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Wings & Water: Rugged Good Looks: Mega Maestro

Marilyn M. Mower

An architect by training, Nicaraguan-born Juan Carlos Espinosa—JC to the yacht world—discovered his talent for yacht design while working on the first American-made jetboat, the 126-foot Time built by Palmer Johnson in 1987. Now he applies that talent to the designs of megasportfishermen, custom craft that are longer than 100 feet.

His stylings combine exterior curves that suit the aerodynamic needs of fast boats with a savvy use of interior space. Among the commissions currently under way in his Stuart, Fla., studio is the 127-foot Cielo Mare, a sportfisherman that Townsend Bay Marine will launch early next year. This is the second Cielo Mare (Italian for "heavenly sea") that Espinosa has designed for this client; the first, a 95-foot Queenship, was built in 2002. The new boat tops out at 27 mph with a pair of MTU engines generating 2,400 hp each.

"All my sportfishing clients share an interest in functionality," Espinosa says. "They want interiors that are easy to maintain, and they like open galleys. Megayacht guys tend to spend more time inside the boat, while sportfishing guys are the opposite. So for them, the design of exterior living spaces is crucial." Is there an upward limit to the size of a megasportfishing yacht? "No," he says. "You can build a 200-footer if you have the right engines. I’ll design it, no problem."

Espinosa Yacht Design, 772.287.4925, www.espinosainc.com

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