From the first time businessman Arthur M. Blank saw his boat, with its Espen Øino exterior still in pink fairing compound in the outfitting facility at Oceanco, he knew it would be just right for him.
“He was drawn to the combination of Espen’s timeless exterior, Terence Disdale’s elegant, calm interior, and Oceanco’s ability to deliver the boat on time and to the quality he required,” says Dan Jackson, Blank’s representative on the project. “So, after some minor enhancements made to suit him and his family, we got right into it and, 18 months later, DreAMBoat was delivered.”
While Øino and Disdale have been prominent and prolific on the superyacht scene for many years, Oceanco provided the two old friends with the opportunity to collaborate on the 295-foot (90-meter) project. And it was a sizable project, with more than 10,764 square feet (1,000 square meters) of exterior space.
Blank, the co-founder of The Home Depot who had been considering building a custom yacht for a few years, became the boat’s owner after construction started. He wanted a yacht that would accommodate his adult children, grandchildren, extended family and friends. DreAMBoat can comfortably welcome 23 guests and 33 crew.
On the main deck lives one of the yacht’s two touch-and-go helipads. Aft is a 20-foot (6-meter) swimming pool flanked by sunpads and umbrellas. Forward of the pool and under the upper deck overhang are settees and a dining table for eight to 12 people. Additional seating areas are along the side decks. The main deck has direct access to the beach area via port and starboard staircases. The exterior main deck is outfitted with a removable diving board, and the vessel’s AV/IT system provides continuous livestream TV throughout the vessel.
Inside the salon are two separate lounge areas. Formal dining is forward, with a black lacquered table and a hammered nickel centerpiece. Seating expands for as many as 14 guests. There are two mother-of-pearl side consoles, and a television is hidden in a lacquered cabinet with a custom artwork panel by London-based DKT Artworks.
“Following our ethos of beach house, not penthouse, the palette of finishes on board DreAMBoat include many natural, interesting surfaces,” Disdale says, “but also a lot of material resulting from the use of state-of-the-art technology and the highest level of craftmanship, which allowed us to create a relaxed and yet comfortable and timeless interior.”
Four guest staterooms and two VIPs are forward on the main deck. Several have extra beds or sofa beds for overflow guests and children.
The upper deck is home to the largest salon on board. A circular sofa is configured for conversation and cinema watching. The leather inlaid ottomans double as coffee tables. Wall panels are carved oak and rattan.
Sixteen guests can gather at a round, lacquered table here, with a built-in lazy Susan. The dining area is flanked by blue tigereye maple cabinets adorned with gold dust and blue leather. The space also has a ribbed, sponge-lacquered bar. The dining area walls are paneled in oak and leather. The sliding entrance door has parchment checkerboard, while the exterior curved sliding door can open entirely to provide partial alfresco dining.
Forward of the central staircase is the owner’s area, which includes the master stateroom, two staff or children’s cabins, and his-and-her dressing areas and bathrooms. The dressing rooms are clad in high-gloss lacquer with ribbed palm-wood closets. Her dressing room has a makeup table in brown lacquered parchment. The walls are leather and palm wood with mirrors on the doors. The stateroom has balconies, outdoor seating and a private Jacuzzi with a custom-built hydro jet/massage unit.
On the bridge deck are the wheelhouse, ship’s office and captain’s quarters. Abaft the wheelhouse is a corridor leading to a spa that includes a sauna, steam room, massage room and beauty salon. The corridor that runs the length of the spa has hemp leather panels and a cut limestone sole. The ceiling in the salon has a reflective Swarovski surface, while the sole is a bronze stone. As is required on yachts with DreAMBoat’s classification, the massage room can convert into a hospital space if needed.
The gym is also on this deck, with recessed treadmills and a Life Fitness system connected to the ship’s Wi-Fi. The bikes from the gym can also be brought to the outside deck.
The sundeck, Blank says, is the yacht’s most popular space. Nearly 100 feet (30 meters) long, it covers 2,691 square feet (250 square meters). The Jacuzzi with adjacent sun loungers can accommodate eight people. A touch-and-go heli-landing area can be configured for a disco party. Guests can relax in a number of places, including a glass-enclosed informal lounge that has convertible tables and a pop-up television.
The sundeck’s Jacuzzi and bar area are forward and can be separated from the aft lounging space. Kids can be playing loudly in the whirlpool while adults read and nap on the loungers aft. The aft deck also converts to an outdoor cinema with a 12-foot screen—ideal for watching movies and sports.
DreAMBoat lives up to her name and intended purpose. She has proved a worthy vehicle for Blank to realize his dream of a haven for family time on the water.
LOA 295ft. (95m)
BEAM 46ft. 5in. (14.2m)
DRAFT 13ft. 3in. (4.05m)
CONSTRUCTION steel and aluminum
DISPLACEMENT 2,396 tons (full load)
GROSS TONNAGE 2,950
SPEED (max./cruise) 18.5/15 knots
RANGE 5,250nm at 14 knots
NAVAL ARCHITECTURE Oceanco/Azure
EXTERIOR STYLING Espen Øino International
INTERIOR DESIGN Terence Disdale Design
For more information: builtbyoceanco.com
Photos | Have a closer look at the Oceanco’s 295-foot DreAMboat in the gallery below:
Arthur M. Blank is living the American dream on his Oceanco, DreAMBoat
In many respects, Arthur M. Blank personifies the American dream. He rose up from a modest background in Queens, New York, and co-created The Home Depot. The wealth he accumulated now lets him focus on his love of family, including aboard his 295-foot (90-meter) Oceanco DreAMBoat.
“DreAMBoat is exactly what the name implies” Blank says. “She was built to be shared and enjoyed by my family and close friends. I truly can’t think of a better venue to share and grow our love and appreciation for each other.”
Blank founded The Home Depot with Bernie Marcus, starting with just four stores in Atlanta. The Home Depot became the largest home-improvement retailer in the world, transforming America into a country of empowered do-it-yourselfers. Blank’s business ethos was to emphasize core values that were good for business as well as for society.
Those values have their genesis in his early years. When he was 15, his father died of a heart attack. With no business experience, his mother took over his father’s small mail-order pharmaceutical company and grew it, eventually selling it. She raised Blank and his brother with a deep sense of community values. He contributed to the family too, working a variety of menial jobs to put himself through college.
“I was also competitive to the core,” Blank says. “I played baseball, football and ran track in my school years.”
Shortly after he retired as CEO of The Home Depot in 2001, Blank purchased the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons. In 2014, he broke ground on the Falcons’ new home at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the same year he was awarded a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. After the Falcons won the NFC Championship in 2017, he created the Atlanta United FC soccer team, which played its first match in the new stadium in 2017. Atlanta United won the MLS Cup championship in 2018.
Also included in Blank’s business portfolio are 42 nationwide PGA TOUR Superstores; as well as Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, West Creek Ranch and Paradise Valley Ranch in Montana and part of AMB West.
With his hand in so many businesses, Blank has endeavored to keep a handle on balance. He believes in making a difference professionally and personally. He recalls a pivotal 1995 dinner he had in New York with Rob Walton, the son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. Sam had died a few years earlier.
“Rob shared with me that his father had not properly prepared the family for philanthropy—for creating and evaluating charitable missions with the right strategy,” Blank says. “This inspired me to start the AMB Family Foundation that very same year.”
Blank is one of America’s leading philanthropists. With his foundation, he has invested in causes such as youth development and education, entrepreneurship, parks and green space, climate change, community redevelopment, the arts, and military veterans. Several of Blank’s children are on the board of directors. Through the foundation and his family’s personal giving, Blank has granted more than $560 million to charitable causes.
DreAMBoat now figures into this thinking, too. He has already involved the crew in making philanthropic gifts to organizations they care about. He is a signatory of The Giving Pledge formed by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet, committing himself to give away at least 50 percent of his wealth to charitable causes.
The list of awards, recognitions, and honorary degrees Blank has achieved is impressive, but he says it’s integrity that led to success. And at 77, Blank is ready for some personal down time. DreAMBoat is the first yacht he has owned.
His late, close friend, real estate developer John Williams—who owned the J-Class Ranger, sailing yachts Atlanta and Georgia, and motoryacht Vita—introduced Blank to the joys of yachting.
“For 30 years, John always extended himself and invited me to use his boats, so I never felt the need to own one,” Blank says. “Before he passed away, we were going to build one together.”
Upon Williams’ death in 2018, Blank decided he had no time to spare. Williams’ former captain and fleet manager, Dan Jackson, helped Blank identify the right boat and yard. Jackson became Blank’s project manager and owner’s representative with Oceanco.
When it was time to choose a name for the yacht, Blank ran a family contest. His 22-year-old son, Josh, won with the name DreAMBoat. It encapsulates Arthur’s initials, the AMB Family Foundation and AMB West. The yacht’s three tenders are called Soul Purpose, Molly and Max.
“I personally, carefully chose the names of our three beautiful custom Compass tenders,” Blank says. “Soul Purpose reflects how being at sea stirs the soul to dream of peace and happiness and a higher purpose in life. The other two tenders, Max and Molly, were named in honor of my parents, which is my way of revering their memory and keeping them forever close to me wherever I travel. They both loved the ocean. I am sure they would have gotten a kick out of knowing I lent their names to such worthy recipients.”
Since the yacht was delivered, Blank’s adult children and grandchildren have had a chance to cruise aboard, as have his colleagues and friends. Earlier this year, the yacht was host to a party at the Super Bowl in Miami.
“My pulse and blood pressure drops dramatically when I am on the boat,” Blank says. “DreAMBoat provides an opportunity to relax and enjoy nature, the sea and family time."
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Yachts International.