Wild at Heart
Custom Yachts’ Impetuous — By Diane M.
Wild at Heart
A spirited New York couple’s decision to commission Impetuous, their largest yacht to date, was anything but rash.
It’s long been tradition at Crescent Custom Yachts for the yard’s owner, Jack Charles, to take the wheel of each new launch following the christening ceremony and perform the nautical equivalent of pedal to the metal, buzzing past the crowd gathered along the dock. Sure, the idea is to give everyone a good look at the yacht’s profile, but it’s actually a bit more mischievous than that. One need only see the glint in Charles’ eye as he maneuvers the yacht ascloseasthis to the dock to realize he’s about to throw a wake big enough to douse anyone not fortunate enough to step out of the way (or, depending on your perspective, fortunate enough not to step out of the way).
Charles had a comrade in spirit during the January christening of the yard’s latest launch, the 119-foot Impetuous. It came in the form of a Long Islander who, along with his wife, commissioned the yacht, their first custom project. As the couple’s captain took the wheel after the yacht hit the water and drove her past the dock at full throttle (and yes, dousing it and everyone standing on it), the husband turned to him and, with a twinkle in his eye, deadpanned, “I’d have done a wheelie.”
It was a fitting quip from the man who’s a former Porsche racecar driver. From the late 1950’s to the late 1960’s, he raced on renowned tracks around the country, with wins at Daytona and Sebring. (In fact, a full-wall mural aboard depicts him in one of his cars during a race.) Even after retiring from those circuits by 1970, he continued to participate in vintage races through the late 1990’s, and he’s the proud owner of several classic Porsche racers.
While he certainly isn’t going to be racing Impetuous, he and his wife did bring a similar energetic zeal to the design and construction of their 119-footer. They were already seasoned boaters, having owned a Viking 45 as well as three Lazzaras in the 80-foot range. But this was to be their first fully custom yacht, and they welcomed the chance to tailor her to their specifications from the beginning.
I spent a few hours with them cruising the waters near Vancouver, Canada, the day of the christening, but it took mere minutes (and a proper New York-style lunch of pizza enjoyed in the yacht’s comfortable country kitchen dining area) to realize just how involved they were in the creation of this yacht. These are people who reviewed and made changes to drawings yet knew when to delegate to others, such as their project manager, Jeff Stanley of Gilman Yachts. We talked about everything from how they envisioned cruising winters in South Florida and summers off Long Island, to the advantages of having an open hardtop, to how they relied on Stanley’s and their captain’s expertise for outfitting the helm (“virtually a Simrad showroom,” Stanley says).
Regardless of which area of the yacht we talked about, it was clear to me that Impetuous suited their practical as well as playful needs. For example, it’s practically de rigeur for megayachts to have a bar, sometimes two, with one on the main deck and the other on the flying bridge or sundeck. The couple has Impetuous set up the latter way, but probably not how you’d expect. “I didn’t want the bar in the saloon,” the wife explains, so she and her husband requested it be placed on the aft deck, to port. “And he designed it so it wouldn’t block the side deck,” she adds. Indeed: Aboard some yachts in this size range, the bar occupies the full forward corner of the aft deck, barring the creation of a true walkaround yacht, but on Impetuous it runs fore to aft and faces to starboard, with a handful of barstools in front to permit a group to gather round.
This article originally appeared in the October 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.