Nectar of the Gods — By Diane M. Byrne
|Nectar of the Gods is the realization of her owner's devotion to family, his home, and above all else, safety.|
"There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings, but none when they are under the influence of imagination," wrote the British statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke. Considered one of the foremost political thinkers of 18th-century England, Burke used his powerful imagination and vast knowledge about the bureaucratic and cultural affairs of England, Ireland, and France to inspire others to action.
Although he's neither a statesman nor a philosopher, Jose "Tillo" Garrido understands well the concept of boundless passion. Four years ago this fortysomething native of Puerto Rico imagined commissioning a yacht aboard which he and his family could travel the world. As he realized the potential the world offered for luxury vacations, he wondered why Puerto Rico wasn't at the very least a participant in the megayacht charter industry. All that was needed, he figured, was for someone to base a yacht out of the island.
Countless meetings with the principals of Crescent Custom Yachts in British Columbia, 26 months of construction time, 180,000 man-hours, and more than 100 miles of electrical cable later, Garrido's fervent vision has taken the form of the trideck, 121-foot charter yacht Nectar of the Gods.
Why such figures for a yacht which, sizewise, could have been constructed in 18 months to two years? Three letters: MCA.
Since the end of 1998, most large yachts have had to fulfill the requirements of the Maritime Coastguard Agency--a.k.a. the MCA Code--the most comprehensive set of yacht-safety requirements to date. MCA compliance is mandatory for British-flagged and British-territory-flagged yachts measuring at least 150 feet LOA that are engaged in what the agency terms commercial service, which includes chartering. (Owners of similar-size yachts flying under other countries' flags are also opting for MCA compliance, recognizing that it can increase the resale value of their yacht and, more important as far as chartering is concerned, that some charter firms won't consider a yacht that doesn't have an MCA certificate.)
But Nectar of the Gods is 121 feet LOA, so why would Garrido opt for the expense (some estimates have compliance adding about 10 percent to the total budget) and extra time to build to MCA standards--especially considering the yacht was about one-third of the way complete when he made the decision? And why would Crescent agree to it, given these same facts and that it's difficult to build to MCA? In both cases, the reasons were because the safety benefits were undeniable and it provided a chance to prove that smaller yachts can comply with the regulations without sacrificing comfort or style. As a result, Nectar of the Gods is the smallest MCA-certified yacht to date, and Crescent is the first Canadian shipyard to meet the standards.
Some of the MCA stipulations didn't require much of a learning curve. For example, while traditionally most megayachts feature tinted windows on their upper decks, the agency mandates that clear glass be used if the captain has full vision all around from the pilothouse. Since there are no bulkheads separating the helm from the sky lounge, Nectar of the Gods employs nontinted glass.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.