The owners had a handful of other specific ideas in mind based on how they had cruised over the years. Because the husband and wife are owner-operators of this 25-knot-top-speed yacht, there are flip-down control stations to each side on the aft deck. They also frequently cruise their home environs of the Pacific Northwest, where the deep water close to shore makes it customary to toss the anchor near land and back up to it. A self-contained, selfdraining compartment in the center of the lazarette holds 300 feet of 3/8-inch stern line on a stainless steel reel. There’s a crank as well, so the owners can take up any slack. Queenship made the reel, as well as all other stainless steel work on board, in-house. There are particularly good examples of the owners’ experience being paired with that of Queenship when it comes to accessibility of systems. In the engine room, there’s four-sided access to the twin 1,000-horsepower Caterpillar C18s, which are also lit from beneath by blue LEDs. Granted, you need to watch your step outboard of the engines, since the steering cooler line is on the starboard side and the hydraulic tank is accompanied by other runs on the port side. But still, everything is accessible, and some yachts 10 to 30 feet larger than Meriweather permit less access to equipment. And in recognition that an engine room can get pretty hot pretty quickly, Queenship custom-made an intake hood to port. Taubeneck says it circulates cool air better, preventing the opposite-side air exhaust from sucking out the incoming air.
Another good setup: access to the head system and piping, located beneath the stairs to the forward guest stateroom. The stairs lift easily to reveal a space that is Awlgripped, well-lit and ventilated. In a nod to safety, Queenship made sure the stairs self-lower when they’re being put back in place.
The owners and Queenship placed an equally strong focus on aesthetic touches as well. There are plenty of niceties, like sapele mahogany throughout each room, even adorning the appliances in the galley. The salon is its own room too, not a shared space with the dining area, as per the owners’ directive. This type of closed-off layout aboard a yacht of Meriweather’s overall length, compounded by the dark tone of the wood, could easily make a room feel constricted. However, it works well here. Part of the credit goes to the voluminous headroom, a little more than seven feet. It’s also partly due to a bookcase serving as the forward bulkhead. Another solution to an aesthetic problem: A grain-matched, wood-lined cabinet door conceals the wine locker opposite the galley, because the owners didn’t want to see the bottles every time they walked into the room. They even had a specific height in mind when it came to the cathedrals, aka the grain patterns, in the wood veneers used throughout the 74.
It’s often said that the difference is in the details — and there are certainly details in the lovely, curved crown molding above both the forward guest and master berths. Take a close-up look at both moldings, and you won’t find a seam anywhere. That’s because each is one solid piece, shaped in a steam box that Queenship devised for this very application. (It also helps that Taubeneck, the proud son of a builder of wooden boats, finds seams unacceptable.) The steam box was also put to good use for the curves in the handrail leading from the main deck down to the staterooms. While that handrail is not one solid piece, it may as well be, because the seams of the “hundreds of layers” of mahogany that Taubeneck says were pressed together to form it are barely perceptible.