Discovering the Yacht Behind the Golden Neptunes: Motor Yacht ‘Grace E’
Take the expertise of naval architect Philippe Brand, combine with the eye for interior design of Remi Tessier, and add the talent of Perini Navi shipbuilders Pichiotti, and you have the formula for a multiple award-winning vessel – otherwise known as 73m/239ft superyacht ‘Grace E.’
She had already dazzled at last year’s Monaco Yacht Show, where Remi Tessier took home the award ‘Best Interior Design’ at the inaugural ceremony. Once again as champagne was poured and the elite of the industry gathered at Austria’s five-star Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt in Kitzbühel for the 2015 Showboats Design Awards, ‘Grace E’ was the name on most members of the sell-out crowd’s lips - acknowledged across the board for setting the standard of yachting excellence.
The Perini Navi Group – no stranger to success – directed the process of harmonising the design and technical aspects in the building process of Grace E, with each small detail executed with finesse by Pichiotti. Arguably the most ambitious yacht ever produced by the Italian shipyard, Grace E was built with instructions from the owner to combine comfort, space and ‘Zen.’ Their skilled craftsmanship and innovation in incorporating ‘Zen,’ eco-friendly technology was merited in winning the ‘Environmental Protection Award’ at the Showboats Design Awards, her diesel-electric and Azipod propulsion is rarely seen in the global charter fleet. Especially requested by her American owner, Bob Stiller, the system offers optimal performance whilst effectively reducing emissions and can works almost silently in electric mode.
“She represents a whole different ball game, even when compared with the yacht Maltese Falcon and her unique sailing system,” according to Burak Akgul, Perini’s managing director of Sales, Marketing and Design. And at 1,835 gross tonnes, she dwarfs 497-gross-ton charter yacht Exuma and 726-gross-ton superyacht Galileo G.
Grace E was built with instructions from the owner to combine comfort, space and ‘Zen.’
Born from the talent of industry leaders, her distinctive lines - designed by Vitruvius Ltd and Philippe Briand - are cut above the rest, winning ‘Exterior Design & Styling Award in the Motor Yacht over 500GT range.’ Her 2,500 square feet upper deck is clearly a main attraction, built as a wellness sundeck, designed with large windows and complete with a lavish spa. Speaking of the wellness deck, Captain Eddie Cooney commented “This was a starting point of the interior design for Grace E, as the owner wanted it on the top deck to take advantage of the big windows, rather than in a poky space in the lazarette.” Guests can travel with ease from a treatment to her observation lounge, sun pads, large plunge pool or gym – boasting extraordinary panoramic views.
Grace E’s accommodation consists of a full-beam master suite – with 1,000 square feet of floor space, two VIP cabins located on the main deck and four cabins on the lower deck. With no shafts and struts, there is minimal vibration and her rooms enjoy the utmost peace and quiet, with a hushed 47 decibels recorded in her master suite and 47 decibels in her main salon at top speed.
The innovation continues into her award-winning interior, where wide passageways, large openings and high ceilings (just under two metres in her master suite) are connected by a bright, lavish stairway which neatly spirals around her lift. It’s clear to see why Remi Tessier’s was acknowledged with the ‘Interior Design Award in the Motor Yacht over 500GT range.’ Speaking on her interior, inspired by Perini Navi sailing yacht Asahi, Tessier stated that with Grace E “the owners didn’t want a carbon copy” (of Riela), but “They were looking for something simple but sophisticated, natural yet luxurious. In other words, everything a superyacht like this should be.” Crafted in exclusive materials including wenge, high-gloss Makassar ebony, brushed sycamore woods, polished stainless steel and parchment, her ceilings feature a trademark palladium finish. Natural limestone adds warmth, with backlit white onyx creates a relaxing ambiance on board, complemented by hand-woven silk and wool carpets.
Her ergonomic layout ensures her nav-con quarters and entertaining areas are completely separate, allowing for as smooth-running, enjoyable charter vacation as possible. The dynamism of her positioning system allows Grace E to stay on station in up to 35 knots of wind. She has a significant range of 12 knots at 7,500 nautical miles.
Winner of a third of the Showboats Design Awards awarded earlier this week, expedition yacht Grace E pushes boundaries in yacht design few set out to challenge and exceeds the innovation expected of Picchiotti’s Vitruvius series. Finalist at the 2015 World Superyacht Awards in May, the industry awaits with baited breath to see to where the marker for 21st century excellence is set by Grace E.