Superyacht secrets 2
An owners’ personality is often reflected in their yacht, but even if you’re boating on a budget, you can still ‘bling it like a billionaire’, says Jake Kavanagh
Surprisingly affordable bright ideas from superyacht yards
Have you ever exchanged your Sikaflex deck sealant for 24-carat-gold sprinkled with diamonds? Or how about swapping that slightly faded print on the bulkhead for an original Dali? Or maybe you’ve opted for a crystal chandelier that cascades down your midships staircase, or commissioned a wooden sculpture that travels from your bilge right up to your sundeck?
If you have you’re probably a superyacht owner, and everything just listed has already been used in a new-build project. While the skipper tasked with maintaining the diamond- studded deck may have preferred the more dependable Sikaflex 290DC, some other bling I’ve seen has actually been very practical.
Last month, we looked at how you can borrow ideas from the world’s rapidly expanding fleet of 24m+ yachts to make your own vessel much more comfortable. These ideas ranged from extra-thick insulation against ambient noise and temperature to installing stabilisers to dampen down movement. The huge budgets for a new project (often-quoted as £1 million a metre) allow superyacht builders to create a vessel that is not only perfectly finished, but also luxuriously equipped.
For the mega-rich, this is entirely expected as luxury comes as standard. However, the bit they really enjoy is stamping their personality on the project, either in the design itself (to the terror of the naval architects who have to get it certified) to the way the yacht is accessorised or painted. Because superyachts pack such massive fuel tanks, along with bristling top speed and huge desalination plants they have often been the first responders to international disasters, especially in the hurricane-hit Caribbean.
Here are some ideas that you can borrow to superfy your own boat, and you will find many of them surprisingly useful. And you can always add diamonds if you want...
During a night in the Med or Caribbean, you may well have seen a superyacht at anchor. Usually ablaze with light from top to bottom they are pretty hard to miss, and give the impression of ‘a glittering jewel afloat on a sea of luminescence’. Happily, you can achieve exactly the same affect with a Westerly Centaur or Rival 32. You need similar kit, but on a much smaller scale.
Huge advances in LED (light emitting diode) technology have resulted in compact, high-output lights that require very little energy, and which can be combined in clusters to give a palette colours. Indeed, this ‘colour-change’ ability has become a major selling point in marine lighting arrays, both above and below the waterline.
Enhancing (which sounds better that ‘blinging’) with light has therefore divided itself into three separate roles – exterior (including the rig), interior and underwater.
Superyacht owners usually like to make an impression, such as with this CRN-built yacht. The use of relatively inexpensive LEDs above and below the waterline has a big impact, but also some practical applications
Making a statement with light. This concept sketch for an Icon yacht features a fully-lit aquarium and encapsulated fountain. Lighting can be changed remotely. Can’t find your yacht? Use your phone to turn every deck light purple for a few minutes. Ah, there she is...