Superyacht of the Week: The 54m explorer yacht Steel

Ah! Another research vessel, converted into a superyacht, is what you might be thinking right now. Steel might at first glance fit this description; her Arctic-friendly and bulky exterior could perhaps once have been spotted in the northern fishing harbours of Reykjavik or Hamburg. As it happens, this is not the case with the 54m explorer superyacht, which was launched in 2009 at the Pendennis shipyard in the UK, and designed to cruise the seven seas in luxury, comfort and style.

Steel was custom built by the British yard for an experienced owner who had the vision of creating a go-anywhere vessel suited to latitudes far more north and south than what the conventional superyacht dares to wander. Her ice-classed A1 and MCA approved steel hull not only allows her to do so, but gives her the confidence to sail head-on into unknown territory. Her 5200nm range means she is more likely to run out of provisions before she runs out of fuel.

Steel has been conceptualised to house every imaginable guest feature one would expect from a modern superyacht. Liebowitch & Pritchard made full use of her grand exterior deck spaces when designing the vessel. On the top deck guests can relax in a number of outdoor spots designed to offer maximum privacy while at the same time creating the feeling of openness and uninterrupted living spaces. Two large sunbathing areas are placed fore and aft respectively, each able to be covered by its own canopy, should the sun turn too intense.

These two sunbathing areas are separated by a deckhouse structure that houses a large on board gym and steam room. This is the perfect location for guests to enjoy an early morning workout without disturbing others on board, in an environment as elegantly decorated as every other interior guest area.

Moving down to bridge deck, Steel’s spacious exterior areas are continued with a beautiful setup of classic wooden deck furniture, covered by a canopy which still allows some light through, creating a calming outdoor area where guests can relax and slowly start the day with a light breakfast. It is here where steel houses either one of her two tenders; a 9m custom Hinckley Talaria in the same moss green shade as the mother ship, or a go-fast 10m Zodiak tender fitted with two 350hp inboard engines. With the tender removed, the aft deck transforms into another sun bathing space, with guests able to unwind in the large Jacuzzi.

Forward on the same level, one finds a tucked away an informal dining area, ideal for escaping the remaining guest areas to enjoy some quite time while at anchor, or simply experiencing the wind through your hair while cruising into port.

The main deck aft is Steel’s ultimate outdoor meeting area, consisting of a large exterior lounge area and a 10 seating dining table, both with easy access to the main salon inside. The high steel bulwarks offers excellent protection from wind and other elements, with the use of old-school deck head lights and an abundance of varnished wood continuing the traditional feel on board. A beautiful central staircase, reminiscent of classic luxury liners, takes one back up to bridge deck aft.

Liebowitch & Pritchard were tasked with the design of Steel’s interior, and managed to immediately have one whisked away to a previous area upon entering. The main salon on main deck is decorated as the ultimate gentleman’s lounge, and finished in a warm tone of Cuban mahogany panelling, with woodwork done partially by Pendennis and partially by a workshop in Holland. Rich fabrics and oversized leather couches inspires an elegant nautical theme with a warm and cosy atmosphere.

Further forward on main deck a formal dining area provides the ideal setting for evening meals with family and friends. The high deck heads allows for a grand chandelier to lend the space a dramatic effect, as was commonly found on 1900’s cruise liners. Service by crew is made simple with a centrally placed pantry from where all guest areas on this deck can easily be reached.

On the upper deck above, an intimate indoor/outdoor dining lounge is situated where guests can enjoy hot summer’s brunches while still enjoying the good weather outside. Located on the port side, this space leads directly out to the aft deck where further guest amenities await.

Steel houses accommodation for 12 guests across her 6 cabins. All guest cabins are twin bed arrangements, with the exception of the master suite, which features a large double bed. The attention to detail found in the sleeping quarters is what truly sets Steel apart from other classic explorer yachts. The master suite has been styled as a homely space where one can retire in comfort and style. The cabin features plenty of storage options, perfect for the vessel’s long distance cruising character.

The en suite bathroom in contrast to the suite is brightly styled with a large white bathtub and white club style leather seating area.

On lower deck, the remaining five cabins can be found, separating the crew cabins up forward, and the engine room aft. Each of the two single bed cabins houses their own en suite bathroom, with adequate light provided by a porthole in each compartment.

Steel’s bridge is fitted with advanced navigation, control and surveillance equipment to ensure safe passages and ease of navigation. Fitted with new Naiad zero speed stabilisers, Steel is to offer her guests a comfortable and safe experience while underway or at anchor.

Specifically designed as a no-nonsense explorer yacht, Steel is fitted out to just as easily be used as a pleasure yacht. And now for the first time since her launch, she is ready for a new owner, wanting to look beyond the horizon.

Steel is currently for sale through Ocean Independence, at an asking price of EUR 29,000,000.

By Charl van Rooy



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