The World's Most Outrageous Yachts
Forbes - July 14th, 2011
This 197-foot pleasure cruiser—which Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and his family recently chartered for $850,000 a week through the Luxury Yacht Group firm—is chock full of regal amenities. But its coolest draw is technological: It’s got a custom-made (and customizable) iPad app that allows passengers to control everything from the entertainment and climate systems to blinds and lights in their cabins through a mere tap on their touch-screens (14 iPads are available onboard).
Originally published on Forbes.com
P. Diddy sails on $850,000-a-week superyacht controlled by iPad
January 06, 2011|By George Webster for CNN
What do you get when you combine the latest superyacht with an Apple iPad? Answer: The world's most exclusive app.
Custom-made software from German luxury yacht firm Lurssen gives passengers control of everything but the captain's steering wheel -- all with the most leisurely brush of their iPad.
"Solemates," the first pleasure yacht to carry the technology, is currently playing host to flamboyant rap tycoon Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, girlfriend Kim Porter and their daughters D'Lila and Jessie, confirmed the yacht's charter firm.
Using complimentary iPads, the millionaire mogul and his family will have control of all the shipboard entertainment and climate systems, the blinds and lights in their cabins, and could even have their Pina Coladas topped-up at the tap of an icon.
"You won't find this app for download in the Apple store any time soon," said Rupert Connor, central agent from chartering firm the Luxury Yacht Group. "The captain hands each guest their own iPad when they board, which they get to keep for the entirety of their trip."
Connor, whose company is responsible for leasing "Solemates" on behalf of its owner, says that guests are given the option to customize the app's homepage to suit their preferences.
"For instance, if we have a client who we know is a music industry bigwig, then we'll program the app's homepage to have a prominent shortcut to our high-speed media server's music library, and we'll do our research to make sure we have all the music they'd want to listen to."
At $690,000 a week, plus expenses (which Connor conservatively puts at a further $150,000), the super-rich certainly get more than a glorified remote control when they step on board.
Aside from ultra-lux furnishings, a bounty of Jacuzzis and enough flat-screen LCD panels to tile a roof, Connor says "Solemates" also lets guests keep fit in style.
"We've a top-of-the-range al-fresco gym on board, but if you prefer keeping in shape on the dance floor then it converts into a disco, with an $80,000 integrated light and sound system," he said.
And that's not all. After a round on the inflatable floating trampoline, jet-powered surfboards or James Bond-style underwater "sea bobs," whoever's lucky enough to commandeer the master cabin can wash off in what Connor believes is the world's first yacht-board aromatherapy shower.
"This is aromatherapy direct from the shower-head," said Connor. "It comes in four different flavors: eucalyptus, pine needle, citrus, and peppermint."
However, beyond the high-tech toys and luxury linens, the gizmo-clad superyacht's greatest asset is its crew, says Connor.
"We've an amazingly experienced crew which includes a chef who's worked in some of the best restaurants in Paris and England, a stewardess who speaks five languages and another who is also a cardiothoracic nurse."
After blowing just shy of $1 million in a week, let's hope she's on standby when Diddy sees the bill.
Charter Yacht Solemates: Now Available in the Caribbean
January 9th, 2012
Yachtstore charter broker Gina Robertson was recently chatting with Capt. Andrew Johnstone of the 200-foot LürssenSolemates. He tells her that Solemates is currently docked in Saint Maarten and eager to book a couple of last-minute charters between now and early February in the Caribbean.
“I was onboard Solemates a year ago, right after she launched from the shipyard, and I love her as much now as I did then,” Robertson says. “She has a phenomenal interior décor. It is contemporary, but welcoming. It is modern, but not cold. It’s just fantastic, and so is the crew—including the new chef who recently came onboard. He previously spent nine years working in Michelin-star restaurants in Spain and Germany. The reviews of his food are out of this world.”
Solemates just completed a holiday charter and is looking to book at least one or two more charters in the Caribbeanduring the next four to six weeks. The weekly base rate is €340,000 for 12 guests in six cabins. There are 15 crew onboard.
Solemates offers a great number of fun amenities including a sundeck that converts into a proper discotheque, with laser lights and all. There are also water toys galore, as well as golf clubs with biodegradable balls to hit into the water.
Published on www.yachtstore.com
Boat International - February 2011
IN TODAY'S WORLD OF WATERBORNE OPULENCE,
LURSSEN'S 60 METRE SOLEMATES MASTERFULLY
EXUDES ELEGANCE, SIMPLICITY AND POWER.
Everything about Solemates is new, even though she is actually sixth in a line of Lurssen 60s, but much of the'newness' can be attributed to Lurssen's policy - in thoroughly sound Germanic fashion - to benefit from development and pass the results onto the customer. The crew is also new and, with sound experience intheir own trades, came together at very short notice to make everythingwork successfully.
Behind nearly every yacht of this size and importance is a story, and Solemates is no exception. Hers started almost three years ago, whenshe was laid down by Lurssen on behalf of the original client andnamed Katie Sue II. At some point quite late in build, work was discontinued under the name of the first client, but Lurssen decided tofinish the project as previously planned.
Meanwhile, Kevin Callahan of Moran Yacht & Ship had been working with the owner of the first Solemates to find a replacement yacht forhim, but second-hand. After considering the 61 metre Lurssen-built Phoenix I, the owner reviewed the specifications and materials on Katie Sue II and flew to the yard to inspect the vessel last May. Confident in the yard's and designer Glade Johnson's ability to finish the yacht to his satisfaction, the owner signed the contract to take delivery of the former Katie Sue II under her new name, Solemates.
Glade Johnson had been engaged from the outset to design the interiors for Katie Sue II and, from what the new owner had seen, the overall effect was perfectly suited to his finishing her as Solemates. He was, however, keen to make a few changes, one of which involved installing an electric sliding door and relocating walls in the owners' study. As Lurssen's Jan-Eric Oetken recalls with a smile, 'We had literally just put in the last couple of screws when the order came to teareverything out and start again. He did, however, admit to liking therevised version better.
Like her predecessor, Solemates is planned for charter, which maypossibly have been the intention of the original buyer, since GladeJohnson's designs for the interior appear aimed at achieving an effect ofrelaxing neutrality' throughout. Light, soft fabrics and similar materialshave been used everywhere, with a limited range of light and darkwoods, plus a plethora of beautiful coloured and grained marbles.
Thus, for the owner, the interior became a canvas upon which he hasset his mark - introducing a variety of works of art to give visual andpersonal identity to all areas.
Glade Johnson's title for the interior design concept is 'squared',which defines form, furniture and decor. Even the huge windows asseen from inside are square or rectangular, while the imposing maindining table is a large rectangle composed of a marquetry of squaremacassar panels arranged in an opposing-grain pattern. Burr mapleveneer is the main wood finish throughout the owner/guest areas, withaccents in wenge, anigre and ebony macassar. Straight-grained versionsof these latter woods are used for all freestanding furniture in a variety of attractive styles.
The yacht comprises five decks, the lowest being the tank deck,which contains the crew mess, laundry, linen rooms and other services.Right aft, a garage houses two 7.6 metre Vikal tenders and a pair oftwo-seat PWCs. The Vikals are of a semi-RIB design with deep V hulls,each equipped with a Volvo Penta 300hp inboard diesel driving Hamilton water jets and a bowthruster. They are too long to fit in thegarage so they are arranged so that the first part of the bow hinges up and back for stowage. Launch and recovery of these and the PWCs is via doors set in the hull sides, which frees up the spacious beach deckarea aft.
A door in the transom permits access to the garage from the beachdeck, then it's forward and down to the split-level engine room. Thisspace is so full of mirror-finish stainless surfaces, it looks about fourtimes bigger than in reality. A stairway to port leads up to the engineer'ssoundproofed control room, whose large windows permit clearobservation of the two mighty 2,000hp Caterpillar 3512B mainengines. Two HEM watermakers share this space, together producing 30,000 litres per day, which is more than enough freshwater tocompletely replenish the tanks, so daily washdowns are unlikely toaffect guest consumption.
A striking main foyer stairway connects the three interior decks,dominated by a bold, wenge-clad, three-storey grid wall containinginset panes of subtly textured art glass and mirrors. The design of Solemates reveals a layout ideally suited to charter as well as to familyenjoyment. Understandably, the owner wishes anonymity, so it isinteresting to speculate on how much kindred spirit existed betweenhimself and the commencing owner in the matter of this design.
Considering the intention to charter, it seems somewhat strange that the sleeping arrangements tor guests offer only double beds, withouteven Pullman berth availability. Future charter demand may necessitateconversion to at least a few twin-bedded facilities. Two by two, the guestcabins are mirror images with excellent en suites. Plentiful natural lightaccents the pale, natural fabrics used for the custom bedding and furnitureand plush, stone-coloured carpeting, handwoven by the artisans atGerman carpet-maker Oliver Treutlein. Contrasting headboards are padded leather while walls and cupboards use a burr maple finish toachieve harmony. Especially delightful is the marble in the en suites, usedextensively for the floors, tops, seats, panels and skirtings.
On the main deck level is a foyer to starboard, whose focal point is asmall sculpture. Here, there is access to the owners' apartment forward,the side deck or aft into the dining saloon. In the dining area, a charmingfeature comprising 18 lamps arranged in groups of six, each with squareparchment shades, are suspended on three rectangular frames abovethe table. The effect is cosy and intimate. Substantial sliding doors closeoff the area for formal dining. The rest of the space is given over to themain saloon, with no less than 14 windows plus sliding glass accessdoors to the aft deck.
Forward through the sliding door is the owners' suite, beyond a day head and study - the space that incurred the most drastic changes to the original brief for Katie Sue II. A sliding door accesses the suite, which is delightful and, thanks to the uniformity of designer-specified materials, is similar in decor to the guest accommodation.
The upper deck is really something special. The stairway foyer is anenclosed space with several doors, one of which leads to a fifth guest cabin, which is unofficially designated as the VIP. A door forward leads via a shortcorridor to the bridge, past the ship's office and captain's cabin. Doors oneither side of the bridge open on to wingstations and a walkaroundPortuguese bridge. Solemates is 'paperless bridge' ECDIS compatible, having not just two separate systems but three. In fact, redundancy is prevalent,with tertiary systems of all kinds throughout the boat.
Aft, a multiplicity of windows offer stupendous view potential fromthe upper saloon; there is a bar to port faced by a comfy sofa tostarboard, while further aft another games table forms a link with themain lounge area. An arrangement of inviting armchairs, sofas andcoffee tables has been grouped so as to focus on the enormous televisionon the starboard side. Outside aft is a further abundance of armchairs,a big sofa and a circular table for alfresco dining.
When visiting the sun deck, one must be prepared for a fitness session, because the heart of this deck is the ship's gymnasium. Those who are not into the fitness thing can take heart, since the gymnasium only occupies the middle section - there are numerous options forsunbathing and relaxing.
All decks are generous and beautifully crafted and, although main side deck access forward is restricted by full-beam accommodation (normal practice today), the decks are easy to use. One very nice touch is the gallery deck, which runs around the bow, leaving the windlass free for the bosun's crew to work. Another is the removable bar in thescuppers, allowing a crewmember to get a view of the weighing anchor. Yet another is the exhaust outlet for the emergency generator forward, disguised as a fairlead. Finally, the bosun's locker opposite is fitted out with a workbench and is also the escape route from the owners' apartment. The deck below, and the deck below that, are huge stowage spaces. In fact, most crew commented that this is the most stowage conscious boat they have worked on.
In the end, despite the alterations to the interior design, the LurssenShipyard still managed to meet the originally agreed-upon delivery date,which permitted the owner to join the vessel in Italy for the maidenvoyage. Elegantly designed and intelligently laid out, Solemates is abeautiful and capable yacht, on board which both charterers and her owners may feel both confident and proud....
Published originally in Boat International 2011 issue number 2
Captains & Their Toys
SuperYacht World, Issue 18
Solemates: What's in your Garage? Two Vikal custom tenders; a tender equiped as a rescueboat; two Yamaha three-person Waverunners; two SeaBobs; six sets of diving gear; lots of fishing gear; two power surfboards; golf clubs with tee box and biodegradable balls; two tandem kayaks; water trampoline;towable banana; three remote-control raciing sloops; waterskis; wakeboard; towable tubes (lots.
Which is most popular with guests? They are all popular, but the one that they all want to try is the powered sufboards as most guests have not seen one of those before.
Which toy causes you the most problems? Thankfully, everything on board this yacht is new so we haven't had any major difficulties with the toys yet, but the SeaBobs regularly remove swimsuits and cause the most embarrassment!
What toy would you like to have? We are very spoiled. If I want a new yow, the owner tells me to buy it and have it on board as soon as we can. Our mandate is to deliver to guests the ultimate charter yacht experience.
What new toys can you imagine in the future? I think that personal submarines have the most potential. Something that only goes down 60ft or so where the light is good and can be operated with minimal training we be great fun - I think of it as an enclosed SeaBob. See entire article here.
The iPad Invades Superyachts
SuperYacht News, 13 December 2010
We rather suspect that Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, had little idea of the impact his company’s iPad device would have on the SuperYacht World but as we tour superyacht shows around the world we cannot help but notice the iPad has already sets its make in the SuperYacht Business and is about to get bigger as more and more developers write apps for the natty little gadget. Remember when super salesmen sold news paper download and enormous printers to superyacht Captains just so that their owners could read the newspaper at breakfast. Forget it the iPad has got that covered with its daily selection from all the top titles from around the world. Remember when staying in a guest cabin aboard a superyacht while on a charter you struggled with the device to control the entertainment system? Try and load Sense and Sensibility onto the TV and first, the blinds went up, then the lights went on and the air conditioning plunged the temperature below sub zero as you tried to get the hang of how to use the handheld device. By the end of the two week charter you had mastered it but fact is, you will have used a lot of cuss words in the meantime! Well now you can forget that too! Superyachts such as Solemates the 60 metre Lurssen new build have thrown away the concept of complicated communicators and have instead opted for the iPad. Captain Glynn Smith the yachts Captain hands each guest his own iPad upon joining the yacht. It is theirs to keep while they are guests. Using the single device they can read the paper, watch a movie on it or instruct the TV in the cabin to display it on the big screen. They can lower the lights in the cabin, raise the curtains in the morning to watch the sunrise and can when out on deck use the device to call one of the yachts ever attentive stewardesses in order to request.
This story was also featured on:
|Luxuo||Luxury Launches||First Mate Yacht Care||Elite Choice|
|And many more...|
Show Boats International
Motor Boat & Yachting Cover
Megayacht News Onboard: Lürssen's Solemates
Written by Diane M. Byrne
November 15th, 2010
“It should be home-like.”
That’s the philosophy of Glade Johnson, the renowned designer, when it comes to a yacht’s interior design. His simple words are particularly fitting in this era of super-size superyachts, where TV lounges are ballroom-like spaces aboard some vessels. Indeed, the sheer size of some yachts makes it all too easy for rooms to become overwhelming and the yacht to lose intimacy. And when you think about it, shouldn’t a yacht be intimate? It’s a private retreat, an escape to be enjoyed with a handful of close friends and family, not half the continent... so, as Johnson so simply put it, why arrange the spaces any other way?
A good example of Johnson’s philosophy is the Lürssen-built, 60-meter (197-foot) Solemates, delivered this past summer. Commissioned by experienced owners, she’s a step up in volume from their previous same-named yacht, a 52-meter (171-footer). Collectively, they, Johnson, and Lürssen have ensured that Solematessteers clear of being overwhelming and embraces some practical touches that those of us living on land can appreciate.
Take, for example, the casual lounge, a.k.a. the skylounge. There’s the customary TV rising from cabinetry opposite the seating area... but not a traditional pop-up. Rather, the television rises just enough to enhance the movie-watching experience. This is sure to be appreciated by those sitting elsewhere in the room, since the unit doesn’t dominate. There’s also no need to raise the television in the first place. As you can conclude from the photo below, the screen is visible even when it’s in the down position. It’s been quite some time since I was aboard a yacht that didn’t treat TVs as if they were eyesores, in need of being hidden more often than not. When you think about it, given the increasing popularity of wall-mounted televisions, clearly not every household hides them away, either.
Also like many fine homes, and nearly all yachts this size, Solemates has an office in the owner’s suite, forward on the main deck. Since the yacht started as a sistership to Linda Lou, the suite’s original layout included a passage bypassing the office. The owners and Johnson didn’t find this practical, however. They changed the configuration to let the owners instead walk through the office to access the bedroom.
The practical touches also extend to the crew’s needs. Since Solemates can accommodate 12 in the owner’s party or a charter party, the crew requested that the galley have counter space able to hold that many plates simultaneously. It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many megayachts don’t allow the chefs and stews to stage that number. Now, don’t misunderstand... the point is not that the shorter and narrower counters, like the one from Linda Lou’s specs, are a hindrance. It’s just that they’re just not as handy as they can be. Johnson therefore designed a longer and wider—two plates’ worth—countertop. The chef is quite happy with the results, as well as the abundance of stowage here and below decks (extra dry stores, plus walk-in refrigerators and freezers).
One of the most significant examples of sensible design is something most visitors aboard Solemates won’t see, yet it’s become a trademark of Lürssen’s. It’s access to the backs of the washers and dryers in the crew area. A door adjacent to the machinery reveals steps up to a nearly full-standing area behind them. Lürssen recognizes that equipment only gets maintained when it’s convenient to reach. Related to this, fires occur in homes due to lint vents failing to be cleaned... no need to risk that out on the ocean.
Even with the emphasis on sensible design, Solemates still reflects the idea that a little flair is good for the soul. To that end, the gym converts to a disco. In addition, the woods and other decorative materials used throughout command attention yet without screaming for it. Medium-tone maple burl, anigre, and wenge are combined in nearly every area, sometimes as flooring. The names of some of the onyxes and marbles employed hint at their vibrancy: names like Cappuccino and Fantastic Opera. There’s an abundance of artistic glass aboard, too.
Here’s more of Solemates, including looks at some of her five guest staterooms, the owner’s suite, and both indoor and outdoor relaxation areas. Article from www.megayachtnews.org
Dockwalk November 2010.
Charter yacht Solemates' crew were featured on the cover of the crew magazine Dockwalk.
Luxury Yacht Group acquires new 200 foot Lurssen, Solemates
SuperYachtWorld, 15 October 2010
Unveiled in Monaco, Solemates, a brand new 200 foot Lürssen will crown the fleet of yachts available for charter worldwide through Luxury Yacht Group.
Solemates can accommodate up to 12 charter guests and spans four deck levels, including its sun deck, fitness room, mosaic bar and dining areas. Onboard, charter guests are catered to by a 15 member crew, with expertise in the fine dining, libations, and impeccable white glove service, providing 'unadultered entertainment and relaxation'.
Solemates is a charter for the Mediterranean in the summer months and the Caribbean for the winter season.
President of Luxury Yacht Group, Rupert Connor said "Unmatched in class, beauty, and with a world renowned crew, Solemates is an epic addition to Luxury Yacht Group's charter yachts. The splendor of unveiling this yacht at Monaco was surreal. She is truly a world class yacht, sure to delight the most discerning charter client."
FROM MONACO TO FORT LAUDERDALE, LUXURY YACHT GROUP ENHANCES ITS STABLE OF LUXURY YACHTS WITH SOLEMATES
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA- October 12, 2010- Luxury Yacht Group proudly returns from this year’s Monaco Yacht Show with an additional yachting jewel in its stable of luxury yachts. Unveiled in Monaco, Solemates, a brand new 200 foot Lürssen will crown the fleet of yachts available for charter worldwide through Luxury Yacht Group. Yacht Solemates, with its sleek, elegant Espen Øino exterior and Glade Johnson designed interior warmth and luxury, can accommodate up to 12 charter guests. Her regal accommodations span an immense four deck levels, including its sun deck, fitness room, mosaic bar, and decadent dining areas. Onboard, charter guests are catered to by a 15 member crew, with expertise in the finest culinary delights, libations, and impeccable white glove service, providing unadultered entertainment and relaxation. With no detail left unnoticed or desire unfulfilled, Solemates is not only a premium charter for the ultimate in yachting the Mediterranean in the summer months, but also in the Caribbean for the winter season.
As Luxury Yacht Group maintains offices in both Antibes, France and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, LYG is gearing up for a stellar seasonal transition with Solemates’ finale sails in the Mediterranean and onto the Caribbean. “Unmatched in class, beauty, and with a world renowned crew, Solemates is an epic addition to Luxury Yacht Group’s charter yachts,” said President of LYG, Rupert Connor. “The splendor of unveiling this yacht at Monaco was surreal. She is truly a world class yacht, sure to delight the most discerning charter client.” Taking full advantage of Solemates’ splendor and the backdrop of the Monaco show, the Luxury Yacht Group team developed a unique website for the yacht to showcase its opulence and style. To learn more about the newest gem in LYG’s fleet of luxury yachts, please visit http://www.yachtsolemates.com or contact LYG at firstname.lastname@example.org