Part 3: But—geek that I am—I fell for the lighting system.
By Ben Ellison - October 2003
Meanwhile, back on the second biggest boat in the harbor, life was considerably more mellow. The chef was turning fine meals out of the small but well-equipped galley, and the yacht’s 12-foot RIB and three-person PWC were deployed for our toolin’ around enjoyment. It added to the fun that some locals just had to walk down our dock and declare, “This is the most beautiful yacht I have ever seen!” Mind you that the Kalamazoo was chockful of well-kept Sea Rays, Carvers, and the like (and an enthusiastic contingent of PMY subscribers, who of course already knew about the joys of Great Lakes boating). Ferretti’s Italian high style, especially shown off so far from the Riviera or the Gold Coast, simply enthralled.
Few of Lysandra’s fans got to check out her accommodations, as lovely and well detailed as her exterior. Most anyone would appreciate the fine joinery, soft leathers, and multiple plasma screens, but—geek that I am—I fell for the lighting system. While outdoors a cleverly hidden string of foot lights made the cabin seem to float on a golden plane of teak, inside equally cool arrays of dimmers and hidden or frosted fixtures created all sorts of illumination moods.
But all was not perfect on our luxury charter. The very personable and capable Sardina (fluent in both English and Spanish, among many other skills) had had to hire short-term and inexperienced crew, and the service suffered. Meals, though generally tasty, were not properly served or cleared, and other niceties failed to meet the expectations of a $19,500 per week (plus expenses) charter rate. These issues are easily fixed once the new, and first-time, owner understands what’s needed and Sardina finds the right people, but I would also caution against filling Lysandra to her eight-passenger maximum. The boat can comfortably sleep that many in four cabins, each with its own head, but I think the common spaces and tender would be crowded, plus the crew—crammed into pitifully tight quarters aft—would be hard put to maintain their spirits and a high level of service.
So Lysandra as a conventional, if particularly gorgeous, luxury charter yacht is somewhat a work in progress, but she has proven herself in an unusual category we might call high-end adventure chartering. A well-off and curious German couple signed on with Sardina for the first two weeks of the Miami to Chicago delivery and apparently had a fabulous time; they extended their charter for the final two weeks and, at presstime, are considering a return trip through the Great Lakes, down the Erie Canal and Hudson River, and eventually to the Bahamas (where Lysandra will be available this winter). If the yacht keeps up with this annual roundtrip program, the unusual opportunity to voyage through the heartland of America, in Euro style, is yours. I’ll be jealous, now that I’ve gotten it into my thick noggin that there is wonderful big-boat cruising between the coasts. Who knew?
Lysandra is available for $19,500 per week, plus expenses, in the Great Lakes and Bahamas and $24,500 per week, plus expenses, in the Caribbean.
Allied Yacht Charters Phone: (866) YACHTS-1. www.alliedyachtcharters.com.
This article originally appeared in the September 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.