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Review: Broward's 106' "Soulmate"

Discussion in 'Broward Yacht' started by YachtForums, Jan 14, 2006.

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  1. Broward’s 106’ Motoryacht “Soulmate”
    Resurrecting A Legacy

    The search for a soulmate is a journey of self-discovery. Finding the right person means identifying your needs and defining your expectations. It’s not realistic to expect one person, or one thing, to fulfill every desire, but sometimes we get lucky. For the craftsmen at Broward Marine, it’s not just their latest launch “Soulmate” that has stirred a sense of wonder; it’s the underlying sense that this was meant to be.

    Destiny comes in many forms. For Broward’s new owner Tom Lewis, he may have met his match. Lewis, a charismatic and successful attorney-turned-real estate developer is poised to carry on a legacy created by Broward founder Frank Denison and spanning over 50 years. Although boat building is a dramatic departure from his previous endeavors, the similarities in management skills should prove a perfect paradigm.

    Lewis originally planned to buy a large boat, but instead he ended up buying an entire boatyard in March 2005. Although the yard had been closed for part of 2004 and 2005, he has since invested in new equipment and upgrades at the yard. In addition, he’s jump-started Broward’s yacht maintenance, repair and refit business and hired additional personnel. In purchasing Broward, he also bought the partially finished hull that was destined to become Soulmate. And so the journey has begun, with two new 120’ raised pilothouse yachts in production and drawings completed for two tri-deck models, a 137’ and 160’ designed by Evan Marshall.
  2. Founded in 1948 by Frank Denison, Broward evolved into the preeminent line of yachts built in the US. Recognized for their modern, raised pilothouse lines, they were the superyacht of their era and remain coveted by yachtsmen today. Denison grew Broward from a company producing minesweepers for the US Navy during the early 1950’s into one that pioneered luxury yacht building. Since 1956, Broward has constructed more aluminum yachts than any other US-based firm, with a good number of them falling into the megayacht category.

    Soulmate, the grand finale’ of the Denison-designed 20’ beam boats, carries a distinct badge of honor. Her hull has been the foundation of nearly 40 yachts dating back to the late 1980’s. Many of Broward’s original craftsmen, who Lewis has brought back onboard, have embraced the company’s new direction and are continuing to refine an already well-proven platform. Measuring 106 feet and constructed in Broward’s alloy of choice; aluminum, Soulmate bares a resemblance to her many siblings. One of Broward’s hallmarks are windows fit for a view. Not only do they provide supreme scenery, they offer a glimpse into the future, because Broward’s new 120’ will share similarities, but on a larger more modern scale.
  3. The name Broward originated from the Florida County they are built in. A number of years ago (too many to be exact), the 95’ Broward “Alisa V” was acknowledged by Time magazine as the largest private motor yacht built in the U.S. for three decades running. And now Soulmate at 106’ will be among the smallest yachts Broward builds. How times have changed!

    But one thing remains the same, these are boats designed for enjoying the favorable year-round weather that South Florida offers. Outdoor space, such as the flybridge, invites lots of sun and plenty of room to move about. A full 50% of the boats length is dedicated to the flybridge area with tandem Bimini tops that could double as an event tent. The layout of the flybridge deck looks to be the work of a professional party planner, because every conceivable amenity is present, well positioned and ready for festivities.

    Photo Caption: Broward uses a full planing surface on the wide beam hulls. These are shallow deadrise hulls with a full-length keel. Perfect for the waters intended, the Caribbean. Seen making some serious headway here, she cruises at 18 knots and will top 22 knots with another pair of soulmates… twin 1300 hp Cat’s.
  4. Show central of the flybridge is a full-blown, galley fashioned wet bar, complete with multi-level countertops, one for prep and one for serving. The usual suspects are included as well, such as a sink, fridge and outdoor grille. On the flip side of the wet bar is a crescent shaped dinette that is fashioned into the superstructure, as are all the flybridge components. Moving aft a whirlpool sets the stage for fun with lounges for soaking up sun.
  5. Up forward and hiding behind a full wrap-around windscreen are two helm stations. A master helm to port and a satellite helm to starboard, each with independent bench seating and joy-stick steering. Dividing the helms not only adds redundancy, it enables easier handling, increased line of sight and reduces the number of crew needed. Short of the control stanchions found on many superyachts, it’s a feature that no big boat should be without.

    Photo Caption: Broward has drawn on years of owner experience and recognized the importance of a large, fully contained flybridge deck. The result is an optimized use of space that is clean and convenient. It is so well planned, admission should be charged.
  6. The far aft deck is reserved for tender stowage, but when the dinghy is down, the deck is spacious enough to double as a dance floor. And finally, a semi-circular staircase on the flybridge aft deck provides a quick escape below to keep interior traffic minimized.
  7. Twin-curving staircases with sweeping stainless handrails lead to an extended swim platform with removable railings, providing quick retrieval for the man overboard or a good gangplank for unwelcome guests. The platform also grants access to the crew quarters and engine room via a sealed stern door, keeping working hands at bay and giving the crew their own separate way. Purposeful elements abound, such as waterline level rub-rail. Sounds simple, but it not only adds stability, it ensures rafting ribs won’t leave a mark.
  8. Thankfully, about the only teak soles too be found on the exterior are located under cover… and this is good. The remainder of Soulmate’s exposed surfaces are protected with paint and glistening with stainless. Although the dinette on the aft deck is wood, it’s a solo act. It seats six comfortably and eight in a jam.

    It’s not only important for a yacht to look new when launched, but to remain looking this way for many years to come. When you’ve built as many yachts as Broward (with a good number of them located close-by), it’s easy to see what materials have weathered well and which ones are looking like the remnants of Wilma.

    Broward has learned a Good Deal from the past and they’re using this knowledge to guide the future. Hence, there’s a lot less lumber on the new boats, access to vital systems can be reached by a full-size adult and maintenance is down to a good boat wash. Quite simply, Broward’s are built to be used and thus… they have become among the most popular charter yachts on the water.
  9. The big-beam Broward’s are best known for their interior volume. The salon dimensions are straight out of a luxury home… or a much bigger boat. Nearly as wide as it is long, Soulmate shares it’s salon with the formal dining area. The traditionally styled interior is based on a neutral palette, offset by cherry-stained maple joinery throughout. It’s comfortable, yet upscale. This may sound like an oxymoron, but there’s a fine art in creating an inviting atmosphere without inviting the Thirston Howell crowd.

    As you enter the salon, a familiar feel takes over. Let’s forget for a moment the furnishings, the décor and the colors. Broward has this amazing ability to create something familiar, yet something new. It’s a feel that escapes words, but maybe “escape” is the best description. In the end, this is what a luxury yacht SHOULD be. Getting back to the salon, looking forward are port/starboard passageways. Both lead to the raised pilothouse, but the starboardway leads to the galley. The salon is furnished with an eclectic mix of sofas, lounges chairs, coffee tables and yes, the chess table that nobody actually uses.
  10. Centered on the starboard side of the main salon and concealed within a granite-topped hutch, a flat panel displays rises at the touch of a button. More than a few accessories have found the floor when the uninitiated forget to clear the counter before engaging these types of rising screens.
  11. For claiming checkmate onboard Soulmate...
  12. Although mildly divided by two mid-level partitions, one of Soulmate’s smart features is a combined dining and salon area that creates an open atmosphere conducive to inclusion. In reality, Soulmate has three complete dining areas: the main salon, the galley dinette and the island in the galley… a boat truly built to divulge.
  13. Soulmate really puts the country in kitchen. This is no surprise, as Broward literally created the concept. Broward knows the focal point of a party is the kitchen. If you want to sleep… go below! The materials utilized in the kitchen are soft and warm. Soulmate’s galley feels like the lake house… with a dash of salt. Most prevalent is the island counter, rising from the center of the galley like the ultimate carving block; it is one of the primary preparation areas and a central gathering point of the party.
  14. Accessed from the galley via a wrought-iron railed staircase, the pedestal mounted VIP guest bed is located forward, in the bow. Although there are no portholes for these quarters, it features a ventilation hatch in the ceiling that opens to the bow deck. A set of light switches is located conveniently adjacent to the headboard as well.
  15. The full beam owner’s suite, located amidship, features a king size island berth with a headboard… fit for a king. Night tables flank the berth, with built in drawers cradling a cozy love seat. Of course, a complete entertainment system lurks within the surrounding cabinetry. Large walk-in closets are located aft of the mastersuite (to each corner), while his-her bath entries are located forward, just behind the headboard.
  16. His and hers heads are divided by one of the largest showers east of the rain forest. A mosaic of tile, large and small, is blended together in imaginative patterns that would challenge the most talented artesian, while sliding shower doors made of diffused, rippled glass cast a Gaussian blur of separation. Looking up, overhead mirrors in each head add magnitude and dimension to the entire suite.
  17. One of the three guest rooms with ensuite heads, this is the double located at midship, across the corridor from the twin-bunk guest room. The headboard features a valance that jettisons out from the wall with recessed illumination. This particular room features a antique theme with torn maps, vintage night lights and periodical upholstery.
  18. Inter-woven, like two lives coming together, this is Soulmate’s lower deck corridor floor. Too nice to walk on...
  19. The crew quarters are simple, but sizeable. Fully equipped, Broward gave good consideration to Soulmate’s charter intentions with provisions for 4 to 5 crewmembers to be self-contained.
  20. One of two sets of crew bunks. Well lit and cozy, they're the perfect, private escape for rest and reading.
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