This is entertaining. It’s yet another sunny day in the Caribbean – blue sky, 27C, beautiful shorelines, divebombing pelicans – and I’m finding the rushes of wakesurfing with a Centurion Enzo SV244 speedboat. Reason assembled for this invigorating game, where you surf behind the vessel on a driver-controlled edge of surf, its most striking highlight is an overhead curve with four vast speakers out of which are impacting the not-smooth tunes of Daft Punk, Cut Copy and Disclosure. As our gathering alternates to slalom over the waves, flip wakeboards and come a great cropper (all got on GoPro, too bad gentlemen), it all appears a delightfully 21st-century form of the age-old joy of messing about in pontoons.
But that this is simply the starting. The Centurion is simply one in a weapons store of watersports “toys” that can rise up out of the twin flip-up entryways of the delicate carport of the 280ft superyacht Solandge. Dispatched in October 2013, and situated in St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, this shining naval force blue and white six-deck boat of dreams expenses a cool $1million (£650,000) to contract for a week. In any event.
That is the cost here in the Caribbean; come summer, when Solandge will flutter between the sparkling gatherings of Monaco, the shrouded inlets of Sardinia and the marinas of Montenegro, the sticker is €1million (£743,000). At that point there are the additional items, for example, APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance – permit a third more to cover sustenance, beverages, fuel and port expenses), team tips (say 15 every penny), and the DJ you cherished in St Barts…
What makes an engine yacht so unique no one but tycoons can stand to join the gathering? Flawlessness, distinction, perhaps a mystery stash of uncommon Port Ellen whisky (£1,500 a jug). Brought about by its holders in 2007, Solandge is a yacht which has been arranged fastidiously, from the walnut, olive fiery remains and masur birch lacquers gracing the bedside tables to the wagyu hamburger filets anticipating their minute in the kitchen’s stroll in cooler.
This exemplary character has been expert constructed by the veteran German shipyard Lürssen, which disclosed the world’s biggest private yacht, the 590ft Azzam, in April 2013. The acclaimed Norwegian creator Espen Oino made the element outside, with its solid outline tempered by long liquid lines – however don’t let that trick you into speculation the insides will be all timberland tones and Nordic moderation.
“This is the managers’ home,” (one of a few, without a doubt) a stewardess clarifies. “Furthermore, their style is not for invisible girls.” You could say that. Solandge is an oceanic des res improved without trepidation of shading, lavishness or presentation toward oneself. Tutankhamen would have felt at home in the glisteningly gold lift. Catherine the Great would most likely have admired the golden notes in the tank deck head. Liberace would have cherished the fake chimney and Bechstein piano enhancing the principle salon and Tony Soprano could well have been discovered lighting a celebratory stogie in the top-deck Jacuzzi. Barbra Streisand may even now sing about the 52ft “Tree of Life” establishment with its tower of 1,200 Murano glass blooms.
As we voyage through the green and Edenic islands of the Caribbean, one thing is clear: on board Solandge you are taken care of in magnificent style – on account of the cheerful Aussie gourmet expert who can cook any dish under the sun, the Californian advisor knowledgeable in cellulite medicines, Espresso Limón thinning oils and pumpkin-zest facials, and the bouncy youthful staff with Bluetooth earpieces who react to our each need like a decently bored group of Grand Prix mechanics.
However that is just standard superyacht strategy. What makes Solandge emerge, says its British chief, Paul Messenger, is its “particularly liberal open air deck space”: 3,767sq ft of ultra-smooth, fanatically looked after woodwork. Particularly intended for outdoors living with family and companions, or a coasting gathering for 60 visitors if you wish to toss one, its enhancements are past generous.
As Noah broadly comprehended, the best things come in twos, thus this rich ark has both an upstairs and ground floor sauna, an indoor and outside silver screen, a hydrotherapy shower in the spa but another in the women’s lavatory suite of the managers’ deck, this time confined in rose quartz.
Topping this brilliance is one executioner actuality: Solandge is just for, at most, 12 visitors. Space has long been one meaning of extravagance. Another is interminable probability, something I just acknowledge when I discover that Solandge has a scope of 6,000 nautical miles. So yes, we truly could set sail for Rio today evening time, sweetheart.
Cruising from brilliant straight to castaway island to pleasant harbor, I likewise acknowledge how, at this stratospheric value point, essentially having all the extravagant accessories isn’t sufficient. There must be a feeling of enchantment as well, a Gatsby-like charm. For me, this gets to be most clear around evening time. This is the point at which Solandge’s decks are lit up like some minor station of the Milky Way, and the fabulous teak staircase embellishing its stern is so astonishing it could emphasize in the finale of a Busby Berkeley musical.