codecasa, (011) 39 0584 383 221; email@example.com; www.codecasayachts.com.
Cheoy Lee 172
But Yang Lo, one of Cheoy Lee's principals and a friend for the last quarter-century, eagerly showed me photos of the company's new yard upriver from its older Hong Kong facility. It was already paying returns, he said, in allowing the builder, best known for its midsize composite yachts, to take on larger custom vessels.
Sea Shaw is just such a yacht, with a 172-foot steel hull and a composite superstructure. She has a range of 10,000 miles at 12 knots, reduced to 5,500 miles at 17 knots. Throughout her six guest staterooms is a contemporary blend of granite, glass and light woods. Intended for extensive cruising as well as entertaining, Sea Shaw has a dive gear compartment, spacious skylounge and commercial-grade galley. Cheoy Lee Shipyards North America, (954) 527-0999; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.cheoyleena.com.
Sovereign Lady, the newest build in Sovereign Yachts' Cloud Nine series of motoryachts ranging from 100 to 150 feet, began life at the company's Canadian yard, then was transferred to Sovereign's Hobsonville, New Zealand, facility for fitting out.
This third Cloud Nine, a composite 135-footer, was designed by Ward Setzer, and Sovereign handled interior appointments. She's powered by twin 2,750 hp MTU 12 4000 engines. According to Sovereign, this allows Sovereign Lady to reach a top speed of 21.7 knots and a cruising speed of 16 knots. The trideck's main saloon can accommodate 10 guests for formal dining, and the saloon extends to an afterdeck and casual eating area fit for a yacht of this size range.
Accommodations begin with the master stateroom, which spans Sovereign Lady's full 27 feet. Included in the master stateroom is an owner's study, and the head has a spacious shower that separates the his-and-her dressing areas. On the lower deck are four cabins: three queens and a twin, all en suite.
Moving up to the pilothouse deck, there is a fully equipped wet bar, a games table and a 42-inch plasma-screen television. Outside dining for 10 exists here, as well. The upper deck is where the serious relaxation takes place, though, thanks to lounge chairs and a centrally placed jacuzzi. Sovereign Yachts, (011) 64 941 701 00; email@example.com; www.sovereignyachts.co.nz.
Like many yachts her size, Kooilust Mare has an on-deck master suite with a separate sitting room, but there's a surprise. Between the master and den is a room with upper-and-lower berths, for little ones too young to be put in one of the four lower guest cabins.
Kooilust Mare is further distinguished from other designs by her abundance of outdoor spaces. The main and bridge decks have ample space for all 10 guests to lounge or dine in comfort, and the top deck has a whirlpool aft, a large, round dining table under the radar arch, and lounge seating and a bar forward.
Kooilust Mare was already afloat and undergoing sea trials when I visited CRN, but her sistership was abuild at the yard. It was a rare opportunity to view an unfinished version of the same design, to get a good look at the first-rate systems installation behind the joinery. It was also a chance to see the underwater portion of her hull form, which includes large, gently contoured propeller tunnels that keep this displacement hull's draft under 8 feet. CRN, (011) 39 0715 011 111; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.crn-yacht.com.
Expect to be dazzled by the Andrew Winch interior of Hodgdon Yachts' newest launch, the 154-foot Scheherazade. Inside, fiddleback sycamore and black walnut are used throughout. Touches also include harlequin bookmatched panels, carved seashell bands and burl walnut furniture tops. Other finishes include marble and granite countertops in the heads and galley. Custom hardware cast in bronze and plated with gold is found throughout.
Bruce King designed the ketch for the owner. Her beam is just over 28 feet, and she displaces 588,415 pounds. Mars Metal Company/MarsKeel Technology crafted her 153,000-pound lead bulb keel.
Scheherazade's hull is made mostly of Douglas fir and western red cedar. Total hull thickness is 31/2 inches. Interestingly, for Scheherazade's hull and frames, Hodgdon used only lumber processed from trees that fell from natural causes. Hodgdon Yachts, (207) 633-4194; email@example.com; www.hodgdonyachts.com.
Second in Benetti's line of Vision semi-custom composite yachts, More was built for charter by a European owner. She has a light cherry interior that is clean and contemporary but stops short of minimalist. Marble and natural silks are used extensively throughout her public spaces, her four guest staterooms and the owner's suite.
In addition to the Vision yachts, the first 100-foot Tradition yacht and several Classic 114-foot yachts were also under construction during our visit last summer. Benetti, (011) 39 0584 382 1; www.benettiyachts.it.
In their first collaboration, designer Glade Johnson and builder Lürssen have delivered the steel-hull Capri for charter service. Johnson was responsible for the exterior styling and interior design-no small task given the volume resulting from this yacht's 38-foot beam.
Capri's crew of 14 will be able to host up to 12 guests, including two in the children's cabin. On the main deck is the full-beam owner's suite, which will offer superb views through four large windows on either side. Oversize ports will bring extra light and view to the four guest cabins, as well. For flexibility, Capri has two saloons and two dining rooms. Also available to guests are an observation lounge, a recording studio and a host of water toys, including 20 sets of dive gear.
The top deck carries an enclosed, fully equipped gymnasium, as well as an outside whirlpool spa. The after end of this deck, normally used as a guest lounge area, can also serve as a helicopter pad.
Capri is powered by two Caterpillar 3512B diesels, rated at 1,900 hp each, for a top speed of 16 knots. Cruising range at reduced speed is 5,000 miles. Lürssen Yachts, (011) 49 421 660 416 6; www.lurssen.com.
Seldom does a yard get to build a new yacht for an owner who bought his first from it nearly 50 years earlier, but then, there are few owners like Mr. and Mrs. Charles Walgreen Jr. The Walgreens, of Walgreens pharmacy fame, built their first Burger, a 65-foot steel cruiser also christened Sis W, in 1956, and they have built two others in the interim.
The Walgreens, both in their mid-90s and now using wheelchairs, logged a remarkable 200,000 miles on their last Burger, an 81-footer. The new Sis W, all aluminum and Burger's largest yacht ever, is better able to accommodate their needs. The trideck motoryacht was conceived and designed from the beginning with full accessibility and medical necessities in mind.
In addition to expected features such as automatic saloon doors and an elevator are less-common features. The passerelle is wider than usual and has no step where it meets the afterdeck. There is a lift from the swim platform to the afterdeck, as well. To make the skylounge's powder room wheelchair-accessible, panels swing outward to enclose a portion of the passageway, effectively doubling the enclosed space.
For all her special features, however, Sis W remains very much a traditional cruising yacht, with four guest staterooms and all the amenities needed to entertain family and friends. Included are a hot tub and two tenders-which just happen to be handicap-accessible too. Burger Boat Co., (920) 684-1600; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.burgerboat.com.
Looking very much like Aria, a previous Sensation delivery, this latest motoryacht from the New Zealand builder appears somewhat sleeker. Gone are the after wingboards of Aria. In fact, this 165-footer is 9 feet longer than Aria. Constructed of aluminum to ABS class and MCA requirements, she achieves 21 knots and has a range of 3,000 miles at 12 knots.
The extra length has been incorporated into a larger swim platform and longer lazarette on the lower level, creating space to house two tenders, personal watercraft and other recreational gear. On the main deck, the saloon has been extended, and above, a more spacious skylounge on the bridge deck now includes a gym. Outdoor areas have been reconfigured, as well.
Accommodations for 10 include four guest staterooms and a main-deck owner's suite. Should more berths be needed, the gym can be converted into a guest cabin. Sensation Yachts, (011) 64 983 722 10; email@example.com; www.sensation.co.nz.
Alloy Yachts had two deliveries in early 2003: the 134-foot sloop Destination Fox Harb'r and the 128-foot motoryacht S.Q.N.
S.Q.N. (which stands for Sine Qua Non) is the largest motoryacht Alloy has built to date. Designed by Dubois Naval Architects with a Don Starkey Design interior, master accommodations are on the lower deck, along with two double guest cabins and a twin, all en suite. Also included is a gym that converts to an additional guest cabin. Other interior features include cabinets in paneling in sycamore and vavona redwood burl.
She's powered by twin 1,400 hp 3412 Caterpillar engines. Maximum speed is 161/2 knots, according to Alloy.
Destination Fox Harb'r is a performance-oriented sloop designed by Dubois, as well. She has a five-spreader carbon-fiber mast and boom furling system from Southern Spars, total sail area of 2,867 square feet, and she's equipped with an 800 hp 3406E Caterpillar diesel engine. At 10 knots under power she should have a range of 2,800 miles. Top speed is just over 12 knots.
Since her beam is slightly more than 28 feet, guest cabins are quite wide. Guest and owner's cabins are accessed from the lobby, which is at the after end of the upper saloon. At the forward end of the upper saloon is the inside steering and communication area, which folds away when not needed. Alloy Yachts, (011) 64 9 838 7350; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.alloyyachts.co.nz.
The drydock was immense. With 670 feet under cover, it was the largest I'd been in since I apprenticed at the Long Beach Navy Yard, working on the USS Kitty Hawk. This too was a naval dock, with a partially completed frigate sitting in it, but it was in Vlissingen, Holland. The old Schelde navy yard was in the process of becoming a part of the Damen Group, parent company of yachtbuilder Amels, which had already brought in several sizable hulls for completion.
Among them was Amels' recent delivery, the 171-foot Terence Disdale design shown here. She's powered by a pair of Cummins KTA38M2 engines turning 1800 rpm and carries up to 10 guests. A sistership also is under construction. Amels Holland, (011) 31 515 334 334; email@example.com; www.amels-holland.com.
The latest from Delta, the 126-foot Andrea, follows two other recent expedition yacht launches from the company, Sinbad and Defiant. Andrea sets herself apart, however, by being the first North American-built composite megayacht to achieve Lloyd's Register classification. Andrea is MCA-classed, as well.
Don't let the workhorse exterior fool you, though. Andrea's Michael Kirschstein interior reveals a formal, but friendly and bright atmosphere. The windows are sizeable and allow an abundance of natural light, and woodworking is done mostly in soft, natural veneers. Plenty of glasswork, hand-painted tiles, and art deco details also contribute to the look.
A full-beam master suite is forward on the main deck, and four guest staterooms are below. The skylounge is designed to squeeze in a few more guests-the owner's grandchildren-if need be.
There's plenty of space for relaxing outdoors on any of Andrea's three upper decks. A large aluminum bimini provides shade for those on the 48-foot flying bridge. There's also a built-in barbecue, service bar and dumbwaiter on this deck for casual entertaining.
On the main deck, sunbeds are at the bow, and the afterdeck has seating for 10 or more.
Royal Huisman 131
Lying quayside at Urk, a Dutch harbor dominated by fishing boats and other commercial vessels, Maria Cattiva looked as if she had just sailed in from the 19th century. Designed by Bruce King, the sloop-rigged yacht has nearly 30 feet of graceful overhangs bow and stern. A pair of bright-finished houses with arch-topped windows springs from her teak deck, and rounded cockpits amidships and aft reinforce the image. Two opening skylights are forward, and a large faceted skylight is amidships.
Entering the upper saloon, and from there forward to the lower saloon and dining area, a traditional interior by Dick Young only adds to Maria Cattiva's allure. The mahogany raised-panel wainscot is finished dark, in contrast to the white overheads and upper bulkheading. The same décor is carried throughout the three guest cabins aft and the crew and working spaces forward.
Maria Cattiva is not, however, a ghost from the past. Newly constructed of high-temper Alustar aluminum by Royal Huisman, she is 360,000 pounds of sophisticated design and modern equipment. Under wind power, Rondal hydraulic winches and a Rondal carbon-fiber mast and boom allow nearly effortless sail handling. In a calm or coming into harbor, the MTU 8V2000 engine, coupled to a Lips automatic variable-pitch, highly skewed propeller and assisted by Hundestedt thrusters forward and aft, can bring her safely home. Royal Huisman, (011) 31 527 243 131; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.royalhuisman.com.
R.B. Dereli 127
With naval architecture by Philippe Briand and exterior styling by builder R.B. Dereli, the sleek MuMu looks like pure racing machine. Indeed, her construction of epoxy, E-glass and carbon fiber and her honeycomb-cored joinery is most appropriate when you're seeking the highest speed from a given rig. The interior, though, belies that image a bit, as it is a luxurious rendition in pear wood and African mahogany, with leather for the settees and cream-tone silks and cottons elsewhere.
The master stateroom, a guest stateroom with double berth, and a guest stateroom with twin berths are abaft the central cabin. The upper saloon, above the engineroom, has a wraparound sitting area and navigation station. The lower saloon carries the dining area and a second sitting area. The galley and crew quarters are forward. Alliance Marine, (954) 941-5000; www.ayacht.net.
For more information on any of these boats, contact: (866) 922-4877; www.yachtingnet.com/yachting/productinfo.