The Moonen yacht with a remarkable American design story.
We asked the American owners of 36.3m BOTTI about their Moonen 119 Martinique delivered in 2022. Their remarkable story shows how they took Moonen Yachts’ proven Dutch design platform and made it their own. Their close collaboration with the Dutch shipyard and London-based interior designers Studio Indigo resulted in a very American flagship with all the charm, sophistication and architectural merit of an exclusive Palm Beach home.
Since her delivery BOTTI has turned heads during several Caribbean journeys – from the Bahamas to the Turks and Caicos islands. Back through the Palm Beach inlet, BOTTI looks exceptional in the marina. The steel-hulled ship is a beautifully balanced and unique creation that owners Jacelyn and Jack deserve to be very proud of.
From their residence in Palm Beach, not far from where BOTTI is berthed, it becomes clear how the island’s timeless architecture inspired the yacht’s creative design. Jacelyn, a successful real estate entrepreneur, speaks eloquently about Palm Beach’s influence on American society.
“Palm Beach has the most prestigious reputation in America,” she says. “Nothing is more exclusive. Palm Beach has stood the test of time architecturally. Flagler, Mizner, you know they had a vision that has become world renowned architecture. Here on the island, the whole community, the arts, the culture, the shopping, there’s nothing trendy going on here. It’s withstood the test of time.”
BOTTI certainly turned heads during the Caribbean season in 2023. The long-range steel-hull ship made a strong impression. BOTTI demonstrates how owners can enjoy the exceptional quality typical of Dutch superyachts twice her size, but in a marina-friendly format.
A journey of yacht ownership
A yacht like nothing else in the world
With the successful refit project completed, Jacelyn and Jack began thinking about creating a new build to truly express their vision of yachting at the highest level.
“We wanted flexibility in design,” Jacelyn says. “We wanted to be hands-on in the build. That was the most important aspect for us. We wanted a yacht where you could say there was nothing else like it in the world. I wanted it to stand the test of time. In 10 years, I want it to look like it was just built.”
Their shortlist of shipyards was not long. “We wanted substantial customisations and changes that were more complicated than other companies would entertain. You can get the fabrics changed or whatever, but you can’t get the customisation that we were looking for.”
With their hands-on knowledge and years of ownership experience, Jacelyn and Jack understood the Dutch reputation for build quality and soon realized that it had to be a Dutch-built ship.
“We wanted a shipyard with an impeccable reputation. Dutch people have a very strong reputation for building ships. The Dutch yards, you can compare it to a Rolls Royce or a Bentley, because of the superior standards.”
A shipyard with a personal approach
“They’ve taken a Bentley and made a Rolls Royce out of it.”
Starting with a steel hull
Moonen Yachts went to the top of the shortlist. They had build number YN200, the Martinique already under construction, in their sights. Jacelyn and Jack studied the specifications and the arrangements. “Of course the purchase price was important, value for money and what you get for what you pay for. It had to be reasonable.”
The Martinique is unique in her class by offering the Dutch quality, steel-hull comfort andthe high level of customisation that are typically found on much larger Dutch superyachtsof 800 Gross Tonnage or more. The Martinique brings that top-shelf bespoke exclusivityat 345 Gross Tonnage, making her exceptional in a market flooded with productionfiberglass tri-decks. The design appeals particularly to those who want the very best but without having to own a 50-60 meter yacht – a size not always desirable due to existing moorings as well as operational limits such as maximum draft, suitability for cozy marinas and fuel economy.
Along with her award-winning exterior design by Dutch architect René van der Velden,the Martinique offers transatlantic range (4000 miles) with proven ocean-going performance. She has a fast-displacement hull built from strong and lightweight High Tensile Steel, giving her a top speed of 16.5 knots.
“The Moonen people were so experienced.”
Jacelyn and Jack saw the potential in the Moonen Martinique design platform, but knew that significant changes were needed to meet their requirements. They met with theMoonen director and design and proposal engineer.
“The Moonen people were so experienced. When we spoke to them, they were not the least bit fazed by what we wanted. They were like, let us figure that out and get back to you. You know, you’re almost taken a back by their receptiveness and their creativity. For example the Sun Deck. When we took over the project it was already installed, but we wanted it much longer to accommodate an infinity hot tub. So there wouldn’t be a lot of shipyards that would tear apart something already built, but Moonen did it.”
With the purchase completed, Jacelyn and Jack began the exciting process of customizing their build. At the time, the steel hull and aluminum superstructure were in place, but little else. As Jack says, “We got a big piece of formed steel and took it from there.”
Designed for American yachting
Although they wanted to be hands-on in the design, Jacelyn and Jack have busy lives. An advantage of Moonen’s already proven Martinique platform was that Jacelyn and Jack didn’t need to approve custom engineering details for technical systems, piping and machinery. They could focus their time on the features most important to them, such as the deck arrangements, interior design and AV/IT systems.
They relied on the experienced Moonen Yachts team to take care of the build – a convenience that became a necessity as the world was suddenly plunged into the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, their initial trip to see the early stage of the build in February 2020 became their only visit to the shipyard. They would not see their yacht again for 24 months, when it sailed through the Palm Beach inlet.
Jack says that, right from the start, they began customizing the yacht so that it was simple to moor in American linear docks and had all the convenience of an American build, such as domestic power sockets. Jacelyn and Jack, together with Captain Matt, carefully specified what they wanted, sharing their deep knowledge of American yachting with the shipyard. The changes were significant, including structural reinforcements to handle mooring loads.
“What we wanted to do was Americanize the boat,” Jack says. “We got the power sockets added so we really have two sets of juice. Another example is that we added some cleats for mooring on the floating docks they have over here. The whole yacht is really set up for here, so I hope that’s going to help Moonen to sell some more boats in America.”
Custom interior architecture
Stepping on board BOTTI, it’s abundantly clear that her interior is a very special creation. The interiors are bright and cheerful, using plenty of color, patterns and texture. It feels perfectly Floridian in style and BOTTI has a great sense of identity and character to her. A lot of thought, effort and talent has gone into every detail.
The interior design studio attached to the project, London-based Studio Indigo, had already created an interior concept. However, having stepped into the project at the perfect time, Jacelyn and Jack were able to specify exactly what they wanted. Mike Fisher is the creative director and founder of Studio Indigo. He is also the owner of the Moonen 119 Martinique BRIGADOON, which took home the prestigious best yacht trophy at the World Superyacht Awards.
“We had seen BRIGADOON online,” Jacelyn says. “I was very impressed with the design, it showed a lot of character. So often yachts are quite vanilla inside. You know, lots of whites and creams. BRIGADOON had real personality. You felt that you knew the owner. I liked that about Mike Fisher, but I had my own preconceived notions. It didn’t want it to be off-the-shelf. So Mike Fisher stepped aside and he had a very talented woman on his team, Lyne Arbid. She and I spent thousands of hours on Zoom. Because of Covid, we had to do it all online. We spent so much time together that she almost became like a daughter to me.”
“I really want to give the credit to my wife.”
Jack points out that designing a complete interior is a big project – certainly while the yacht is already under construction and during a pandemic. Everything on BOTTI is custom, including the furniture that Jacelyn designed together with Studio Indigo. Not every Moonen yacht owner is so involved in the interior design. Some are happy to personalize the concepts already created by the interior designer. So Jacelyn’s determination to see her vision to completion is exceptional – and greatly admired by Jack.
“Lyne and Jacelyn got together and really designed the inside of the boat,” he says. “Jacelyn and Lyne spent so many days going through every detail. Jacelyn created that. I really want to give the credit to my wife.”
Delivery in summer 2022
Unable to visit the shipyard for BOTTI’s christening and delivery, Jacelyn and Jack were understandably impatient to see their yacht. Without delay, BOTTI began her maiden voyage – not a typical coastal shakedown cruise, but a full transatlantic crossing.
“We had the ship come over on its belly. It took 31 days. There were some engineers on board from Moonen. You know they were so proud when they got here. Because of course there was some concern about it being a brand new yacht, you expect some bugs, you know normally you have some short trips to work it out. There were only very few bugs, only very minor, which was pretty amazing, you wouldn’t want a major issue out on the Atlantic.”
BOTTI’s arrival certainly did not go unnoticed. She was welcomed with fanfare to her home base in Palm Beach with a biplane towing a banner and bagpipes playing on the dock.
“The moment of delivery was just overwhelming”
“The moment of delivery was just overwhelming,” Jacelyn says. “Just to have it arrive in the inlet, it was a jaw-dropping moment. I mean it was like your knees get weak. I’m a mother, and this was like you had birthed a baby that you hadn’t ever seen and here it is coming into the inlet.”
BOTTI is a stunning achievement in yacht building that demonstrates the highest level of design excellence defined by the strength of collaboration with her owners.
“The thing that makes BOTTI so exceptional is the total collaboration, with Moonen, all the vendors, with Captain Matt. The outcome is just exceptional. Wherever we’ve been, the people who come on board at other ports, other shipowners, everyone is really enamored by the beauty, the quality and the uniqueness of the ship. We’re so proud to have our name on it!”
Specifications. Facts and figures.
|Length overall||36.30m (119ft)|
|Beam max.||8m (26ft, 2in)|
|Maximum speed||16.5 knots|
|Range||4000 nautical miles @ 10 knots|
|Number of Guests||10+2 guests (1 Owner stateroom, 2 VIP staterooms & 2 guest cabins)|
|Number of Crew||7 crew (1 captain’s cabin and 3 crew cabins)|
Superyacht captain’s first months on Botti
Did you know that after Dutch builder Moonen Yachts handed over the brand new 36.3m (119ft) superyacht BOTTI this year, her owners decided to bring her straight across the Atlantic on her maiden voyage? Now that’s real trust in Moonen Yachts quality, reliability and support! Find out how we did in this interview with Captain Matthew Curtis. He shares the crew’s experience on the transatlantic maiden voyage from the Netherlands and cruising with the owners on the United States eastern seaboard.
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