Construction equipment obscured the view, and workmen swarmed over her like ants on a picnic lunch. Beneath the hubbub at the Baglietto yard, in Verazze, Italy, though, the sweet lines of Blue Scorpion, nearing completion, shone through. She was, to my eye, one of the nicest styling jobs to come out of Italy in the past few years.
With 138 feet of length and 28 feet of beam, Blue Scorpion is not a slim boat, and she carries a lot of volume in her hull and superstructure. Despite that, her appearance from every angle is as sleek and harmonious as you'll find anywhere. When I boarded her a few months later at the Monaco Yacht Show, she was an absolute stunner.
The interior of Blue Scorpion does not disappoint, either. The joinery, finished silky-smooth and natural to reveal every detail of the light oak, is offset by large squares of wenge decking tinted a deep, dark-chocolate burgundy. This ultramodern background, which alone could appear stark, is softened by white upholstery and brought to life by the owner's exquisite collection of traditional Oriental pieces used as loose furnishings and accessories.
The overall effect is one of incredible serenity, an environment inviting the utmost in relaxation and reflection. The saloon, for instance, has no television, just three sofas and a trio of small ottomans. A large, open-carved circular panel is set into the partial bulkhead that divides the saloon from the dining area, and three bonsai trees provide the only ornamentation. Glass doors aft and large windows to port and starboard bring in lots of light and scenery when the sea is of interest. Sheer curtains transform the space into a quiet cocoon when the focus shifts to reading, introspection or conversation with guests.
Aboard Blue Scorpion, the emphasis is on providing the ultimate in pampering for a select few. No attempt has been made to accommodate crowds, as that is not the owner's intent for using the yacht. In keeping with that philosophy, there are fewer rooms, each of which offers more open space than usual. It is also reflected in the arrangement of the main deck, which has no day head, as the owner believes it to be extraneous when each guest has his own en suite cabin a few steps away. Below deck are four guest staterooms, situated amidships between the crew area and engineroom for maximum comfort at sea. There are two VIP staterooms, each spanning Blue Scorpion's full beam. The after VIP suite has a queen berth to port, with the bath and dressing area opposite. The forward VIP suite has a queen berth closer to centerline, with the bath to starboard and the dressing area to port. Two twin cabins are between the VIPs, flanking a central foyer that includes a winding stairway and large stowage locker for luggage.
The master suite is forward on the main deck, accessed through the owner's office from the main entry foyer on the starboard side. The berth is on centerline, with seating to port and starboard. As in the guest rooms below, the emphasis is not on the quantity and detail of the furnishings, but on open space. This is especially apparent in the master head. Here, a large circular whirlpool bath, elevated slightly, adjoins a huge glass-enclosed shower. The toilet and bidet, as in the guest heads, are in a separate compartment.
As on many yachts this size, the galley is to port, just abaft the owner's stateroom. The galley aboard Blue Scorpion, though, is something quite special, an absolute symphony of stainless steel accented by face panels of cream and the darkest blue imaginable. Myriad drawers and cabinets keep everything out of sight, consistent with the uncluttered look evident throughout the yacht. A central island, with a sink, grill and range, is topped by a bank of filtered extractor fans. To port forward is a crew dinette with seating for eight. An outside entry, convenient for bringing supplies aboard, is just abaft the galley at the port end of a transverse passageway.
The pilothouse, with a single helm chair on centerline and a hint of a wheel, continues the yacht's theme of minimalism in blue. Side doors lead to wing control stations and beyond to passages to the foredeck, all well protected by high bulwarks. Adjacent to the pilothouse are the captain's cabin to port and a well-equipped gymnasium to starboard. A weight bench is inboard, and a rowing machine is outboard. An en suite head and shower are convenient for post-workout cleanups.
The upper deck also carries a skylounge, or an "upper saloon, as Baglietto calls it. The term is appropriate, as this room is reflective of the main saloon, again simply furnished and lacking a television-at least at first glance. It is not until the cushions are removed from a large lounging sofa and a lifting mechanism activated that a 4-foot plasma screen hinges up into viewing position. Introspection and conversation, after all, have their limits.
Through double glass doors from the skylounge is a dining table for 10, shaded by the top deck and partially protected at the sides for pleasant alfresco repasts. There is also a large curved settee aft, mirroring one on the main deck. From here, it's a quick climb to the top deck, where more pleasures await.
Without a flying-bridge helm, the top deck is fully dedicated to guest relaxation. A dining area, sized for the full guest complement of 10, lies partially in the shade of the radar arch. At the forward end are a bar and serving area, which includes a dumbwaiter from the galley. Between the bar and dinette is an open area for loose lounge chairs. Aft is a large spa, raised for views around the horizon, and a stern-facing sunlounge.
Like other well-engineered yachts, Blue Scorpion shines even where the spaces are purely functional. She carries her tenders and water toys in a stern garage finished with teak decking to match her spacious swim platform.
The engineroom projects a sense of cleanliness and uncluttered spaciousness that belies Blue Scorpion's extensive list of first-class machinery, including some not always found on a yacht this length. Props are KaMeWa controllable-pitch units, and the engines are mounted remotely from the reduction gears to allow softer isolation mounts. In addition to the two main 68kW generators is a 25kW night generator.
Working primarily with designer Francesco Paszkowski but also with other outside designers, Baglietto does not have a "signature look, having delivered in recent years vessels as diverse as the traditional New Master and the avant-garde Blue Ice. One thing remains consistent, however: the care the company gives to each of its new builds-as clearly seen in Blue Scorpion.