BIGBANG IN A SMALL PACKAGE
BANENFITS MR. LOU DELIVERS SUPERYACHT FEATURES IN A 116-FOOTER
The space aboard the 116-foot (35.5meter) Benetti Mr Loui is deceptive, making the yacht feel much larger than the length overall suggests. Mr Loui is the second hull of the builder’s semi-custom Mediterraneo offering, with largeryacht features, crisp exterior styling by Giorgio Maria Cassetta, and an elegant interior by Ezequiel Farca, Cristina Grappin and Ana Elena Torres.
Mr Loui’s owners are yachting enthusiasts who hail from Mexico City. They have owned nearly a dozen yachts, but Mr Loui is their first Benetti. They and their adult sons spend at least six months a year on board, so they wanted a family-oriented yacht with a flexible layout for married children and grandchildren, and for cruises with just the two of them aboard. The yacht had to be informal enough for all age groups, without sacrificing beauty and luxury.
The result is an interior that is not only practical, but also endowed with sophisticated stylishness. Farca and Grappin had worked with Mr Loui’s owners on two residences, becoming familiar with their taste and lifestyle. Farca’s work on two previous Benettis left him well positioned to create a clear communication bridge between Mr Loui’s owners and the shipyard.
“Benetti was required to majorly rework the layout and accommodations of what was an established model,” Farca says. “I pushed them hard, but they came through for us.”
Farca and Grappin incorporated a colorful mélange of artisanal textiles and furnishings into the décor, which is part Mexican, part Italian and part international.
“We juxtaposed hard materials with soft hues and tactile furnishings,” Farca says.
While the yacht is canvassed in neutral earth tones with teak and light oak bulkheads in a variety of brushed, matte and varnished finishes, there are abundant pops of color. In the salon, Dijon mustard-yellow, hand-stitched leather armchairs offset the fawn- and linen-colored upholstery and white carpets. On the bridge deck aft, neutral settees are strewn with bright pink and loden green pillows near dual teak coffee tables inlaid with similarly greenglazed ceramic. On the uninterrupted, 861-squarefoot (80-square-meter) sundeck, the flag-blue, RODA-designed chaise lounges are accented with orange-red pillows. Matrix marble surrounds the
custom grill, bar and side cabinets. Farca designed the bulwarks in glass to add a feeling of closeness to the sea. The custom crystal dining table complements Portofino chairs by Paola Lenti.
The sundeck is a family area where the owner enjoys cooking and barbecuing. Along the same vein, the galley was enlarged and an island was added with seating so the kids could grab their own breakfast cereal or a quick lunch.
Most significantly, the owner, who has knee problems, required an elevator that services all decks, including the sundeck—a feature generally found only on much bigger yachts. Another owner request was a personal washer and dryer in the master suite, along with a
separate study, sitting area and leather-clad lounger.
“The owner’s wife is a reader, so we created a special spot for her with a perfect reading lamp,” Farca says.
The full-beam master is forward on the main deck with panoramic views. Its marble has leather and silken finishes, setting it apart from other stonework aboard. The marble in the shower that separates the his-and-her bathrooms appears to be hand-painted, as do the marble bathroom counter and carved-in sinks. They are solid black with a smattering of bookmatched golden veins. An artist friend of the owners created a fun series of vertical chain-link sculptures in white, black and yellow.
The central staircase on the main deck begins with three steps in statuario marble and then switches to wood. The stairs are illuminated. The handrails are in glass, stainless steel and shagreen.
The main-deck sitting area has full-height views through nearly 10-foot-long glazing. The space has a sofa by Poltrona Frau and a TV concealed behind Vitrealspecchi engraved mirror panels. A circular table made of Sahara noir marble is aft with access to the cockpit. Above the table hangs a custom Swarovski chandelier that Farca designed with the owners’ input, and that Cantalupi executed.
The bridge-deck salon is more casual and converts to a cinema lounge. The deck also has a second alfresco dining option.
The owner was on hand frequently during the build, and he had the pilothouse redesigned to suit his taste. He specified leather and suede fabrics, as well as a large chart table. Forward of the bridge is an outside terrace/guest lounge with a settee integrated into the superstructure, sun loungers and a foredeck spa pool. Here, once again, there is a playful insinuation of color with bright turquoise pillows offsetting the white and gray fabrics on the outdoor furniture. Having this cockpit forward makes for more privacy when the yacht is stern-to at the dock.
On the lower deck are four guest staterooms: Two VIPs with double beds face each other at the stern, while the other two guest staterooms have sliding twin beds that convert to doubles, plus Pullmans for grandchildren. The crew is quartered in three double cabins forward on this deck with a particularly large crew mess, as the owners want their crew to be comfortable.
In today’s overheated superyacht world, a 116foot yacht can be seen as diminutive. But Mr Loui competes with the best of the bigger builds for comfort and elegance of design.
Above: the salon is situated forward on the main deck to take advantage of the views through the full-height glazing,
and the dining table is aft with open access to the cockpit. below: The lined marble in the master bathroom looks like it was hand-painted.
Left: A foredeck lounge and spa pool provide privacy when stern-to at a dock. top Leftand cLockwise: Pops of pink and green on the sundeck; Careful attention was paid to understep lighting on the stairway; Hand-stitched leather chairs in the salon; A large custom Swarovski chandelier hangs over the main deck dining table; The full-beam master stateroom has a reading lounge chair.