Burger Goes BIG!
by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy
So personal, like choosing the soubriquet for a beloved pet, is naming a yacht. Whether intentionally or no, the result artfully tells something about the owner, something cherished, perhaps; some hidden dream, or personality quirk, even something outlandish, for some. And so it was with Mirgab, Burger’s new 144’ magic charm. Built in America’s Midwest at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, she traveled halfway around the world to arrive near the place that fondly whispered her name, Mirgab: in Arabic, “a breathtaking view from high on a hill”.
Breathtaking – so apt an adjective for this lovely, aluminum-built tri-deck yacht – tells only a part of her story. The owners, the Kuwaiti family of Mohammad Ashaya, who manage more than 1,000 retail shops, thanked Burger with a fireworks display. As this largest aluminum yacht in Burger’s 143 year history was launched, they saw 1200 onlookers cheering. They had not picked Burger at random, but after an intensive search for builders with long time integrity and outstanding traditions.
The number 5 – V – signifies that her owners have sailed many oceans before. They chose Burger because… with experience in high quality yachts, they were able to select a builder to satisfy their needs. From the very top deck, spaciousness and attention to detail is obvious here. She is a large yacht, semi-displacement, indeed an 8,000 sq.ft. floating homestead, yet showing the flavor of her metropolitan design/ craftsmanship few others can match. She was totally designed and produced at Burger’s facility, in Manitowoc, WI, on Lake Michigan. Doug Richey, Burger’s interior design director, was presented the list of features they wanted. It began with customary furnishings, but soon rang, resounded, with special touches in accoutrements, echoing the yacht’s individualism, her vibrancy.
The yacht builder, which opened in 1863 – when Abraham Lincoln was president – is one of the nation’s, and the world’s, most historic yachting institutions. Staffed primarily with Wisconsin residents of Scandinavian, Dutch, and German descent – Vikings all – many proudly sharing second and third generation credentials; they are the shipwrights of the company. Burger steadfastly remains a local, and family operation. Throughout its history it has garnered many honors for its design and construction of commercial, military and pleasure yachts. Under Burger owner David Ross and partner Jim Ruffalo, within the past two years the company has grown, leapt from 180 to 450 full-time employees, and redefined its construction scope from 85’- 130’ to a new range of 115’- 200’ yachts. These figures suggest and support opportunities for a burgeoning world market plan.
Burger project manager Mike Donovan points out Maghreb V’s flybridge. Set up specifically for entertaining, her enormous round swimming pool is forward on bleached teak-strip decks. A short flight of molded-in semi-circular stairs, with teak inlaid treads, leads up to the sapphire water. Aside from the pool, wind protected, is a settee with weatherproof cushions. The setting, looking forward, also bathes visitors in bright sunshine on the foredeck. Aft is a group of lounges, just centered under the radar/sat/nav twin domed hardtop. To boot, a generous round dining table, with its retractable hydraulic sunshade, awaits the next round of revelers.
A dominating but decorative nav/mast crowns her sundeck, adding a technical flavor that underscores Maghreb V’s dynamic, up to date navigational capability. The vessel boasts Larry Smith-installed Sat-Com, Simrad radar, GPS, gyrocompass, Plath Navigator, KVH Satcom, Furuno SSB, B&G wind instruments, Furuno depth & sound instruments, under the aegis of Burger’s B.A.S.I.C.S. Monitoring system. Aft on the top deck is a 21’ Castoldi diesel tender, with its Nautical Structures EZ 5000 crane conveniently located for launching.
Not to be outdone by the fly deck’s amenities, the main Aft Deck sports its own inlaid makore’ wood long table, under the sky and shaded too, by the upper deck overhang. Just below, bleached teak strip decks are reached by port and starboard stairways, leading to the spacious swim platform. The boarding passerelle also hinges in this area, normally to be docked stern-to.
Just below, the Bridge Deck presents a triple treat on this yacht: Not only does the Sky Lounge show movies on command, but forward is the formidably complete helm station, plus centered to port, a separate VIP stateroom. The cinema boasts a 100 inch drop-down projection TV in addition to a plasma set, which moves to entertain at the push of a button, plus a Crestron entertainment unit with projection and audiovisual readiness built-in. A round gaming table overlooks the stern. Plush couches and elegant tables complete the décor. Just forward, the elevator and superlative circular staircase lead up and down.
An out of the ordinary location is chosen for the VIP suite; in lieu of a lower deck where most guest staterooms are placed. Here on the Pilothouse Deck, to port, nestled across from the elevator and stairs, aft of the captain’s quarters, resides a most private suite. With ceilings and walls of silk counterbalanced by leather countertops, the unique hideaway features a queen size berth. Twin bed tables and walk-in wardrobes add to the comfort, along with a private head and ample shower.
Forward on the Bridge Deck, the command center is a peripheral delight. Flat panel displays are evenly spread across the spectrum. Rising from this ecliptic console are ribbed columns separating the windscreens, whi
le a stainless steel-mahogany destroyer wheel is flanked by twin Stidd helm chairs. The instrumentation is clear and can easily be interpreted by the gallery of watchers on a pedestal settee behind. Fine Makore’ wood cabinetry holds the printed sources of information and guidance as needed.
To starboard, a magnificent bronzed, semi-circular staircase with back lit, crystallized glass steps encircles a 40” – one-meter-wide – glass tube elevator. Swirling down to each level, a visual treat is in store, as the eye is pleasured by varying splashes, shades, waves of royal red onyx stone. That material, almost 1,076 sq.ft., also sets the tone for her lobbies at all levels. The affirmation then blossoms into more than a dozen variations of marble and decorative stone, at diversified locations throughout the yacht. All of it was hand-fit by Italy’s Bigelli Marmi. The staircase was fashioned by atelier specialist Les Metalliers Champenois – renovators of the Statue of Liberty’s torch – highly sought after in Europe and the U.S.
Formal dining on the Main Deck is hung with a spectacular array of silk drapes over slatted Roman shades, surrounding an ovoid table that can be extended for up to 14 diners. Crafted of fine African makore’ cherry wood, its matching chair frames offer woven rattan seating. An oval chandelier of marbled glass lights the room, surrounded by small starlights; in the same pattern repeated in several of the yacht’s venues.
Aft on the Main Deck is the sumptuous salon, geometrically designed with deep-cushioned couches and studio chairs. Roman shades and makore cherry wood trim, with amboyna burl, add even more visual depth to the 28’ beam-wide sitting room. Centered is a classic, trimmed-cornered square coffee table glistening in gold lacquer. Carpeting here, softly supporting in light ecru wool, accents the stronger design elements. One of the most unique aspects of the salon is a 20-foot long segment of bulwark to starboard that can be folded down to provide what Burger calls a “veranda” allowing an unobstructed view of the horizon.
Luxurious finery creates a jewel-like setting for the Master Stateroom, placed forward on the main deck. Beam-wide, the centered, king-size berth is set on gold-ecru carpet, surrounded by mellow makore’ wood panels as wall décor. Bedside tables sport Cappucino onyx while the recessed octagonal ceiling decor continues. Also trimmed in dark wood and rope lighting, three of these geometric recesses loom overhead with a decorative layer of gold leaf.
Continuing the motif, the master bath is placed forward, with his and hers facilities, plus a tub and shower. Flooring, counters and tub display cappucino onyx, with elegant gold-plated fixtures. The stonework theme plays out in the vessel’s eight guest stateroom/baths throughout, featuring as well: marful/polished coralito, polished verde, jade lite, rosa zarci, cross-cut honey onyx, and absolute black granite.
One of three queen-VIP guest staterooms on the lower deck, furnished in complimentary criteria. Each offers an island berth, as well as end tables, closets, and fabrics in fitting with the decor.
One of two guest twins. Not shown are the crew quarters located forward of the guest suites and accessed from the main deck via a private staircase off the galley. The crew quarters include six bunks, three heads, laundry room and a large crew lounge/mess.
Maghreb V”s propulsion is provided by twin 12V-4000 MTU diesels, yielding a transoceanic, 3,800 nm cruising range for the semi-displacement hull. With a top speed of up to 20 knots, she will cruise long distances comfortably at 16 knots. The building project was managed by Technical Support Limited of Viareggio, Italy, under supervision of Richard Davies and Roberta Johnson, who represented the family in the project. Maghreb V will be based in the Med on the French Riviera.
As a result of the Ashaya family’s choice of Burger, the company decision was made to move into other large yachts, and thus a number of builds have been assigned, including two 127’ tri-decks, a 142’ tri-deck, 144’ cruiser, 154’ tri-deck, 170’ tri-deck; with a 101’ high-speed enclosed bridge yacht also on order.
To date, Maghreb V is Burger”s biggest build. A breathtaking boat
… both in size and splendor.
Review by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy
Displ.: 392 Tns.
Fuel: 14,000 gals.
Water: 3,000 gals.
Power: 2X MTU 12V4000, 2,735hp @ 2,100 rpm
Speed: Max 18.5 kn
Cruise: 16 kn
Range: 3,800 mi. @ 10 kn