Looking to up his own ante on indulgence afloat, the owner of the 38-meter (125-foot) Man of Steel has commissioned Heesen Yachts to build a 50-meter successor, scheduled for delivery in 2008. Though she's far from the biggest motoryacht around, she packs an impressive array of creature comforts into 164 feet. There's a carefree, convention-defying style in her sweeping raised bulwarks and in the rakish curves of her towering deckhouse. While the look may not suit everyone's taste, it will surely command attention.
As for her creature comforts, let's start with two hot tubs, one on the sundeck for guests to use and another aft on the bridge deck, in the owner's private domain. Comprising this elevated sanctuary is a full-beam master suite; occupying nearly half the length of the deckhouse, its focal point is a king-size berth in a circular sleeping area that commands sweeping vistas out over the stern. Forward of the wheelhouse is an open-air seating area for guests, and sheltering it is a retractable awning that can be automatically deployed like a convertible top on an automobile. The seating area adjoins a circular space forward that can serve as a touch-and-go helipad.
Directly beneath the helipad on the main deck is a full-beam VIP suite with a private balcony that folds out from the side of the hull. On the foredeck, there's a crane to handle a couple of PWCs and a rescue tender; serious watertoys are stowed in a transom garage on the lower deck, along with dive gear and equipment for other recreational pursuits.
Man of Steel is not all about fun and games, though. With a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 10 knots (and 3,500 miles at 13 knots), she's capable of voyaging worldwide on her own bottom, and her steel hull complies with Lloyd's classification requirements and other related standards. She's also fitted with a state-of-the-art VT Naiad stabilization system that reduces roll underway and at anchor.
Her acoustic specifications are especially demanding, with a requirement for quieter-than-a-whisper sound levels of 40 to 50 dB-A while at anchor and just 50 to 60 dB-A underway; normal conversation is about 65 dB-A. So while Man of Steel might make a lasting visual impression, audibly you won't even know she's there.
This article originally appeared in the December 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.