First Impression: Force Blue
Date toured: December 2006
It’s late March 2007 as I write this, and Force Blue is still undergoing the dramatic transformation that her owner began after buying this megayacht that used to be known as Big Roi. Literally as I type here in the United States, Force Blue has moved from Antigua, where I toured her, to a shipyard in Italy for the last phase of a substantial refit and redesign.
But let’s start with the basics. Force Blue is a 207-foot expedition motoryacht, which means that she has an almost commercial-looking exterior that can go pretty much anywhere on the globe. Inside that formidable hull—one of the world’s biggest available for charter—she is a pure luxury yacht whose features and decor rival those inside the sleekest white motoryachts of her size.
When the current owner bought Force Blue, he wanted features that the previous owner hadn’t built into the design. One was a European-style spa, which he has since added in the space that used to be a massive, full-height storage area. Where there used to be bow lines and other gear, there is now gorgeous tile, a stone massage table, a mud massage bed and a steam room that easily fits six or eight people. (I know. I sat in it while it was turned off.)
Another feature the owner added is a gymnasium, also in an area that used to be used for stowage. The gym itself is impressive, but I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that it’s located in a place that’s accessible only by climbing backwards down a steep (but relatively short) ladder. The stairs are next to the crew’s laundry room, outside of the main guest areas. The location is not a problem if you’re in good shape and want your workout fix, but it’s worth keeping in mind as a potential challenge if you are mobility impaired, or if you mind seeing the “inner workings” of the crew areas.
The master stateroom is now on its own deck, one level above the main deck where the sky lounge used to be. (Check out the new master bathroom in the photo above. The walk-through shower is just spectacular!) The old master suite on the yacht’s bottom deck now serves as the VIP—which tells you that the two best staterooms on this yacht truly are both of master-cabin quality.
There is a new sky lounge behind the new master cabin, including a theater room with an 82-inch flat-screen television (wow!). Where the new sky lounge is, there used to be open outdoor space. Now, the big outdoor space is on the fourth deck (see photo at right), where there is enough room to host the main portion of a party for 700 people. That’s not a typo; this yacht hosted a party that large, using one dining table on this deck alone to seat 60 guests.
The work being done right now in Genoa will transform the main deck, extending the main saloon and adding a proper indoor dining room, which didn’t exist during my tour. There was a leather conference table big enough to serve meals on the main deck, but the crew indicated that the owner did not use it in that manner.
Stay tuned on this yacht’s transformation through any reputable charter broker. The results after this current round of work, based on what the owner has done so far, should be quite impressive.