But there’s a lot more to this refit than is visible. In fact, 75 percent of the work involved engineering and systems upgrades. Virtually everything behind the fabric-covered walls and beneath the new wool carpeting was upgraded. The “brains” of Polar Star were rebooted with a whole new A/V room and touchscreen remotes now control all in-room entertainment—hundreds of movies are available through Jetstream, AppleTV, and satellite television. And iPod jacks by each TV make sharing photos easy. Wireless Internet access is reliable and available at high speeds throughout the yacht—even outside on the aft owners’ deck. (I found the starboard U-shape sofa an ideal place to test the improved connection.) And perhaps best of all, the sundeck can be turned into an outdoor movie theater, which makes watching Avatar almost worth the time commitment.
Brawn definitely was not ignored either. Polar Star’s twin Caterpillars and most of her pumps were rebuilt. The team at Rybovich even rebuilt the three Cat generators from the blocks up.
So what do all these changes mean for guests? For one thing, peace and quiet. During our brief cruise around the island, the yacht was silent—no hums, rattles, or any shakes of any kind. And no rocking either, thanks to the upgraded Quantum XT stabilizers.
After ticking off all of the changes, Capt. Ainsworth explained that while she was in the yard, Polar Star’s to-do list had continued to grow exponentially. “When you take the cover off, you have to fix it,” he explained.
And fix it they did. “We’ve raised the comfort level of the vessel,” Ainsworth says, “and we’re looking forward to getting her out and chartering.” (Under the charter management of International Yacht Registry, Polar Star is preparing for a summer charter season in the Med, heading first to Antibes.) And when he says “we,” he really is speaking for the entire crew of 17, many of whom have been onboard for multiple seasons due in large part to owners who treat the yacht’s staff as family.
“At the end of the day—no matter the headaches—[she] came out of the yard, and she’s back to being a rather exceptional yacht,” Ainsworth says. Though her captain may be a little biased, anyone will have to admit this Polar Star shines bright, day or night.
❒International Yacht Register
(+377) 97 97 8027.
❒Rybovich (888) Rybovich.
This article originally appeared in the July 2011 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.