Captains' views on ideal superyacht design
by Claire Griffiths
When it comes to the interior, the captains have very definite and differing opinions: Captain Christensen would opt to have the owner’s level below the bridge deck – it’s more important that the captain can see where he’s going rather than the owner, he maintains.
But Captain Coxon would always place the master suite on the top deck where it’s quiet, private and has the best views. Captain West agrees; the owner’s cabin aft on the upper decks is away from anchor noise and daily morning crew set up.
West’s guest cabins would be on the main deck to allow for large windows and plenty of light.
Captain Lauridsen points out the value of having two VIP cabins so that if two couples charter the yacht they feel equally accommodated. In the case of D’Angleterre II, a sliding dividing wall turns two cabins into a large double VIP with en suite for this purpose.
QM of London has an additional guest cabin instead of a second salon, something that Captain Coxon says works really well.
The jury is out on the temptation to do away with a large salon and/or dining room and move more living space outdoors. Coxon favors the idea; he’s worked on yachts with enormous salons that were never used. But Lauridsen is not so keen; the dining room is used by his guests, especially those with children, and as D’Angleterre II is a Mediterranean yacht, you get days when the weather turns bad.
They both insist that the galley needs to be on the same deck and as close to the key dining area as possible – but for charter yachts, it’s difficult to judge where that area is going to be.
A common enough feature, but a useful one, suggests Captain Lauridsen, is a bar area in between the main aft deck and the salon. The stewardess can be constantly on hand to serve guests without being or feeling like she is actually in the way.
In Lauridsen’s 15 years of experience, some yacht features are considered desirable but then hardly ever used – ‘like barbecues,’ he says, ‘or Jacuzzis or gyms’. After several requests for a gym facility, D’Angleterre II acquired an exercise bike last year, which now sits gathering dust.
‘People like the idea of being energetic and working out, but it doesn’t last,’ he says. He reasons that the important thing is that guests know they have a wide and varied choice – and fair enough, he concedes.
Rather than a sweaty room, Captain Coxon suggests exercise facilities should be outside in the fresh air.
‘Don’t forget the crew gym,’ jokes Captain West, not entirely tongue-in-cheek.