Party with privacy
In an age when most yacht designers and builders try to maximise sleeping space in anticipation of charter, Predator takes the opposite tack. There is accommodation for just six people in two VIP guest suites and one very large master stateroom. The result of this space saving is a larger number of options for partying and relaxing on-board for the owner and a small number of guests.
Size does matter on Predator and the owner requested that the bulkheads in his stateroom be positioned sufficiently aft to make the stateroom and bathroom a giant single space. Having six virtually full-length elliptical windows either side of the room magnifies the visual impression upon entering.
An office/study area is located to starboard with a Promemoria table made of walnut and ebony framed cabinets with smoked glass. Opposite is a lounge with a giant settee and a flatscreen TV. The bed faces forward with a visual separation is created by four structural pillars encased in Karelian Birch. The ‘glowing’ central ellipse in the ceiling above the bed is a skylight that retracts hydraulically, and this is matched by a dark band in the carpet below. A second elliptical skylight can be found in the bathroom, compensating for the lack of natural lighting.
The carpets in all bedrooms were hand-stitched in Nepal and are made of Muga silk. This is a very rare fabric with strong natural fibres, extracted from an insect species only found in northeastern India. Muga silk is often used to make monks’ robes. Soft goat leather upholstery has been added to the windown frames.
Moving aft, the two VIP guest staterooms feature a tasteful mix of wool and silk around the bottom of the beds, with muted tones keeping the scheme fairly neutral. The back bulkheads are made of leather, with Zebrano pillars on either side of the bedstead. The bed linen has been specially designed to match the ellipse, tying in with the shape of the carpet and the windows.
Predator’s owner had a key demand when it came to hallways: keep the corridors straight. Disappointed with disorienting halls on charter boats, this demand resulted in a centerline concept in the main lounge, with a partly false sliding door. A custom dining table in the lounge splits into two, providing access directly through the dining area into the lounge itself. Keep walking through the four-panel sliding doors to the aft of the outside deck, turn round and there is an unrestricted view all the way through the lounge and main entrance, between the guest suites, right up to the front part of the owner’s stateroom – a distance of about 60 metres.
The dining table is a beautiful piece in its own right, featruing Macassar ebony and faux ivory, with twelve dining chairs made to fit the dominant design themes. That the dining table splits increases entertainment options. There are two curved sofas with a Macassar Ebony base and ledge (for drinks), upholstered in soft chenille with a suede band running around the edging and lots of tactile cushions. Huge square windows that nearly stretch from floor to ceiling afford plenty of natural light.
The bridge deck lounge
A low-key comfortable atmosphere dominates in the bridge deck lounge, which has several distinctive areas that add up to a collective whole of relaxed entertainment. There is an attractive seating area aft made up of giant yellow-green loungers, surrounding another elaborate coffee table made from the trinity of nickel, Macassar Ebony and Zebrano. Again, the chunky bronze features on either side are purely for design, but look closely and you will see that the table houses four foot stools.
One of the key features found in both the main lounge and the boat deck lounge are the large ebony-framed display niches. These contain a wide array of art pieces supplied by the Bannenberg office, as well as artifacts from the owner’s private collection. Although the cases were initially developed to conceal giant engine room air inlet casings, they became a separate design entity as the project developed.
Much of the bridgedeck layout was the brainchild of Predator’s skipper, who was given carte blanche by the owner to optimise the space available in cooperation with De Voogt Naval Architects. The result is a spacious and very functional wheelhouse with a fully integrated push-button bridge created in partnership with Imtech. Captain Drewes reports that the views from the wheelhouse are superb and the thrusters make docking easier than he had anticipated.
The lower deck
The entire lower deck from amidships forward is dedicated to the crew, with nine crew cabins, a galley and mess. Coming aft is Predator’s split-level engine room, some 14 feet high in places. The MTU engines require 200,000 cubic metres of air for ventilation when Predator is at full speed, necessitating custom-built computer-controlled exhaust systems to extract heat out of the engines.
Aft of the engine is a huge garage for Predator’s two tenders, which are launched via the side of the vessel. Known as Predator A and Predator B, the skipper held a contest at De Voogt to see who could come up with an original tender for his original charge. The winner was Jaap van Keulen, who replicated the inverted bow look of the mother ship. Teak decks offer an old-fashioned look, while the blue hulls hint at speed. The “limo” tender (Predator B) is even more distinguished thanks to the use of mahogany at the bow. Predator B also has a retractable windscreen, and both tenders have top speeds of 40 knots and can carry eight passengers.
In-between the two tenders is a portable decompression unit, which all crewmembers have been trained to set up in less than five minutes. Should the need arise this will be inflated in the lazarette, which includes a state-of-the-art diving centre with a special bottle filling machine from Nautilus Underwater Systems. For beach-style fun, the Predator’s lazarette has a bar, sink, fridge, ice-maker, and is fully air-conditioned. The swim platform has been made as large as possible, with two wave riders and custom jet-ski rounding out the toy department.
Predator offers a sensational variety of outdoor entertainment options elsewhere on the boat. The main aft deck is designed to be a foyer/lobby area where guests can relax and have a drink from the bar after coming aboard from the swim platform. The bridge deck aft is one of the social hotspots of the boat. Glass panels are stored in a locker and slide out to create a windbreak. Slots in the ceiling supply cold air, which won’t be required when lounging on the giant sun bathing pads aft. The organic shape of these beds had already been determined but their huge size was decided when the owner quadrupled the sun bed size. The size also makes it impractical to have a table next to the pads to put drinks on so these have been built in to the structure itself.
The same story applies to the sunbathing pads on the sundeck above. Here there is a wet bar under the shade of the mast structure, and an extra windbreak can also be created by sliding glass doors. Forward is a large Jacuzzi and double barbecue.
There is one other source of alfresco entertainment available, but this is of a more daunting variety. Out on the nose of the bow is a small hole in the deck into which a twin seat can be screwed into place, complete with seat belts. Those who dare sit here while Predator is underway enjoy the ride of a lifetime. It is a fitting tribute to the adventurous nature of Predator and her ability to thrill.
Technical specifications – Feadship Predator
Builder: Feadship – Koninklijke De Vries Scheepsbouw
Type: twin screw motor yacht
Build material: steel hull and aluminum superstructure
Length overall: 72.80 m (238 ft 10 in)
Beam max: 11.4 m (37 ft 11 in)
Draught (loaded): 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in)
Fuel capacity: 183,000 l (48,340 gals)
Fresh water capacity: 38,600 l (10,200 Gals)
Naval Architect: De Voogt Naval Architects
Exterior styling: De Voogt Naval Architects
Interior design: Bannenberg Designs Ltd.
Main engines: 4x MTU 16V 595 TE90, 4320 kW / 5793 bhp
Propellers: Rolls Royce Controllable pitch propellers
Propeller shaft: Rolls Royce
Reduction gears: Renk
Stabilisers: two pairs of Quantum Non-retractable zero-speed stabilisers
Max. speed: 28 knots
Range: 5000 nm at 16 knots
Classification: Lloyd’s 100 A1, SSC, Yacht(P), HSC, Mono, G6, LMC, UMS, SCM, IWS and MCA
Air conditioning: Heinen & Hopman
Entertainment system: Van Berge Henegouwen