Lady Kathryn V - an exceptional 61m Lürssen
by Roger Lean-Vercoe
Lady Kathryn V is the result of many hundreds of hours of discussions between her owners and her designers and builders, their detailed consideration of renderings, their thorough checks of the 14 revisions of the 204 interior drawings, and countless exhaustive meetings at Lürssen Yachts in Bremen and in Dubai with Greenline, the interior manufacturer. This really is a yacht completely fashioned by her owners.
Every project has a starting point, and in this case it was Lürssen’s earlier 58.6 metre design, Capri, which marked the start of a series that currently numbers seven yachts. Series production such as this means that, barring successive and relatively minor improvements, the hull design and mechanical layout of the yachts is identical, and for the owners this means enhanced reliability as well as significant cost savings. But series production did not mean these seven yachts are recognisable as sisterships. Quite the opposite. While the sleek exteriors of both Lady Kathryn V and her immediate predecessors Solemates, and Arkley were all designed by Espen Øino, he has totally restyled the exterior of this latest yacht to accommodate an additional deck beneath the arch mast, and walk-round side decks on the bridge deck.
Of course, the addition of side decks to Lady Kathryn V’s bridge deck has, effectively, removed some interior capacity, but this voluminous yacht has ample to spare. Again, her knowledgeable owners had ideas on how a yacht should be laid out and decorated, and wanted something distinctly different from open-plan, modernist interiors. Lady Kathryn V’s interior designer Adam Lay recalls, ‘From my very first visit to the owners’ home, it was clear that these owners are passionate about furniture, lighting, soft furnishings and beautiful objets d’art.’ Their preference was for a traditionally panelled style and a layout that created smaller, intimate rooms with distinct functionality. ‘It is always a pleasure to work with owners who know what they want,’ says Lay, ‘and we soon arrived at a decorative scheme that blended Chippendale-style furniture with warm toned woods.’
Lady Kathryn V’s main deck houses an intimate, comfortably furnished lounge in its aft portion from which an alcove extends forward, housing a Steinway grand piano opposite a Chippendale-style sideboard. The second room, just forward, is a fully enclosed dining room that houses a 12-seater table. The bridge deck lounge has also been divided, creating a media room-cum-lounge in its forward part, while aft is a more conventional lounge, edged by 180 degrees of tall windows that create a truly panoramic ‘observation’ saloon.
On the main deck, the ‘grand entrance’ to Lady Kathryn V requested by the owners takes the form of an amazing atrium, clad with honey onyx, which is entered from doors at the head of the starboard side-boarding ladder. Rising through three decks, the atrium’s centrepiece is a magnificent staircase, edged on the open side by a wrought-iron banister and on the other by a Georgian-style mirrored window.
Opening forward from the atrium, the master suite is yet another convincing justification of the owners’ call for smaller, more intimate rooms. One enters a classically panelled study in which modern high-tech office equipment has been carefully concealed. A second door opens to a private lounge, again flooded with daylight through huge windows, which can be either open or closed off from the adjacent bedroom with sliding doors. Filling Lady Kathryn V’s full beam forward of the lounge and bedroom, is a truly spectacular his-and-hers bathroom entered past a pair of large dressing rooms.
The suite’s true surprise is the balcony room – a first on this series of yachts – whose secret entrance is concealed behind panelling in the bedroom. With the room’s hull door hinged down to create the balcony and the railings and awning erected by the crew who, incidentally, can gain access without passing through the bedroom, this is an equally good spot for private relaxation on the two steamer chairs, or perhaps for a secluded breakfast.
Five further superb double cabins, three with king-sized beds and two with queen-sized, complete Lady Kathryn V’s guest accommodation. Given the choice, a guest might find it difficult to select a favourite as all possess winning features.
Instead of having the near-standard hull length of the other yachts in this series, Lady Kathryn V has an extended bow and bathing platform that take her to 61 metres. She nevertheless shares the same lower deck layout with other yachts in the series, which positions a tender garage and engine room aft of the guest cabins and crew accommodation forward. The magic of Lürssen’s voluminous hull design is that all these areas are particularly spacious. The tender garage, for instance, spans the whole beam of the yacht with through-hull doors on either side. Another well-positioned facility is a room dedicated to scuba diving gear that opens from the adjacent bathing platform.
Just forward, the engine room and its control room is a model of Lürssen’s perfect engineering. Again, it is spacious and well laid out, with every component easily accessible for servicing. Dominating the shiny double- deck room, is a pair of Caterpillar 3512B diesels – well chosen to match the hull’s hydrodynamics – that will take Lady Kathryn V to a top speed of 15.5 knots, while they consume some 545 litres per hour cruising at 12 knots. Forward of the guest cabins, the lower deck crew area has seven well sized cabins – six with twin bunks and one with three – to house the yacht’s maximum of 15 crew, while the captain is accommodated traditionally in a double cabin aft of the bridge.
The bridge is another well considered compartment: soberly decorated, perfectly lit, and optimally laid out, with the navigation station sensibly set back behind a centrally positioned visitor sofa, where the owners can take breakfast and go through the day’s plans with the captain.
In terms of yacht design and construction, owners tend to reap what they sow. These owners chose a top builder, a great design team and a hugely experienced squad that included Kevin Callahan from Moran Yacht & Ship, Lady Kathryn V’s captain Chris Ramos and build engineer Pete Corteen to supervise the build. Even more important, they became totally immersed in the planning themselves, and this allowed them to completely fulfil their dreams. Solidly seaworthy, built to perfection and their exact tastes, Lady Kathryn V will be a tough act to follow.