In Star Wars, the wise and aged Yoda advises, "Do or do not. There is no try." It is an admonishment to be fully committed to whatever you undertake, that an unfulfilled attempt is unacceptable. Clearly, Benetti chose "do" when it built the 184-foot motoryacht Galaxy.
Though she was built not so long ago and not so far away, Galaxy is still out of this world. Her striking exterior bears the unmistakable imprint of Benetti's longtime stylist Stefano Natucci. He also worked with the Australian owner's personal designer on Galaxy's interior, which exudes a warm coziness that belies the yacht's size. Featuring a host of exotic woods, including eucalyptus, European plane tree, maple burl and sycamore, the accommodations were laid out for selective charter as well as extensive use by the owner's family.
Galaxy is the first yacht delivered from Benetti's new shipyard in Lavorno, Italy. Previously, all Benetti yachts were built at the company's main yard in Viareggio, but with the success of the builder's semi-custom yacht program, which includes five models ranging from 80 to 145 feet, that yard is now fully dedicated to fiberglass construction. Benetti's sister company, production yachtbuilder Azimut, has a new facility a short walk down the street in Viareggio. The logistical and technological synergy of grouping the composite construction make sense, but that left Benetti's custom steel and aluminum yachtbuilding without a home, thus the expansion into Lavorno.
Many larger yachts intended for use in the Mediterranean give priority to stern boarding, given the area's crowded quays and the resultant predominance of docking stern-to. Galaxy includes a passerelle and a lovely entry to the saloon from astern, but also incorporates a sophisticated system for starboard side boarding in other areas of the world. A boarding ladder with self-leveling teak steps is built into the sidedeck's bulwark and deploys hydraulically to allow guests to embark and disembark comfortably when Galaxy is moored side-to. The ladder leads to the main deck lobby, where double doors open to both a spacious winding staircase and a circular glass-walled elevator serving all four decks, from the lower deck's four guest staterooms to the sun deck's stunning solarium.
Belowdecks, Galaxy features two queen-berth staterooms abaft the central elevator, one finished in bird's-eye maple and stallatite marble and the other in harewood and Egyptian yellow marble. The two twin-berth staterooms forward include Pullman berths, and are decorated in shades of green, with European plane tree and Laguna green marble to port, and eucalyptus wood and Guatemala green marble to starboard. All four include en suite heads, the after two with tubs and the forward with showers, as well as 26-inch plasma video screens. The entertainment system provides access to the multizone DVD and music center from each cabin. A central passageway leads through a series of two doors to the crew area, allowing both ease of service for the crew and a secondary means of emergency escape for both guests and crew.
Abaft the guest quarters is the engineroom, which includes an enclosed engineer's control room. The stern garage provides storage for two Yamaha personal watercraft, a small sailboat and a Novurania 660 RIB, powered by two 90 hp Yamaha outboards. There's also room for another RIB and two additional watercraft on the foredeck. A large swim platform folds out from the stern garage to provide direct access to the water, and a centerline crane serves the boats forward.
The owner's suite, finished in shades of beige and brown with clear maple burl, is situated forward on the main deck, entered through "his" office/study off the main guest lobby. A maple burl day head lies just outside the door. The owner's suite spans Galaxy's full beam, which allows for sitting areas and vanities both port and starboard of the king berth. A 42-inch plasma video screen slides out of a panel to starboard for viewing from the bed.