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Megayachts

Blue Belle

Room for 12 guests, 32 crew, and two 20-plus-foot sportboats.

No, your eyes do not deceive you: This yacht’s hull is blue. Not just any blue, but baby blue—perhaps the babiest blue ever applied to that ultimate symbol of technological machismo, the megayacht.

That something so apparently insignificant as hull color can, in reality, be so startling is a testament not just to the enormous dimensions of Madsummer’s hull, but also to the promise implicit in such a choice. There is a visual language in superyachting just as there is in other areas of life. Glossy white offers perfection and efficiency, as well a continuous cleaning job for the crew. Black or dark blue is masculine, naval, fearless—and even more of a headache for the deckies, as it shows every speck of salt. Other colors suggest various shades of personality for both yacht and owner—from confident statements of individuality, down to the occasional dubious choice whose purpose is merely to confirm that in this game of life, wealth and taste do not always play on the same team.

But baby blue—that’s a new one. Whatever your opinion of its aesthetic merits—and I happen to think it looks terrific —you’ve got to admit that it’s different. But if such a cuddly hull color leads you to expect an interior of wipe-down furnishings and Disney wallpaper, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Styled by the French designer Alberto Pinto, Madsummer’s interior is thoroughly grown-up, with an interesting mix of woods such as soucupira and platane, interspersed with fabric bulkhead linings and leather detailing. These choices are not merely a designer’s whim—Madsummer’s American owner previously owned, and loved, the elegant 171-foot Amels-built Lady in Blue, and many of these details are intended to harken back to the earlier vessel. According to Pinto, “He wanted something that would remind him of her. It had to be a young and sporty yacht.”

There are also more playful touches aboard this 257-foot German-built megayacht. The zebrano hardwood that dominates the saloon on the owner’s deck is intended to contrast with the brightly colored furnishings, such as that irrepressible orange sideboard and the blue-denim upholstery of the sofas. The guest cabins have been carefully personalized, says Pinto, with a unique headboard in each, as well as different covers and cushions and a wide variety of detailing, accessories, and objets d’art. Diversity is the key to curiosity, he believes—the designer did not want Madsummer’s guests to be bored by their surroundings.

But, come on now, what are the chances of that? Madsummer is one of the biggest yachts in the world, from one of the most accomplished shipyards. Delivered in late 2008, she made her maiden voyage to the Caribbean in time for the winter charter season and is cruising the Mediterranean this summer. A price tag of $1 million a week reflects her exclusivity and quality, with accommodations for 12 guests in six cabins (including the owner’s) and 32 crew.

Lrssen describes her layout as “private,” with little in the way of vast, imposing spaces designed to overawe the impressionable and emphasize the yacht’s size. Instead, Madsummer has manageable living areas, based on a comfortable human scale. The main entrance for guests is via the main-deck lobby on the starboard side. Forward lie the four principal guest suites, plus the extra double en suite cabin; a sixth area is fitted out as a cinema and a playroom for the children. Turn left from the lobby, and you find yourself in the main saloon with its intimate seating areas, full-size bar, and twin circular eight-seat dining tables, which are intended to lend themselves equally to both casual and formal dining.

The owner lives on the upper deck. He can enjoy a private outdoor area, sheltered by the helideck, and a generous circular dining space aft enclosed by sliding-glass doors and equipped with a table that can seat up to 14. His spacious private saloon is served by its own substantial pantry, while the owner’s suite takes up most of this deck’s forward sections, with his and her bathrooms—featuring the unusual choice of sycamore for the floors—as well as an office and a children’s bedroom on the port side.

This article originally appeared in the July 2009 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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