Come To­gether

Amels’ largest yacht to date, Here Comes the Sun, de­liv­ers lux­ury in a fam­ily con­text.

Yachts International - - Contents -

Ionce par­tic­i­pated in a dis­cus­sion at Con­necti­cut’s Mys­tic Sea­port museum with an au­gust group of yacht­ing his­to­ri­ans, de­sign­ers and builders. The sub­ject was the fun­da­men­tal ques­tion, “What is a yacht?” You’d think such a group with so sim­ple a ques­tion might quickly reach some consensus, but an hour in, the ver­dict was still out.

Over the years, I’ve had sim­i­lar de­bates fo­cused on whether yacht­ing is a sport or a life­style. In some ways, that’s a more ab­sorb­ing ques­tion, and my con­clu­sion has al­ways fallen on the lat­ter def­i­ni­tion, es­pe­cially when the sub­ject is large mo­to­ry­achts—which gen­er­ally are all about the life­style pref­er­ences of their own­ers, from dé­cor to ameni­ties to in­tended use.

What makes the first Amels Lim­ited Edi­tions 272, Here Comes the Sun, so wor­thy of dis­cus­sion is that she was de­signed around the life­style pref­er­ences of not one, but two own­ers who hail from dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents and cul­tures. What eas­ily could have been an un­for­tu­nate hodge­podge proved a co­he­sive in­te­gra­tion of taste, style, lux­ury and ameni­ties built around her own­ers’ shared vi­sion for spend­ing time with their ex­pand­ing fam­i­lies.

When I stepped aboard Here Comes the Sun off Mal­lorca, in Spain’s Balearic Isles, I found a well­pro­por­tioned, beau­ti­fully crafted ex­pres­sion of lux­ury yacht­ing. Life­style func­tions on mul­ti­ple lev­els and in­volves ameni­ties, er­gonomics, dé­cor and a host of other, more ethe­real el­e­ments.

An­drew Winch, founder and cre­ative di­rec­tor of Winch De­sign, which cre­ated the in­te­rior, says the process was a rel­a­tive breeze, in part be­cause he and his team leader, Jim Dixon, al­ready had a strong sense of the own­ers’ tastes from de­sign­ing their pre­vi­ous yacht, a smaller Amels Lim­ited Edi­tions called Imag­ine.

The un­der­stated el­e­gance of Here Comes the Sun’s in­te­rior ob­vi­ously is in­tended to soothe the senses and fa­cil­i­tate re­lax­ation. Nat­u­ral and bleached oak, brushed per­rera stone from Spain and leather ac­cents gen­tly mas­sage the eyes and brain. A sub­tle vine­yard motif ap­pears in dif­fer­ent parts of the yacht and in­fuses the ambience with a whiff of the organic, as do the carved oak wall pan­els that line some of the com­pan­ion­ways. The sole-to-ceil­ing pan­el­ing con­ceals crew ac­cess doors. A dec­o­ra­tive spi­ral theme evoca­tive of an Archimedean screw ap­pears through­out the yacht. Winch cus­tomde­signed fur­ni­ture to oc­cupy nearly ev­ery space, in keep­ing with the own­ers’ tastes and life­styles. Light and light­ness are in. Os­ten­ta­tious bling is out.

“We de­sign life­style,” Winch says. “It doesn’t mat­ter if it’s a plane, a yacht, a house—or a china service or a car­pet. There is noth­ing shiny on this yacht. It’s a home.

When you walk around, there is no bling. It’s all muted. It’s all satin, and the met­al­work is all brushed bronze.”

The vine­yard theme (one of the prin­ci­pals owns one) is most prom­i­nent on the outer walls of the cen­tral stair­case, which wraps around a glass-wal­led el­e­va­tor that runs from the bot­tom of the yacht to the top. The stairs are can­tilevered off the wall and don’t touch the el­e­va­tor shaft, cre­at­ing an ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ment. The handrail is a pati­nated oak ren­di­tion of a gnarled grape vine that also plays on the spi­ral theme. Images of grapes and leaves in Jes­monite pan­els cre­ated from hard-carved molds run down the walls and are in full view from in­side the el­e­va­tor. The pan­els also ap­pear in ran­dom places through­out the yacht. In­te­rior tones are dom­i­nated by honey, chocolate and cream.

Here Comes the Sun is about re­lax­ation—a fam­ily chill ma­chine on a grand scale. Ev­i­dence was at my feet as I stepped off the ten­der onto the swim plat­form. The beach club and spa are a tes­ta­ment to sybaritic in­dul­gence. With three sides able to open to the el­e­ments, the space is a health club in minia­ture with a gym; sep­a­rate sauna and steam rooms; and a lounge with so­fas, a juice and cock­tail bar, and out­board teakdecked sun­ning space.

Small mo­ments of wa­ter-based es­cape are dis­persed through­out the yacht’s up­per decks, too: a pearles­cent blue mo­saic-tiled pool with barstools in­side and step-in ac­cess on the main deck, and a spa

pool on the sun­deck. The yacht car­ries a limo ten­der, a RIB and per­sonal water­craft.

At least a half-dozen spa­ces on the five guest decks ac­com­mo­date groups of six or more for din­ing, con­ver­sa­tion and to­geth­er­ness. The for­mal din­ing ta­ble is within the main sa­lon and can seat 16. The main din­ing area for 24 is on the bridge deck aft; it can be cov­ered and en­closed by slid­ing wind­break glass pan­els, and heated or air con­di­tioned. (While the crew ar­eas and ac­cess gen­er­ally are con­cealed through­out the yacht, one ex­cep­tion is an open sec­ond gal­ley with a pass-through win­dow in the bulk­head ad­ja­cent to the bridge-deck din­ing area.)

Note­wor­thy gath­er­ing spots for smaller groups in­clude leather lounges for six in the wheel­house and a cinema on the main deck. The pro­jec­tion sys­tem has a screen that re­tracts to re­veal a TV for video games. For

guests who pre­fer to gather with just their thoughts, ex­te­rior de­signer Tim Hey­wood re­peated a fea­ture he used on the own­ers’ pre­vi­ous yacht: On either side of the sun­deck, small lounges are shielded by what Hey­wood calls a “lob­ster back” screen, a de­tail that fur­thers the theme of tran­quil­ity.

Hey­wood and Winch have col­lab­o­rated on nine Amels Lim­ited Edi­tions builds since 2007, with Winch on the in­te­ri­ors and Hey­wood styling the ex­te­ri­ors. On Here Comes the Sun, Hey­wood’s mark is ev­i­dent in the yacht’s sen­sual profile, which shows a bump in the line of the bul­wark as it rises to­ward the bow. It is no mi­nor task to make a yacht with an in­te­rior vol­ume of more than 2,800 gross tons ap­pear svelte.

“It’s nice when your eye flows from stern to bow and back again,” Hey­wood says. “I like to make those lines as con­tin­u­ous as pos­si­ble—make them into a fea­ture that makes the eye think the boat is longer.”

An­other Hey­wood flour­ish is the cov­ered wing sta­tions. On Here Comes the Sun, the decks of the wing sta­tions pro­vide cover to a pair of bal­conies be­low on the own­ers’ deck—a space that ex­tends from stem to

stern, of­fer­ing both in­ti­macy and flex­i­bil­ity.

Con­ceived as a “du­plex,” the mas­ter state­room is ar­ranged to ac­com­mo­date a cou­ple, his-and-her sep­a­rate suites or a mas­ter and guest state­rooms. The “her” suite is dec­o­rated in heav­ily lac­quered creams and whites with mother of pearl in­lays sug­ges­tive of a light Hol­ly­wood Art Deco style. The dress­ing area in­cludes jew­elry and shoe stowage, and the van­ity faces a port that looks over the sea and scenery. A fixed bal­cony al­lows respite and fresh air.

The larger “his” or “theirs” space is markedly more mas­cu­line, with chis­eled oak walls and tex­tured car­pet, and dis­play cases for the own­ers’ col­lectibles and ar­ti­facts. The mas­ter­stroke is the study, which has its own bal­cony, horse­hide over­heads and del­i­cate, stitched eel skin wall cov­er­ings be­hind the book­cases.

“This is a room that will help him make a good de­ci­sion or a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion,” Winch says of an owner do­ing busi­ness aboard—or writ­ing a com­pelling novel, or just hav­ing an in­spired think in pri­vate, in view of the sea and sur­round­ings.

Other own­ers’ deck high­lights in­clude a sa­lon aft and step-out ac­cess to the broad teak ex­panse of the fore­deck, which dou­bles as a touch-and-go he­li­pad. Here Comes the Sun is avail­able on a lim­ited ba­sis for char­ter through Fraser and car­ries 12 guests (18 for pri­vate oper­a­tion).

In an in­creas­ingly rare oc­cur­rence, our small group of visi­tors to the yacht in Mal­lorca was treated to a brief, but re­veal­ing cruise on Here Comes the Sun. While the group was served a four-star lunch in the main din­ing area of the bridge deck, few no­ticed the yacht had weighed an­chor and was mov­ing along the tow­er­ing head­lands that com­mand the south­ern end of the is­land. The sea state was calm, but there was no no­tice­able roll, the slight­est ev­i­dence of noise nor vi­bra­tion from her main en­gines.

As if on cue, no sooner had we left the anchorage than the clouds parted and the sun ap­peared. You couldn’t help ref­er­enc­ing the clas­sic sin­gle from the Bea­tles’ “Abbey Road,” from which the yacht takes her name.

For more in­for­ma­tion: +31 118 485 002, amels-hol­land.com, fraser.com

be­low: The main bed­room in the mas­ter suite of­fers 180-de­gree views and stepout ac­cess to the fore­deck.

CloCk­wise from above: Here Comes the Sun is the largest Amels Lim­ited Edi­tions; Fixed bal­conies flank the du­plex mas­ter suite; A glass-wal­led el­e­va­tor con­nects five of the yacht’s six decks. The spi­ral pat­tern in the sole is re­peated through­out the yacht.

Above: The cinema has a pro­jec­tion screen that re­tracts to re­veal a flatscreen TV for gam­ing. ToP: The sa­lon on the own­ers’ deck of­fers yet an­other gath­er­ing spot for friends and fam­ily.

CloCk­wise from right: The fun and re­lax­ation start at the beach club; Back­lit eel skin wall cov­er­ings in the owner’s study add warmth and a touch of the ex­otic to the space; Chis­eled oak lines the walls of the mas­ter.

ABOVE: Ex­te­rior de­signer Tim Hey­wood added small lounges on the sun­deck port and star­board to of­fer guests an op­tion for pri­vate respite.

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