Superyacht of the Week: The Asian-Dutch superyacht Star
By Jochem Kaan
The newly built, 42 metre superyacht Star was recently showcased at the 2012 edition of the Hainan Rendez-Vous. She was designed by acclaimed Dutch Vripack and built by Kingship, winner of the Best Asian Yacht Builder-award at the Asia Boating Awards 2012, and with this team the project promises to be a vessel of high standards and perfect quality. The results turned out to more than live up to these expectations.
At first glance, Star boasts a traditional exterior look with lines showing a clean and slightly serious, yet interesting style. With a navy blue hull and crisp white superstructure, her smart and classic silhouette instantly evokes association with a 60's-style superyacht, built for both adventure and comfort. In short: a confident look, that, as we would discover, end up housing modern and refined interiors, with a laid-back and relaxing style.
Star was the first project Vripack showcased as an Asian-built superyacht of this size. As Marnix Hoekstra, Vripack's Sales Director points out, this project was extremely important for them because she is very much a showcase of the company's design philosophy. And this is key when aiming for a newly emerging market such as the Chinese yachting industry, which at the core turns out to be quite untraditional. “The Chinese seem to like that,” states Hoekstra, ”not so much the mahogany teak interiors but much more the contemporary modern interiors”.
The main saloon interior feels sleek, modern and serene, a great example of how minimal blends perfectly well with cozy. This contemporary style is refreshing and consists of a toned down colour palette of carefully selected light, cool and subtle pastels. Her overall alluring ambiance is based on off white and complemented by the natural tones of the full selection of luxury materials applied in every single detail. All this adds up to a main saloon with ample amounts of pleasant character and an inviting atmosphere.
The main saloon is designed around a large, L-shaped sofa with modern lines and clean, off-white upholstery. It's easy to imagine the thickly braided, light grey carpet brushing softly against one's feet, while being comfortably sunken into the alluring pile of plush, retro-coloured, flower-print cushions that invite guests to sit back on the large sofa and relax. A set of brown-suède chairs, eloquently reminiscent of Mies Van Der Rohe's world-renowned Bauhaus-style Barcelona chair, adds yet another modern-classic touch. A large rectangular centrepiece, functioning either as a table or an extra lounge seat, completes this space and transforms it into an area of lounging, relaxing and simply unwinding. Fore of the main lounging area, the dining room can be found.
Unseparated from the saloon, this space is equally modern, slender and soothing, with a long white dining table setting the tone. Surrounded by a set of contemporary grey dining chairs, this area is as elegant as it is light and perfectly suitable for both formal and informal dinner parties. Surrounded by subtle artworks and a noteworthy main lighting fixture, with light gently flowing from behind two organically unfolding ceiling panels, this dining area is a pleasurable and delightfully refined space. The overall interior design seems to relate to all the senses, where the materials have been carefully selected not to break up a delicate balance. With harder materials used for those elements one sees, such as counter tops and ceilings, and softer materials for those that are touched, cabinet doors for instance, all pieces blend into one carefully crafted scheme of modern elegance.
Star's interiors exude subtlety and exclusivity, flowing from a concept that feels harmonious and timeless at the same time. This style is continued throughout every interior onboard, starting with the master suite which is located on the fore man deck. These spacious dwellings, reached by passing the main deck lobby with it's gently curved central staircase connecting all interior decks, is gently flooded with sumptuous amounts of natural light. This creates a soft and light atmosphere, predominantly set in off white colours and delicately enriched with the structures and textures from all luxury materials applied throughout. From carpeting, upholstery and linen to ceilings, walls and cabinets, all blends together to form a soothingly modern surrounding, forming a perfect setup for time spent in modern finesse. The overall lightness starts in the private office and lobby area, which is all minimal, all modern and all white. This room also conveniently functions as a privacy buffer, assuring optimal privacy for the full beam master stateroom, which is a delicately minimalistic domain.
Fore, the large en suite bathroom is true to Star's elegance, with clean modern lines and white and off-whites ruling the colour palette. With the large bathtub, spacious shower area and separate toilet, this sumptuous bathroom completes the master suite in style, with a subtle lighting scheme framing the interior designs while adding dashes of fresh colour.
With a total of 5 guest cabins, Star accommodates a company of up to twelve guests including the owners. With two doubles and two twins located on the lower deck, all equally light, fresh and modern in style, each guest is assured sublime accommodation onboard. All guest cabins have en suite bathrooms, including large shower area, and are framed by ample amounts of natural light. True to Star's style, design schemes are all based on off white tints and minimalistic shapes, with dashes of colour in light and bedlinen personalizing each stateroom and spicing up the ambiance.
Star was designed as an adventurous luxury superyacht, aimed at sailing across the world's oceans. This particularly means that her spacious crew accommodations are conveniently located close to their working areas. The captains quarters are situated right next to the bridge, the engineer's quarters are in direct vicinity of the engine rooms. This assures optimal functionality of crew, while assuring crew ample space and comfort.
The upper deck houses a spacious, informal upper lounge, which is designed in a slightly toned-down, warmer design with higher contrasts found in colour scheme and material palette. One of the room's most dazzling eye catchers is the famous Eames Lounge Chair, executed in a bold, hot red leather upholstery variation. With the plush brown carpet, two large sofas, one of which L-shaped, and natural light flowing in through large windows and big butterfly sliding glass doors aft, the upper saloon is equally comfortable and elegant as the main saloon, with a slightly more informal and snug character and yet another suitable addition to Star's range of possibilities.
A vessel of such style and stature should be fitted with equally lush and spacious exterior areas. This is certainly the case with Star, where the main and upper aft decks are large, luxurious, perfectly equipped and framed with dramatic panorama views. The main aft deck functions as storage for the two available tenders while cruising and turns into an airy, open space for lounging, dining and some after-swimming relaxation. The upper aft deck boasts the main al fresco dining area, with the round table setting an informal ambiance for enjoying great food, elegant company and all around panoramic views. Aft, a large U-shaped fixed sofa and additional set of armchairs offer a perfect setup for lounging, after dinner drinks or intimate get togethers in privacy, comfort and style. Add a couple of sun loungers and the deck's ambiance transforms from lounge-like into sunbathing chic within the blink of an eye.
For those enjoying time soaking up some sun, the stairs leading up from here unfold a sun deck which is a large, private and modern paradise for sunbathing, socializing and relaxing in style. With a fully equipped open bar, large grill, lounging sofas, spacious fore and aft sun pads and the aft Jacuzzi waiting to pamper every guest, this is a wonderful setting in true Star-style.
The sun deck is luxurious, private and fresh, with touches of a retro-classic style, and most importantly, ample possibilities to assure guests a magnificent time stay onboard.
With the successful launch of Star, Kingship have confirmed their reputation in the superyacht industry as a solid, talented and capable partner while simultaneously proving the capacity to delivering top quality vessels at this level. The collaboration between Vripack and Kingship has obviously been a fruitful one, invoking enthusiasm and curiosity as to what other exciting ventures they will come up with in the future.