A few months ago, I came across an old catalog page that builder Feadship shared on Facebook (that’s right the venerable Dutch builder Feadship has a Facebook page).
The catalog page boasted one of the latest vessels that Feadship had introduced to the US market—Coronet. In 1954, when she debuted at the National Motor Boat Show in New York, which was then one the year’s most important yachting events, she was the Queen of the Show. Evidently, people expected less of their queens in those days (at least in terms of their size), and the queen, with superbly classic Dutch styling, was 60 feet long and had a 15-foot beam. Since then, the world has changed. One of the most notable changes in the yachting world has been a trend to build ever-larger luxury vessels. A luxury yacht nowadays is more likely to be 60 meters long than 60 feet, and feature a 15-meter beam. Among the world’s largest private yachts, that’s more than conceivable. The new Fincantieri Serene, for instance, is 439 feet (134 meters) long with an 59-foot (18-meter) beam—nearly as wide as the Feadship Coronet was long!
At the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this year, Laurel, one of the largest yachts built in the United States, is expected to grace the docks along with several other of the world’s largest superyachts. What do you get for this extra length and extra beam? Lots more. Huge garages suitable for lovely boats used as tenders, beach clubs, pools, spas, several salons and lounges, palatial sleeping suites often with balconies, layers upon layers of deck spaces for dining, sunning and relaxing, and the occasional helicopter landing pad and hangar or personal submarine.
Of course, you don’t need a yacht quite as large to enjoy yourself on the high seas. The owner of Molori Private Retreats, who designed his yacht Told u So to complement his great sense of style, did not want a humongous yacht. His idea of luxury and hospitality (the yacht will be available for charter) is one with a great crew and an interior that exudes genuine warmth. He has the gift of visualizing space and managed to make his 145-foot Benetti feel both homey and spacious. See for yourself. Told u So is featured in this issue.
Overall, it does seem that you get more than you did a few years ago for the same length. Designers and builders, with the help of technology, seem to make every inch count more. The engines are more compact. 3-D design helps to fit pipes tightly into better-laid-out spaces. Huge windows open up spaces that small portholes once made seem confined. Doors and their frames disappear wherever possible. Furniture and bulkheads pop up or slide down. All of a sudden, space seems to be as flexible a concept as time can be. Turn to the Designers’ Showcase section for illustrations of flexible space use.
Perhaps this ability to transform space is most obvious in production yachts 100 feet and smaller. There will be plenty of those at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Looking at the preliminary lineup, it’s hard not to get enthused. One of the most creative uses of space we’ve seen of late is on the 42-foot Wider. The deck actually expands to provide a bigger playground at mooring. Wider is expected to be at the show this year. Turn the pages for a sneak preview of coming attractions. Chances are the lineup will change between now and then, so be sure to visit our Facebook page for regular updates.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
— Cecile Gauert