Less is More

The Galeon 500 Fly is the quick-change artist of production yachts.

LOA: 53' 1" Cruise Speed: 24 knotsCourtesy Galeon

At speed, the [Galeon][] 500 Fly makes it easy to appreciate her muscular, Euro-style profile and spacious flybridge. But there’s more. Much more. With the push of several buttons, 5-foot-long salon windows slide forward into the bulkheads, and the bulwarks fold down into balconies. Suddenly, a few feet above the water, there is an alfresco bar on one side and a balcony with a chaise lounge on the other. The bow and aft decks also have convertible-style seating.

This jigsaw concept came out of designer Tony Castro’s playbook, many years after his London studio created foldout balconies for his superyacht designs. “These slide-out windows were a logical progression to make the interior engage with the cockpit in a way that increases usable space,” Castro explains.

Tony Castro’s yacht designs include award-winning superyachts and racing sailboats that have won five world championships.Courtesy Galeon

Connecting the salon and cockpit via glass doors is nothing new, but blurring the line between interior and exterior by opening the boat’s sides is. “These panels won’t compromise structural integrity,” Castro says.

Galeon, represented in the United States by MarineMax, has never shied from innovative design challenges on new models, many from Castro’s studio. The European builder ­fashioned the windows to retract manually, while the balconies are electric.

“I think the 500 Fly shows how far we can go to redefine the design terms of production boats,” Castro says.

Galeon 500 Fly

Not just a one-trick pony with opening balconies, this yacht has an aft lounge on a semicircular track that faces forward or swings aft to create a social area overlooking the water. The innovative seating on the foredeck (not pictured) switches from sun beds to facing lounges.Courtesy Galeon

Galeon 500 Fly

Sliding side windows blur the barriers between interior and exterior.Courtesy Galeon

Galeon 500 Fly

Battened down, the salon looks like any well-­designed motoryacht space.Courtesy Galeon