A THING OF BEAUTY

Entourage looks and feels like new

Wide shot of Entourage

Entourage may be the second Amels 60, but she looks and feels like a new model and introduces an internationally known Canadian designer to the yachting world.

The new Entourage loomed large and proud over the face dock at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center during a Fort Lauderdale stopover last May. The crew of 13 was busy preparing for their second Atlantic crossing, following her delivery to her owners in February.

Still not fully dressed at the time of our visit – newly delivered artworks were wrapped in tight bundles on the carpeted floor – she nevertheless looked mighty fine, with a modern and masculine exterior by Espen Øino International. She is somewhat reminiscent of the owners’ previous boat, a 47-metre Admiral yacht built in 2015, and that’s not entirely by accident.

Entourage is a winner at the 2024 World Superyacht Awards

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ENTOURAGE

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

An immediately noticeable difference compared to the first of the series, the 60-metre Come Together, is the exterior appearance. To reference their previous boat, the owners chose long strips of windows over the trapeze-shaped windows seen on the lower section of the first Amels 60.

Wide shot of the Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

“We actually loved the design of our old boat; we liked the look,” the owner says. “We wanted something that had six cabins, was a little bit bigger, and the ability to go to remote places was an important consideration. When we sold it in March 2020, we were still in the design phase and we wanted this to have some similarities, and we thought that these windows would make the boat more modern. And at the time we were the only 60-metre Amels that had windows like that, so we created a bit of uniqueness.”

You don’t have to intellectually understand design to know that when you are walking on there you are walking onto something special”

Within this modern envelope her interior is starkly elegant, unfurling in waves of greyish veneer (with a custom open wired brush open grain) enhanced by indirect lighting and two-metre-high windows in the main salon.

“When I was on other yachts, I wasn’t looking out the window... But why are we here on a yacht? We are here to experience that out there

Side view of Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

Entourage has one of those interiors that is immediately inviting and relaxing, but you don’t quite know why. At first glance, it is deceivingly simple. The textures are subtle; the stones – except in a couple of strategic places where they are more graphic – are mostly carved limestone hand-picked in an Italian quarry, and the finishes include leather and hand-tufted carpets over parquet flooring.

There are few, if any, reflections. The backdrop is muted to allow the art (when it is installed) to add touches of colour. The ceilings have interesting details that capture the eye as you enter the room. The soft satin finish of the overheads in the stylish guest staterooms on the lower deck is designed to quiet the mind.

GUILLAUME PLISSON The new style of windows was one of the most complex modifications to achieve due to the hull’s curves. One other Amels 60 currently under construction will have the same style of window

GUILLAUME PLISSON The new style of windows was one of the most complex modifications to achieve due to the hull’s curves. One other Amels 60 currently under construction will have the same style of window

“You don’t have to intellectually understand design to know that when you are walking on there you are walking onto something special,” says Diego Burdi, who co-founded studio Burdifilek with Paul Filek. He worked with the owners and their team on the interior customization of the yacht. “There are a lot of reactions that you have, and you don’t understand why,” he says.

The lighting is a big part of it and it was perhaps one of the biggest challenges to implement because of a complex plan, but the result is stunning. “We did a lot of indirect lighting that gives this kind of a soft glow,” Burdi says. It’s dimmable, and in the evening it casts a warm and relaxing glow, says broker and owner’s representative Sean Moran.

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Interior living area of Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

View of sofa and chair on Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

Deck of the Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

Table and chairs inside Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

View of bar that blends into the wall on Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

The sky lounge carpet’s grayish-blue tint blends with the sea and sky (top and bottom centre); the spacious sundeck has a good mix of ventilation and protection (bottom left); even the bars are hidden inside cabinets that match the surrounding walls (bottom right)

Burdi, an easy interview, ebullient and free with his words, attributes some of this interior to the reaction he had visiting his first yacht show. He was, by his admission, awed and a bit overwhelmed. “I think we saw eight boats that day, several of them bigger than this one,” he says. “The first impression was ‘Wow, this is amazing,’ but the other impression was ‘Wow, there’s a lot going on here – like a lot,’” he says. “It is just like more is more is more,” which is the antithesis of his studio’s design credo. However, he was impressed with the execution and enthused by the possibilities.

Back at his studio in Toronto, he had a lot to absorb and distil into the design, including the charter demands, the client’s desires and the constraints of a set technical plan that didn’t allow him to take extra inches allotted to the yard. But with more than 30 years of experience designing luxury retail spaces, hotels and residences, he had much to go on.

“A lot of the things you see on the yacht are reactions to what I saw at the show,” he says. “We hid everything. We hid all the functionality so you’re just looking at the beauty.” Even the bars – often clad in all manner of backlit stones or colourful tufted leathers on board yachts – are hidden inside cabinets that match the surrounding walls. Once opened, which they usually are when the guests are on board, they reveal their contents set against beautifully lit lacquered walls.

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White sofa and pink chairs on Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

Side view of pink chair inside Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

Table and chairs inside Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

Alt view of Entourage's spiral staircase

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

Spiral staircase on Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

When he spent a few days on board, Burdi saw first-hand how the interior worked with the environment. “The bridge deck is a beautiful blue-grey colour, and when I stood there, I noticed the carpet and the sea were all the same colours.” The effect was that the interior almost disappeared, leading his eyes to focus outside on the merger of sky and sea. “When I was on other yachts, I wasn’t looking out the window because there was a lot of noise,” he says. “But why are we here [on a yacht]? We are here to experience that out there.”

One of his takeaways from the yacht show and subsequent research was that a lot of yacht interior design mirrors high-end hospitality design and is residential in nature. It’s as anachronistic in his view as building a Georgian-style house in the wilderness.

“They try to make it like a hotel room or somebody’s house, but you are on a boat. It must feel like you are on a boat,” he says. “I wanted to embrace the marine language and we wanted to create a colour palette that was unique [to the owners], so everything is customised on the boat.” To achieve the right finish, the mill workers did 14 samples of the custom veneer.

View of floor-to-ceiling windows on Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON An open-plan design and floor-to-ceiling windows increase the size of the main salon, which waits for new art pieces to come

GUILLAUME PLISSON An open-plan design and floor-to-ceiling windows increase the size of the main salon, which waits for new art pieces to come

“One thing I noticed is that a lot of owners put too much of their personal DNA into something, and I think this owner understands that we needed to create an equilibrium. On charter you need to appeal to more people,” Burdi says.

What stood out for him after the project was completed, was the professionalism of the builder and contractors at every stage of the process and their commitment to a perfect level of execution. “We never heard the word no,” he says.

For a family wedding, 44 guests can fit on the sundeck, which is a beautiful blue-grey colour

He even enjoyed the challenges, some of them due to Covid-19 – including the late addition of an onboard air filter system, which had to be concealed as all other technical elements on board were in earlier stages.

He worked closely with designer Dragana Maznic who had done the interior design of the previous Entourage. On this one, she sourced all the original art, which includes work by Italian sculptor/painter Vinicio Momoli in coloured cast rubber and glass pieces by Preston Singletary. She also guided the team through the owners’ exacting requirements. “The program was set up beautifully. A lot of the heavy lifting was done on that end,” Burdi says.

GUILLAUME PLISSION

GUILLAUME PLISSION

Another important interlocutor, who Burdi describes as the “orchestra conductor,” was Sean Moran and his team (which included designer Andreas Iseli of Swisship and interior manager Ludger Dohm of Ludocon). “He was for us pure luxury because if there was an obstacle that I could see coming up, I would just pick up the phone,” Burdi says, and it would be resolved.

With years of experience as yacht crew and as a newbuild specialist for his family’s brokerage house in Fort Lauderdale, Moran has a keen eye for technical and operational details (he’ll insist on three bollards for instance, from his experience juggling ropes during docking procedures) as well as a deep understanding of how shipyards work. Moran Yacht & Ship has previously done several projects with Damen Yachting, including the award-winning 74-metre Plvs Vltra,  Avanti and support vessel Garçon.

The changes to the general arrangement and the boat’s design were both big and small, Moran says, and cover all aspects, from the operations side (crew spaces, pantries, the galley, the pilothouse) to the way the boat is used by the guests (staterooms, doorways and stairs, the beach club and sundeck) and its appearance – the custom windows. Not immediately perceptible to the naked eye, a big change was the size of the sundeck and bridge deck, both of which were extended by around a metre. The superstructure on the main deck meanwhile is about a metre shorter than on the first hull – although it does not feel like it on the inside due in part to the larger windows and open-plan design.

Overhead view of Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSONThe yacht was delivered in early 2023 and so many changes almost qualify Entourage as a custom build

GUILLAUME PLISSONThe yacht was delivered in early 2023 and so many changes almost qualify Entourage as a custom build

The substantial railing is straight rather than angled as it was on the first hull. This modification allowed for more space on deck, easing circulation around dining tables and behind chairs. Awning poles were also moved behind the railing to create more deck space.

View of sun deck and jaccuzzi on Entourage

GUILLAUME PLISSON

GUILLAUME PLISSON

One way to improve the perception of comfort on a yacht is to make it easy to move around the decks, and getting around Entourage is a breeze. The stairs are wide (but not so wide that you cannot use the handrails on both sides) and easy to negotiate both inside and outside. “One of the things I always say is that what makes a big boat feel small is when you have lots of choke points and narrow doorways. We try to increase the size of the doorways, increase the pantries and make the stairs more gentle,” Moran says.

The central guest staircase, which has become a feature in most yachts, was enlarged from hull No 1 and treated very differently, winding its way around a sculptural piece of metal enhanced by smart lighting. It was, according to the yard, the most challenging aspect of the interior, expertly built by outfitter MVS under the guidance of Burdifilek.

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