The 203-foot (62-meter) steel and aluminum motoryacht RIO was the first launch of the year for CRN, one of the few shipyards that still launches yachts the traditional way from a slipway. The occasion on Italy’s Adriatic coast was accompanied by fireworks and confetti in primary colors that almost exactly matched some of the vibrant artwork on board.
The yacht is CRN’s second collaboration with Dutch designer Frank Laupman of Omega Architects after Yalla in 2014. RIO’s clean and chiseled lines are hallmarks of the Omega style, as are the near-vertical bow and aluminum arches in the stern that connect the main and upper decks. The flowing, horizontal lines come together to lend the yacht a graceful, balanced look on the water, despite her four decks and interior volume of 1,218 gross tons.
Some of her contours presented CRN’s technical office with construction challenges. The chamfered edges on the forward overhangs of the superstructure, for example, were made using aluminum tubes that were welded in place as they were being hand-bent to fit the curve of the brow before being faired.
Pulina Exclusive Interiors created the initial interior concept, but RIO changed ownership when she was close to completion, and the new owners favored a different style. But instead of ripping everything out and starting again, the designers worked with the shipyard’s in-house team to retain the main materials while transforming the decor and finishes to suit a more relaxed, family-oriented lifestyle. The result is a study in contemporary living afloat based on premium materials and natural tones.
The main woods that run throughout are pickled oak, American walnut and white pine that has been painted and brushed. Bulkheads and facades are broken up by vertical slats with an elegant kink where they meet the ceiling and sole. That kink also disguises the air-conditioning vents. The neutral tones are punctuated with accents in pastel turquoise and punchy works of art, including a triptych of colorful toucans. Marble varieties include azul macauba in the main salon, Irish green for the exterior bar furniture, and crema d’Orcia and calacatta vagli oro in the bathrooms.
Occupying the forward section of the main deck, for example, is a full-beam VIP stateroom that for all intents and purposes serves as a second master stateroom—ideal for charter trips that involve more than one family. The walls are decorated with handcrafted, textured wallpaper in bright, bold colors.
The other guest staterooms are on the lower deck, where another full-beam VIP has a dressing room that divides the sleeping space from the bathroom. There are another three guest staterooms—two doubles and two twins, one of which also has a Pullman berth. Each stateroom has different finishes and shades of pastel green, blue or fuchsia. The owners opted for a gym in the space where a fourth stateroom would usually be, but as it already has its own bathroom it could easily be converted into a cabin.
One of RIO’s highlights is the master stateroom forward on the upper deck with its walk-in dressing room and marble-lined bathroom. When the sliding doors between the dressing room and bathroom are open, there is a direct line of sight across the beam of nearly 37 feet (11.2 meters) from one bulwark to the other.
From their bed, the owners can enjoy sea views on three sides through the panoramic windows. A side door leads out to a private, open-air lounge with a hot tub on the foredeck. Crucially, the spa area is out of sight of the wheelhouse on the deck above.
Under the foredeck is a garage for a 26-foot (8-meter) Pascoe Beachlander, a SACS Rebel 47 (14-meter) tender and various water toys.
In the upper deck lobby is a hand-painted mural—a personal request of the owners—depicting a jaguar emerging from lush, tropical foliage. Together with the toucans in the main salon, the mural may leave guests thinking the yacht’s name is a reference to Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon jungle, but in fact, she was christened after a family pet.
Farther aft is the sky lounge, which is partially screened from a media lounge by bookshelves on each side. The open aft deck is dedicated to alfresco dining with a circular table that can be extended to seat a full complement of guests, or it can be removed to transform the area into an outdoor party space.
The bridge deck is also the sundeck with a mosaic-lined pool, sun loungers and a bar on the open after section. A captain’s cabin and an officer’s cabin are within easy reach of the wheelhouse.
RIO’s original owner wanted the transom beach club to be fitted out as a music room where a band could jam. The current owner fitted it out in more conventional fashion, with a steam room and chromotherapy shower, amenities that can be enjoyed underway thanks to an interior staircase from the main salon, and overhead skylights for natural light when the transom hatch is closed.
The professionally spec’d galley by Marrone, a leading Italian supplier of commercial kitchen equipment, is worthy of a Michelin-starred restaurant. The fridges and ovens take trays of the same dimensions, and all the corners inside the stainless-steel cabinets have a radius for easy cleaning. There is more cold storage on the under-lower deck, as well as a dedicated laundry and refrigerated garbage room.
Reinventing a custom project designed around an owner’s needs is not an easy ask for a shipyard, especially when the construction is advanced. But CRN pulled off the transition with aplomb, and RIO’s new owners took delivery of the superyacht they wanted in a fraction of the time it would take to build new.
LOA: 203ft. (62m)
BEAM: 36ft. 7in. (11.2m)
DRAFT: 10ft. 4in. (3.15m)
CONSTRUCTION: steel and aluminum
GROSS TONNAGE: 1,218
SPEED (max./cruise): 15/12 knots
RANGE: 4,500nm @12 knots
NAVAL ARCHITECTURE: CRN
EXTERIOR DESIGN: Omega Architects
INTERIOR DESIGN: Pulina Exclusive Interiors
For more information: crn-yacht.com
This article was originally published in the Fall 2022 issue.