Private Preview 2003: Smooth Sailing

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Sailboat owners, say boaters and industry professionals, sometimes scoff at their motoring counterparts. They believe their form of boating is purer, allowing you to become one with your vessel and the water as you scout the winds and trim the sails. But who says a sailboat has to be all work and no play? Many of the sailboats scheduled for 2003 delivery have plush interiors that would rival the staterooms and suites of most megayachts.

A Fleet Fleet
Joseph Vittoria excels at overseeing rental vehicle fleets. He was the chairman and CEO of Avis for 10 years and is now managing a similar operation. This time, however, his fleet travels on water instead of pavement, and his vehicles are multimillion-dollar sculptures of beauty and performance rather than Chevrolet Cavaliers and Geo Metros.

Mirabella (131 feet) and Mirabella III (137 feet) are Vittoria’s sister sailboats currently available for charter in the Mediterranean and the Bahamas. Next year, Mirabella V will join the family, although the newest addition qualifies more as a very big brother than as a sister. The sloop, created by Ron Holland Design, will be 245 feet long, making it the largest single-masted yacht in the world. Vosper Thornycroft, an English company that builds vessels for the Royal Navy, is constructing Mirabella V in Southampton, England.

The yacht, which already has one reservation for Caribbean charter next winter (at $250,000 a week), can accommodate 12 guests and a 14-person crew. You can watch movies in the open-air screening room on the sky deck, explore nearby waters and coves in the twin tenders, or fly to the nearest city in the 19-seat Grumman Albatross seaplane that is part of Mirabella V’s charter package. The boat also includes a gym, sauna,  Jacuzzi, and pool. The aft deck, with its panoramic views, is an ideal setting for formal dinners.

Waiting for a Name
The yacht has yet to be named, but given the majesty of Perini Navi’s 183-foot sailboat, perhaps its owner is taking his time to search for the perfect designation. Ron Holland, the boat’s naval architect, worked with Perini Navi’s design team to create a lightweight all-aluminum vessel, the fourth such model for the Italian boatmaker. Construction began last April in Perini Navi’s Istanbul shipyard, and the ketch will be completed in Viareggio, Italy, for delivery next summer.

In response to the owner’s request for a performance-driven machine, Perini Navi conducted extensive tank and wind tunnel tests at Southampton University in England to optimize the sailboat’s weight and design. Perini Navi estimates that the boat will reach a top speed exceeding 20 mph.

Belowdecks, the owner’s suite is attached to a gym, and four staterooms will accommodate eight guests. Because the owner placed such a high priority on speed, the interior will be streamlined, containing fewer amenities than similar-sized sailboats. However, Perini Navi has never skimped on tasteful decorations. Last October, the Superyacht Society presented the Best Sail Interior award to Perini Navi for the Italian company’s work on Atmosphere, a 175-foot ketch.

No Logic Makes Sense
When Nautor’s Swan presented its new 112-foot vessel No Logic at the 2002 Swan Cup in Sardinia in September, the Finnish sailboat maker unveiled the prototype of the largest production yachts it has ever built. Orders for the Swan 112RS model are now being taken for 2003 delivery.

While the 112RS is a production sailboat, each model can be tailored to fit individual tastes. The 112RS, designed by German Frers, is a medium-displacement vessel that can serve as either a racing yacht or a pleasure craft.

The deckhouse saloon, which is located amidships, includes a large dining area as well as a bar. Each of the three guest staterooms includes an entertainment system, and the master stateroom features a seating area and a vanity desk.

What a Ketch
The last time Maine residents Bruce King and Tim Hodgdon collaborated on a project, they produced a winner. King, the naval architect, and Hodgdon, the shipbuilder, combined their expertise to create Antonisa, a 124-foot sloop that featured a pipe organ in its salon. The boat, which was launched in 1999, won a design award from the Superyacht Society.

King and Hodgdon are working together again on a boat that should be just as meritorious, if not more so. Scheherazade, a 154-foot ketch scheduled for launch next year, is the largest sailboat under construction in the United States.

Hodgdon Yachts, 207.633.4194,
Mirabella Yachts, 561.659.0860,
Nautor’s Swan, +358.6760.1111,
Perini Navi, +39.0584.4241,

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