On deck, the Heesen is all machine, built to bite into head seas. Sturdy handsome bulwarks shield the foredeck, mooring bitts, twin capstan and anchor windlasses from the elements. An under-deck garage hides a 12-foot inflatable tender; deck hatches reveal spacious and secure stowage for lines and fenders.
From the flybridge the true potential of this fish-catching machine can be appreciated. It is an aerie with a commanding view of the foredeck. Yet turn around and just a single stride ensures you have full sight of the fighting deck. Controls are duplicated at either end of the flybridge, facing forward and aft to ensure the captain retains control, no matter what drama is going on below.
One deck below is a pretty Portuguese bridge and a sky lounge for guests. Just forward of the lounge is the helm area, a fully integrated computerized control station where the captain can operate every aspect of the yacht's facilities. Six large flat screens call up radar, electronic charts, CCTV, the forward-looking fish-finder and echo-sounder displays. And the guests in the sky lounge just aft have a full view of the action: rather like watching your sushi chef at work at a tableside restaurant in Tokyo. A large table and a huge 43-inch plasma screen TV dominate this area, which has a handy wet bar and bottle fridge. Say the word, though, and the big screen drops into a locker inside the table, which then can be used to serve lunch or dinner to guests who prefer to eat in the command area. Outside the glass double doors on deck, another smaller table serves for alfresco dining. An upper control station on the same deck faces aft, overlooking the cockpit. And controls are duplicated one deck up on the flybridge and again on each side just outside the bridge doors.
On the cockpit deck, a wide split-level expanse of teak, is the yacht's amphitheatre, or in keeping with the Greek theme, her agora; in any event, it is the setting for a Pompanette Jumbo fighting chair, the focal point for any piscatorial gladiator action. Three stainless-steel outriggers, one on either side and another in the center, allow an expert angler to create a lure pattern irresistible to trophy gamefish; more than 30 lures can be deployed. Once a fish is hooked, the captain can play it from one of the two steering stations that look down on the cockpit.
When not fishing, Karyatis' rods can be stowed in custom brackets located in lockers accessed by large liftup hatches in the deck. This gear locker runs the full beam of the boat, and houses bait wells, freezers for catch and bait as well as stores, rods and reels; the yachts' fishing gear is said to cost well over $100,000.
A second under-deck locker provides stowage for the shoreside cable drum and hydraulic power packs, together with the custom carbon-fiber gangway that gets mounted on special stainless steel brackets to avoid damage to the teak caprails. The same space houses the emergency steering position: Yes, Karyatis has yet another steering station below the cockpit sole, almost on top of the rudder posts, for those annoying times when the main steering fails. No, the helmsman cannot see from here, so he needs another pair of eyes to keep watch and relay steering orders when necessary. But it's a lot safer and more precise than steering with the engines, or using the old sailors' trick of dragging buckets on one side or the other to persuade the vessel to turn. Emergency stations like this are unusual to find in a yacht of only 105 feet; they are more common aboard vessels twice as large.
But man does not live by fishing alone, and aboard Karyatis life is good when nary a line is wet. Double-glass sliding doors lead from the cockpit into the main saloon, opening at the touch of a button to reveal a stunning open-plan space. There are no bulkheads in this area, a requirement that presented significant problems to designers and builders who needed to move conduits and cabling from one deck to another. The large open space creates a lounging area with clubby leather armchairs, a separate owner's office abaft the galley, bar, day head and dining room. Alderwood joinery with pear and burled maple accents, lots of leather and stone countertops are the thematic elements of the masculine interior, which is lightened by frosted and etched glass panels.