|Pass the Popcorn|
Part 3: Custom Yachts...
By Diane M. Byrne — March 2002
The rules change when it comes to custom yachts, where entertainment-addicted owners have the luxury of literally being able to design room after room around the systems they want. While some have the flat-panel screens mounted directly to bulkheads–one owner of a Broward built in recent years has screens in nearly every room serving as artwork–it’s also common to find motorized lifts like the ones mentioned above. Usually they’re employed in a saloon, sky lounge, and/or master stateroom (at the foot of the bed). And because saloons and sky lounges typically contain large seating areas, some lifts are engineered to swivel the television once it’s exposed, preventing any neck-craining.
Companies like Auton also make other clever systems to conceal the television screen. A popular option is to recess the screen behind a sliding panel that has a painting mounted on its front. There are no exposed mechanical parts or tracks, and at the touch of a button on a handheld remote, the panel slides nearly noiselessly.
But some yacht owners crave taking the home-theater experience a step further. Glade Johnson Design has worked with several clients who have that desire and often recommends Inca Corporation’s systems. Based in Gardena, California, Inca makes some pretty elaborate plasma-screen lifts that not only rise from cabinetry but also drop from within the overhead. Then there’s the setup Glade Johnson Design did aboard the Alloy-built motorsailer Georgia. Working with Inca, the team designed a system that rises up in front of a divider in the middle of the master stateroom and turns to face either the bed to starboard or the study to port. But that’s not all–since the TV and its lift are so close to the divider, and the study is on the other side of the divider, the lift was also engineered to slide sideways more than 90 degrees to permit viewing from the study.
All of these conveniences come at a cost, of course. While the five-inch flat-panel television runs a few hundred dollars, the larger the screen, the bigger the cost. The 22-inch units have been advertised for about $5,000, for example, with 50- and 60-inch models running $16,000 to $20,000. As for the lift systems, Auton and Inca quote prices via their dealers since sometimes customization is necessary.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I really must go. My brother-in-law is on a week-long business trip, giving me the chance to more fully appreciate Russell Crowe in all his Gladiator splendor, compared to how he looks on my lousy TV set…
Auton Motorized Systems Phone: (661) 257-9282. Fax: (661) 295-5638. www.auton.com.
Inca Corporation Phone: (310) 808-0001. Fax: (310) 808-9092. www.inca-tvlifts.com.
This article originally appeared in the February 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.