Advertisement

Crescent Custom Yachts 121

Nectar of the Gods is a magnificent vessel designed to sweeten tourism in a coffee magnate's home waters of Puerto Rico.

October 4, 2007
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

The very air around us swirled with enthusiasm. My breakfast grew cold as an animated José Rodriguez Garrido discussed his new motor-yacht and how she fit into his broader dreams for his homeland, Puerto Rico. He didn’t even try to eat. He was nothing less than impassioned talking about Nectar of the Gods.

Built by Crescent Custom Yachts, she is 121 feet of custom tri-deck elegance. That is impressive enough, but to fully appreciate the yacht, you must know something of Garrido and what he intends to do with her.

Three generations of the Rodriguez Garrido family had been in the coffee business in Puerto Rico when the 1980s came around, but things were not going well. The company was headed toward bankruptcy. José Garrido, “Tillo” to friends old and new, left a law career as a public defender to take over the business. Knowing a major change was needed, he developed an aggressive plan for an upscale product, Alto Grandé. An eager market was soon found in Japanese buyers. The product gained popularity and rode the crest of the growing coffee craze. By 1996, Alto Grandé, and Garrido, were on top.

Advertisement

That’s when Garrido sold the company to a multi-national concern. With some time on his hands, some money in his pocket and a dream in his heart, he decided to build a yacht. His plans were for an 80-foot vessel, but as he got into the design process, the yacht grew to accommodate the scope of his ideas. Her length went from 80 feet to 108, then to 112, to 118 and, finally, to 121 feet-the largest yacht Crescent Custom Yachts has built.

Garrido’s dreams were not only about size, however. To accommodate his plans-which he shared only with his immediate family and one close adviser-the yacht would have to be designed with safety utmost in mind. She would have to be soundly built. He turned to naval architect Jack Sarin, whose Seattle-area firm is well-known for its work with large yachts. Sarin has also designed many commercial vessels, so he was ready to combine the aesthetics expected of a yacht with the stringent arrangement, material and equipment requirements of modern safety codes. Nectar of the Gods, constructed of cored fiberglass, is reportedly the first private yacht built in the Pacific Northwest to be fully classed by Bureau Veritas, as well as certified under the MCA Code.

Constructing a yacht to such requirements can be tough for a builder, but Crescent Custom Yachts was up to the challenge. The company had built two other vessels to the class requirements of Bureau Veritas, the French classification society. The harder part was meeting the MCA Code. Crescent began construction of Nectar of the Gods in 1998, when the code had only recently been published. Developed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in England, it is mandatory only for yachts operating in commercial charter while flying the British flag. The code was so new that neither the builder nor the MCA staff had any experience with it. The approval process was difficult and involved breaking a lot of new ground on both sides of the Atlantic.

Advertisement

Despite all the activity, Garrido kept the entire project secret until May 11, 2000, when he assembled 250 guests at the Caribe Hilton to hear him share the true scope of his dream: He was building a yacht to promote luxury crewed charter in what he considers the under-appreciated treasures of his native soil.

“Puerto Rico has many attractions to offer this market,” Garrido said, referring to charter guests “who want customized vacations in a very luxurious setting with unparalleled service.” He hopes those enjoying his yacht and the waters surrounding the island will take the time to explore Puerto Rico’s grand mountains, quaint villas and interesting history.

If Puerto Rico is Garrido’s first love, coffee is an obvious close second. Nectar of the Gods is named after the legendary potion of the Greek deities. The nectar is also known as ambrosia, a word that literally means immortality. No mortal knows for sure what the nectar is, but Garrido makes a good argument for coffee. Who can disagree? It certainly brings many of us back from the dead every morning.

Advertisement

As you enter Nectar of the Gods, you are first aware of a spacious spiral staircase that spans three deck levels. Extending from the lower deck accommodations through the main deck to the pilothouse and sky lounge, the stair is topped by a magnificent circular stained-glass panel that is back-illuminated. The piece, by Puerto Rican glass artist Edward Ferraioli, depicts the leaves and beans of a coffee plant.

At the top of the stairs is the sky lounge. A day head and low wet bar divide it from the pilothouse, allowing both captain and guests a 360-degree view of the horizon. Abaft the sky lounge is an open boat deck with two tenders and a host of water toys. There is some seating here, but if you really want to enjoy the great outdoors, head for the “conversation pit” forward of the pilothouse. Seating for six is clustered around a circular table, and the view over the bow is excellent.

There is also abundant seating, and another bar along with a grill, on the huge flying bridge. Partially shaded by a canopy that’s integral with the mast, this deck was undoubtedly a favorite spot as Nectar of the Gods cruised British Columbian waters on her maiden voyage. The shade will also be greatly appreciated in the sun that drenches her home waters.

Advertisement

If Puerto Rico is Garrido’s first love, coffee is an obvious close second. Nectar of the Gods is named after the legendary potion of the Greek deities. The nectar is also known as ambrosia, a word that literally means immortality. No mortal knows for sure what the nectar is, but Garrido makes a good argument for coffee. Who can disagree? It certainly brings many of us back from the dead every morning.

As you enter Nectar of the Gods, you are first aware of a spacious spiral staircase that spans three deck levels. Extending from the lower deck accommodations through the main deck to the pilothouse and sky lounge, the stair is topped by a magnificent circular stained-glass panel that is back-illuminated. The piece, by Puerto Rican glass artist Edward Ferraioli, depicts the leaves and beans of a coffee plant.

At the top of the stairs is the sky lounge. A day head and low wet bar divide it from the pilothouse, allowing both captain and guests a 360-degree view of the horizon. Abaft the sky lounge is an open boat deck with two tenders and a host of water toys. There is some seating here, but if you really want to enjoy the great outdoors, head for the “conversation pit” forward of the pilothouse. Seating for six is clustered around a circular table, and the view over the bow is excellent.

There is also abundant seating, and another bar along with a grill, on the huge flying bridge. Partially shaded by a canopy that’s integral with the mast, this deck was undoubtedly a favorite spot as Nectar of the Gods cruised British Columbian waters on her maiden voyage. The shade will also be greatly appreciated in the sun that drenches her home waters.

The huge galley on the main deck should be able to handle any culinary request and parties of almost any size. The dining area and saloon right aft are among the most open and uncluttered I’ve seen. The area provides seating for small groups, but guests at larger gatherings won’t find themselves bumping into a multitude of little tables and cabinets. Farther aft, the open deck offers additional seating, and a pair of stairs gives easy access to the spacious cockpit, swim platform and water beyond.

Forward is a master stateroom that is unusually spacious, even for a yacht as large as Nectar of the Gods. The suite spans the full beam and occupies two decks. On the main deck is a king bed with a vanity and private day head to port, and a spacious settee to starboard. Forward are a pair of spiral stairs leading down to a bath area so big it should be printed with a capital “B,” reminiscent of the Roman spa in England. My practical side says only one stair was needed and the space could have been better used for something else, but, then, practicality is not the point of yachting, is it?

Between the master spa and the engineroom are the guest quarters. Two staterooms have queen berths, and two have convertible twins and Pullman berths. All have private heads with showers.

In the bow, built to the MCA Code, a watertight bulkhead divides one pair of staterooms from the other, with a stairway both forward and aft. A watertight door in the bulkhead allows emergency escape from any cabin to either stair. Three crew cabins and two heads are abaft the engineroom.

Nectar of the Gods is available for charter through Bob Saxon Associates in Ft. Lauderdale. The rate is from $65,000 per week for 10 guests.

Contact: Crescent Custom Yachts, (604) 301-3900; fax (604) 301-3901; www.crescentcustomyachts.com. Charter: Bob Saxon Associates, (954) 760-5801; fax (954) 467-8909; www.bobsaxon.com.

Advertisement

More Cruising and Chartering

Advertisement