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Boating: Toy Box

Michael Verdon

When designing the 248-foot Anastasia, Sam Sorgiovanni started belowdecks and worked upward. "The owners are very active people, and they wanted to focus on water sports," says the designer, whose firm is based in Fremantle, Australia. "So we essentially started with the tender garage and lazaret to accommodate a small navy of tenders and water toys and then designed the rest of the yacht around those areas."

His European client did not want the traditional-looking "stacked wedding cake" exterior that characterizes many modern yachts, and instead mandated a sleek, aggressive hull with a contemporary superstructure. The client also wanted a striking yet subdued interior. "One of the yacht’s purposes is for entertaining," Sorgiovanni says. "It would need plenty of deck space and access to the sea for leisure activities, but also a disco, live-band stage, cinema, gym, and swimming pool."

Sorgiovanni had previously designed Greg Norman’s 228-foot Aussie Rules, a sportfishing vessel built around a refined yacht’s interior. In fact, chartering Aussie Rules had led Anastasia’s owners to Sorgiovanni and his most recent concept drawings. "The family looked at my portfolio," he recalls. "They all pointed to a new 88-meter yacht and said, ‘That one.’"

At 289 feet, "that one" turned out to be a bit too long, so Sorgiovanni created a slightly scaled-down version that nicely accommodated the owner’s affinity for water sports. Sorgiovanni estimates that his team spent more than 15,000 hours over a four-year period on the design of Anastasia. Oceanco, a Dutch shipyard that recently received an International Superyacht Society award for the level of detailing on the powerful Alfa Nero, built the ship.

With the lowest deck as his starting point, Sorgiovanni devoted nearly half of Anastasia’s length to the lazaret and tender garage. The lazaret houses sea kayaks, windsurfing gear, and six jet-propelled personal watercraft on racks, as well as scuba equipment for 15 people and a nitrogen/oxygen-mixing facility for extended diving. The space opens onto an extended swim platform, and hull doors lower to water level to provide launching points for the watercraft. In the tender garage, two 31-foot custom Vikal launches—one an open boat, the other a closed "limousine" version—are stowed. A third powerboat for wakeboarding rests in the bow.

Anastasia’s interior offers all of the expected amenities of a superyacht, but Sorgiovanni used a very delicate touch in creating the decor. Light, warm materials—including textured bamboo flooring, brushed eucalyptus for the boat’s square wall panels, and exotic hardwoods such as African wenge—adorn the various spaces. Cubes made from mock crocodile skin line the bookshelves. The main salon features a 715-gallon aquarium with hundreds of tropical fish and a faux coral reef. An imposing, glittering glass sculpture of a kelp forest with sea creatures graces the stairwell.

"This was our most challenging project to date," Sorgiovanni says. "But because the owner allowed us so much freedom, it was also our most rewarding."

Oceanco, +31.78.699.5399, www.oceancoyacht.com; Sam Sorgiovanni Designs, +61.8.9433.6355, www.samsorgiovannidesigns.com

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