Yachts International’s S.Q.N. — By George L. Petrie — August 2003
One Special Customer
|The chairman of Alloy Yachts turns to his own yard to build his personal 126-foot custom yacht, S.Q.N.|
With her name derived from the phrase sine qua non, meaning simply indispensable, S.Q.N. is richly endowed with qualities her owner deems essential. The largest motoryacht to date from New Zealand-based Alloy Yachts International, she was built for the yard’s chairman, Gary Lane. With a prominent reputation more closely associated with large custom sailing yachts, Alloy is the largest megayacht builder in New Zealand, having launched more 100-plus-footers than all other builders in the country combined. And while Alloy now builds about three megayachts each year, prior to S.Q.N., the last motoryacht launched from the yard was the 115-foot, 25-knot A Khaliq way back in 1997.
Though the mainstay of Alloy’s order book is sailing yachts, Lane’s personal preference is power. Throughout his 15-year association with the yard, Lane has wanted to have an Alloy-built vessel, so when a slot opened up in the production schedule three years ago, he booked an order for the 126-footer that would become S.Q.N., designed by the U.K.-based Dubois Naval Architects. Not only was Lane ready to move up from his 100-footer, he also wanted to give the yard an opportunity to “demonstrate its flexibility to go either way, sail or power.”
One of the features Lane considers essential in a yacht is maximum outdoor space for entertaining, since he does much of his yachting under the fair skies of the Mediterranean. Thus, S.Q.N. was designed with a two-and-a-half-deck (rather than a full trideck) layout that creates a larger flying bridge and a lower, sleeker profile. And rather than taking up precious space on the bridge deck for tender stowage, the RIB is stowed in an athwartship garage beneath the aft deck, launched through a door in the port side of the hull via a retractable gantry. The novel arrangement easily accommodates the tender, yet takes up much less space than the usual fore-and-aft garage would have. For more outdoor fun, there’s a smaller RIB and a PWC stowed on the foredeck with a davit, all hidden from view behind the yacht’s generous bulwarks. There’s also a dive compressor and compressed air outlet in the forepeak.
The flying bridge is suited for outdoor living at its best and seems to offer something for everyone. Forward is a full centerline helm station with forward-facing seats for several guests, and aft there’s a circular spa pool flanked by sunpads. Sheltered beneath a hardtop in the center of the flying bridge, there’s a dining table and chairs just aft of the helm station, along with a full wet bar, ice maker, and barbecue. Tinted panels in the hardtop allow sunlight and sky gazing but keep out harsh glare and the occasional raindrops.
A similarly interesting setup is found on the aft deck. A pneumatically sliding awning covers a beautiful oval table that can accommodate alfresco dining for ten, or retracts to afford unobstructed views. The beautifully appointed area is an entirely suitable point of embarkation for guests, most of whom probably won’t notice the docking station concealed by a hinged panel near the stern.
Lane’s preferences are reflected in the yacht’s interior, too, thanks to a successful collaboration with Donald Starkey that produced the air of “casual elegance” he sought. A key element is the use of flat-panel finishes rather than raised-panel motifs, which can appear heavier and more formal. Bulkheads are finished with book-matched sycamore panels plus redwood burr with v-groove detailing, together with leather and fabric panels. A rich-looking silver leaf adorns the cabinets in the dining area, while countertops, shower walls, and soles in the owner’s and guest areas are executed in luxurious marble.
Next page > Part 2: Another of Lane’s priorities was a sumptuous master stateroom. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
This article originally appeared in the July 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.