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Review: Christensen 163' "Casino Royale"

 
 
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Review: Christensen 163' "Casino Royale"

Christensen 163' "Casino Royale"
Quintessential Yacht Owner Bets On A Sure Thing...

by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy

Not shaken, yet stirring, Christensen’s Casino Royale draws owner John Staluppi’s fifth allegory/portrait of 007.
In this showcase interior, a genuinely mysterious urgency prowls the furtive vibes lurking everywhere. Bond
would be intrigued by her elements; black-jack aces as table tops, compelling Bond-girl sculptures and
007-signature apertures lurking in surprise locations. Entertaining and enticingly plush;
even “Q” or “Dr. No” would acquiesce to this dramatic stage at sea.

The largest of the Christensen stable of elegant, fast yachts, so far, the tri-deck Casino Royale at 163’ develops “only” 17-18 knots, shown from a heli-shot here with her wake somewhat subdued compared to prior Staluppi-sequels. John Staluppi and his good friend John Rosatti teamed together years ago because they had an affinity for making things happen, both in business and boats. Not entirely satisfied with previous builds, such as the 143' Octopussy at 53 knots; the Diaship-built 116’ Moonraker at 66.7 knots; and the Denison-built 116’ Thunderball – all of which are among the fastest yachts ever built – Staluppi organized his own company, Millennium Yachts. That led to the Dick Mulder designed 140’ "The World is Not Enough", boasting an amazing 68 knots! However, plowing uncharted waters and breaking size/speed barriers comes at a price... time and patience.
Fast forward to the present; Rosatti had recently taken delivery of a Christensen Yacht. Staluppi, a man who knows big boats was impressed with that choice. This soon resulted in a contract for his new project, Casino Royale, the latest and largest in his stable of Bond-named boats. Moreover, this yacht would boast accommodations that previous builds could only envy; such as a guest deck featuring five staterooms; plus an owner’s suite that many a feudal lord would treasure. Now, rather than an emphasis on speed, Casino Royale proclaims a striking design of splendiferous comfort balanced by a groovy indulgence. Her grand entrance gauntlet was scooped up with apparent glee by designer Carol Williamson & Associates. Her interior is richly festooned with golden drapes and furnishings, sometimes baroque accents such as onyx-topped and gold-leafed tables, sapele mahogany paneling, golden pedestals, bronze inlaid fixtures, pearlescent marble in flooring and sumptuous bath areas.
In conjunction with Staluppi’s design team, several new elements brought about the Christensen “Millennium Edition”, an extended deck version of their popular 157’. This new lengthened version provided additional space on deck, but more importantly in the aft section of the hull, with a retractable Arcturus Marine Trac stern thruster capable of pivoting 360 degrees. In combination with the bow thruster, these two units not only make maneuvering in tight quarters a breeze, they are capable of holding Casino Royale in a designated position via software and a GPS interface. Forward on the Bridge Deck, a double-wide lounging couch allows the far-sighted, unlimited horizon view, sans obstructions, for those who crave the sea-breeze on their cheeks. From that perch, forward, a banistered walkway leads to the 18’ inflatable tender and its Steelhead-2500 Telescoping crane.
Forward on the top deck, a huge jacuzzi pool welcomes the entire crowd day or night. Easily accommodating the whole tribe, the “tub” and its capacious sunpad attendants span beam to beam. Also handy, at port, a discreet day-head. Abaft on the fly deck, a 24’ inflatable Nautica tender plus a quadruple set of PWC water toys await 007’s bold and adventurous cohorts, launched via a Steelhead Telescoping 5000 Deck Crane.
High on the top deck, festivities flow uninhibited thru day and night, with a fully found granite-topped bar to fete ten, plus afternoon grilling facilities. Well protected from the daylight sun under her giant communication domes, yet air-streamed, while tanning delights attend just a few steps away with sun-pads and lounge chairs. A flat screen TV maintains a grip on the real-world view, within reach.
Close up, Casino Royale’s ornately trimmed bar parades its chrome and black onyx, with black-jack table tops surrounded by plush, weather-proof couches and stripped-teak decks.
Gloriously open yet shaded by the top deck overhang, the Upper Aft Deck flourishes its abundance of space and entertainment possibilities. The enormous dining table seats a dozen well-wishers at party time, with its plenitude of comfort in padded, slatted outdoor chairs, plus discreet overhead lighting. Maestro, music please; let the party begin!
For casual dining after hours, the Lower Aft Deck provides an overhead shaded expanse with decorative tables plus a wide couch. Following the slatted chair theme, with polished mahogany tables, it’s a perfect place for a nightcap, or to relax and watch the sea world go by. To port, a full-on wetbar stands ready to serve.
Not to be outdone by movietone trappings, the Bridge Deck – central nerve center of this ocean going movie lot – could stand-in for any up-to-the-minute naval attack/protection vessel. A triple set of leather-covered, upholstered Stidd helm chairs face an ornate black/white-figured granite countertop, which in turn presents more than a dozen illuminated screens/monitors filled with communications and operational information; the Christensen Integrated Monitoring System. Furuno, Northstar, Raymarine and Anschutz; the latest onboard data systems, stand ready for the Captain’s direction. Outside, port and starboard, are complete, compact steering stations for convenient slip entry.
Immediately aft and to starboard, the Bridge Booth extends its comfort zone to course-watchers. Up a few handsome steps, with an identical, ornate figured-granite-onyx table, is a plush, padded leather couch. To port, a comfortable and efficient Captain’s quarters, just abaft the Bridge, fosters 24-hour vigilance for the yacht. It combines a double berth as well as a planning desk, charting, several computer servers, and personal ensuite head/shower.
The SkyLounge offers several seating arrangements; an L-shaped sectional sofa for watching television; a casual conversation table which we expect is more often used for poker, and Casino Royale's step-down bar area. (below).
The SkyLounge Bar covers only one corner of this opulently laid-out gaming room. Ornate, beach-splashed marble top and overtly plush easy chairs are set out beside large windows, which become yet another trademark of Casino Royale.
The entry foyer into the next richly designed section of this movie-wise yacht, Bond Girl statues in various poses amplify the excitement and visual stimulation of Casino Royale. A provocative vestibule design – a Roulette Gaming Table – features black onyx, petrified wood, mother of pearl; and throughout, Bond Girls fetchingly flaunt their challenges, and rewards. These delights, herewith, our investigative review will divulge, with disarming 007 candor.
The spacious salon raises the ante on comfort and ease of living to the competing level of a royal hideaway. Ivory-yellow onyx on the coffee table top is echoed on the tiny favor there, and on the overhead chandelier; while the baroque sumptuousness of overstuffed couches and pillows characterize high design as well as solid comfort. Tall windows and low sills expand the room with more visual space than many other yacht designs allow.
For meals to remember, Casino Royale’s fine dining array will match any luxurious venue. Her gigantic glass dining table, gilt-edged and mounted on gold pedestals, entertains ten feasters without stretching. Her rococo-designed golden chairs slip pleasingly into the upper-crust, Bond-driven decor. High gloss, paneled mahogany wall treatments open to reveal banks of rare silver utensils and fine china.

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