How do you manage to build a 312-foot (95-meter) superyacht and not have any surprises?
You know what you want, you hire a team you trust, and you draft an ironclad brief that spells out every detail from macro to micro prior to cutting metal.
The American owner of Madsummer did precisely that. He has lived and breathed yachts and water sports from an early age. His father owned several yachts, and year-round boating was a family affair. He grew the family business and made yachting an integral part of his adult life. By the time he was contemplating his latest custom build, he had a wealth of experience.
“The owner of Madsummer has built four yachts,” says his representative, Rob Moran of Moran Yacht & Ship. “However, he really had eight different yachts because he would always have an interim yacht between the sale of his last yacht and the delivery of a new one.”
Moran Yacht & Ship has worked closely with this owner for more than 15 years. “He is extremely knowledgeable and does not leave anything to chance,” Moran says.
The American owner of Madsummer has lived and breathed yachts and water sports from an early age. His father owned several yachts, and year-round boating was a family affair. He grew the family business and made yachting an integral part of his adult life.
Along with the owner’s longtime captain and the project team, Moran wrote the technical specification for Madsummer. “The list of yards that can build a vessel of this size and complexity to the quality we expect is a short one, and we were happy to once again work with Lürssen,” he says.
Moran’s project team spent 18 months ironing out the details, upholding the big-picture vision and noting Lürssen’s perspective about what was practical and achievable.
“We have built 57 yachts and feel it is our responsibility to be at the forefront and not rely on what we did 10 years ago,” Moran says. “Owners today, by and large, want to be good citizens. They don’t want to look over the side of their yacht and see diesel fuel in the ocean. On Madsummer, we looked at waste-heat recovery, condensate collection, peak-load leveling, advanced power management and specially insulated and treated glass to reduce heat transfer.”
Madsummer has a peak leveling system thanks to a special battery pack. The lithium-ion battery pack that ensures the electrical generators run at the optimum load, burning less fuel and requiring less maintenance by storing the excess energy. This smoothes out the energy production and consumption curves, while reducing the need to start another generator.
“The owner’s brief was demanding,” says Peter Lürssen, CEO of Lürssen shipyard. “However, we believe our engineering expertise has surpassed his wishes to own a yacht that many years from now will be timeless and yet still ahead of its time.”
Moran, along with the owner, was also involved in choosing the exterior designer. “We held what I call a beauty contest,” Moran says, “looking for just the right exterior styling.”
Harrison Eidsgaard, the London-based design firm, came up with the winning profile.
“Peder Eidsgaard made a very good presentation,” Moran says. “Madsummer has that Germanic, masculine profile that we associate with Lürssen, but she also carries a stylish flair.”
Eidsgaard calls the design progressive, original and powerful, but also timeless.
“All my exterior designs are tied in with the onboard lifestyle spaces,” he says. “While the overall look of an exterior is important, it is the feeling you get from spending time on the exterior decks that will determine the ambience of a well-designed yacht.”
Wherever guests sit on any of the decks, he adds, they will have an excellent view to the sea: “I would never position a fashion plate on the side of an aft deck if it blocks out the view.”
With the help of Lürssen’s engineers, Eidsgaard made the mast highly functional, as well as beautiful. Because of the mast’s shape, a venturi feature allows air to accelerate aft past the six stainless-steel exhaust stacks. At the center of this air corridor is a skylight to the interior below. The top of the mast includes platforms shaped like bird wings, to hold the sat-nav equipment. “I believe the mast is a sculpture in its own right,” Eidsgaard says.
Another Eidsgaard design signature aboard Madsummer is the raised transom deck with a pool.
“The pool’s tall, glass bulwarks have never been done before,” Eidsgaard says. “I was absolutely convinced it would work well, but despite all kinds of drawings explaining this part of the design, nobody, including the client, believed in it until he came on board to experience it mocked up, just one year before completion. He liked it, which was a relief for the build schedule and a triumph for pushing the boundaries and trying to deliver something out of the ordinary.”
If guests are standing on the lower deck where the spa is, they will notice an 8-foot (2.5-meter) diameter skylight that reveals the seating area on the main deck, then looks beyond toward the firepit on the upper deck, and up into the owner’s terrace on the bridge deck.
“That means that you could stand in the spa and look up through the decks at the sky,” Eidsgaard says.
Laura Sessa, principal of the Rome-based Studio Laura Sessa, also pushed boundaries with the interior. Sessa has worked with Madsummer’s owner on multiple projects, starting with a refit in 2004 and then three new builds, so she knew his taste. He trusted her judgment and creativity.
Madsummer is blooming with vibrant color: lipstick red, canary yellow, mint green and denim blue. The result feels joyful and fun.
“This project reflects the serenity I share with the owner,” she says. Lürssen dubbed the interior design “Sessa chic.”
“It’s the owner’s opinion that too many yachts feel like mausoleums, and that nothing can be touched or enjoyed on board,” Moran says. “This owner recognizes one of the best things about owning a yacht is sharing it with those that matter most to you: your close friends and family.”
The yacht has a practical arrangement. Forward on the main deck are six of the 10 staterooms. Each interior area features unique art, color combinations, fabrics and furniture, all designed by Sessa. The double staterooms are red, turquoise, beige and royal blue, while the twin-bed staterooms are green and navy blue. The upper deck houses a double-berth stateroom and two matching VIPs. The double has a blue and white color scheme, while the VIPs are blue and burnt orange.
One objective of the design brief was to create central guest spaces with an easy flow. The upper deck aft is home to the informal exterior dining space, as well as the ethanol-fueled firepit. The bridge deck aft hosts the master stateroom, while the sundeck accommodates the gym.
The most unique owner’s requirement was accommodation to stow a Husky seaplane. When the yacht is at anchor, the seaplane is lowered into the water, and the whole deck becomes a dance floor and party space.
Farthest forward on this same deck is an observation area with sunpads, tables and a Jacuzzi under the sculptural mast.
Since her launch in 2019, Madsummer has cruised widely. Moran says the owner called him from the Pacific and exclaimed how gratified he was that after 62 days at sea, he had not needed to refuel. A year after delivery is always a good time to ask whether a yacht is successful, and by all accounts, this one is. ◊
For more information: lurssen.com
LOA: 312ft. 8in. (95.3m)
BEAM: 48ft. 4in. (14.74m)
DRAFT: 12ft. 6in. (3.8m)
GROSS TONNAGE: 3,091
SPEED (max./cruise): 18/12 knots
NAVAL ARCHITECTURE: Lürssen
EXTERIOR STYLING: Harrison Eidsgaard
INTERIOR DESIGN: Studio Laura Sessa
This article was originally published in the Fall 2020 issue.