IN TODAY”S WORLD OF WATERBORNE OPULENCE, LURSSEN’S 60 METRE SOLEMATES MASTERFULLY EXUDES ELEGANCE, SIMPLICITY AND POWER.
Everything about Solemates is new, even though she is actually sixth in a line of Lurssen 60s, but much of the”newness” can be attributed to Lurssen”s policy – in thoroughly sound Germanic fashion – to benefit from development and pass the results onto the customer. The crew is also new and, with sound experience in their own trades, came together at very short notice to make everything work successfully.
|The forward section of the sun deck has a bar, stools, a sofa, two considerable sunbeds and a spa pool, while aft through the gymnasium rewards with an extending dining table, loungers, and plenty of sofas.|
Behind nearly every yacht of this size and importance is a story, and Solemates is no exception. Hers started almost three years ago, when she was laid down by Lurssen on behalf of the original client and named Katie Sue II. At some point quite late in build, work was discontinued under the name of the first client, but Lurssen decided to finish the project as previously planned.
Meanwhile, Kevin Callahan of Moran Yacht & Ship had been working with the owner of the first Solemates to find a replacement yacht forhim, but second-hand. After considering the 61 metre Lurssen-built Phoenix I, the owner reviewed the specifications and materials on Katie Sue II and flew to the yard to inspect the vessel last May. Confident in the yard”s and designer Glade Johnson”s ability to finish the yacht to his satisfaction, the owner signed the contract to take delivery of the former Katie Sue II under her new name, Solemates.
Glade Johnson had been engaged from the outset to design the interiors for Katie Sue II and, from what the new owner had seen, the overall effect was perfectly suited to his finishing her as Solemates. He was, however, keen to make a few changes, one of which involved installing an electric sliding door and relocating walls in the owners” study. As Lurssen”s Jan-Eric Oetken recalls with a smile, “We had literally just put in the last couple of screws when the order came to teareverything out and start again. He did, however, admit to liking therevised version better.
Like her predecessor, Solemates is planned for charter, which maypossibly have been the intention of the original buyer, since GladeJohnson”s designs for the interior appear aimed at achieving an effect ofrelaxing neutrality” throughout. Light, soft fabrics and similar materialshave been used everywhere, with a limited range of light and darkwoods, plus a plethora of beautiful coloured and grained marbles.
Thus, for the owner, the interior became a canvas upon which he hasset his mark – introducing a variety of works of art to give visual andpersonal identity to all areas.
Glade Johnson”s title for the interior design concept is “squared”,which defines form, furniture and decor. Even the huge windows asseen from inside are square or rectangular, while the imposing maindining table is a large rectangle composed of a marquetry of squaremacassar panels arranged in an opposing-grain pattern. Burr mapleveneer is the main wood finish throughout the owner/guest areas, withaccents in wenge, anigre and ebony macassar. Straight-grained versionsof these latter woods are used for all freestanding furniture in a variety of attractive styles.
|The upper saloon features a bar and games table, and leads out to the main alfresco dining area aft. In the bridge, navigation equipment is exceptional, with five 27 inch screens. A full-size chart table plus well-filled chart drawers implies serious cruising.|
The yacht comprises five decks, the lowest being the tank deck,which contains the crew mess, laundry, linen rooms and other services.Right aft, a garage houses two 7.6 metre Vikal tenders and a pair oftwo-seat PWCs. The Vikals are of a semi-RIB design with deep V hulls,each equipped with a Volvo Penta 300hp inboard diesel driving Hamilton water jets and a bowthruster. They are too long to fit in thegarage so they are arranged so that the first part of the bow hinges up and back for stowage. Launch and recovery of these and the PWCs is via doors set in the hull sides, which frees up the spacious beach deckarea aft.
A door in the transom permits access to the garage from the beachdeck, then it”s forward and down to the split-level engine room. Thisspace is so full of mirror-finish stainless surfaces, it looks about fourtimes bigger than in reality. A stairway to port leads up to the engineer”ssoundproofed control room, whose large windows permit clearobservation of the two mighty 2,000hp Caterpillar 3512B mainengines. Two HEM watermakers share this space, together producing 30,000 litres per day, which is more than enough freshwater tocompletely replenish the tanks, so daily washdowns are unlikely toaffect guest consumption.
A striking main foyer stairway connects the three interior decks,dominated by a bold, wenge-clad, three-storey grid wall containinginset panes of subtly textured art glass and mirrors. The design of Solemates reveals a layout ideally suited to charter as well as to familyenjoyment. Understandably, the owner wishes anonymity, so it isinteresting to speculate on how much kindred spirit existed betweenhimself and the commencing owner in the matter of this design.
|The owner”s suite occupies the forward section of the main deck, and its piece de resistance is the marble-clad en suite, with its whirlpool bath and two-person shower fitted with a multitude of rain bars and aromatherapy steam functions.||Considering the intention to charter, it seems somewhat strange that the sleeping arrangements tor guests offer only double beds, withouteven Pullman berth availability. Future charter demand may necessitateconversion to at least a few twin-bedded facilities. Two by two, the guestcabins are mirror images with excellent en suites. Plentiful natural lightaccents the pale, natural fabrics used for the custom bedding and furnitureand plush, stone-coloured carpeting, handwoven by the artisans atGerman carpet-maker Oliver Treutlein. Contrasting headboards are padded leather while walls and cupboards use a burr maple finish toachieve harmony. Especially delightful is the marble in the en suites, usedextensively for the floors, tops, seats, panels and skirtings.|
On the main deck level is a foyer to starboard, whose focal point is asmall sculpture. Here, there is access to the owners” apartment forward,the side deck or aft into the dining saloon. In the dining area, a charmingfeature comprising 18 lamps arranged in groups of six, each with squareparchment shades, are suspended on
three rectangular frames abovethe table. The effect is cosy and intimate. Substantial sliding doors closeoff the area for formal dining. The rest of the space is given over to themain saloon, with no less than 14 windows plus sliding glass accessdoors to the aft deck.
Forward through the sliding door is the owners” suite, beyond a day head and study – the space that incurred the most drastic changes to the original brief for Katie Sue II. A sliding door accesses the suite, which is delightful and, thanks to the uniformity of designer-specified materials, is similar in decor to the guest accommodation.
The upper deck is really something special. The stairway foyer is anenclosed space with several doors, one of which leads to a fifth guest cabin, which is unofficially designated as the VIP. A door forward leads via a shortcorridor to the bridge, past the ship”s office and captain”s cabin. Doors oneither side of the bridge open on to wingstations and a walkaroundPortuguese bridge. Solemates is “paperless bridge” ECDIS compatible, having not just two separate systems but three. In fact, redundancy is prevalent,with tertiary systems of all kinds throughout the boat.
Aft, a multiplicity of windows offer stupendous view potential fromthe upper saloon; there is a bar to port faced by a comfy sofa tostarboard, while further aft another games table forms a link with themain lounge area. An arrangement of inviting armchairs, sofas andcoffee tables has been grouped so as to focus on the enormous televisionon the starboard side. Outside aft is a further abundance of armchairs,a big sofa and a circular table for alfresco dining.
When visiting the sun deck, one must be prepared for a fitness session, because the heart of this deck is the ship”s gymnasium. Those who are not into the fitness thing can take heart, since the gymnasium only occupies the middle section – there are numerous options forsunbathing and relaxing.
|From the split-level engine room, a stairway leads up to the engineer”s soundproofed room where systems can be controlled via touch screen.||All decks are generous and beautifully crafted and, although main side deck access forward is restricted by full-beam accommodation (normal practice today), the decks are easy to use. One very nice touch is the gallery deck, which runs around the bow, leaving the windlass free for the bosun”s crew to work. Another is the removable bar in thescuppers, allowing a crewmember to get a view of the weighing anchor. Yet another is the exhaust outlet for the emergency generator forward, disguised as a fairlead. Finally, the bosun”s locker opposite is fitted out with a workbench and is also the escape route from the owners” apartment. The deck below, and the deck below that, are huge stowage spaces. In fact, most crew commented that this is the most stowage conscious boat they have worked on.|
In the end, despite the alterations to the interior design, the LurssenShipyard still managed to meet the originally agreed-upon delivery date,which permitted the owner to join the vessel in Italy for the maidenvoyage. Elegantly designed and intelligently laid out, Solemates is abeautiful and capable yacht, on board which both charterers and her owners may feel both confident and proud.
Displacement 1,070 tonnes
Speed (max) 15.5 knots
Range at 12 knots 7,000nm
Engines 2 x Caterpillar 3512B @ 1,979hp
Bowthrusters Jastram, 40 F BU 3038, 200kW
Stabilisers Quantum QC 1800. 2 fins. Zero-Speed
Propellers 2 x Piening, 5-blade, fixed pitch
Fuel capacity 150.000 litres
Generators 2 x 90kW Northern Lights
Owner and guests 12
Crew 13 to 15
Tenders 2 x Vikal
Classification Lloyd”s 100A1. SSC Yacht Mono, LMC G6, UMS, full MCA
Exterior styling Espen Oino
Interior designer Glade Johnson Design
Builder / year Lurssen Yachts / 2010
Source: Boat International №2 2011