Phoenix — By Diane M. Byrne
— February 2005
Part 2: The overall feeling of spaciousness is amplified by a nine-foot-high, barrel-vaulted ceiling.
It takes more than a quick look around the interior of Phoenix to see how cleverly the yacht balances the owner’s desire for privacy with his desire for entertaining. The best example is the master suite—really a master apartment, given that it is spread out over two levels. Besides the customary full-beam bedroom, complete with his-and-her baths (too elegant to be called heads) and walk-in wardrobes, there’s an observation lounge up a private stairway. If the owner wants time to himself for business, this lounge serves as an ideal office, outfitted with two desks and blessed (or cursed, depending on how much paperwork needs to get done) with an extraordinary view, given its forward position below the wheelhouse. There’s also a private sundeck farther forward of this observation lounge, where it’s easy to imagine the owner enjoying breakfast or perhaps just relaxing.
Should he want to join family or friends onboard, the owner can walk aft along the upper deck to a full-beam casual lounge, complete with a bar and games table. Despite the presence of a traditional saloon on the main deck, this is truly the main saloon. The overall feeling of spaciousness is amplified by a nine-foot-high, barrel-vaulted ceiling. “It gives the impression that daylight is coming in through the ceiling,” Winch explains, due to the use of dimmable bulbs that mimic sunlight. And to further the feeling of bringing the outdoors in, the lounge can be opened aft onto the terrace deck, which has sliding glass panels both port and starboard for wind protection.
The sundeck provides more areas where the owner can opt for time alone or togetherness. There’s a glass-enclosed gymnasium up here with several pieces of cardio and weight-training equipment, for example, as well as a Jacuzzi (with a bar at its edge) and sun lounges aft. Even if he’s the only one relaxing on a lounge, he can still be engaged in the activity onboard: “While lying on the sunpads you can look down the lines of the yacht and participate in watching her travel to her next destination,” Winch explains.
But for true privacy, perhaps the best spot onboard Phoenix is the private flying bridge—what Winch calls an “observation cockpit”—forward of the mast on the topmost deck. Even Peter Lürssen, who heads the yard, calls it “the best spot to be in,” whether the yacht is cruising the islands or just pulling into port.
The enthusiasm expressed again and again by Ruiz and Winch is genuine—and significant, particularly because when it comes to the custom-yacht business, it’s not unusual to hear about projects being marked by adversarial relationships. Think about it: When you mix together clients who are accustomed to getting their way in their business dealings, owners’ representatives who are charged with ensuring the owner gets what he wants, and yards and designers that want to protect their creative and financial interests, things can get ugly awfully fast. But in the case of Phoenix, “that didn’t happen,” Ruiz says. “We’re all here for one client.”
And that spirit of cooperation is reminiscent of the mythical giant bird that inspired the yacht’s name. While most people think of how the phoenix burns itself and its nest after 500 years, more than that, it really symbolizes rebirth. And arguably this Phoenix symbolizes a revitalization of the collaborative spirit that makes the custom-yacht market so intriguing.
Lürssen ( (49) 421 66 04 166. www.lurssen.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.