Cheoy Lee’s Bravo 88: An Encore for Bravo

Using the seaside as her inspiration, designer Sylvia Bolton has given the Cheoy Lee 88, the newest tri-deck in the shipyard’s Bravo series, universal appeal.

Using the seaside as her inspiration, designer Sylvia Bolton has given the Cheoy Lee 88, the newest tri-deck in the shipyard’s Bravo series, universal appeal.

Story Jill Bobrow
Photos Shaw McCutcheon / Thierry Dehove

Credit Shaw McCutcheon

Credit Shaw McCutcheon

This new 88-foot Cheoy Lee follows in the footsteps of her smaller sister, the 78-foot tri-deck Bravo, but being larger naturally delivers more, including four spacious cabins. Structural engineers High Modulus (now known as Gurit) and Florida-based naval architect Michael Burvenich worked with Cheoy Lee to produce a light and sturdy yacht with good speed and stability. Equipped with two Caterpillar C32 Acerts, the Bravo 88 accelerates smoothly to a top speed of about 27 knots in ideal conditions. Even in iffy seas, the hull’s fine entry, which opens up into a nice flare, contributes to a pleasant ride at 21 to 22 knots. Essential to the boat’s good trim is proper fuel allocation in the various tanks, with the day tank located near the center of gravity. This maneuverable yacht is also very enjoyable motoring slowly up the river or tied up to the dock, and owes that attraction mainly to its wide beam, numerous windows and décor by Sylvia Bolton.

The yacht’s 22-foot 6-inch beam provides a great sense of freedom on board. The flybridge, topped with a large hard top, is equipped with a good-size helm station with easy-to-read displays, snug Stidd pilot chairs, a C-shaped seating area with springy cushions and up-and-down table, an attractive bar with comfortable stools and storage, as well as a Jacuzzi. It leaves room aft for a tender, a 1,700-pound Nautical Structure crane (specified for Hull No. 1) and lounge chairs. There is hardly a reason to leave this great space in daytime and sunshine. But come evening or less desirable weather, the climate-controlled main deck is also quite comfortable with its open salon, bar and American-style eat-in galley. Located forward of the dining area, the galley boasts exceptional storage space, including a mini pantry and an attractive breakfast or lunch corner.

Bolton, who has worked with Cheoy Lee on a few of its models, has done a terrific job enhancing this yacht’s more contemporary feel. The shipyard builds all its interiors in-house and has shown its capabilities many times with classic high-gloss finishes. On this boat, the gloss allows a more modern vertical grain to shine through. Combined with swoopy curves, it creates a lively and harmonious space.

Bolton is an interesting choice for a shipyard based in China. Born in Bulgaria, she is a woman of the world. She studied in Rome, New York and Seattle, and worked for Glade Johnson Design before starting her own firm in the Pacific Northwest. She combines her eastern and western sensibilities with an architectural approach to design, evident in many of the boat’s details, including placement of lighting accents. The open risers on the staircase give them a floating effect, so they become ornamental as well as practical.

Credit Shaw McCutcheon

Credit Shaw McCutcheon

The Bravo 88 was built “on spec,” always a fun challenge for a designer who must create a décor that does not put off anyone and can be personalized for a future owner. Bolton went for a design motif that is universally appealing, especially among sea lovers. “I used a variety of material and textures to emulate sand and seashells. The interesting thing is the seaside is not necessarily a palate of yellows and blues; there is a wider range of colors,” she says. Color accents come in the form of mother-of-pearl, glass pebbles and mosaics. She chose photographs from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association’s website and had them color enhanced to match each of the four cabins’ color hues. While playing with colors, Bolton also wanted to maintain a sense of continuity and flow. “I used similar Maya Romanoff wall products as accents to make the space look homogenous; those accent panels change looks from day to night, providing a shimmering effect in the evening,” she says. Playfulness is also evident in the small guest foyer, featuring a fun little rug and a cork panel coated with a thin layer of silver. In all the staterooms, decorative stitching finishes the bed’s vinyl-wrapped frames. Tiles, wrapped in a cushiony material, are used both as acoustical buffers and accent finishes around the beds and TVs. The entertainment centers can be replaced without having to refinish a wood cabinet, as is often the case.

Bolton likes to design with flexibility. The payoff is a delightful and cheerful interior on a comfortable yacht that can appeal to a wide audience.

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LOA: 88ft. 11in. (27.10m)
Beam: 22ft. 6in. (6.86m)
Draft: 5ft. 5in. (1.65m)
Construction: Vinylester resin-infused E-glass/foam-cored fiberglass
Displacement: 175,000 lbs.
Engines: 2 x Caterpillar C32 ACERT @ 1,900hp
Optional: 2 x Caterpillar C18
Propellers: Nibral 5-blade
Fuel capacity: 3,000 gal. (11,400L)
Speed (max.): about 27 knots
Speed (cruising): about 22 knots
Generators: 2 x Kohler 32kW
Freshwater capacity: 460 gal. (1,741L)
Stabilizers: Naiad At Rest
Naval architecture: MG Burvenich
Exterior styling: MG Burvenich
Interior design: Sylvia Bolton Design
Guest cabins: 4
Crew cabins: 2
Builder: Cheoy Lee
Year: 2013