Wake Up and Smell The Sea Breeze
Like all great evolutions in yacht design, the popular on-deck master stateroom is a layout “trend” that has trickled down from the grand superyachts to mid-range yachts. Pushing the country kitchen layout further aft, the forwardmost space on the main deck has become a coveted area for owners from all markets, commanding panoramic views and allowing for access to the foredeck or the option of fold-out balconies.
Space, comfort and a premium view. That’s what the on-deck master affords in a nutshell. Where yachts in the 80 to 100ft size range were busy fitting full-beam master suites on their lower decks decades ago, the traditional 80ft-100ft layout simply did not allow for an on-deck master unless it was swapped with the galley – something American clients definitely did not want.
To achieve an on-deck, full-beam master suite layout in the 80 to 100ft range requires – among other modifications such as a raised pilothouse design – an increase in interior volume. An early example of a pioneering modification came from now defunct Destiny Yachts, whose designers lowered the main deck in the area abaft the chain locker to incorporate an on-deck master arrangement on their 94-footer. That was back in 1999.
Today, 30 years later, several builders are currently offering high-volume designs that offer a jaw-dropping amount of interior space alongside the coveted on-deck master retreat.
Ocean Alexander has been paying particular attention to the on-deck master layout in its series of mid- to upper-range yachts. With its 90R (https://bit.ly/2F2r0dh) Series, which offers several layout options – including the on-deck master stateroom or dual masters on the lower deck layouts – the Taiwan-based builder is addressing clients’ preference for ample space, plenty of light, and myriad opportunities to interact with the surroundings.
Johnson Yachts has unveiled plans for a 93-footer (https://bit.ly/39swprO) that features an on-deck master with vertical panoramic windows.
Even larger megayacht production builders like Westport Yachts are paying attention to the on-deck master trend. The company’s most recent new series, the W125 (https://bit.ly/2ZA68mU), features a raised pilothouse design that allows for a master suite situated forward of the country kitchen – a departure from the traditional Westport layout of country kitchen forward with the full beach master amidships on the lower deck.
But it is Horizon Yachts that has conquered the on-deck master stateroom trend, with its Cor D. Rover-designed Fast Displacement Series of high-volume, high-performance motor yachts. The series has expanded rapidly since the first model – the FD85 – was introduced, and now includes seven models ranging from 75 to 125 in length – each of which feature an on-deck master stateroom. Most impressive is the design of the newest model, the FD75 (https://bit.ly/37lCZ1x), which manages to accommodate the on-deck master, three lower-deck staterooms and a beach club in a tidy 75ft LOA package.
As with all great design trends, it’s clear that in time we will see many more mid-range yachts unveiling their on-deck master configuration. As long as builders and designers seek to check off every wish on their client’s list of preferences, the on-deck master will become the standard layout in the future.