By Marilyn Mower
Time was when a yacht owner would rock up to Monaco or Ibiza and hop off to dance the night away on one of the world’s most jet-set club crawls. Nowadays, the in thing is to make the party come to you.
Most yachts are designed to host 12 passengers plus crew, sometimes with outdoor dining space for half as many people again so as to include shore-based friends. But when you want to party hard, the luxury yacht needs to accommodate 50, 100 or even more people and the design has to take everything into account, from heads to handrails.
Whether you're spending a week or two on one of the best charter party yachts or looking to build your own, the following key elements are essential if you want your yacht to be the hottest invitation in the harbour.
The single interior and aft deck staircase that usually serves to move 12 people through three decks will be the source of unseemly traffic jams on party night. The 95 metre Kismet, for example, is designed to host 200 people for corporate events or celebrations. Thus her party central main and upper decks are served by two interior staircases and a lift, while the aft exterior decks are connected by multiple separate staircases. Crew enjoy separate portside staircases, including one that allows them to pop out undetected in the top deck pantry.
A word about walkaround side decks here. Not only do they improve yacht operations for things such as cleaning and docking, they allow guests to stroll away from noisy music areas for a good conversation, a phone call or to find respite on all that nice real estate on the forward deck areas. Open side decks enhance serviceability for crew and caterers as well.
Speaking of caterers, what large home these days is built without a caterer’s kitchen or pantry for staging large events? Your typical onboard galley may be up to the task of dispensing 62 meals a day, but they aren’t all served at the same time and where will you put 400 canapés and stacks of petits fours? The crew lounge? And how accessible is that? Large pantries on each deck aren’t a luxury: for owners who entertain, they are a must. And those open portside decks can be used as staging areas.