Meet the ultimate Bond girl: the famed 1980s-era superyacht, M/Y Octopussy. Interior designer Jeff Lincoln takes us aboard the refurbished, retro-chic ship.
Decorator Jeff Lincoln’s fearless revamp of a 1980s Heesen yacht
IT BEGAN WITH A PHONE CALL. “Want to check out the Palm Beach Boat Show?” It was late March, and I was working on the home of a longtime client in south Florida. He also happens to be a childhood friend, so when he called with the invitation, it seemed like a fun afternoon diversion. The annual show draws some of the most impressive yachts from all over the world, and if you leave your shoes on the dock, you can come aboard and wander their decks and cabins.
It wasn’t clear to me that my client was seriously considering purchasing a yacht that day. I am not sure if he even knew. He’s an athletic guy and avid fisherman, so I thought at the most he might be considering a new sportfisher.
I’ve been an interior designer for some 30-plus years, so I naturally spent the better part of the show compiling my own “dock appeal” assessments of the boats (free as I am from the financial consideration of such a purchase!). While the smaller boats were primarily bright and welldesigned reflections of their intended purposes, I couldn’t help but note that the interiors of most of the larger boats were dull and oddly lacking in soul.
Then we came upon the blue-hulled beauty known as M/ Y Octopussy. A renowned yacht from the 1980s, the
43-meter vessel was among the fastest superyachts of its kind when she was introduced by Dutch builder Heesen and helped usher in the era of the luxury superyacht (defined today as any commercially crewed yacht larger than 24 meters in length).
There were bigger boats that day, and newer ones too, but none had the sheer presence of this one. The interior—with its low-slung main saloon, five staterooms, and capacious dining areas—was redolent with 1980s riffs on chrome and lacquer befitting its Bond-inspired moniker, along with acres of Art Deco–inflected cabinetry. “What do you think?” my client asked.
“Now this is a boat with style,” I replied.
To be clear, much of the vessel’s 1980s style bordered on kitsch, but the passing of time suddenly made it appear fresh to my eyes. Besides, those dispiriting forays on those other yachts gave me a renewed appreciation for the funky aesthetic.
He bought her, and a few weeks later, he called to ask if I would help him with refurbishing the interiors.
I’d designed a boat before this one, a 90-foot Viking sportfisher—not small, but nothing like this elegant vessel. I recalled the Hollywood adage that “nobody knows anything” about making movies. I quickly decided this was also true for yacht interiors and set out to plot my own course and embrace her 1980s lineage. I coated existing cabinetry and millwork in the living areas with
“Much of the vessel’s 1980s style bordered on kitsch, but the passing of time suddenly made it appear fresh to my eyes.”
bright white lacquer and upholstered unsightly round metal columns in tufted white leather. Against this clean canvas, I layered in lots of blue. ( While pairing blue and white at sea may not be the most original idea in the world, I am a firm believer in not doing things because you want to be “designery.” To me, design should be—first and foremost—comfortable and appropriate to its environment. Then you can throw in a few surprises.)
So, in came curvy Vladimir Kagan sofas and vintage polished-steel Karl Springer tables, their flowing forms making communal spaces easy to navigate (in other words, no bruised shins). A couple of Warhols reinforced the vivid palette and the era.
The staterooms, however, were a different story. No amount of clever recontextualizing was going to save these sorry and dated spaces. I reimagined them instead with maximum sleeping capacity and comfort top of mind. All of them except the master stateroom are belowdecks, so I leaned on color to help make the most of limited light.
Today the boat is a happy place for my client and his energetic young family. In Lyford Cay and other Bahamian ports, the kids take daredevil dives from the upper decks while my client and his wife watch from the newly added sky deck. Thanks to her refurbished Rolls-royce engines, M/ Y Octopussy is once again one of the fastest boats of her size on the seas. Catch her if you can.
An Andy Warhol silkscreen hangs over versatile banquette seat ing in the yacht’s main saloon. Shade fabric, Quadrille.
A lacquered teak-and-holly dining room is encased with glass doors that open entirely to the ship’s aft deck. Chairs, Artistic Frame. Fabric, Janus et Cie (striped) and Romo.
In the wet bar and throughout the main cabin, designer Jeff Lincoln (pictured) updated the woodwork by coating it with white and natural lacquer. Stools, John Boone. Rug, Stark.
On the main deck, Sutherland seating is outfitted with Perennials performance cushions.
LEFT: A mod sitting room doubles as a sexy cocktail lounge with curved retro seating by Vladimir Kagan. Suede upholstery fabric, Romo (blue) and Holland & Sherry (white).
A mirrored floating staircase and a reflective mother-ofpearl wallcovering (Innovations) send light into the living areas and additional staterooms belowdecks.
A sky deck lounge and hot tub are recent additions to the ship. Chevron pillows, Perennials.
LEFT: The master stateroom is on the main deck, giving it expansive views and plenty of sunlight. Cabinetry, teak. Headboard fabric, Quadrille. Ceiling paper, Surfaces by David Bonk.
Navy and aqua prints brighten a guest bedroom belowdecks. Headboard fabric, Quadrille. Bedding, Satori Fine Linens. Wallcovering, Phillip Jeffries.