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Review: Christensen 157' "Barchetta"

Discussion in 'Christensen Yacht' started by YachtForum, Dec 15, 2006.

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  1. YachtForum

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    Christensen's 157' "Barchetta"
    ... Enzo would grin!

    by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy​

    Rococo? A yacht? Stunning exterior style, sporting the most advanced
    technology; yet like Mona Lisa, she smiles a hint of delights yet to come.
    She is Barchetta... Christensen’s splendiferous 157.


    It’s her interior which veers from convention, with a dazzling redux of magic-wand flair. She flirts, perhaps with a sly giggle, ready to unveil delights directly from New York’s famous Art Deco Chrysler Building. Fanciful and ornate, she kicks up her heels with elaborate, asymmetric curves; she is ornamentation unleashed, splashing fiery reds, brilliant black, gold, green, cerulean and copper. She lightly dismisses the staid ecru and muted neutral shades to her more somber, dignified sisters.

    Barchetta’s differences begin with her hull, however – an anomaly from the start – featuring a bulbous bow to minimize the bow wave. With an oversee and tank testing by the eminent Webb Institute of New York, the builder sought this innovative (for a cruising motoryacht) departure. It allows Christensen’s Hull 028, considering her maximum displacement, to provide seakindly comfort and speed, along with fuel efficiency plus extended range.

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    With the intention of chartering in the Mediterranean as well as the Caribbean, she is ready and able to provide the ultimate in creature comforts with safety and serenity for her passengers. Basically not a one-off custom project, she also offers much more than a semi-production yacht. Her interior, by Jacqueline Mann Design – spurred by the owners’ direction – radiates excellent taste along with dazzling diversion. In addition to her precedent-setting build, she boasts an Art Deco scheme which elevates her substantially above the accepted confines of a production yacht.

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    That process also sets Christensen apart from builders who turn out identical models in order to keep costs in line for both provider and customer; as well as custom shipyards which may need several years to complete a custom project. Based in Vancouver, Washington, Christensen’s business plan, according to president Joe Foggia, centers around a four-month schedule for beginning each new hull. It’s his “Advanced Production Series,” which plans to deliver three semi-production yachts per year, rather than subjecting owners to a much longer delivery time for custom requirements. Hulls 027 and 028 (Barchetta) have been completed, with more on the way. Semi-production, yes, but each flaunting its own individuality.

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    From high above, Barchetta gets her groove on early, showing off an oval, azure, Jacuzzi swimming pool glistening on her top Sun Deck. Communications masts and domes house X-band and S-band Furuno radars capable of tracking 30 targets near and far, as well as Navtex and Inmarsat-C satcoms, VHF, SSB, KVH Iridium worldwide satellite phone systems, a StarTrek-like night-vision system, and much more.

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    No Shadow needed here! Barchetta's four Honda PWC's, a brace of Kayaks and mini-sub are offloaded via a Steel Head Marine davit/crane cleverly shaped to follow Barchetta's exterior lines. With removable rails, both upper aft decks become open platforms for launch and retrieval. But that’s not the total of water toys. At the bow, below, is a convenient smaller RIB, a 13.5’ Nautica; and astern, the pilothouse deck hosts yet another Nautica RIB.

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    A Sun Deck planned for play, she keeps her large entertainment bar and stools sheltered under the vast hardtop. A grand view astern, just beyond the soaring radar-arch roof, awaits with nine padded stools rising in stainless deco expression from teak soles with elevated footrests. Of course, cool libations, overhead and indirect lighting, along with surround-sound music blend to set any mode.

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    A stainless rail with a smoked windscreen wraps the forward sun deck. A splashwell lined Jacuzzi is flanked by padded couches for plenty of sunning. It's sure to be the most popular daytime gathering venue. As a reminder you're at sea, not at a 5-star resort, the core of the electronic array rests overhead in twin sat-nav/radar domes.

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    Cached at the aft rail aport is perhaps the most daring expedition tool for adventurers and potential charterers – a three-person submarine, plus Nitrox dive gear for scuba, to plunge as deep as any pro cares to go.

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    Sitting pretty, overlooking the vast bow, the Sun deck tanning couch offers upholstered comfort with nothing but the far, far horizon in view. Just below the helm station, it’s a not so private open-air lair, but a gloriously secluded getaway at sea.

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    Dining al fresco with a gloriously open setting astern, the table for eight diners is sheltered under the broad overhang of the sundeck. Simply appointed, it’s certain to add conviviality to every afternoon or evening party for a resounding success. To Port, its full bar and sink provide immediate service. Beyond the table, a teak and stainless steel stairway lead to the upper sundeck. Aft is the ready-resting place for its 10’ tender, just above the swim platform.

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    Stepping inside, Barchetta's spacious skylounge presents a Christensen trademark... skillfully carved and flawlessly finished woodwork with a luster matching the depth of Barchetta's draft. A wet bar built to seated height, as well as a game table, a 42” plasma TV, plus an oversized L-shaped couch at port allow guests with varied interests to gather comfortably together.

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    Abaft the helm on the broad deck is a C-shaped settee and table for passengers to communicate and cheer on the captain’s performance. To port is a planning station and computer desk, as well as controls for the Sanguineti 20’ passarelle. The Captain’s stateroom, set just abaft, is complete with a double berth, private head/shower, plus a charting table and storage locker.

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    Set in brilliant black granite, a formidable array of instrumentation spreads across the yacht’s sea view, facing seven slanted, glazed wind screens. This entire, augmented kaleidoscope shimmers with highly finished satin teak and cherry woods, adding a soft luster to the all-business helm, with its twin, adjustable Stidd leather chairs. In addition to aforementioned controls are sonar sounders, autopilot, gyrocompass, DGPS, alarms and monitors of all ship’s systems.

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    Options down the central hallway repeat on all three floors, with the elevator at starboard or the ornate EK Miller stairway at port. A charming, additional paean in Art Deco, its burnished metal scrolls and lacework filigree arabesques boldly announce themselves, not to be lightly regarded. Black treads with inset photoluminescent lights make for safe passage night or day.

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    Entering the main deck at midships, the foyer’s Art Deco motif alerts immediate attention with dramatic adroitness in stone. Absolute Black Granite, Giallo Sienna, and Blue Bahia stone enhances dazzling wall and flooring decor. Inset with a diamond design and a depiction of the Chrysler Building’s distinctive, circa-1920s spire; the recurring design theme appears in several other venues, along with similar-era graphic arts symbolism.

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    Forward of the TV breakfront with its Absolute Black Granite top, Barchetta’s formal dining room exudes a scripted, classique eminence. Its heavy glass-topped table seats ten revelers in high-style dark mahogany chairs, upholstered in fine fabrics. Glass ware and tableware sparkle under a custom fabricated overhead light. Large windows all around add light, or visual stimulation of the sea or seacoast to the diners. Roman drapes may seal off the sun, or outside view.

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    Stepping into the main salon, Art Deco reigns supreme, with rococo statuettes and flavorful emblems on walls and tables. Here, comfort and spaciousness are keys, abetted by fine-grained cherrywood wall covering with inlaid black resin and glass artworks for custom lighting. The 20’ x 28’ room would do justice to many a country club drawing room for comeliness with decorum. Centered is a vast conversation area with deeply upholstered couches, easy chairs and oversized cocktail tables. Cordoned off, the forward section holds a broad breakfront cupboard for glassware storage and also the 42” plasma TV which rises on command.

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    Madura Gold granite countertops, stainless steel, and satin-finished cherrywood cabinetry sport a flair seldom seen in a ship’s galley. However, Barchetta is also totally committed to fine meal preparation, with the latest innovations in cookware ranging from professional grade, double refrigerator-freezers and dishwashers to a view that would have guests offering to help with clean up duties.

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    Barchetta’s office reverts more to business style, showing straight grained cherrywood paneling on walls and cabinetry. The desk and chair also reflect standard propriety, to a degree. However, Art Deco paintings and sculpture are immediately served up in the fairy motif, as is the magnificent overhead lighting treatment.

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    At forward on the main deck, the full beam Master Suite grants magnificent ocean and interior views with a spacious and spectacular living arrangement. Swathed in delicious cherrywood wall coverings and illuminated by dark pink highlights, the master is complete with vanities and dressers. It features walk-in closets, both his & hers, separated on beam sides of the room. There is a small conversation grouping at one side and a 42” TV with the complete entertainment package facing the king-size island berth.

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