SuperYacht of the Week: Ocean Mercury, the SL39 revolution starts here

Launched by Koninklijke De Vries Scheepsbouw, Ocean Mercury is the first of a modular customseries concept from Feadship called the SL39. Designed by De Voogt Naval Architects with an interior by Terence Disdale, Ocean Mercury has a classic Feadship look and will be primarily used in the Mediterranean. The owner worked closely with the yard to customize many aspects, creating a family yacht that makes the most of the proven engineering and options offered by the SL39 platform.

The SL 39 is genuinely unique in the custom-series market as it allows for the choice of a completely original exterior style. The only set elements are the hull infrastructure and the technical systems and equipment. Synthesizing Feadship’s decades of experience in the 40-meter size range, the hull design of an SL39 is based on a grid pattern with dedicated zones for the engine room, bridge, crew quarters and stairways.

Within these parameters, owners have a wealth of choices to make ‘outside the box’, and Ocean Mercury’s owner has thoroughly enjoyed being the first client to pioneer this approach in practice. He participated in the development to a very high degree, and has left his distinct imprimatur on many parts of the yacht.

Examples include dedicated traffic flow on the port side for the crew, ensuring enhanced privacy for the owners and guests, and a lengthened hull that freed up deck space by shifting the tender from the aft deck down within the hull. Such logistical details are very rare on boats of this size, and gave Feadship engineers the opportunity to rethink and refine their methods on a smaller scale.

Ocean Mercury is a full-displacement world cruiser with a steel hull and aluminum superstructure. The distinctive Feadship design created by De Voogt Naval Architects is manifested in clear lines, and simple and smooth details. These features combine to create a powerful, dynamic appearance. Ocean Mercury‘s window sections are well proportioned and reinforce the overall lines of the timeless design.

The pre-existing platform underlying Ocean Mercury frees up lots of interior space compared to similar boats. Combined with a wide beam and full-width bridge deck this creates a surprising amount of room for a yacht of these dimensions. This is used to maximum effect in an open and flexible layout. Captain Martin Lilley describes Ocean Mercury as “absolutely fantastic and one of the finest yachts afloat,” adding that “Feadship has fitted more in this 39-meter boat than most would manage in 49 meters.”

Clever technological details onboard Ocean Mercury include a centralized air-conditioning system on the main deck, which eliminates the need for separate fan coil units in each room and frees up space, perspective and layout options. Windows in particular come into their own thanks to the absence of cabinets housing air-conditioning units. This type of feature is highly unusual on boats below 50 meters. The same applies to the fully integrated bridge and many other design and technical details.

Designed by Terence Disdale, the light and contemporary interior is characterized by his trademark tactility, with ribbed and fluted joinery and special fabric paneling. A number of design cues were taken from the 50-meter Feadship High Chaparral launched in 2004. Ocean Mercury has a style which is all her own, however, especially in terms of the harmonious color scheme and flowing and airy atmosphere, which combine to enhance the sense of space. The décor relies on a cream trinity of oak walls, pale fabric panels and hand-woven Indian carpeting, enhanced with other details in different areas.

The main staircase section is organized as a wide atrium running across two decks. This is a truly dramatic feature, open and spacious, and again unprecedented on a 40-meter yacht. The walls here are covered in oak panels in different sizes and with various degrees of ribbing, while the stairwell itself is in glass pearl blasted stainless steel with carpet-covered oak steps and oak handrails.

In the main deck saloon, striking oak and light fabric panels provide the backdrop for comfy loose sitting furniture and a pivoting widescreen TV. The elegant coffee tables and sofa side tables in stained oak are provided by an architect friend of the owners. The pièce de résistance here are two impressive bronze and ivory statues on marble bases, positioned in recesses on either side of the large sliding door leading out to the aft deck. Another eye-catching feature is the plethora of windows with Roman blinds all around.

A tasteful transition from lounge to dining space is provided by a parquet interval in the carpeting as well as by the two red cabinets providing a splash of bright color. The dining room features a table for eight made of rosewood with ebony inlays and comfortable leather chairs, flanked by rosewood cabinets.

The owners’ suite forward of the atrium includes a full-beam stateroom characterized by huge windows and a wealth of pale fabric panels, giving it an especially bright feel. Ribbed oak paneling interacts particularly well with the profusion of light.

The exceptionally large bed is flanked by curved bedside cabinets in zebrano wood, which is also used for the cabinet underneath the widescreen TV; all these details were specially designed by the owners’ architect as were the Roman blinds. A cozy white sofa in the corner is made of leather, as is the cream-colored headboard of the bed, while a white lacquered makeup table to starboard incorporates a hatch containing a mirror and automatic lighting. The owner’s study is a distinctively Disdale design in oak with fabric paneling that centers on the stylish desk, made of walnut with oak inlay.

An abundance of storage space for clothes and personal effects was a specific request by the owner, and is reflected in an intelligent layout of cabinets and lockers in various nooks and crannies, as well as a separate dressing room. The his-and-her bathrooms have pale Corian walls and floors and other surfaces in dark Portoro and pale Botticino marble, and offer great views thanks to the large windows. Floors and mirrors are heated.

The pantry, galley and a technical space housing the air-conditioning unit occupy the central area of the main deck. The galley is linked to the bridge deck pantry by a dumb waiter, and to the crew quarters with a dedicated stairwell, reflecting the smart logistics found throughout Ocean Mercury. The powder room in the main entrance area is finished in refined dark Portoro marble.

Uniquely on a boat of this size, Ocean Mercury’s lovely sky lounge takes up the full beam. Giant windows enhance the already impressive feeling of space, as does the furniture layout. This area includes two built-in sofas aft that free up the central space as well as the centerline axis, two coffee tables in bronze with a wooden top, with two charming seats.

The oak walls are highlighted with pale fabric panels, while the hand-woven carpet is enhanced by a wooden border all around, and the TV cabinet is in walnut. The bridge deck lounge is ideal for all forms of entertainment thanks to the port side pantry and adjacent bar, which features a special lacquer finish and Portoro marble top. The 64-inch TV can deservedly be called widescreen, and be comfortably watched from the aft deck.

The sky lounge opens onto the broad aft deck through a quadruple sliding door, creating one huge indoor/outdoor area with plenty of different seating spaces and options. The sheltered aft deck enhances this feeling and provides plenty of privacy while in port. This outdoor area features two dining tables, one of which can be quickly transformed into two coffee tables.

Ocean Mercury’s wheelhouse contains an integrated bridge, comprising five screens and central programming. The room itself is in oak with plenty of dark brown leather features, including the entire dashboard, window dressing and elevated settee ideal for enjoying the view. The parquet floor of the wheelhouse is enhanced with dark wengé inlay. A comfortable double captain’s cabin is adjacent to starboard.

The guest staterooms are entered through a charming octagonal lobby, which accentuates the spaciousness of the stairwell, not least thanks to a full-length mirror on the aft wall. In keeping with the winding stairway, this area is characterized by rounded details. There are four guest rooms which can be rearranged into two large VIP suites with lounges. The décor here reflects the overall themes of Ocean Mercury, with oak walls, lots of pale fabric paneling and Roman blinds, as well as a few highlights in the shape of specially lacquered furniture.

Ocean Mercury houses her crew in three cabins forward, including a slightly larger one ideal for the engineer. They feature a high standard of finish and plenty of space, reflecting the necessity of good accommodation for attracting and retaining top-quality crew. The engine room is located amidships, with a lazarette flanked by two technical spaces aft. Very large and practical, these areas ensure a comfortable and convenient working environment for the crew.

A related feature is the excellent working space for the crew in the forepeak, which houses a spacious bosons store for sun pads, fenders and the like. It is evident that the working environment on Ocean Mercury has not been sacrificed for the sake of increasing guest volume. Ocean Mercury’s crew also enjoys a mess and separate laundry room on the lower deck.

The main five-meter tender is stored in the lazarette and comes as standard. The transom hatch lowers to form a swimming platform and can pivot beyond horizontal to facilitate launching of the tender. The two technical spaces here include other technical installations and systems, and provide room for diving equipment and the like. The MOB boat and extra wave runner are stored on the fore deck.

Intended primarily for use in the Mediterranean, Ocean Mercury is crowned by an accordingly multipurpose sundeck. The owner was very involved in the design of this area, which is distinguished by a wealth of built-in furniture providing a very solid feel. There are three distinct atmospheres here: A flexible aft area for sitting, which comprises mostly loose furniture, a central shaded area ideal for snacks or lunch, and a forward area devoted to sunbathing with a large whirlpool tub.

Ocean Mercury represents the top of the line in terms of onboard equipment and machinery, and is exceptionally comfortable at sea.

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