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Review: Feadship "Blue Moon"

Discussion in 'Feadship Yacht' started by YachtForums, Mar 20, 2006.

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  1. Feadship's 198' "Blue Moon"
    Third Time's A Charm!

    by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy

    If indeed practice does make perfect; and if the “rule of threes” governs the most intricate proportions of the fine arts, Richard and Judi Duchossois have scored a perfect ten with their latest 198’ Feadship, Blue Moon. The third to bear that monogram in a triumph of glamorous yacht building, their treasure yacht has advanced from its storied beginnings through two progressions to arrive at its current pinnacle.

    Their story: They started out some time ago with the 155’ Blue Moon, the yacht they first considered as perfect for them, after an idyllic cruise on a sister ship. Then almost immediately they ordered Blue Moon II, with improvements and revisions of the same basic plan – but at that time, at 166’ the largest all-aluminum yacht in the world by Feadship. And when it was finished they began building their third, just under 200’, incorporating still more of their ideas. Now that yacht – being reviewed here – is a magnificent reality, and there is no word so far, of yet another on the drawing board. This latest design is a continuation/combination of the same elements they began with, all based on the initial premise, but proudly displaying more than a few owners’ tweaks here and there. Throughout, Duchossois’ tenets of comfort, with excellent design themes, are evident. From the top sun deck to the somnolent lower deck, his tastes show the dominance of an owner who wants his yacht to be his home, and to reflect his philosophy of living.
  2. Closely involved with the design, 83 year-old Richard Duchossois believes more progress has been made in yacht design today because of the many technical and electronic advances for more precise navigation, plus also in design and building techniques. Precision engineering has evolved in the past 10 years, he says, and design today, including hull and mold shape, is computer-assisted. He has been particularly impressed by the professionalism and courtesy at Feadship. With the team of Royal van Lent Shipyard, DeVoogt Naval Architects, and interior by Donald Starkey, his ideas and leadership allow Blue Moon to have more functions available, and so ultimately to explore more remote cruising areas. To allow this, one aspect of Blue Moon had to be different... this new yacht’s hull is now steel, with an aluminum superstructure. The combination results in more interior volume for various needs and allows more adventurous, cold water cruising options.
  3. Founded in 1949 upon the encouragement of the Dutch government, FeadShip was formed by Naval Architect Henri de Voogt, Royal van Lent shipyard, and deVries Sheepsbouw, as the First Export Association of Dutch Shipbuilders, based in The Netherlands. The aim was to introduce America’s rich economy to Dutch shipbuilding expertise. Here, a half-century later, their program continues to thrive. Blue Moon’s sleek, yet substantial profile is pure Feadship and in such as that, she reflects Feadship's many decades of naval engineering and expertise. Among some of Blue Moon's noteworthy features are ZeroSpeed stabilizers and bilge keels for stability at anchor. This is augmented by a Veth omni-directional thruster that retracts into the engine room. This aft thruster can be used for docking or yaw control at anchor. Another is the pair of Caterpillar C-9 electronic generators—the first installation on a yacht.
  4. Zooming in on Blue Moon's details, two skylights in the roof of the observation lounge encourage natural light. The forward, half-crescent panel illuminates the forward observation lounge, while the round skylight just aft permits rays to enter the elevator shaft. Located on the bridge deck, one of Blue Moon's tenders is a fully restored 29' Riva Aquarama Special. On the opposing side, a 25' Chris Craft. Both are accessed via a slide-rail, Gantry-style crane. Hinged partitions along the roof overhang and railings permit deployment.
  5. Forward of the bridge, a Portugese settee is protected by a massive deck housing that hides an inflatable RIB and crane. Walking aft on the bridge decks, there are staircases on port and starboard that grant access to the decks below. Six staggered, oval portholes provide views for the main deck master stateroom and owner's office.
  6. At the top of the ship and sure to be a popular hit on the sun deck, a large oval Jacuzzi pool reposes front and center. Surrounded by gaily-striped lounge furniture – chairs and fold-downs – mounted by a teak staircase, the pool bubbles next to a raised sunning area and is protected by a surrounding windscreen and stainless rails. Inlaid strip decking is teak as well.
  7. 180 degree visibility is featured in Blue Moon’s observation lounge on the Sun Deck. An atrium of sorts, it is guarded by huge curving windows and a sliding door. Guests can choose overhead direct light or close the cieling panel for ambient light. The Duchossois's wanted a room that would allow them to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors, one with nature, even when the climate was not favorable.
  8. On the vast, teak-floored sun deck, a pedestal dining table meets a half dozen chairs to offer a dining experience in the open air. This section of the aft deck is shaded by a half-crescent overhang that incorporates a sun & moon portal to illuminate the dining experience. Aft, an array of cushioned seats, crafted from various shades of wood can be positioned for the best vantage point. If you study this image closely, you'll see another Feadship trying Wedge its way into the review.
  9. Another highly unusual and provocative feature on Blue Moon’s Bridge Deck is its attractive “Judi Patio” – named of course after its distaff owner – which can be fully opened or enclosed with sliding glass doors. A marvelous setup for a special party or formal dining experience, with endless variations in or out of the weather.
  10. The bookish aura of the Bridge Deck salon, with luxurious leather chairs and inviting wood décor, lends a natural transition to a quieter mode. Just aft is the library, entirely sequestered for privacy from the social activities, though it features a refrigerator, icemaker and bar provisions. A coffee/gaming table completes the setting.
  11. Just aft on the Bridge Deck, another quiet nook features sumptuously padded easy chairs and a coffee table. Large windows all around, plus light colored wall paneling, lend to a chatty and communicative atmosphere.
  12. Just opposite on the bridge deck, a nicely done conversation nook breaks with the décor theme of warm woods, to provide a corner not unlike a cozy, separate living room, open to any activities... like discussing the various models that are displayed prominently throughout Blue Moon.
  13. Here on the bridge deck, reached by elevator or staircase, through the lobby, a glorious spread of satin finished chestnut, teak, and warm cherrywood in the wheelhouse encloses the heart of the yacht’s control system. Featuring rounded corners, softened fiddles, and a spacious display of instrumentation, the bridge deck presents the total information package for the captain’s courses and decisions. Wide screens extend across the visual expanse with an extensive navigational/electronics array, including S and X-band radars, sat-nav connectors, audio/video racks and audio/video on demand, plus water mist controls for the fire fighting system, and the complete alarm system. Elevated, theatre seating backs-up the bridge for the comfort of onlookers. To keep the captain (or mate) on his feet and fully aware of the surroundings, a leaning post is supplied for the helm, as well as dual desk-size chart stations flanking port & starboard
  14. The winding staircase and tubular glass elevator shaft, coiled through all four levels, add an artistic touch from top to bottom. Much like the skylight found above the dining table on the aft deck, the elevator is illuminated with natural light from above as well. When day turns to night, hundreds of star-like bulbs cast a radiant glow inside the elevator.
  15. The staircase, with intertwining waves of wrought iron, winds around the elevator shaft in four seperate, 90 degree curved sections. The carpet, too, picks up the waves in the railing, all in contrast to mahogony-flame walls lining the perimeter.
  16. Appointed with ultimate taste in cream colored fabrics and patterned carpeting, Blue Moon’s salon attains a decidedly home-like, welcoming aura of silk-and-satin elegance. Each couch and piece of furniture looks to be exactly placed and balanced, lighter materials against heavier/darker wood furniture and tables. Wall moldings and frames are crafted of high-gloss cherrywood.
  17. At the salon’s aft main entrance Blue Moon deploys a hand-crafted model of the famed French square-rigger warship Belle Poule. This item was on display at the Amsterdam Maritime Museum until purchased and presented to Blue Moon’s owners as a present from the Feadship group.
  18. Superbly arranged and luxuriously fashioned, the main dining room flaunts a full length mirror overhead, echoing the glamour of every memorable dining experience. Rich cherrywood paneling and exotic pommelle veneers are featured, as well as a dozen commodiously positioned dining chairs, plus the finest in tableware and crystal.
  19. Blue Moon's well appointed office exhibits models of the yacht’s three various incarnations. Around the central desk are comfortable arm chairs and a classic-style globe on swivels, as well as book cases and office storage. Note the desk is only supported to one side, leaving ample leg clearance around the perimeter.
  20. Not to be left behind are the business necessities. In the owner’s complex life – pleasure is always mixed with business. Today’s conveniences are readily cared for on Blue Moon, such as internet access without an unsightly computer taking up desktop real estate. With a flip-top lid concealing a monitor and keyboard, the owner's screen saver reminds him of everyone else's view.
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