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Luxury Sailing Yacht: Parsifal III

In the realm of luxury sailing yachts, the brand name Perini Navi comes with a certain cache, a level of sophistication that is difficult to match. Its yachts are like supermodels, with names that have star power unto themselves. Christianne B, Is A Rose, Atmosphere - their long, sleek bodies turn heads on the docks all over the world. And inside, shielded from public view, are classic interiors that are just as stunning, full of flawlessly stained wood and fine, handpicked fabrics.


  Luxury Sailing Yacht Parsifal III  

Which is why, when the owner of Parsifal III described what he wanted - an interior as sleek, minimalist, and modern as the latest stainless-steel winches - surprise spread across the faces of the folks at Perini Navi. "It's unusual, for certain," one member of the marketing team confided.


"Hey, we give people what they want," a builder's representative told me.

The people around this brand-new, 177-foot launch seem almost afraid to say they actually like her because, in terms of charter sales and resale value, different is not always a good thing. Its tough to tell the owner his yacht is terrific, then go back to him a few months later when you're having trouble selling that idea to the rest of the industry.


Given all this buildup, I wasn't sure what to expect when I toured Parsifal III at the recent charter yacht show in Genoa , Italy . As I made my way from room to room, through the dark stained wood and contrasting white soft goods, I was intrigued by many things but surprised by only one: the smiles that I saw everywhere. Big, wide grins were planted firmly on the faces of the owners' three children as they played throughout the boat, on the faces of the brokers enjoying her unusual ambience, and on the faces of the management team trying to promote her. It quickly became clear to me that these people really, truly do like this yacht, different as she is from her classic siblings. And I must say that after seeing all of her uniquely modern interior design elements, I liked her a whole lot, too.


The first thing I noticed was her main saloon seating area, which has four sofas aligned on circular, stainless steel rails. The couches slide to create one large, U-shape seating space (for watching television) or as many as four seating spots that face one another (for conversation during cocktails). Instead of a cocktail table in the middle of the arrangement, the owner specified a gigantic tub, the size of a large, outdoor terra cotta flowerpot, so his children would have a place to keep their movie popcorn.

Charter Yacht Parsifal III Master Bath  

Interesting entertainment ideas continue in the guest cabins, where the televisions are mounted behind mirrors. Now, this is not so unusual aboard yachts; often, televisions are hidden behind mirrors or paintings that drop down at the push of a button to reveal the flat-screen panel. But aboard Parsifal III , the mirrors do not drop down. They are designed to allow television viewing through the glass. That eliminates moving parts and the possibility of mechanical breakdowns. Smart, indeed.


Then, in the master cabin, there is no glass at all where I expected it to be. The yacht has the requisite his-and-her head forward of the main sleeping space, but not the typical bulkhead or opaque glass design separating it to provide privacy. Instead, where that bulkhead would usually be, this owner specified thick, wooden blinds stained to match the rest of the dark interior. They open to make the sleeping area and bathroom seem like one large space. It's an unusual idea, minimalist yet rooted in common sense- and easily changeable should noise or odor become a concern.


Parsifal III boasts several unique elements on deck, as well. Forward, she has a tender garage set into her foredeck that can be filled with water and used as a kiddie pool. Her swim platform, too, is designed to help guests cool off. It can lower into the water at a flat, 90-degree angle. With a teak table and chairs atop the lowered platform, guests can comfortably enjoy lunch while their feet cool off in the water.


Those who prefer to stay dry will no doubt dine on the spacious cockpit, which has polycarbonate glass panels where Isinglass usually would be aboard other yachts. The polycarbonate looks and acts like Isinglass, only is less expensive and a bit clearer (though, rumor has it, scratches a bit more easily). Also in the cockpit seating area is a half-moon-shape array of glass panels that act like windshields, keeping the wind away from anyone dining or lounging at the adjacent tables.

  Yacht Charter Parsifal III Lounge  

With the push of a button, these glass panels lower out of sight, opening the whole cockpit seating area to the aft deck and the surrounding harbor.


As I sat down to contemplate all of these interesting creature comforts, I noticed the owner's brandy glasses. They aren't traditional, either; they lack stems and rest on their sides, as most people would lay them after discerning the perfect amount of liquor to pour. Then I noticed his cappuccino cups, which are angled to rest on angled saucer platforms. They look a bit off balance, but are perfectly usable and they make for a spectacular conversation piece.


It seems to me that this owner working with interior designer Remi Tessier, naval architecture experts Ron Holland and Wing Keel, the builder Perini Navi, and the charter managers achieved with his yacht the same thing those barware manufacturers achieved with their cups and glasses: something unusual yet familiar, contemporary yet comfortable, stylish yet substantive.

  Parsifal III  

After all, at the end of the day, this yacht performs just as well as her pedigreed siblings, sailing at a maximum speed of 16 knots and carrying a 1,500-horsepower Caterpillar engine for those days when the wind won't cooperate. She's got wireless e-mail capability along with all the push-button controls and helm instruments I'd expect aboard a yacht in her class. She even has a hydraulic crow's nest that climbs up her 230-foot mast.


Yes, indeed, it's hard not to smile when talking about Parsifal III . She's an unusually pretty lady, one you can enjoy for yourself if you care to charter her at a weekly base rate of about $212,000 (or about $236,000 during holidays).


I guarantee that all 12 members of your charter party will find interesting things to explore, even if you never step foot off her decks.


Written By Kim Kavin, editor of

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