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Review: Lurssen Yachts 224' "Kismet"

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Review: Lurssen Yachts 224' "Kismet"

Lurssen's 223' "Kismet"
A Date With Destiny...

by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy & YF Publisher Carl Camper

“Opulence” is a measure of status, especially in the yachting community, and, paired with excellent taste, often defines the character/impression of the yacht itself, as well as its designers, builders, and owners. Rarely, even the highest standards are exceeded; surpassed by the superiority of a new introduction. Yet, given the hallowed heights reached by Lurssen’s 68.15-m Kismet, the loftiest adjectives are, perhaps, inadequate. To call her... impressive, is simply the grandest understatement.

Although a yacht is always a “she,” Kismet’s exterior design, while graceful, also projects a crisp, metallic blue/grey, black and white no-nonsense masculine aura. There’s a sort of princely royalty in the elliptical statements of the skylounge and pilothouse roofs juxtaposed to severe straight lines, all softened in the imposing silhouette view. Luxurious use of gold decor in personal areas, majestic interior decoration, statuesque sculptures, imposing murals and vases reflecting ancient Persian history; plus exciting, clean, precise placement leveled with superb, measured restraint, make this yacht a technical and iconic marvel. Her volume belies accepted statistics. But that is only one part – the fabulous inside story.
The German builder, Lurssen, boasting more than a century of accomplishment, has brought this yacht into being by combining a steel hull with an aluminum alloy superstructure. Full displacement, she also flaunts a pleasurable ocean-traversing range of 5,000 miles at her 12 knot cruise speed, with a top of 15 knots. Powered by twin Caterpillar 1,500 kW diesels and built to MCA standards, her first long range venture, in fact, included exactly that, as she slipped out of the Bremen Yard to the far Caribbean, in January, for the party season in the sun. Then to repeat the crossing, she coyly swept into her flirtatious debut at the Med’s Monaco Yacht Show.
Captain Kyle Fultz, Lurssen’s project manager, worked with former Feadship Captain Rob Moran, now a broker, throughout the two-year building process in the Rendsburg yard; the fourth project shepherded this way. They divulge the blue metallic hull color was made by Awlgrip, based on a 7-series BMW, the owner’s choice. Designers – exterior by Espen Oeino; interior by Reymond Langton – with Lurssen Sales Manager Michael Bremen, followed the owner’s desire for the touch of an Art Deco atmosphere. His apparent African connection also lent its influence in fanciful artwork. With a several-year building cycle, there was time to indulge in the utmost fantasy. It becomes that, however, on an extremely lofty mode of luxury presentation.
The mix of materials that make up this palatial estate at sea is a novel in which questionable room exists to publish. For example, the main timber on board is mahogany, with the exception of the upper deck and VIP suite on the bridge deck where walnut was used instead. Madrona burl was used for special bedside tables in the guest suites, as well as amboyna on the owner's desk and certain accents in the wheelhouse. Plus, macassar ebony was used for the dining table, chairs in the dining room and side tables in the disco. Sculpting and incorporating these materials is just one challenge. Another is locating them. And yet another… having to buy blocks of marble, as opposed to slabs, because the columns behind the bath are solid. Tired yet?
Boarding, as we did, via the aft deck Cramm passerelle, reveals a grand playground area with a half-circle bar on spacious teak-stripped decking. Half covered by the upper level, it also offers a wide expanse of sunlit vista to the rear. Her immense beam of 42’ allows ample walking space for a throng of guests and party goers. Inside the aft salon, the party area reflects that size as well; tables and couches abound, each placement being easily redistributed electrically. A surround-sound system is truly all around here, engulfing any foreign atmosphere outside or in. She boasts four separate decks.
Inspecting the goodies from the top, high above, the innovative sundeck, just beneath the towering bulbs of sat-nav, radar and communications satellite receivers, the circular/elliptical theme is carried out.
This exterior view of Kismet’s Bridge demonstrates the attention to sea-going and docking detail; the extent of planning for visual observation forward and 180º. All of the foredeck is readily observed from the helm.
Where most yachts offer a few tanning areas on the bow, Kismet does them more than one better. Sporting a forward deck sunning area with oversized, padded sun lounges, it also has an ornate, triple-size, weatherproof teak table and lounges.
At the bow on the main deck forward is the immense anchor and rode storage area. The gigantic size of these instruments gives further credence to Kismet’s safety precautions and planning for world-wide voyaging capabilities. Hidden from view in a garage below the hydraulically opening deck, the 20-ft. RIB tender/runabout awaits launch.
Partially covered for all-weather use, Kismet sports a large round whirlpool, as well as numerous, thickly padded sunning lounges surrounding the large skylight positioned at center. From this three-story elevation, the 360º view from on high here is genuinely breath-taking. The owners affectionately call it, the “Beach House.” And if this elevation fails to inspire, a helicopter pad awaits just aft.
Still above the main deck, an upper helm is actually a unique forward observation post where passengers can perceive every movement of the ship’s course. A marvelous viewing quarter with comfortable chairs, similar to the Captain’s steering station below; allows progression monitoring for those above.
There’s also a huge, C-shaped couch area immediately aft which accommodates a dozen or more interested spectators. This area also invites daytime or nighttime partying, with teak decks giving rise to four hors d’oeurve pedestals, topped with stainless sleeves housing mahogany discs. Spanning out like gap keys, these unique tables instantly triple serving space, then swing back in to conserve the same.
Just outside the helm area on the main deck, both port and starboard, full control stations add to the ease of docking or maneuvering this ship in close situations. Each station has full visibility fore and aft, plus radio communications with the opposite beam.
Suspended on glass panes between Kismet's semi-elliptical signatures, the owner decided the source of his good fortune deserved to be recognized; hence the yacht’s name “KISMET” = fate, destiny – a Gestalt inevitable response.
Though the aft deck is another great place for a sun tan, there is a removable sun screen that can be strung up for limited shade. This sort of makeshift arrangement may seem quite an understatement for this yacht, which is so well thought out and constructed, but it has become popular site in the Med.

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