Among the yachts up to 40 meters in length, a fully customized project is a rarity. It would have been much cheaper to choose an already completed solution, but the Apostrophe customer was not interested in compromises.
In the rich history of the Dutch shipyard Hakvoort, its employees have surely seen a lot, but the ceremony of launching the Apostrophe yacht will be remembered for a long time.
In addition to the client with his family, his guests and the shipyard's craftsmen, there was a Russian Orthodox priest who performed a complete consecration ceremony on the yacht.
Such a care for the novelty is quite understandable - the owner of Apostrophe (by the way, Russian) calls it nothing but a «brainchild», whose birth was long and not the easiest.
An experienced yachtsman who has replaced more than one motor yacht, he was very careful in choosing a successor for the 20-meter boat he sailed then. The contract for the design of a new yacht up to 40 metres long was signed back in 2007 and the keel was laid a year later after the individual design was entrusted to Hakvoort.
The interior design preferences of the client were also well-defined and it was not difficult to meet the authors of his favourite yacht interiors. The price tag of the renowned London bureau Raymond Langton was quite solid, but it was not an obstacle on the way to a dream. As one of the co-owners of the bureau said later, the «only thing the owner intended to limit was the length of the yacht».
Alas, much more serious obstacles began later - soon after the keel was laid, the 2008 crisis hit both sides painfully. The banks that usually worked with Hakvoort were unable to finance the construction and the client's own business also faced serious difficulties. The future of Apostrophe was in jeopardy and the only thing that saved the yacht was that the shipyard did not want to stop working and the client did not want to give up his dream.
With the joint efforts of Hakvoort, the client and Moran Yacht and Ship, the situation was resolved and construction continued. It should be noted, however, that financial difficulties did not affect the owner's determination to do everything to the highest standard.
The managers of Hakvoort themselves noted with admiration that the «client did not agree to reduce the cost of materials or stop work for a day.
The construction had simply gone slower and many of the work had been done by the shipyard»'s own specialists instead of contractors.
Outside, the customer wanted a «modern boat with smooth, rounded lines». As a result, two repetitive motifs appeared in the boat's design - flowing lines, like the glass objects of art that the customer collects, and rounded shapes, typical of his favorite Art Deco style.
The Raymond Langton artists have created a highly memorable appearance in which tinted glass in black bindings contrast with the white superstructure and light grey hull. The designers found their way even when guests first arrive on board. Large yachts usually cannot afford to berth aboard, so «the front entrance» is usually at the stern. Apostrophe passengers are relieved of such inconveniences - through the starboard door they enter a magnificent hall, which, as at the exhibition, contains all the key interior motifs.
The glass columns specially designed for Apostrophe, the snow-white staircase steps «hanging in the air», the dark marble floor with veins and the echoing inlays of the wooden panels are breathtaking to see how difficult the interior concept is conceived and how masterfully it is embodied.
The master suite occupies most of the main deck. One of the elements of her decoration is clearly visible even outside the boat - these are curved glass walls, which the owner insisted on, loving the curved glazing. Because of them, the owner's bedroom got a semicircular shape - all in the canons of the same Art Deco. In addition to the bedroom, the apartments of the main passengers of the yacht include an office, a day area, a dressing room and two bathrooms. They are not completely isolated from each other, as is usual: a large whirlpool bath in the middle is the unifying element.
Journalists who were invited to the yacht shortly before the delivery of the yacht remembered for a long time the luxurious glass panels behind the yacht, skilfully illuminated, depicting underwater life, with which the bathroom in the master suite is finished.
The Art Deco style of the interiors of the yacht is impeccable - mother-of-pearl inserts in ebony panels, details in brushed nickel and stainless steel and contrasting stitching leather convey the spirit of a bygone beautiful era, enriching it with a modern reading.
As one author, Raymond Langton, said, «we didn't want to recklessly copy the Art Deco style. In fact, if you look at pictures of real interiors of that era, you will not find anything like that. This concept is more of a view of Art Deco from the perspective of our time».
The four guest cabins on the lower deck are similarly styled. In total, Apostrophe can accommodate up to ten guests on board. Rounded elements and curved shapes rule the ball and the main salon, divided into a living room and a more formal dining area with a table for ten people. The huge reproduction «of the Virgin» Klimt, one of many references to the early 20th century, stands out against the background of panels made of noble African wood. Another area for relaxed outdoor dining is located in the stern, behind glass sliding doors. They are mounted in such a way that they appear to be suspended in the air without any frames, visually combining the exterior and interior spaces of the yacht.
There are many versions of why the heroine of this article was called Apostrophe, and we would dare to offer another one.T
name is not quite ordinary, but it is the right
namefor this boat.
Apostrophe is a superscript that stands above the other characters in a line - just as Apostrophe stands out in a series ofless unique yachts.
Published in YACHTS magazine #56.