Like the salon, the dining room is formal and elegant. The round mahogany table seats 10, with buffet stowage on both sides for china and stemware. Overhead, a Murano glass chandelier with French gold filigree is centered over the table. But the most spectacular feature, and one that is extraordinary for a supposedly semi-custom spec-finished yacht, is the 7-foot curved gold and sapphire waterfall on the forward bulkhead.
Not only does the waterfall become a pleasant moving backdrop for meals, but Don Davis takes delight in pointing out that it has a useful purpose. As the water cascades over the starburst pattern, it gathers dust from the air, which is flushed away during the automatic daily filtering. As one crewmember noted, "There's never any dust on this deck!"
The galley is hidden from guests' view, but not vice versa: A cleverly concealed camera allows crew in the galley to anticipate every need without having to intrude on the dining room. It is a model of restaurant efficiency, from the butler's pantry with an automatic door to the granite counters and sole.
The master suite is entered from the marbled foyer through a study with desk, computer center, and bookshelves. The king-sized berth is flanked by a loveseat to starboard and built-in bureaus to port.
Forward, the master head spans the suite with a shower/steamer on his side and a large Jacuzzi tub on hers, separated by an electrically operated "fog mirror" between each for privacy. Once again, marble and granite are used for floors and counters.
Davis and his team also provide a surprise on the lower deck, which -as a spec boat-you'd expect to have a conventional layout that wouldn't offend a potential client. In this case, there are four staterooms, each with a marble-lined en suite head. All have queen-sized berths except for one, which has been outfitted as a fully equipped gym and workout room. It could quickly be returned to use as a guest cabin but, again, Davis knows his buyers and thinks this is likely to be a selling point. But wait, there are more accommodations on the upper deck, with an airy VIP stateroom tucked between pilothouse and skylounge. With its picture window, it has a great view.
If the main salon and dining areas are formal, then the skylounge is just the opposite: warm, inviting and casual. Leather sofas and chairs add a masculine flavor, and a reversible game table is ready for serious poker. If you're kibitzing instead of betting, the built-in bar has four leather seats and a good view of the 52-inch LCD TV. The fully covered deck outside the skylounge has a teak table that seats 10, plus an immense built-in stainless steel barbecue and outdoor kitchen, wet bar, and 50-inch plasma TV.
But the flying bridge (sorry, fun deck) is where guests will likely spend their waking hours. The expanse of teak stretches almost endlessly, and it's all devoted to total decadence. For those who want to watch the scenery, a pair of forward-facing bench lounges are backed by wraparound settees and shaded by custom umbrellas. But it's under the radar arch-cum-hardtop where you'll find the action.
An 18-foot tender is chocked aft of the skylounge, and water toys plus the davit are on the bridge, leaving plenty of space for sun lounges and chairs.
The crew gets the forward hull to themselves, with four wellfinished cabins for eight and three heads, plus a comfortable crew lounge with mini-galley and TV. A passageway hidden behind a bookcase leads directly from the guest cabins to the crew quarters to simplify maid services as well as provide an emergency exit.
Richmond Lady is powered by a pair of 1,800-horsepower Caterpillar C32 ACERTs just like her sisterships. This gives the yacht a comfortable cruising speed of 15 knots, and a top speed over 17 knots.
Though initially a reluctant yard owner, Don Davis has clearly embraced yacht building and his spec-built, semi-custom-but elegantly finished-offerings such as Richmond Lady are likely to intrigue clients wanting a turn-key yacht.
Richmond Yachts, (954) 689-9248, www.richmondyachts.com