|Big Fish to Launch, Charter in Tahiti|
These renderings are of the 147-foot expedition motoryacht Big Fish, which is scheduled to launch from the McMullen and Wing shipyard in New Zealand next week. The images came my way courtesy of Auckland-based 37 South, which says "it is difficult to find adjectives" to adequately describe the yacht and the charter experiences that she will offer beginning this July in Tahiti.
I'll give it a try with a few compelling facts. Big Fish is being marketed as an LEV, or Luxury Expedition Vehicle, by Aquos Yachts, a new company on the yachting scene. So new, in fact, that Big Fish is its first creation. Its second, a 164-footer, is scheduled to launch in 2011.
That's not to say that Big Fish is a result of newcomers' newfangled ideas. On the contrary: Her naval architecture is by the noted firm of Gregory C. Marshall, and you've seen me write with high praise for construction standards aboard motoryachts such as Surprise and Mea Culpa from the McMullen and Wing yard. Thus, I think it's fair to say that Big Fish is the result of experienced experts' newfangled ideas.
For starters, Big Fish is being called "sensibly green." Hot water, as an example, is generated from heat exchangers on the generator and main engine, as opposed to being created by a separate, electricity-guzzling water heater. Low-voltage LED lights are used throughout the interior because they generate less heat than regular lights and thus require less air conditioning. Big Fish also will fly the burgee of the International Seakeepers Society, equipped with the latest ocean- and weather-monitoring systems for scientists to access.
From the perspective of charter guests seeking fun in the sun, Big Fish offers nifty features as well. The team at 37 South tells me that part of the yacht's deck and swim platform fold down into a "world's first" private beach made of epoxy-infused granite that bears some similarities to natural sand. (I can't wait to walk on that barefoot and verify the claim for myself!) Apparently, this material is not only easy on charter guests' feet, but also eliminates the need for the kind of cleaning that traditional decking leaves crew members doing with chemicals that then create runoff into the world's oceans.
Also noteworthy from a charter perspective is that there are five cabins onboard. One is a master suite and the other four each have a queen-size bed. Those four queen-bed cabins can convert into a pair of suites, meaning that three couples could charter Big Fish, split the bill, and each have luxurious accommodations. Nice.
In the entertainment department, a 28-foot custom aluminum tender is being rigged for serious fishing and scuba diving, and Big Fish will offer a "video wall" of 20-by-46-inch high-definition plasma screens. Again I say: Nice. There also are zero-speed stabilizers installed, for guest comfort both under way and at anchor.
I can't wait to see Big Fish for myself. If you feel the same way, it's time to call 37 South or any reputable charter broker and ask when the first charter dates will be available in Tahiti this July. Rates have not yet been announced.