In February, Feadship launched 46.22m superyachtComo, and this week Marilyn Mower, Boat International Media’s International Books Editor and Editorial Director-USA, visited the Neville Crichton's new yacht in The Netherlands. Mower shares an exclusive first look on boardComo, long before the superyacht's official debut at the Monaco Yacht Show this September.
Twenty-one years ago, I wrote my first article about a boat built for Neville Crichton. It was a piece about a 33m sloop named Espada designed by Ed Dubois and built at Alloy Yachts, the home country of one of New Zealand’s most celebrated sons. In the opening lines for that article in the January 1993 edition of ShowBoats International magazine, I wrote, 'Neville Crichton has a habit of thinking about ways to improve things. Race cars, business ventures, sailboats — it makes no difference. Crichton restlessly turns things over in his mind looking for ways to optimize everything in his life.'
Some things never change; some things do. For example, this time Crichton's yacht of the moment is Como, a 46.22m Feadship motor yacht. Having just spent the better part of two days either talking to Feadship management about Como or climbing through the yacht itself, the thing that doesn’t change is Crichton and his drive to optimize. That and his naval architect, Dubois.
Como is an unexpected yacht for Feadship; its been years since either Van Lent or De Vries built a raised pilothouse motor yacht. And the number of all-aluminum motor yachts with a Feadship badge you can count on one hand. One look at Como and I want to scowl at Feaship’s honchos for making me wait so long to see her in person!
Full disclosure: I loved the raised pilothouse form — it says fun, fast and sporty all at once. Dubois has been messing about with this style since 2003. Crichton has had one, a 41.4m 2007 Alloy Como, and the 47-metre superyacht Loretta Anne won a World Superyacht Award in 2013. These were beauties that looked like sailors’ yachts. But with this new boat, Dubois and Malcolm McKeon, formerly of the Dubois team but now designing solo, have drawn a race car-enthusiast’s motor yacht. The radome wing on the mast is a spoiler if I ever saw one!
All through our inspection of the yacht Project Manager Onno van der Lelie kept pointing out functional details and storage spaces and crew area features resulting from Crichton’s many trips during construction. It was classic Crichton-ization. Learn more about his zeal for optimisation in the Lunch with... superyacht owner Neville Crichton.
Como is a 19-knot head-turner. Her silver metallic paint dazzles even in the tentative sunshine of an early spring day on the North Sea. And the glass that goes on forever is as perfectly undistorted as the windscreen of any of the cars Crichton used to race, except this glass goes up and down at the touch of a button.
But for more on that and the circular sofas that swivel on an air-cushion turn table, doors and a davit that disappear from view, bars and tables that change size and more, you just have to stay tuned…we have a special feature in mind in conjunction with the yacht’s debut in Monaco. Look out for the full feature on superyacht Como in the next edition of The Superyachts, and on this website.