A SWATH is a pair of submarines carrying a beamy yacht on their back, perched atop streamlined struts, well above the water’s surface. Silver Cloud has five-sixths of her displacement in these submarine-like hulls, which ride about 13 feet below the surface — in the sea’s quiet zone. The result is extraordinary stability and a wonderfully easy motion — improved further by the use of active stabilizers on the hulls — making her the perfect platform for folks who easily become seasick. During the shakedown cruise, Silver Cloud encountered quartering short-period seas of 6 to 10 feet in the North Sea. In the Bay of Biscay, the wave periods lengthened and included moderate swells. In the Atlantic, the yacht encountered seas of 10 to 16 feet on the beam, quartering and on the nose, plus occasional waves of more than 20 feet. The SWATH design lived up to its billing.
Silver Cloud has a beam of 58 feet, making the dimension of the main salon greater athwartships than fore-and-aft. The master suite spans the full beam of the upper deck and gives the Dreyfooses a 180-degree view forward. In plan view, the suite has the same shape as a half-slice of watermelon. “As Silver Cloud spends a relatively large percentage of its time at sea, with continuously changing scenery,” Dreyfoos said in his presentation, “the view is much more interesting than the day-to-day view one gets in a marina.” The master berth is on a platform so its occupants can see the horizon while they’re lying in bed — better than TV.
Living on the upper deck is like being in a separate Zip Code, the privacy is so complete. Renate has a private bath on the port side, Alex has his on the starboard side just inboard of his study. The sky lounge occupies a chunk of real estate abaft the study. “We do invite guests to our spacious sky lounge,” Alex said. It has a 65-inch LED monitor for movies and TV, and four large powered reclining chairs, which often entice his guests to doze off before the movie ends.
The private deck forward of the master suite contains a fully equipped navigation station from which Alex can control Silver Cloud and call up any of the displays that appear on the captain’s bridge above. “I have an arrangement with the captain,” Alex said. “When the weather is nice, it’s my boat; when it’s inclement, it’s his boat.”
Although Silver Cloud’s draft of 11.5 to 13.5 feet limits the number of harbors available to her, the yacht’s extraordinary stability and easy motion allow her to anchor comfortably outside most harbors. This makes her the perfect yacht for adventures — drop the hooks, launch the tender and go. She’s the quintessential floating hotel — booked solid for many of the legs of her voyage — and she’s never been out of the water since her launch in July 2008.