She is 30-year-old Gulf Craft’s new flagship. Solid, well crafted and versatile, the Majesty 135 packs a great deal of amenities.
Story Frances and Michael Howorth Photos Gulf Craft
The launching of Lady Tahiti, the first Majesty 135 hull from Gulf Craft, coincided with the company’s 30th anniversary. To mark the event, the shipyard organized a celebratory gathering in Dubai, and we were among a select group of international journalists allowed to inspect the yacht and explore the well-equipped shipyard in which she was built.
Founded in the United Arab Emirates in 1982, Gulf Craft is one of only a few boatbuilders worldwide with the capability to produce a range of marine craft from 20-foot roundabouts up to 135-foot megayachts (the Majesty 135 is its current flagship). The shipyard’s annual production capacity exceeds 500 vessels and Gulf Craft currently exports more than 70 percent of its products (all built in composite so far) to 40 countries, according to CEO Erwin Bamps. Majesty Yachts is one of three Gulf Craft brands, which also include Oryx and Silvercraft.
Despite the brand’s international appeal, Lady Tahiti—which was commissioned by a Gulf resident—remains very much a megayacht with Middle Eastern appeal. Boating in the Middle East is a male-centric activity; it is fathers and sons who go boating while wives and daughters tend to stay ashore. As a consequence, boats get used in different ways and they call for layouts not familiar in the west. In this case, the golden-bronze, triple-decked Lady Tahiti has a wide-open and uncluttered layout that can best be described as ideally suitable for corporate entertaining, a role she will engage in when put to charter in the Mediterranean. There, among other activities, Bamps says she will play host to celebrity parties at the Cannes Film Festival, and her expansive flybridge will act as grandstand from which to view the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco. With her open-plan layout, multilevel entertaining and dining space, and extensive concealed storage in each and every living and entertaining area, Lady Tahiti can comfortably serve up to 80 guests at any one time.
The yacht’s wide teak aft deck immediately draws attention to the yacht’s size and solidity. Light-colored sofas flank an ample greeting area with luxurious touches that include engraved gold-finished light switches, setting the tone for what is to come—an ingeniously designed interior, and deck layouts that optimize entertainment and lounging spaces. Stepping inside, one is greeted by a room with bamboo-clad walls that maximizes its voluminous dimensions by pulling in the light through extra-wide windows. The generous salon, devoid of the usual dining area forward, is covered in a lush hand-tufted wool carpet. Low, oversized seating is grouped around luxurious Heller-Leder leather-clad tables inlaid with distinctive Arabesque etched-glass tabletops. A 65-inch LED screen is hooked up to an integrated audiovisual entertainment system that allows personalized selection of entertainment options or, in party mode, broadcasts to all areas.
Moving into the landing area, two features immediately bring home the lavish level of onboard opulence. The dayhead is fully fitted out with a decorative beaten-gold sink, Mestre gold and crystal bathroom fittings and a toilet with bidet. The clever use of reflective surfaces in key areas of guest convergence further enhances the feeling of space. The elevator—a first for Gulf Craft and a particular request of the owner—connects the main, lower and upper decks but stops short of the flybridge, which is accessed through a stairwell from the upper deck.
Leading on from the main-deck landing area, the small but fully equipped kitchen has direct access to the side deck to enable crew to discreetly carry out functional duties without disturbing guests seated in the main salon area. Forward of the main deck, the lavish owner’s suite opens onto the owner’s lobby and convenient dayhead, also equipped with Mestre gold and crystal fittings. A recessed desk and rich red and gold upholstered armchair leads into the owner’s bedroom, which is clad in tones of dark, crosscut sapele with mahogany accents. Lighter bamboo highlights key panels between the dark patterned cabinetry. Large windows in the walk-in closet draw in natural light amplified by mirrored surfaces that make this a roomy staging area. The double ensuite bathroom is a lesson in understated luxury, with light travertine marble walls accented in blue-toned Azul bahia granite and Arabesto rosato marble. A connecting shower cabinet and an etched-glass door divider are covered once again in the Arabesque motif encountered throughout the yacht.
Heading below the main deck, the lower deck is home to four guest staterooms, two twin and two VIP cabins, featuring different combinations of satin and gloss fumed eucalyptus, sycamore, bamboo and Burmese teak. Each stateroom retains an air of individuality and all feature LED TVs, a fully integrated audiovisual system, sound- and rattle-proofed doors and generous ensuite bathrooms fully equipped with sinks, toilets, bidets, showers and marble shower seats. The lower deck also houses the crew service areas, with accommodations for 12 using a mix of twin bunk, double and Pullman beds.
Ascending to the upper deck, the stairwell is a study in both style and functionality, with rich, grooved anti-slip teak steps and square Heller-Leder leather panels. The leather-clad walls combined with a distinctive UV-lit handrail give the stairwell a nightclub-like feel. It opens onto another spacious lobby on the upper deck, which connects the wheelhouse at one end with the formal dining room at the other. The wheelhouse’s control panel features a large integrated display that allows an overview of all communications, engine control, radio, satellite, camera and navigation systems in a wide-format display.
Heading aft on the upper deck, the formal dining area features a stylistic throwback to a cigar lounge or formal card room with four round tables each set with large, studded leather armchairs, walls clad in sapele, mahogany and bamboo, and a statement gold-accented bar set with solid gold-finished bar stools. Leading out through the patio door to the deck beyond, the external dining area features a more relaxed rattan dining set that seats 16 in addition to casual sofa seating with coffee tables for quick nibbles. A dumbwaiter connects the cockpit on the main deck with the upper-deck dining area for ease of service.
The upper deck offers even more space for interactive seating and dining, as does the spacious flybridge, fully equipped with a Jacuzzi, bar, icemaker, fridge, ice-cream maker and teppanyaki plate. The cooking and bar facilities and the absence of a flybridge helm enable this deck to be completely private.
Lady Tahiti has an oceangoing range of 4,000 nautical miles achieved using twin MTU 12 4000 M93 engines of 3,400hp each, to give top speeds of about 23 knots. The engine room is full height and its detailed and labeled layout offers crew maneuverability while allowing all essential and backup systems to be accessed quickly.
There can be no doubt that the Majesty packs a great deal into 135 feet of boat, and with a more westernized layout the model could quickly catch on in US waters.
For more information, visit majesty-yachts.com.
LOA: 135ft. (41.05m)
Beam: 26ft. 7in. (8.14m)
Draft: 6ft. 9in. (2.11m)
Fuel capacity: 8,520 US gal. (32,255L)
Freshwater capacity: 2,840 US gal. (10,749 L)
Main engines: 2 x MTU 12V 4000 M93L 3,400hp
Generators: 2 x Kohler 80kW
Speed (max.): 24 knots
Range: 2,500 nm @ 12 knots with 10% reserve
Stabilizers: TRAC 540
Interior design: CDB Yacht Design
Exterior design: Gulf Craft
Naval architect: YD Design and BMT Engineering
Classification: Bureau Veritas I @ Hull l Mach Yacht Motor– C, unrestricted
Builder: Gulf Craft
Guests: Owners (2) + Guests (8)
Crew accommodation: 4 crew cabins + 1 captain’s cabin