Master Class Page 2
The VIP is in the stern, which these days is for engine-room access, crew berths, and tender garages. But back in the '60's the engines lived amidships, and therefore Savvy 's four crew cabins occupy the forward half of the hull. Her tenders—including a delightful Italian mahogany runabout to which the owner is partial—are stowed up on their own boat deck aft.
Of her crew, three are fittingly Grenadian—including the chef—while Fitzgerald Graham, the engineer, is from Jamaica. Just 29, he is qualified on ocean-going cargo vessels and tankers yet pronounces himself impressed with his new ship. "Nothing has more than 3,000 hours on it," he explains, "so she's pretty much better than new. Everything seems very reliable." The machinery space is spotless. Although the boat is certified for unmanned operation via video link and repeater screens, it seems likely that Graham spends a fair part of his working day down here, just polishing. He is especially taken with the touchscreen electrical-system monitor, which allows him to seamlessly shift supply from genset to shore power without so much as the flicker of a lightbulb. It's really that good? "Nothing that your eye could detect," he smiles.
The captain is also a useful sort of chap to have around. Patrick Overington, 51, is an ex-Royal Marine who has been in yachting for many years, and although he only joined Savvy in early 2007, he remembers first encountering his current boss back in his America's Cup days. But if he was impressed then, he's even more impressed now.
"If he's slept onboard, he's up at 0600," says Overington of de Savary. "If he hasn't, then he's here by 0900. We'll usually host three to four business meetings onboard every day."
De Savary is a serial property developer, with a specialism in high-end resorts where the well-heeled take their well-earned breaks. Past projects include St. James's Clubs in London, Los Angeles, Paris, and Antigua; the Abaco Club in the Bahamas; Carnegie Abbey in Rhode Island; and Skibo Castle in Scotland, where Madonna got married to that English film director bloke.
Grenada, at the southern tip of the Windward Islands, is the latest focus for his energies. Mount Cinnamon, a hillside apartment and hotel complex on the island's two-mile Grand Anse beach, is well underway, hand in hand with various associated developments, such as the new-age spa at the old house of Tufton Hall, and the idyllic retreat of Mount Edgecombe Plantation, which has an infinity pool exactly where infinity pools should be: halfway up a mountain, surrounded by tropical jungle.
By way of a boating angle—and there's usually a boating angle with de Savary—there is also his reworking of a tired and ramshackle corner of the island's main port, St. George's, into Port Louis, a superyacht harbor and marina which will put Grenada firmly on the high-end yachting map.
Savvy arrived there right at the beginning, when there was nothing to show for her owner's ambitions save a tin-roofed bar and a colored map. Seldom has a white-hulled superyacht looked so conspicuous, but according to her owner she had exactly the right look—cultured, not ostentatious, elegant rather than flashy—to complement his new yacht-harbor development.
"She's a wonderful example of classic motorboating," he proclaims. "She's steel-built, with a range of 4,000 miles and a displacement of 260 tons. She's a great sea boat. I bought her in Miami—she has crossed the Atlantic many times. She's not a modern gin palace."
I'll drink to that.
If You Build It...
Peter de Savary not only owns a yacht, but he's building a place to put her. His latest real-estate venture is the construction of Port Louis Marina in Grenada. After dredging operations and the removal of old wrecks from the lagoon on the southern side of the inlet—including a 250-foot cargo ship that was resunk to form a dive site—the marina opened this past December in the island's chief port of St. George's. With a remarkable view northeast, across to the Georgian brick buildings of the Carenage and the rainforest-covered mountains behind, Port Louis is located on well-protected real estate.
Although at this time many amenities (including fuel) are not yet offered, the bold plans call for dockage for around 150 boats, including eight slips for vessels up to 300 feet and a dock for even larger megayachts, as well as the rest of the services associated with a top-notch marina. Indeed, the Marina Village already exists, with duty-free shopping and a fine outdoor grill.
So will Port Louis be the next Gustavia, St. Barts, or maybe another English Harbor, Antigua—a haven for yachts from all over the world? Well, there is no doubt that de Savary is installing a world-class resort that's sure to impress even the most pampered owner or guest. And only time will tell if people will be willing to make the haul down—it's only about 200 miles from Cumaná, Venezuela. But being next to the spectacular Grenadines and well south of the hurricane belt sure doesn't hurt.—Capt. Grant Rafter
This article originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.