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Southern Spars - North Technology

Orange, lithe, lush and ready for the start of the Sydney to Hobart

by Jeni Bone on 18 Dec 2012
The latest Palm Beach 55. .. ©
The latest thoroughbred from the Palm Beach Motor Yacht stable has just slipped into the water at Sydney City Marina. She is already drawing a crowd of onlookers, captivated by her pearlised, burnt orange hull. She is likely to be a head turner wherever she goes.

Just eight days out from the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, Mark Richards, skipper of Wild Oats XI and owner of Palm Beach Motor Yachts reflects on his two great passions.

'To build a yacht like this takes the 100% commitment of our team’s time and energy, she is our pride and joy.'

This is the owners second Palm Beach Motor Yacht and will make her way to Brisbane after her debut as the pilot boat for Wild Oats XI on Boxing Day.

Sarah Egan, from yacht interiors company, Boat Style, has worked closely with Mark and his team throughout the entire project, to create a suitably lust worthy haven for the new owners.

'It epitomizes the very best boating has to offer. A truly hand crafted, bespoke piece,' she says.

'Working with Mark has been an inspiration for me. His attention to detail and craftsmanship is second to none. Mark is very ‘hands on’ when it comes to all decisions, that’s the difference, that’s what sets a Palm Beach apart.'

According to Sarah, the basis for the colour scheme came from an Hermes gift box. The delicious burnt orange box was all the inspiration needed to give an ‘orange crush’.

'I wanted to create a seamless blend of luxury, lifestyle and performance for the owners. As a designer and boat owner, I try never to lose sight of the functional side of yacht interiors. Fabrics and décor must be beautiful but practical. The water is no place for compromise.'

The range of luxury, performance fabrics used throughout the build is huge. Every one chosen for its softness, richness of tone and suitability to the conditions. The soft furnishings are wonderfully tactile and sumptuous.

First introduced at the Newport International Boat Show in September 2011, the Palm Beach 55 was awarded 'The Best New Motor Boat (over 30ft)'. Each Yacht is styled to suit each owner’s unique specifications.



The layout and interior have been designed entirely to the owner’s unique specifications. She boasts two master cabins, an hydraulic swim platform and tender garage. A sunken bow rider seat, previously only seen on the PB 65 model, provides the new owners with the perfect vantage point for days on Moreton Bay. Upholstered in burnt orange Ultra Leather and Sunbrella fabric throws and pillows.

The saloon dining table has been removed, to allow an open plan lounge area that easily accommodates 12. Large moveable ottomans do ‘double duty’, as both coffee tables and footstools with valuable storage beneath. The handcrafted Burmese teak joinery blends beautifully with the clean, simple lines of the Sunbrella upholstered lounges with chenille pillows and throws and the folly of a palm tree table lamp.

Woven sisal flooring adds that plush under foot feel.

The centrepiece is undoubtedly the helm chair, complete with Palm Beach Motor Yacht’s signature logo and covered in distressed, Ultra Leather. One could be forgiven for thinking that they were at the wheel of a Bentley Continental.

'All the trademark features that have helped rank Palm Beach motor yachts among the finest custom built pleasure boats in the world are present in the new boat: the heartbreakingly beautiful lines drenched in Great Gatsby-era cool.'

Mark has not sailed professionally since launching PBMY but unusually, he has become better known as an amateur yachtsman for his role as skipper of the all-conquering 100ft super maxi, Wild Oats 11. By 2011, it had won 5 Sydney to Hobart races, an Admiral’s Cup and dominated most regattas it had competed in during its 10 years on the water.

Mark’s yachting experience has had a significant impact on the design of his boats ensuring they are as sea worthy as they are beautiful and luxurious.



The Palm Beach Motor Yacht range is inspired from leading edge yacht racing technology and Mark’s experience at the pinnacle of yacht racing in global competition. In applying these philosophies to the design of his classically styled range of motor yachts, he has created a range that offers so much more to the astute boat owner.

The internal fit-out is not unlike that of a high tech racing yacht where the bulkheads and fixed furniture are structurally bonded to the hull and deck further reinforcing the strength and lightweight properties of the hull.

Palm Beach uses Volvo marine engines and Kohler gensets. All engine and ancillary equipment sit atop fully isolated and decoupled engine mounts to reduce noise and vibration. The engine room consists of loaded vinyl acoustic isolation panels, preventing noise from moving outside of the engine room into the boat’s living area.

Palm Beach Motor Yachts is always looking to the future to ensure they stay at the forefront of technology and design. Stability and agility are paramount and uncompromised.

A trip offshore in rough conditions delivers superb performance with a fine bow entry and warped hull, providing outstanding fuel consumption and comfortable cruising speeds. Maneuverability and ease of handling comes through hydraulic steering, electronic gear selection and optional bow/stern thrusters.

More at www.pbmotoryachts.com and www.boatstyle.com.au

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