As the name suggests, Cheoy Lee Shipyard's Marco Polo series of Transocean Explorer yachts is intended for voyaging to the far reaches of the globe. But unlike the plethora of expedition-style yachts that have come to define the genre, this new offering is more a blend of merchant ship and motoryacht. Her full-displacement steel hull has a bulbous bow to reduce wave-making resistance and a single variable-pitch propeller that promises substantial fuel savings compared to a twin-screw installation. Flanking her single propeller are two large rudders that will offer improved control at slow speeds or when running downwind in heavy seas.
To achieve even greater maneuverability, she is fitted with a Schottel azimuth thruster forward and a fixed thruster aft. If the aft thruster is disabled, the forward thruster alone assures good control. Indeed, the Schottel thruster is powerful enough to provide a "get home" speed of more than 6 knots. And because the Schottel thruster is powered by its own engine and drive system located in a separate compartment forward, it will remain in service if the main engine room is disabled by fire or flooding.
The owner's suite is located on the upper deck to provide maximum privacy and extraordinary views. Indeed, the entire upper deck aft of the wheelhouse is the owner's private domain. Sleeping and day spaces are separated by sliding partitions that can be closed to provide the utmost in privacy or opened to integrate the area into a magnificent penthouse with uninterrupted views over the owner's private deck.
This is not to suggest that guests are relegated to second-class status. On the contrary, the lower deck offers a VIP stateroom, two large guest staterooms, and a fully equipped gymnasium so all can keep toned during long ocean passages. There are also a variety of indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces on the main deck, including a library and lounge area forward that offer extraordinary side-facing windows and views to match.
Even the crew fares well, with spacious accommodations for six and a lounge area forward on the lower deck. And forward on the main deck (opposite the library/lounge), there's a roomy double stateroom for the captain and his mate, with easy access to the galley and to the wheelhouse one level up.
Cheoy Lee Shipyards North America
This article originally appeared in the July 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.