Escapade

Comments

Transcription

Escapade
ISSUE foUrtEEn thE SUpEryacht ownEr
ISSUE foUrtEEn
SEpt 2014
4254(s/0).)/.+./7,%$'%s)$%!3 3 5 0 % 2 9! # ( 4 / 7 . % 2 ) . 3 ) ' ( 4
%3#!0!$%
The owner of Fitzroy’s final
yacht on design and due
diligence.
7(%.!5#4)/.37/2+
A closer look at the special
realities of yachts under the
hammer.
&/2%6%2/.%
Owner, broker and designer
discuss the 54m’s kerb
appeal.
$%3)'.7!4#(
We challenge four designers
to create a yacht based on just
an owner’s watch.
10
AN ACT OF
ADVENTURE
– WORDS BY ELLIE BRADE AND IMAGES BY CHRIS LEWIS AND ANDREA FRANCOLINI, COURTESY OF THE OWNERS
Despite a challenging construction process that saw 37.5m S/Y Escapade’s
build yard hit financial problems mid-project and eventually close, her
owners achieved a yacht that is a triumph of style and design thanks to many
years of experience in yachting, and a huge focus on detail. Ellie Brade met
the owners in Auckland for a tour of the yacht.
At the time of my visit to Escapade, the
recently finished yacht is making its final
preparations before departing on a twoyear global cruise. Having previously met
the owner, let’s call him Mr E, at the 2013
Monaco Yacht Show, where he gave me
teasers of what her interior would entail, I
already know that this yacht is a labour of
love for him and his wife, who both put an
exceptional amount of thought and work
into her design.
As I am welcomed on board, our
first point of discussion is the colour of
Escapade (which, incidentally, exactly
matches the owner’s wife’s Bentley). “It’s
not gold!” stresses Mr E. “The official
name is ‘sandstone’ in English and
‘champagne’ in French, but let’s stick with
‘champagne’ as that suits a superyacht.”
With her distinctive carbon black mast
and rigging, paired with the metallic
champagne hull and red lettering,
Escapade certainly stands out among her
more demure sisters. Over the next two
hours I am privy to a passionate and
proud tour, with Mr and Mrs E explaining
the thought processes behind each design
decision and bringing the yacht to life
for me. Every element of the yacht, from
the colour scheme to how the smallest
detailing fits into the overall look, was
thought through. Undoubtedly the best
Fitzroy yacht ever built, as swansongs go
she is a triumph and credit to her owner’s
vision and the skills of the build crew.
“With Escapade the goal was to achieve a
family yacht for my wife and son to enjoy
a two-year cruise on,” says Mr E. Having
chartered significantly and undertaken
comprehensive research before deciding
to build, they had a strong idea of
what they knew would work. Designed
by Dubois with an interior by Design
Unlimited, the result is a personalised,
stylish and yet practical yacht that is a
great example of why gaining experience
through charter and research is the best
way to ensure a new build ends in a yacht
that is right.
Escapade’s interior was developed with
a huge amount of input from the owner’s
wife, who worked closely with the team
at Design Unlimited. A selection of three
woods – kwila/merbau, bleached oak and
12
13
“THE GOAL WAS TO
ACHIEVE A FAMILY YACHT
FOR MY WIFE AND SON TO
ENJOY A TWO-YEAR CRUISE
ON.” – MR E, OWNER OF
S/Y ESCAPADE
walnut – and warm nickel fittings form
the base palette and throughout the yacht
a standout feature is the art on board. An
array of different paintings and pieces,
gathered from around the globe, add
personality to each space. In tribute to
the couple’s home in Malaysia, Southeast
Asian influences are an underlying, yet
purposely subtle theme throughout.
Malaysian songket, woods, artwork and
more are all woven into the tapestry of
the yacht’s design.
As well as designing the yacht with a
mind for beauty, their experience meant
that practicality reigns throughout and all
on-board spaces have been maximised.
Simple solutions have been implemented
to save space – lifting a silver plant holder
out of its sunken seat in the bar top, Mr
E explains that it doubles as a five-bottle
champagne bucket, something they
would never have had the storage for on
its own. Every item on board is properly
secured, labelled and has its own place,
and although only 37.5m, the yacht
manages to feel much bigger.
The literal definition of the word
'escapade' is ‘an act of adventure’,
and having been built for a two-year
adventure, Escapade’s world tour will
take her throughout Asia and the
Pacific before she makes her way to the
Caribbean and Med. The yacht is well
equipped for the trip, with ample storage,
on-board exercise machines and a full
complement of fishing gear chosen by
the owner’s son. As well as choosing New
Zealand for its sailing yacht expertise, a
key reason for the country’s selection was
thanks to the yacht’s cruising itinerary.
“We thought that if we built the yacht
in Europe, we might never leave there
except to go to the Caribbean,” says
Mr E. The couple had narrowed their
choice down to either the Netherlands or
New Zealand and went for the latter in
order to guarantee they would cruise the
Pacific. “Building in New Zealand meant
we knew we would do a proper round-theworld trip and it would force us to do this
adventure properly.”
It is no secret that Escapade's build
Opening page: Escapade has been designed for a
two-year world tour.
This page: (top) Designed by Dubois, the yacht's
interior scheme was developed by Design Unlimited
with a lot of input from Mrs E, (bottom left) Jacuzzi on
the forward deck, (bottom right) backlit bar in the main
saloon, with double-purpose champagne bucket.
Next page: Escapade underway.
period was less than-straightforward. After
Escapade’s build yard Fitzroy Yachts hit
financial troubles midway through the
build, the owners were forced to bankroll
the yard to see their yacht finished, with
the yard eventually closing on Escapade’s
launch. As a result both the owners
and the yacht were unfortunately and
unduly subject to much public scrutiny
during the latter stages of her build. One
hundred employees out of work and the
end of an era for the yard led to worker
frustration, derogatory press and Escapade’s
owner being associated alongside it all
in the media. With so much coverage
surrounding the yacht, and no word from
the owners themselves to date, I am dying
to ask Mr E for his side of this story.
After broaching the subject, the response
is a mix of emotion, frustration and
resignation. “There are articles out there
which are disparaging about me because
14
15
“BUILDING IN NEW ZEALAND MEANT WE
KNEW WE WOULD DO A PROPER ROUNDTHE-WORLD TRIP AND IT WOULD FORCE
US TO DO THIS ADVENTURE PROPERLY.” –
MR E, OWNER OF S/Y ESCAPADE
16
“THE YARD HAD LONG
BEEN IN TROUBLE
AND MOST LIKELY
SHOULD HAVE
STOPPED TRADING
DUE TO INSOLVENCY
BEFORE OUR ORDER
WAS PLACED, BUT
WAS TRYING TO STAY
OPEN BY FUNDING THE
PREVIOUS PROJECT
WITH THE NEXT.” –
MR E, OWNER OF
S/Y ESCAPADE
I ended up being portrayed as the bad
guy who closed the yard, when actually I
paid all the arrears and made sure it shut
down in a clean way rather than in messy
bankruptcy,” he says. “I have been in
business for 30 years with an impeccable
record and now my name is associated
negatively with something I never started,
never wanted and that I only helped to
close in an honourable manner. It’s been
painful for me.”
When I ask how things got to the stage
where the yard was in such severe trouble
Mr E cites incompetent and manipulative
senior management, adding: “The yard
had long been in trouble and most likely
should have stopped trading due to
insolvency before our order was placed,
but was trying to stay open by funding the
previous project with the next.” Going
further, he says: “The lack of transparency,
inaccurate costing and financial reporting
and poor management impacted down
several operational lines, resulting in
bottlenecking, lack of forward planning,
high reworking costs and more. The credit
for this extraordinarily excellent end
result can only go to the vast majority of
the engineers and craftsmen who worked
with dedication and a wealth of know-how
and experience to compensate for poor
management.”
Thankfully the whole process has
not put the family off ownership, and
there is already talk of another, bigger
yacht. “We might build again now we
know what we want and what to do,”
he says. Unsurprisingly, in any later
build the choice of yard would be key.
“Having been through this experience,
my advice to other owners would be to
always look closely at the true financials
and management of any yard being
considered, have a real due diligence done
and insist on being provided with audited
accounts,” says Mr E wryly. “If I build again
I will make very sure I don’t end up with
another failing yard!”
A full report on the yacht’s design appears on
TheSuperyachtOwner.com
and in Q20 of SuperyachtDesign.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DUBOIS VISIT:
WWW.THESUPERYACHTOWNER.COM

Similar documents