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Double Down Page 2

Aside from her megayacht size and go-fast speed, this completely jig-built composite (E-glass, carbon fiber, Nidacore, Corecell) vessel features an unusual top structure that’s been dubbed the “monolithic tower” by ACU. French explains that his team didn’t want to spend time designing a vessel with sleek lines only to have it clash with an erector-set-looking tower. The result is what you see these pages. But there was a catch. Double Down’s owner also wanted it safe for children to access the tower, so he had an electrically activated retractable ladder that extends from the enclosed-bridge installed in the headliner making it safe to enter the tower even underway. And the tower’s high enough for adults and children to stand in it comfortably.

Just as the designers worked to blend the tower with the hull’s exterior, they also gave a lot of attention to the vessel’s interior arrangement. Generally when a custom boat is built, furniture is fitted and positioned in its allocated space much the way the furniture in your home is. French says the idea on the 86, however, was to blend the furnishings into the bulkheads, “…the goal being that you feel that your are on an object of speed, that all [of the vessel’s] elements lend to that speed, not just tolerate it.” Everything in the boat—from the fixtures to the furniture—has been shaped to flow with the vessel’s interior contours. As a result, everything appears seamless.

So she’s a behemoth boat with so many gadgets and doohickeys that James Bond would be jealous. (Yes, I’m jealous, too.) But she’s also a perfect example of what happens when desire meets ingenuity. And that’s what helps push the boatbuilding technology envelope.

So to the owner of that 86 Unleashed I ask, how about a 95-footer? I have some ideas about a livewell-swimming pool-dance floor-soccer field that I’d like to run by you.

This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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