Shipyards’ Mystic — By Diane M.
|Buying a yacht 60 feet larger than your last could be treading on unsteady ground—but this couple felt it was a step in the right direction.|
While prior encounters sometimes make us think twice about having faith in those words, in the recent experience of Capt. Greg Clark and the American couple he works for, trust is exactly what they placed in Christensen Shipyards—and equally important, the yard believed in them.
Having owned a 92-foot Hatteras for several years, the owners wanted to step up to a larger yacht. They, along with Clark, attended several boat shows and visited many yards, discussing both fully custom and spec projects, before meeting with Christensen. During their visit they saw a 150-foot spec yacht that was about half complete. While the size difference between their Hatteras and the 150-footer was larger than the owners had in mind, as Clark relates it, he and the couple felt confident the transition would be smooth. Why? Well, some of the factors behind their decision are the same ones other spec buyers often cite, such as a shorter wait time and a basic layout in keeping with their desires (in this case, a main-deck master suite and good-size crew accommodations). But during our conversation, Clark kept emphasizing how “refreshingly good” the experience was working with this Washington yard. While at other yards “I’ve experienced a lack of willingness to consider new ideas,” he explained, with the Christensen team “the agreements far outnumbered disagreements.”
One of the things the owners and the yard saw eye-to-eye on was the importance of having the yacht built to the MCA Code governing the safety of large yachts. Interestingly, for the past few years Christensen has been building all of its yachts, spec ones included, with the automatically deploying fire doors and watertight bulkheads that MCA requires. On a related note, while many yards offering spec yachts in the 150-foot range say they follow the guidelines set by the various classification societies, not all go through the process of having the hull, superstructure, and machinery inspected—but Christensen does. In fact, it builds all of its double-Airex-cored yachts to full American Bureau of Shipping certificate standards.
Another thing Christensen agreed to was taking an unusual approach for the interior decor. While the raised-panel cherry paneling and inlaid marble soles don’t raise eyebrows among the megayacht set, the “accommodations” separating the relaxing ambiance of the saloon from the formality of the dining area certainly do. There sits a live coral reef inside a custom 200-gallon aquarium that is in turn housed in custom-crafted cherry cabinetry rising from the sole to the overhead. According to David Morgavi of Deep Sea Gallery, which designed the aquarium and selected the various fish and coral inside it, Mystic is only the second or third yacht worldwide to feature a true living coral reef—he says that the handful of other yachts featuring aquariums have either faux or dead coral. Because the sea creatures require a constant flow of fresh salt water and a steady warm temperature of about 76ºF, the yard’s craftsmen worked closely with Morgavi to ensure some of the systems such as the watermakers and air conditioning could cater to their special needs. (For more information on the setup, see “Mystic-al Fish” in “Megayachts,” page 58.)
Next page > Part 2: Something else that appealed to the owners was Mystic’s exterior styling. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
This article originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.