In the airy saloon, windows extend down to the couch tops for a great view; spacious areas are delineated by dividers and ceiling treatments. A curved couch to port faces a big TV, while a formal dining area for eight is forward, past a columned pony wall behind the couch. The starboard side of the saloon has barrel chairs, and the dining area includes a wet bar-a nice touch.
While many yacht designers hide the stairs to the lower accommodation deck, the Cheoy Lee turns them into a powerful element with a wide center-line staircase leading down between elegant wrought-iron banisters with mahogany handrails.
But before you head for the lower deck, walk forward past the observation lounge to the L-shaped galley that is fully enclosed and has a separate entrance directly to the dining room as well as the starboard corridor. The galley is fitted to commercial standards with GE Profile stainless steel appliances and ample granite counters, and large windows to port give the chef a view.
Just forward is one of the two "master suites," and it's going to challenge each owner to decide which is the best. The split-level upper master benefits from the same oversized windows as the saloon, with views from the centerline king-sized berth; the master head is on a lower level forward, with a large shower and twin vanities.
If you take the stairs down from the saloon and pass through the lower foyer (with hidden washer/dryer), you'll sweep directly into the lower master, with a vanity to starboard, loveseat to port and a spacious head with mahogany columns, spa tub and separate shower as well. My choice would be the lower suite, since it's full beam (the upper is the beam minus side decks) and has more amenities (sofa, spa tub, etc). I think the Sales will also choose the single-level lower suite for a simpler reason: "My knees hurt," says Sale.
Aft of the foyer is a pair of nearly identical double cabins, each with the same finish of marble and leather and warm mahogany. A thoughtful feature is the presence of an emergency exit in each cabin: The two after staterooms have access through closets to the engineroom and stern, while the upper master has a clever rolling ladder to a deck hatch. Crew quarters are aft, with the double captain's cabin to starboard and twin-bunked crew quarters to port, each with private heads and showers.
It's going to be a tough choice for guests whether they choose to congregate in the observation lounge or the enclosed pilothouse, which has the added attraction of a sofa and television, plus being able to watch the crew at work on the raised helm area. Just outside the sliding doors is a spa with wrap-around bar, a barbecue and another couch, all semi-protected by the pilothouse overhang. The boat deck easily handles a 15-foot Novurania with a Nautical Structures 1,700-pound crane.
Standard power is a pair of Caterpillar C32 diesels of 1,652 hp each, in an engineroom designed for efficiency. A pair of Northern Lights 40kW gensets provides electrical power, while the Naiad 42 hp bowthruster and the steering are hydraulic.
Underway, the 95 was pleasant even in unpleasant conditions. Sale grinned widely when the captain announced that we were getting 13 knots at 1300 rpm upwind, and he grinned even more when we turned down sea and hit 16 to 17 knots at the same rpm. Solid and stable, the 95 was unfazed by the Gulf Stream seas.
As I debarked later, I shook Sale's hand and told him I thought he had made a really good choice. "I know," he said happily.
Contact: Cheoy Lee; (954) 527-0999; www.cheoylee.com