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Feature: Charter Choice: Lunar Explorer

Michael Schulze

Chris Dawson is pleased as punch with his latest assignment. As the blond, British captain strolls through Selene, a new, 184-foot semicustom sailing yacht from Perini Navi that has docked in Monaco, Dawson reflects on his good fortune; he says he could not have been given a better boat to pilot. Like other Perini Navi vessels, Selene, hull number four in the Italian builder’s 56-meter series, offers speed and agility enhanced by sailboat racing technology (it reaches a top speed of 19 mph while under sail) and the spaciousness and comfort of a superyacht. "Charter guests feel like they’re in a hotel," Dawson says of Selene, which joined the charter fleet of Camper & Nicholsons International last April. "But I feel like I’m operating a performance boat."

Keeping It Private
Perini Navi had built an earlier yacht for Selene’s owners, and so, notes Perini new-projects manager Franco Romani, "they knew exactly what they wanted." First, the owners desired privacy. To help ensure this, Romani and naval architect Ron Holland placed a corridor next to the salon that allows the crew of nine to walk the entire length of the boat without encountering guests. Second, the owners, who had their London apartment decorated in the Art Deco style, wanted the same type of decor for their vessel. Perini interior designer Bernardo Chichi, working closely with the wife, created a streamlined, geometric look for the interiors. "One of my favorite touches in the salon," Chichi says, "is the low, semicircular cabinet that resembles a jewel box. And in the dining room [below], the chairs are proportioned to look like they’re soaring." Throughout the yacht, Chichi juxtaposed light and dark materials—vavona burl and ebony, blond teak and wenge, black leather and white Afion marble—to achieve sharp visual contrasts. "With Art Deco, it’s easy to go overboard," Romani observes. "But Bernardo and the owner kept everything nicely restrained."

Chartering Selene
PASSENGERS 10 | CREW 9
ACCOMMODATIONS 1 master suite, 4 cabins
NOTABLE AMENITIES 2 swim platforms, 2 tenders, jet sports boat, 2 Jet Skis, Jacuzzi, Wi-Fi
LOCATIONS Mediterranean in summer, Caribbean in winter
PRICE About $310,000 per week
CONTACT Camper & Nicholsons International, +44.20.7009.1950, www.cnconnect.com

Living Large
"In Perini Navi yachts, we cannot accept rooms that are cramped," says Romani. Accordingly, the master suite on Selene’s lower deck extends the full width of the vessel’s 38-foot beam and contains both a lounge and two en suite bathrooms (his and hers). The Art Deco theme continues here, with the light color of the goatskin wall coverings set against the dark brown of the king-size bed. "Note the lamp bracket next to the bathroom door," says Chichi. "That’s true Art Deco, and it also gives an impression of height, like the dining room chairs." Like all the cabins in Selene, the master suite is decorated with black-and-white photos of movie stars from Hollywood’s golden age. "You find bedrooms this big in motorized superyachts," Holland observes, "but rarely in sailing vessels."

Wave Pattern
Selene’s master-suite bathroom for her, located on the port side of the lower deck, features shapes found elsewhere on the vessel, including the semicircular design of the washbasin, which Chichi likens to an ocean wave. The shape continues on the petineuse, or vanity. "I placed that design everywhere on the boat," Chichi says. "Look in the bar, with its table carved with waves." The bar also displays a painting of the boat’s patron and protector, the moon goddess Selene. But the moon is not the only satellite that exerts an influence over this craft: Other, smaller ones provide voice and TV reception and high-speed Internet service. The yacht’s advanced technology is most notable in the helm, which incorporates Perini’s proprietary, automated sail-handling system. "This craft is big, but it’s so easy to operate that some guests ask if they can sail her," says Captain Dawson. "You know, sailing a boat like this can be very relaxing."

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