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Review: Feadship 223' "Lady Christine"

Discussion in 'Feadship Yacht' started by YachtForums, Oct 24, 2010.

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  1. Feadship 223' "Lady Christine"
    Heir Apparent Successor to the Throne

    by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy​

    A legend often stands alone. Adding to, or indeed surpassing one, is never a simple challenge. Designing, building and delivering superb yachts is like a fine art. Requirements, tenets, performance must be observed in the creation of excellent seagoing vessels. However, Feadship has accomplished this rare feat again and again in the luxury yachting world. And while its own excellent creations continue to set new pinnacles, the acclaimed builder has now launched yet another yacht to be noticed, admired, praised. She is the pristine “Lady Christine.”​

    On many occasions, the design pinnacle is very much influenced by long-experienced yachtsmen-owners. Here too, with many successes to their credits, Lord and Lady Laidlaw, owners of previous super-class yachts over a lifetime of motor-yachting-sailing dedication, have chosen Feadship. Again. This titled yachtsman, world-class sailor, offers the builder his highest praise, affirming the Royal Dutch Shipyards as the paramount super-yacht producer. The Lord’s numerous international sailing-racing escutcheons and ownership of super-yachts attest to his competence in measuring nautical operational achievement.

    Designed by De Voogt Naval Architects, with interior by British firm Rodney Black; with a bow to Art Deco, owners Lord Irvine and Lady Christine Laidlaw also became deeply involved in the vessel’s configuration throughout. They signed off on every detail, which they charmingly concur, comprised “hundreds of drawings” large and small; but each of utmost importance to them for their new yacht. Those particulars included even infrared sensors, so the especially designed electric doors do not snap shut on their pet doggies, which travel with them everywhere. Four days were in fact spent at Harrods Department Stores choosing “just right” fabrics for interiors.
  2. Then, more involvement was recorded as the Royal Pair were confronted with issues in the ship’s design, such as: (1) Whether to add stairs over the sundeck; (2) Discussions concerning in-yacht traffic at the helm station; (3) If a split-level exterior would incorporate the owners’ observation lounge. Also, (4) Terraces on the main deck; plus (5) Does the Owner’s preference / expertise / situation actually call for an additional helm station? Other: an alternate design must be arranged for the “infinity” swimming pool, so that heavily chemical-rich water will not be splashed onto the decks, damaging the finishes. That knotty problem was solved by inventing a wash-by-jet-spray nozzle which would attain the infinity effect; but with a completely different arrangement / system.
  3. Overhead, viewing the deck arrangement prescribed by Lord and Lady Laidlaw, we see the closely compact, though quite extended arrangement of decks; also a rather curious – from overhead – sunshade, above the cockpit. This ship will sail many oceans after the conclusion of its build in the Netherlands – and visit many countries, many seas. We note the exterior ‘stepped’ profile of the yacht – and on-high, her massive Sat-Nav bulbs. Seen in this image, Lady Christine's tender, which normally occupies the garage, is set atop the dedicated heli-deck, a facility that is regularly used as Lord Laidlaw enjoys flying a helicopter himself. To augment Feadship’s signature building plans, her hull design was altered with a somewhat more tumblehome transom and a series of “faux” windows to present the design sequence in tune with her profile.
  4. High atop at her Flybridge, delicately carved, patterned teak decking leads stern-wise to covered or open seating. Personal design effort by the Royal Couple is seen throughout. Their involvement in the construction particulars, by the way, is completely justified and arises from a long and varied personal history in yachting. They have previously built and cruised two major motoryachts both by Dutch builders as well; plus highly certified in ocean sailing-racing; so they are justifiably warranted, operating in comfortable territory with Feadship. A further alteration: the ship’s funnel (tower) was repositioned on the top deck, providing open space to allow a helicopter landing.
  5. Also high up on the top deck, a novel, two-seat, hydraulic helm that raises from a weatherproof console with lid, so the Owners may rule their waterborne Kingdom along with the Captain. The couple’s motor yacht history notes a previously owned 131’ Feadship “Seaflower,” a 124’ Heesen; plus a 164’ Oceanco; as well as several excellent racing / sailing yachts, each named “Highland Fling.” All of which certainly anoints them as experienced seafarers, able to chart their own course in design preference as well as salty paths to follow.
  6. Creativity of design follows even onto Lady Christine’s sun-deck, where a series of deck furniture, outdoor couches, lead to a startling example of creativity; mirroring perhaps, a voyage they can’t forget. It’s called the “Key West Room.” A fully windowed, round haven with a pointed roof, unlimited 360° visibility, set atop the ship’s highest deck. Here the Owners spend much of their time when cruising, along with numerous guests. Its huge decorative dining / gaming table, centered under the peaked “crown,” seats ten.
  7. Inside, the Key West Room flashes a striking design, a smile-charged, circus-like frivolity, with 360° visibility through large windows. A sliding hatch covers the crew staircase. Yet, the relaxation mode’s core displays more than a simple glass-topped table. Its platform, weighing 880 lbs., is carved from a giant teak root, adding a stainless steel base. It marks the nucleus of a delightful, multi-colored design motif on gaily-patterned, circus-like tufted drapes; elegant, reedy chairs as well, over white velveteen carpeting. Glittering teak finishes reflect and emphasize the informally centered gathering space, which Lady Laidlaw sportively refers to as the “shoes-off center.”
  8. Lady Christine sports another unusual takeoff: Just below the sundeck, centered, is the raised, Owner’s deck. In the original design, this was the wheelhouse location, but to the enthusiastic Royal Pair, it seemed to offer the perfect place for an Observation Lounge. So a special, individual design was created, in that the wheelhouse – Bridge – was relocated, down one level, and the forward part of that deck became the Owner’s Observation deck, above the wheelhouse. That plan worked out quite pleasingly, suiting all concerned, with comfortable couches and all-around windows. Perhaps signifying a growing trend in high-calibre yachting for a more private owner’s area; it also results in the yacht boasting six decks instead of the usual five, for a personal yacht this size.
  9. “Taking it from the top;” this plunging top-to-bottom seagull’s-eye view of the central staircase shows the mastery of highly complicated woodwork and spectacular design sense that characterize Feadship’s masterful Wonderworkers, responding to the Designers’ artistic plan – a dizzying, elegant Whhooo-woo-shh! – top to bottom. Lady Christine gushes, “We absolutely love the stunning new features.” Decorated with faux ostrich and ultra-suede panels and a bronzed steel balustrade, the staircase itself is made of opulent cherry wood.
  10. Note Lady Christine’s Bridge in its alter-location, yet still with still-sufficient altitude for absolute command of the seas. Six large, non-glare screens are spread across the Nav-Com conning display which includes twin radars, full electronics, CCTV and alarm systems at the ever-ready. Two elevated, padded chairs, one each for Captain and First Officer – or the alternate for Lord Laidlaw himself, facing the splendid array of navigation instruments, with complete monitoring of every ship’s function. Backing up the entire array is a “Monitors area” with comfortable seating and snack table for those passengers who crave to keep track of the action as it occurs in the spectacular deep sea.
  11. All business and perfectly laid out on light oak counters, the Captain’s Office is situated just aft of the wheelhouse. In this private, separated area, he has a computer work space and facilities for planning, set only slightly apart from - yet within easy reach - a few steps from the helm station.
  12. Lushly decorated in medium brown and light tan shades, the Owners’ Bath for Lord and Lady Laidlaw is splendidly arranged and roomy with separate twin mirrored vanities/wash basins, set over a pleasantly designed flower leaf motif.
  13. Light grained, striated onyx projects a soft mode throughout the Owner’s Shower, a size easily welcoming enough for two. With a spacious side-sitting area, the inlaid flooring design follows the sunflower theme.
  14. Enormously spacious for a personal yacht, Lady Christine’s Master Bedroom is laid out over stark white, embroidered carpeting, centered in the volumous suite. Floor to ceiling windows provide unlimited vistas on both beams. The interior centers around a raised, king-size berth, with a voluptuous, gold-inlaid comforter. Its headboard, also white, fans out luxuriously against a rich, coffee-brown, leather-embossed background. A huge golden ring swoops round to decorate the ceiling.
  15. Articulating his enjoyment of things adventurous, Lord Laidlaw indulges his Study with mementoes of his triumphs and pleasures. Even the flame mahogany bases of his desk – rosewood with brass inlays – are shaped in ship’s contours, next to macassar ebony inlays in cabinets and stripping; while a lusty painting of roadster racing decorates his wall. That said, his study reserves plenty of room for more trophies, with ample time to indulge his magnificent Feadship prize.
  16. Lady Laidlaw’s Study, at port, takes a quite feminine approach, yet echoing her outdoor dedication to the atmosphere and world-wide causes benefiting the Arts. The room is delicately tinted with grass-green chairs, complementing the polished cherrywood and ebony inlays, and gold leaf. Extensive use of glass, both clear panes and dappled, give the room a quieting, placid denouement.
  17. The Owners’ Aft Deck presents an ideal outdoor dining and party location. Shading overhead, above stripped teak decking, the area offers a large open space for outdoor lunches, soirees, or anytime parties; or simply relaxing to enjoy the scenery. Note the quizzically designed stairway to port; every building item by Feadship flaunts its own interesting character.
  18. A “woven reed look” to the deck furniture, copying almost the exact caramel-almond shades as the teak decking, offers a well-deserved comfort to the eye, even though in crisp contrast to the white accents in walls and stairs. It projects a pleasant outdoor-ish theme, while favoring a neutral, placid, overall mantra.
  19. This close-up illustrates how the modified infinity-pool blends harmoniously with the horizon without spillage, as well as the designer’s cleverness with the design of a hand-hold at the pool’s stairway; a contrived symbol that appears as a Royal Crest engraved in the glass.
  20. So comfortable; her Main Salon seems actually to be a drawing room in His Lordship’s country house. Deeply cushioned chairs and divans, with a coffee table centered for conversation nooks; plus a full edition of books to read in the generous library. Fine Art paintings in gilded frames. Indeed, all the comforts of home or castle, on the bounding main. Overhead is one of the largest recessed domes ever constructed on a yacht. Known as a Vitruvian scroll, the ‘endless’ wave pattern is made from inlays of ebony and maple stretches all the way round and fits seamlessly without a break. Creating this dome meant pushing the limits of the air conditioning ducting, with everything allocated to the edges.

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