SuperYacht of the week: Harle, uncompromisingly beautiful and gracious
Recently honored with the Best Power 40m-65m award 2008 by the International Superyacht Society, the 44.65-meter (146’ 6”) Feadship Harle is a motoryacht of uncompromising beauty and grace. Built by Feadship/Royal Van Lent, this superb vessel completely validates the ideas behind the custom-series F45 Vantage concept.
The client did not have to wait years to own a Feadship and could benefit from a proven platform of excellence. At the same time, the personal choices made by Harle’s owner have resulted in a trophy-winning yacht that has already proven a highly successful charter boat. In this sense as in many others, Harle is the very definition of teamwork.
Harle was built for a first-time owner, one of the groups of potential clients that Feadship had in mind when developing the F45 concept. “Knowing that we had already addressed the technical and engineering parameters, Harle’s owner could focus on the aspects that he enjoys,” explains Feadship America President Francois van Well. “This allowed him to ensure that the interior décor and atmosphere, the layout and the use of space seamlessly match his intended use of the yacht, and that of high-end charter guests.”
Like her F45 predecessor Space, launched in 2007, Harle synthesizes all of Feadship’s expertise in design, construction, engineering, systems and materials. The hull, superstructure, bulkheads and exterior styling are set within the F45 platform. “The entire setup makes it very easy for clients, giving them the assurance that only Feadship quality can offer,” adds Van Well. “Harle’s owner desired a boat on which he could travel the world, relax, host parties, hold board meetings, and cruise with friends. He wanted all this in one yacht, and the F45 concept was developed precisely with this degree of flexibility in mind. It addresses the fact that many of today’s owners and their guests spend most of their time outdoors, as a less formal, holiday home philosophy becomes increasingly prevalent.”
While Harle validates the F45 concept, she is different from her predecessor Space (and the third F45, TV) in countless ways. This emphasizes the exceptional options for personalization within the custom-series approach. Technical sophistication is the name of the game on Harle, with large high definition LCD flatscreens plus HDMI inputs in all living areas. These team up with a sophisticated Bose surround sound audio-visual installation and Apple TV to offer a vast library of music, movies and games.
Should guests prefer to listen to or watch their own media, iPod docking stations are installed throughout the yacht. Harle also carries an unprecedented virtual gallery of high definition digital art, offering the choice to display at the touch of a finger some 8,000 masterpieces from 150 artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso and Monet. The IT setup is equally high-end, with a comprehensive WiFi network that offers full broadband connectivity. There are dozens of strategically placed power-over-Ethernet jacks and a state-of-the-art Cisco VoIP system.
All in all it is clear that Harle’s owner has embraced the way the F45 concept offers a world of comfort and convenience. “I love the meticulously considered ideas such as the way the multipurpose bridge deck lounge morphs into so many different spaces,” he says. “One day we can hold a dockside party for 150 guests, the next morning I might chair a business meeting in the same space, which later on equally could be transformed into a lounging area to unwind with friends.”
“Overall, Harle is a very comfortable holiday home. Relaxing in the Jacuzzi, taking in the 360-degree seascape while cruising in beautiful spots such as the British Virgin Islands, you feel like you are sitting on top of the world. The open spaces and large windows reflect my lifestyle and taste, and Harle is a extraordinary place on which to relax or entertain. Thanks to the fact that guests have their suites in such prime locations, with the same views as the lounge, they often retreat there to watch a movie, listen to some music or read a book. And then we all come back together as a group and you can see what an incredibly smart set-up this is.”
The F45 concept offers a choice between four highly distinctive interior styles: Monaco (informal French), Milano (modern), Nautical (traditional) and Miami (classic art deco). Harle’s owner opted for the latter look, with light wood panels in bird’s eye maple and dark mahogany divisions clearly defining the onboard spaces.
Created by Sinot, the interior deploys architectural shapes with elements of symmetry and order that further emphasize the rich and colorful detailing, leathers and marbles. Highly contrasting materials and an austere style convey a sense of clarity. Curved shapes and filleted edges enclose the interior, giving Harle a charismatic and friendly feel. The smart yet informal atmosphere is typified by the main deck lounge, which meets the criteria of the owner that people should not feel embarrassed to enter in their swimming attire. One open area of inviting comfort, the nearly full height windows and lowered main deck bulwark allow for great vistas even when seated.
Bathed in light, the omission of the traditional separate dining room liberates space for casual relaxation. Meals are usually served on the sun deck or bridge deck, with a flexible table set-up in the bridge deck lounge on the odd occasion that the weather is inclement. The main deck lounge has a large curved sofa forward for watching TV or relaxing with a good book, while the elegant bar aft is the ideal spot for a sundowner or residing with those playing on the adjacent card table. More drinks and food can be served from the pantry forward of the lounge, and there is also a day head located in the lobby.
Next up forward on the main deck are four surprisingly spacious guest staterooms, each with private bathroom. While the owner’s stateroom normally enjoys the premier position on the main deck, on boats under 50 meters their guests are almost always housed on the lower deck. One of the most exciting aspects of Harle’s layout is that the four guest staterooms are also on the main deck, with great views via floor-to-ceiling windows.
The full-beam owner’s stateroom has an exceptionally high central ceiling, that reaches up to 3.20 meters, and the effect is magnified by a long skylight that makes the room seem even taller. Extending from the bedroom to the bath, this sensational four-by-two-meter glass skylight offers natural light during the day and a wonderful chance to gaze at the moon and stars at night. Privacy is assured when crew members are walking across the foredeck thanks to a window treatment that offers a translucent screen or complete black-out.
While the main deck offers contrasting options for private pleasures, the bridge deck lounge and patio is very much the social heart of Harle. This is thanks to an inventive system of sliding doors and windows, which offers an unparalleled choice of indoor-out options. Here we see clearly the benefits of having an air-conditioning system in the ceiling, which removes the need for vista-blocking side cabinets. The panoramic windows facilitate a true outside-in dining or lounging experience.
The central part of the ceiling is raised to provide optimum spatial perception. On both sides of the lounge, covering the complete height above the bulwark, the windows slide completely forward and expose at least eighty percent of the floor-to-ceiling height up to the open air. The teak floor in the lounge seamlessly blends out onto the aft deck to ensure visual unity as well as functionally fusing the two spaces into one large area. Open up the glass bi-fold doors and the entire area is transformed into an al fresco paradise.
Moving into the engine room and technical zone, it is instantly apparent that, like every Feadship, Harle benefits from an emphasis on mechanical excellence. All the machinery is easily accessible for service and - from pipe runs to pump placement - the entire layout has been thought through to the finest degree. Harle complies with the Lloyd’s environmental protection regulations. Both grey and black water treatment are provided on board, with a large black water holding tank for zero discharge areas.
Music speakers blanket the sundeck for up tempo entertaining or easy listening. A large high def TV screen offers the option of viewing sports, shows or movies in casual comfort, and a stylish, full-size awning can be erected across the aft deck. Finally, the sun deck’s skylight lets daylight into the halls around the central stairway, ensuring that natural sunlight floods the inner parts of this quite superlative yacht.
For those who would like to experience all this in person, she is available for charter through Feadship’s Charter division, which is run from the Feadship America office (see www.feadshipcharter.com).