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Megayachts

Building Burger's Biggest Part One: The Vision Page 3

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS

It’s just after lunchtime on a balmy 36-degree February afternoon, and Burger’s in-house interior designer Douglas Richey is squirming behind his desk. Just three months ago, the yard issued its press release about Time for Us with the name of British interior designer John Munford attached. Recently, though, Munford has suffered a death in his family and stepped aside. Richey is about to meet Jack and Marilyn for the first time, to see whether they might like him to fill the project’s first major void.

He looks eager and uncertain as the knock comes at his door. Jack and Marilyn extend friendly handshakes before sitting down. It’s been quite a day for them, the first morning of discussions since they signed the contract. Across the dirt parking lot in the new building hall, the keel is already being laid.

It’s time for everyone to agree on exactly how they’re going to do what has been laid out as the Time for Us vision. And as the details begin to get ironed out (such as adding interior design to Vripack’s duties), it quickly becomes apparent that—as with any project of this scope—there will be difficulties to resolve.

The lack of an interior designer was one key issue, since the look of the boat would affect the way she’s constructed. Jack has told Ron Beilman, Burger’s director of design, that he wants to eliminate all visual evidence of the air-conditioning systems, something the builder has never achieved. Jack also wants 100 percent grain feel in the wood, a Dutch-quality finish that will require Burger’s craftsmen to create the furniture in a climate-controlled space before installing it. On every other Burger, the furniture has been varnished and installed in place.

Then there is the current sticking point of air-intake vents: Where, specifically, must they go so that they will not interfere with the interior saloon rotunda where Jack’s piano will sit? Everyone discussed this question all morning in a Burger conference room, then tried to work out the precise angle at which structural plates will be welded. Young raised an eyebrow when designers told him they wanted to shave so many inches off the lazarette that he wouldn’t be able to stand up straight inside it. More than once, he says, he has had to remind people that highest-quality features are included in the price—not negotiable extras.

As all this unfolds, Burger’s marketing director, Katie Ross, suggests that everyone take a quick walk over to the building hall. The workers are firing up the new overhead crane for the first time as they prepare to lift what will eventually become the saloon sole onto the hull’s existing frames.

BUILDING BURGER'S BIGGEST

Part One: The Vision
In the first of a three-part series, we go inside to follow a 155-foot yacht from concept to completion.

Part Two: The Construction
Team turnovers and learning-curve delays threaten the delivery timetable for the 155-foot Time for Us.

Time for Us = Time for You?
Time for Us is available for sale.

This article originally appeared in the November 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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