You've been there. I know you have. You walk into an A-list party, full of the most attractive, all dressed in the finest. You glance around.
Wham! There she is.
Stunning. Exquisite. Fascinating.
You must meet her and get to know her better.
So it was as I strolled along Miami Beach's Collins Avenue on a warm, sunny day in early February. Hundreds of the world's finest yachts were on display. The sleek, the innovative, the exotic. They were luxurious and beautiful without exception, but of them all, the Maiora 102 grabbed my attention.
Her shape is incredible. She needs no painted-on stripes or pretentious logos. An interplay of shadows define her superstructure's fluid lines, which explore the possibilities offered by fiberglass construction and exploit them to their fullest potential. A varnished teak cap and polished stainless-steel rails emphasize her sheer's unbroken length. Black and white dominate, but the effect is as dazzling as the brightest rainbow.
Italian, I guessed, and I was right, at least partially. Though built by Fipa Italiana Yachts in Viareggio, the hotbed of Italian yacht building, the Maiora 102 is designed to meet American yachtsmen's requirements. Her outfitting and equipment include many familiar names, as International Yacht Collection in Ft. Lauderdale dictates specifications.
Tied stern-to in Med style, the Maiora 102 shows a huge swim platform and a pair of curved stairs leading to her afterdeck. On centerline is a hydraulic door that lifts for access to a small garage and the engineroom. Rather than boarding via the platform, I chose the retractable passarelle extending over the starboard stair directly to the afterdeck. Stainless steel with teak decking and a rope handrail, the gangway is wide enough to avoid that uncomfortable feeling of tightrope walking.
The afterdeck, like the remainder of the weather decks, is teak over fiberglass. The Maiora 102's styling does not allow the boat deck to extend far enough aft to completely cover the table and settee on the afterdeck, so a retractable awning is included. It covers the settee and extends farther aft to provide shade when the sun is past its peak.
Outboard of the stairs are mooring pods that house capstans, cleats and chocks with roller fairleads. The entire assembly is raised about 20 inches above the deck and hidden under a hinged cover. The equipment is more workable at this height, the space beneath is available for stowage, and the clutter and tripping hazards of open, deck-level equipment are nonexistent.
A stainless-frame glass door opens automatically as you approach the saloon. Inside, the Pavlik Design Team uses Cararra marble, granite and white onyx to complement varnished pear wood, lacquered panels and a variety of light soft-goods. The warm, comfortable feel lives up to the expectations the exterior creates. Matching curved sofas are to either side, with low tables flanking a wide centerline path to the spacious, onyx-topped bar. Behind the bar, on the saloon's forward bulkhead, is a Fujitsu 42-inch plasma flat screen. Connections include VCR, DVD and CD players, a satellite TV system and a surround sound system. A cable TV connection is at the transom for dockside use.
Starboard of the raised pilothouse are a day head and a small-but-elegant entry foyer soled with cream- and amber-veined marble. A portside passageway leads to the dining room. With seating for eight, the room is ideal for formal dining. For casual occasions, a panel opens the room to the galley. There's even a TV in the corner if you want to catch the morning news with breakfast. The galley and a small crew's dinette are forward.
Crew's quarters, consisting of three cabins and two heads, are belowdecks forward. Between them and the engineroom are four staterooms. The master, aft with a king berth, and the VIP, forward with a queen berth, are full-beam spaces. The master bath, fully marble-lined, has a whirlpool tub and separate shower, while the VIP is shower only. Both cabins have generous locker space and 19-inch televisions with VCRs. Secondary guest cabins are to port and starboard. The portside cabin has twin berths and a single Pullman; the cabin to starboard has a double berth. Both have baths with showers. All cabins, both guest and crew, have flat-screen TVs with satellite connections, radios and CD players.
The raised pilothouse is all business. Its compact dimensions and single helm chair discourage visitors, and the controls and instruments are laid out according to function. Forward visibility is excellent, but because of the taper of the windows, views to the side are limited and the view aft is nil. Close-quarters maneuvering or transiting a busy waterway would dictate navigation from the flying bridge, directly accessible from the pilothouse via a short stair and a glass sliding door/hatch.
Once on the bridge, two helms, each with a double seat, flank the pilothouse stair. To starboard is the main helm, and wing controls are to port. Abaft the helms are a bar, an L-shape lounge with table and a sunpad. A 15-foot Novurania tender is stowed aft, handled by a davit mounted to port. A stair leads from the starboard side down to the afterdeck.
The engineroom is aft. There is easy entry through a large transom door, and a ladder and door to the afterdeck provide emergency escape and heavy-weather access. Propulsion equipment is laid out in a V-drive arrangement with a 2.5:1 reduction. Shafting is Aquamet 17, which is plenty strong but lacks the corrosion resistance of Aquamet 22 and its various equivalents. Most yachts don't get daily use, and shafting can be susceptible to corrosion in way of bearings and stuffing boxes unless the best alloys are used.
Through a manifold system, the emergency fire and bilge pumps (one 24 VDC and one 220 VAC) are interchangeable. An emergency bilge suction can be taken from the main engine cooling water pumps, and Jabsco pumps are provided for routine bilge pumping. There is a fixed carbon dioxide fire system for the engineroom and garage, complete with automatic fuel and machinery shutdowns and air intake dampers.
Two 40kW Kohler generators each have their own sound cover. The shorepower installation includes two 100 amp cords and an Atlas converter system. There is also a 3kW inverter system that allows operation of some systems, including the entire entertainment system, from battery power.
The Maiora 102 is fully classed by RINa, the Italian equivalent of the American Bureau of Shipping. In addition to requiring first-class safety systems, RINa inspects hull construction as it progresses and certifies major machinery and equipment.
This may not be a necessary step in a yard that has been building yachts for more than 35 years, but it's certainly added peace of mind for any owner to know his yacht is beautiful, safe and sound.
Contact: International Yacht Collection, (954) 522-2323; fax (954) 522-2333; www.yachtcollection.com. Fipa Italiana Yachts S.r.l., (011) 390 584 93353; fax (011) 390 584 93118.