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Charter yacht of the week: the 56m Perini Navi sailing yacht Zenji

14 December 2023 • Written by Georgia Boscawen

Each week we place a spotlight on one of the world’s finest superyachts for charter. This week, the 56-metre charter yacht Zenji takes the spot after an interior refresh last year...

Zenji | Available for charter with Cecil Wright

Following a four-month refit in 2022, which took place at Safe Harbor Rybovich Marina in West Palm Beach, the 56-metre sailing yacht Zenji is back in the charter fleet with Cecil Wright. Sporting a host of technical and interior updates, Zenji is now immaculately presented with several quirky elements that make her a top choice for those looking for a sailing pedigree.

Zenji | 56m Perini Navi

Key Details

Delivered in 2004 (as Santa Maria), Zenji was built in aluminium and designed in-house by Perini Navi with naval architecture by Ron Holland. She falls into the category of a newer breed Perini Navi and was the second hull delivered from the shipyard’s 56-metre series. Throughout her life, she has actively raced across the superyacht circuit and is a regular participant at the St Barths Bucket and the Perini Navi Cup.

While her profile is undoubtedly a Perini Navi classic, Zenji sports a slight kink into the bow sheer to carry larger tenders, a feature that distinguishes her from the rest of the first-generation 56-metres.

Zenji | a toybox full of fun

Originally delivered with American cherry wood interiors, the yacht's interiors were refreshed during her yard period last year and now have a lighter feel with a palate of bold blues and white. The classical feel of the yacht remains with interesting details such as the bar in the main saloon, an original piece from Hotel de Paris in the 1940s.

Accommodation on board is for 12 guests across six cabins, all of which lie on the lower deck and follow a similar theme of white and blue.

Original 1940s bar from Hotel de Paris

Deck spaces on board are generous with plenty of room for entertaining. Up on the sun deck, you’ll find a large jacuzzi, sun pads and a large seating area with a bar. The main dining area is on the aft cockpit which is centred around a wooden dining table and white bench seating, which can be sheltered from the elements.

Key to her design is the fold-down side shell boarding platform which provides easy boarding access to the tenders from a protected and secure area port side aft.

Why is Zenji the perfect charter yacht?

Like all Perini Navi’s Zenji is racing pedigree, and a long-standing competitor in some of the world’s most prestigious regattas. But along with this, it’s her crew of 10 that makes her stand out too, as highlighted by rotational captain Tim Buck. “My goal is to create a welcoming and positive atmosphere,” he explains. “This means adapting to all types of client preferences, whether it’s fine dining on the aft deck or an action-packed sports day with the vessel’s toys.”

On Zenji, entertainment is paramount, and something the crew ensure to keep exciting and different for charter guests, no matter the weather. “Thinking outside of the box and taking the boat to a location where the weather is great no matter how far this might be and we have had to do this on several occasions. At the end of the day, our guests are onboard to enjoy the weather, sea and atmosphere that comes with it.”

But it’s not just about the sailing, the crew on board Zenji have a trick up their sleeve, and it resides in the galley. Hailing from the Netherlands, chef Freek Van Den Brenk was raised around food, as his parents own a Michelin-star restaurant. A passionate all-round chef, Van Den Brenk likes to focus on local produce and will source what he can from local markets to give guests a taste of local fare.

While on board guests can expect ravioli of oxtail with red wine reduction; eggs royale with caviar and truffle and coconut panna cotta with black olive caramel and mango.

What’s special about Zenji?

Boasting such sailing yacht pedigree, Zenji strikes a balance for those who want to really sail as well as relax in comfort. While she may be almost 20 years old, her condition is like new, thanks to her refit as well as her upkeep.

Her refit included a re-sanding of the teak decking and replacement of winches, rigging and flags. The sailing yacht also received new soft furnishings across her exterior spaces.

Her interior work, however, remains something of a mystery and was carried out by "private interior design contacts" selected by her owners. The design brief called for a "fresh, modern nautical theme with timeless appeal,” something which has undoubtedly been achieved.

Zenji is available for charter with Cecil Wright & Partners with a weekly rate from €240,000

More about this yacht

Perini Navi   56 m •  2004

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