Madsummer, designed by Espen Oeino and Alberto Pinto, was the fifth and last yacht launched by the German builder in 2008 and became one of the world’s largest 100 yachts.
Story Gian Paolo Nari Photos Klaus Jordan
Espen Oeino designed the very original Skat a few years ago, which, along with Rising Sun and Carinthia VII, is one of several emblematic yachts Lürssen has built to date. In the past few years, Oeino has worked closely with the German builder on a number of custom yachts whose design was developed around a set of specific requirements for amenities such as recreation space; Madsummer is no exception. Oeino and Lürssen worked closely with Captain Chris Beirne, and Robert Moran of Moran Yacht & Ship to fulfill the owners’ wishes for an alluring but discreet vessel that allows them to enjoy cruising in privacy. Formerly known as Project Bermuda, the yacht certainly does not flaunt its 257’2” LOA and 44’3” beam, and at first glance appears somehow smaller than it really is. The illusion may result partly from the fact that the radar domes loom quite large over the superstructure, which is topped by a discreet sundeck. The hull, painted a light shade of blue, provides a subtle contrast to the white superstructure.
The yacht left Florida for the Mediterranean after chartering in the Caribbean during the winter. We took the opportunity of a stopover in Naples, Italy, to step aboard.
Our visit started on the top deck and continued with the engine room, deep inside the “entrails” of the yacht. This somewhat unusual order proved very helpful in getting a true sense of the scale of this large vessel and understanding the logic behind the arrangements of the various decks, which can entertain a great number of guests.
Aft of the main deck is an outdoor salon, perfect as a mingling area with a table, seats and a very large sunbed. Another outdoor seating area, decidedly more private and ideally suited for after-dinner conversation, is located aft of the owner’s deck. On the bridge deck level, which is dedicated to navigation, the aftmost portion of the deck is entirely occupied by a regulation helipad, refueling station and storage.
The sundeck fulfills the owners’ requirement for privacy. While it almost feels like a cocoon, with sunken seats and a largely shaded central area, it offers great panoramic views, which can be enjoyed from sunbeds located on either side of the pool or a dining table aft. The centrally located and shaded bar borders one swimming pool (equipped with a jet stream), and swimmers can hop onto one of three submerged stools to enjoy drinks. A smaller Jacuzzi pool is located just a bit forward.
A set of stairs leads straight from here to the lobby of the mostly operational bridge deck. Here are two single cabins for staff (the helicopter pilot for instance) plus a larger cabin equipped with a double bed and an office with private entrance for the captain. The wheelhouse is amazingly large with a console featuring a parade of displays, switches and levers from Raytheon and Saab. There is ample room leftover for a centrally located chart table and two large sofas, inviting guests to observe navigation from this excellent vantage point.
As we continue to the deck below, the staircase—the yacht also has an elevator—becomes more elaborate, a sure sign that we are now entering what is more properly designated as the owner and guest areas. The owners’ deck features an open design not unlike the maindeck area of a few 140-footers we’ve seen. Obviously space is not an issue. The owner’s private suite is located forward of a central lobby, a study and another corridor, which leads to the bedroom. The latter has magnificent 180-degree views through surrounding windows and access to a terrace with sofa and a private Jacuzzi. A TV screen comes down from a hidden compartment in the ceiling and faces the king-size bed that is centrally located between two very large bathrooms, one with a shower with multiple showerheads and the other with shower and bathtub. Instead of the expected marble, the bathrooms feature an abundance of wood. An additional cabin, ideal for children is also located in this area.
The skylounge, on the same deck, is one of the yacht’s most appealing areas. The dining room aft comfortably accommodates 12 guests who can dine al fresco by opening the windows and surrounding sliding glass doors. The salon is amazingly large and colorful; a large central tan ottoman contrasts with the fabrics of surrounding sofas and armchairs in a vibrant blue complimented by a cabinet that is the color of coral. Zebrano jazzes up the furniture and surrounding panels. The skylounge somewhat upstages the main deck salon, whose area is partly diminished by four structural columns used for support and ventilation. Yet the salon and adjacent dining room feature an appealing décor that includes interesting panels in maple veneer with exotic wood inlays shaped like bubbles of water. In the dining room, two round tables that accommodate up to 20 guests balance out large rectangular shelves. White sofas in the main salon create various conversation areas, and an entertainment area is organized around a centrally located TV screen. Paris-based decorator Alberto Pinto has perfectly meshed classic and modern and added a few surprises to keep the ensemble interesting; for instance, two armchairs circa 1940s are located in the center of the main lounge.
The main deck also accommodates five guest cabins forward of a long corridor. Each cabin is laid-out according to a precise logic, and each features a different color scheme, consistent from inlays in the ceiling to cushions and throws. A sixth cabin has a small TV lounge with sofa, armchairs and bathroom.
On the lower level, guests enjoy a 323 sq.-foot relaxation area that features a small spa, shower, Turkish bath and massage room. The bulkhead opens in front of a lobby area and adjacent gym to form a terrace. The remainder of the voluminous deck is reserved for crew quarters (with 12 crew cabins), a huge stainless steel galley, the upper level of the engine room and a garage. The service area, storage facilities and laundry room are all located on the tank deck, which also include a recreation room for the crew and a good-sized crew mess and separated officers’ mess.
We were able to visit two of the technical areas: the forward area of the tank deck where the 240 kW bow thruster is located and the two-level engine room. From his control room, the chief engineer supervises all operations thanks to 360 sensors connected to software that continuously monitors the engines, two 2,700 hp Caterpillar 3516 engines, and other equipment. Cruising speed is 15 to 16 knots and top speed is 17 knots. The yacht has a 126-ton fuel capacity (and a range of 6,000 nm); we leave it up to the reader to calculate the cost of filling up the tank.
Our last stop is the aftmost area of the lower deck where a small office and changing room are located. From here we step into a spacious garage that houses four PWCs, a 26’ tender and a 30’ custom Goetz tender. With an air conditioned salon for 12 passengers, this auxiliary boat designed by Weaver Prince of Maryland, truly deserves the name of limo tender.
Madsummer is impressive, even if the exterior design might strike some as a bit conventional. We were surprised that the yacht did not include a home theater or perhaps a true office rather than the walkthrough study adjoining the master stateroom, amenities usually available on a yacht of this size, but that is a matter of personal preference. The layout is well thought out and practical. The quality of materials, the level of construction and the attention to details are consistent with Lürssen’s exceptional level of execution, which is as meticulous and precise on this 257’ yacht as the finishes that you would find on a high-quality 65’ boat.
Displacement: 1,978 tons
Speed: 17 knots
Range @12 knots: 6,000nm
Main engines: 2 X CAT 3516 DI TA SCA – 2,000 kw @1,600 rpm
Propulsion: 2 gear boxes Reintjes, 2 Piening fixed propellers / Rolls Royce steering gears with 2 lift rudders
Bow thruster: Brunvoil 240kw
Fuel capacity: 126 tons
Fresh water capacity: 40 tons
Stabilizers: 4 quantum zero speed
Air conditioning: Heinen & Hopman
Exterior design: Espen Oeino
Interior design: Alberto Pinto
Builder: Lürssen, Germany - 2008