Take Two Tablets and Relax

Stress-free yachting with the iPad. "Telltales" from our January 2012 issue.

Jan 12 Telltales
Steve Haefele

I was struggling through the morning’s coffee and news when a CNN headline caused me to do a double-tap on my iPad. “P. Diddy sails on $850,000-a-week superyacht controlled by iPad.” After a bit of Googling, I discovered this was big news in the marine industry. The A-list artist had apparently chartered the first superyacht to feature a new iPad app that relieves the stress suffered when trying to choose which superyacht feature to indulge in. It claimed the new app will allow superyachters command of everything “but the captain’s steering wheel!” Oh, tell me more!

Forget about using the iPad for navigation or checking the tides and weather — that’s, well, practical. “The iPad perfectly suits the superyacht industry where ease of use, integration and having the latest technology on board are key issues,” gushed one expert. Apparently the busy superyachter just doesn’t have the time to be bothered with getting out of the hot tub to raise or lower the blinds or turn the lights on and off. What’s more, without this app, superyachters would need a wheelbarrow full of remotes, for as one superyacht maven explained, superyachts have “enough LCD panels aboard to tile a roof.” What a waste having to wait for the aromatherapy shower to warm up. Forget about eucalyptus, pine, citrus or peppermint — we’re talking the smell of money. By my calculation, charters at this lofty level will cost damn near $100 per minute, including tip!

After stepping aboard, each superyachter receives a complimentary iPad and app customized to suit his individual needs. Say, for example, you're a music industry bigwig and you've tired of bouncing up and down on the inflatable floating trampoline or buzzing about the anchorage on jet-powered surfboards. You need only lay a finger on your special icon and, voilà, the superyacht's high-speed media server feeds your music to your ears. Or, let's say that, instead of pumping up at the "top of the range alfresco gym," you prefer to party down on the dance floor. No worries. Tap the app and the gym converts into a disco, complete with an "$80,000 integrated light and sound system." If you wake up with heartburn or feel a bit under the weather, no worries. Simply reach for the iPad and tap "avoir la gueule de bois" or perhaps simply "bloody mary." There's a stewardess who speaks five languages and another who is a cardiothoracic nurse. Did I mention the chef has worked at some of the best restaurants in Europe?

OK, I'll admit it — I'm jealous. I have luxury lifestyle stress as well, and while I have both an iPad and a yacht, the two refuse to communicate. Too bad. According to reports, this new technology is available only to superyachters. Trading Anhinga for a superyacht is out of the question — I just don't have the room at my dock. A charter? Not for me. I can't see spending close to a million bucks a week and not being able to drive. OK, my yacht doesn't have half a dozen hot tubs, a cordon bleu chef (sorry, Nelia) or a bevy of multilingual thoracic stewardesses, but I think average yachtsmen like me would be willing to compromise. I, for one, would gladly trade French champagne and Russian caviar for cheap Pinot Grigio and salted peanuts — hell, I'd even be willing to pour. English works fine for me, and I can prescribe my own aspirin. Folks, I'd settle for a TV remote I can understand.

Determined, I fingered my way directly to the iPad's app store in search of the secret superyacht app — it was not to be had, so I settled for A-List Celebrity Yacht Club. Finally a yacht club where I can "experience the elite world of celebrity yachts!" I'll admit at $4.99 it seems a bit pricey, but I figure what the hell: I feel sooooo A-list!