Altisa VII 1/2 — By
— September 2003
Labor of Love
|A liveaboard couple works with Rybovich Spencer to turn their first dream home into their second.|
Since Nordlund Boat Company delivered Altisa VII in 1994, she has been more than a dream home for Stanley and Frannie Hanin. She has been the passion that brings them together each day. They designed their 87-foot baby so they could live aboard and run her without crew in their retirement years, which they hoped would last as long as their working ones had. They even took their 100-ton captain’s exams together.
“I finished first, though, so I’m the senior captain,” Frannie says with a chuckle.
“It was about five minutes first,” Stanley retorts.
“Please,” she says. “At least an hour!”
“I’ve never heard the end of it,” he groans.
The Hanins cruised the East Coast and Bahamas year-round until June 2002, when they found themselves arriving for a refit at the Rybovich Spencer yard in West Palm Beach, Florida, the same way they tended to arrive everywhere: just the two of them with their baby. On that day, watching workers take Altisa VII away, they realized just how much they had come to love their yacht.
“The most horrible thing you can watch is your boat going into the dumpster,” 58-year-old Frannie says, looking down at her hands, gently folded on the galley table. “When they took the boat into the shed, I felt like my child was going in for major surgery.” Stanley, 67, nodded with remembrance.
Indeed, Altisa VII would be no more. At the end of nine months, the boat that left Rybovich Spencer was so different that the Hanins took to calling their old baby “the other boat.” Their new, 96-footer included an aft deck and crew quarters, a new helm, a dining room and top-deck Jacuzzi, and stunning new interior decor. Every space—from the galley forward to the master cabin aft—was so altered that even Paul Nordlund, who runs Nordlund Boat Company with his brother Gary, reportedly had a hard time believing the photos.
Indeed, the refit was so dramatic the couple thought about rechristening her Altisa VII, but settled on Altisa VII 1/2 to honor what had made her worth keeping in the first place.
It all started about three years ago, when the couple decided they wanted an aft deck, a formal dining room, and a decor change on Altisa VII. They put her up for sale and commissioned a motoryacht just over 100 feet LOA.
A year and a half into the project, it fell through. There had been no buyer for their 87-foot owner-operated yacht without crew quarters, so in February 2002, they moved back aboard. “We went to the Bahamas and regrouped,” Frannie says. “We looked at this boat and decided we had a great boat.”
They hired Murray & Associates in Fort Lauderdale to handle naval architecture for the refit, and Stanley brought in Howard Stein to serve as co-project manager with him. The couple added crew quarters to their wish list to avoid any future resale problems and hired Plantation, Florida-based Lisa Pirofsky to help transform the colorful, Bahamian interior.
Their package went out for bids, and the Hanins agreed to visit three yards. Rybovich Spencer was the last. Stanley had met the father of yard president Jim Bronstien about 20 years earlier, when the elder hired him to deliver a 53 Hatteras to St. Louis. “He gave me what I considered a courtesy call,” Jim Bronstien says, adding that he didn’t expect to get the project.
This article originally appeared in the August 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.