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Review: MCC 147' "Marco Polo" Expedition Yacht

Discussion in 'MCC Yacht' started by YachtForums, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. MCC 147' "Marco Polo"
    Boldly Going Green...
    by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy​

    At first glance, her outdoorsy, olive-green steel hull slyly but convincingly telegraphs the unusual approach guided by her designers, as this exciting new expedition yacht begins the adventure... to expand our horizons and explore the possibilities.
    Even so, inside her crisp white topsides, she provides all the comforts flaunted by her companion luxury yachts at FLIBS, the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. On millionaire’s row, the face dock, she stands out in a crowd, and rightfully so, with innovative thought and design which sets her apart, yet affirms her place in the sun. With Albrecht Buchner, her project manager, we learned of the intricacies in Chinese yacht construction – Cheoy Lee that is – and how this 147’ Marco Polo earned her robust class standing. It was first commissioned by Roland Sturm, who named Ron Holland to design the yacht. While highly experienced in sailing yachts – in which Holland had long specialized – Sturm wanted the probability to do some out of the ordinary cruising. Alaska, Antarctica, examples he hankered for; but he also wanted room and the space for himself, which meant fewer crew; all of which pointed toward a husky motor yacht.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  2. Sturm had previously collaborated with Holland on the 118’ sailing yacht Globana, which sailed the equivalent of more than 3 circumnavigations. He approved of Cheoy Lee as the builder, which has proven itself with decades of commercial as well as yacht construction. With a new product that would occupy two years of building time, they had ample opportunity to decide exactly how to confront this new challenge. With visions of Alaska, Antarctica, and the Amazon in their minds’ eyes, Holland steered the design effort towards an explorer mode; with spectacular style.
  3. Marco Polo’s profile accentuates her forward thrust, the sleekness of her upper decks, all certain to provide favorable reaction to the various weather systems she would encounter. She is excitingly configured, both in silhouette and internally, sporting a composite superstructure atop her steel hull. Tall, but not overly so, her length to beam ratio describes a slightly narrower yacht for her size, which translates to less sea resistance, increased speed, plus fuel economy. She sports a minimal helm up top on the flybridge, in addition to the fully found wheelhouse on the upper deck.
  4. Above on the Sky deck, a truly spectacular design with the navigation arch spreading above; a long set of upholstered couches faces a table of the same length, done in inlaid, lacquered cherrywood. Spread over the teak decking, the novel, striped fabric pattern stands out in the cushions. Aft on the Sky deck is also a spread of sunning lounges to accommodate half a dozen or more guests.
  5. Marco Polo’s massive wheelhouse is beam-wide, showing dark, stripped ebony-teak planking, highly finished but slip-proof, with a husky stainless steel destroyer-type wheel set before the navigator’s leaning post. Elegant, stitched leather is used for surface decor on the helm desk-work stations. Large windows provide a 180º view of forward-port-starboard scenes, plus the bow; as 20” visual screens present detailed views of the navigational extravaganza laid out before the Captain. This includes all instrumentation, as well as every electronic system aboard the yacht for instant monitoring.
  6. To his right, a full-size chart table allows printed charts to be laid out in toto, over a set of drawers to hold dozens more for planning her coming worldwide travels. Just abaft, a generous, upholstered couch stands ready for passengers to be a part of the action. At either beam self-locking doors allow instant access to the foredeck.
  7. Just aft of the Owner’s stateroom, a major section of his suite, the Lounge carries out his dark-to-light theme, with lavish use of dark, hand-picked Macassar ebony woods on wall panels, and echoed in the sable walnut floor, plus polished metal trim. Chairs and the C-shaped couch present the stark contrast – over an off-white sectional rug – with light cream upholstery. Tables and cushions, again, follow the designer’s choice of ecru versus dark woods. Numerous windows provide light and dramatic views of the horizon, abeam and abaft. On the afterdeck, a large dining table, seating eight, is ready for the evening’s twilight entertainment, or monitoring the afternoon watersports.
  8. Marco Polo’s interior, designed jointly by Holland and Khuan Chew of London, features dark, striated ebony, mahogany and walnut woods in stark contrast to white and ecru fabrics. Floors throughout surprise the eye with various woods, and extravagant, colorful splashes of marble in green, limestone, and black. This spacious view shows the airy, openness of the ship’s design, within the Owner’s private estate, from the master berth to the lounge. All are set apart on this commodious platform; with only the Captain’s quarters and wheelhouse forward.
  9. The Owner’s Deck, his special haven, is a full apartment with its salon/lounge, library/office and stateroom. His king-size berth is centered fore and aft, with a mirrored headboard, while large sliding doors in the ecru theme are balanced against the opposite wall of double walk-in closets. The ornamental rug is white and ecru with touches of Chinese red, plus a swirling pattern of circles, inspired in part from the Zen Gardens.
  10. Continuing the stark, masculine contrast, the owner’s bath features black and white Portoro Nero marble floors and black cabinetry, cast against white walls. Partitions for the sizeable shower are clear, tempered glass, while fixtures are stainless steel. The built-in tub design follows the motif. Elegant modern design wash basins top the heavy glass counter top.
  11. Entering the salon from the aft deck, you're immediately greeted by a full bar in black galaxy marble to port, opposed by a long luncheon/gaming table seating up to ten on the starboard side.
  12. A close-up of the decorative bar shows the magnificent woodwork typical of that specialty on the ship. Molded veneers and decorative choices make this a very attractive feature. The bar also boasts a huge Vintec + Liebherr wine cooler, certain to slake everyone’s taste.
  13. At port, a carpeted conversation area provides couches and easy chairs. Cabinet tops – cutlery and table wear storage – in Forest Brown marble emphasize the warmth of the setting. Large windows extend on both beams, lighting the interior at evening, with drapes for night times. A surround-sound system sets the ambiance.
  14. Centered on the main deck, the formal dining room adds a carpet to the dark ebony flooring, with its dining table set for eight. Cabinet tops are Onyx/Forest Brown- streaked marble, color matched for the ecru and chocolate-streaked carpeting. Large, draped windows allow plenty of daytime views and lighting.
  15. Keeping a watchful eye over this adventure is the original explorer himself; Marco Polo. The influence of Marco Polo on geographic exploration was enormous and he was also a major influence on Christopher Columbus, who owned a copy of "Marco Polo's Travels", making annotations in the margins as he set about finding the new world.
  16. Marco Polo’s galley, just forward of the dining room is a strictly utilitarian, commercial grade galley with ample walk-around room in the prep areas and all the latest cooking equipment at arms reach. On this splendid Emerald-green marble floor, built-ins include a double refrigerator-freezer-icemaker by Hoshizaki, combi-oven, induction hob, griddle and BBQ. There’s a Miele dishwasher for the real after-work. Additional under-counter refrigerators grace the Sky Deck and Owner’s deck.
  17. Forward on the main deck, aport, a huge library for a yacht this size offers a full set of reading materials, flanking a projection screen with wireless equipment to bring in world-wide programs. Seating up to 10, it also provides a brief cubicle-with-a-view for a laptop computer and peripherals.
  18. Making your way to the lower deck landing foyer, a compact, full service gym boasts an articulated treadmill, a premium multi-action upper body and leg exerciser, plus a brace of dumbbells lining built-in racks. As with any gym, a liberal use of mirrors is allocated to assure user confidence.
  19. To port, off the lower deck foyer, the VIP cabin by itself is not quite as extravagant as the owner’s suite, but surpasses other guest quarters. Its full queen size berth is raised, with storage beneath. It shows off plenty of dresser and shelf space. The ecru and white theme continues.
  20. On the lower deck, two additional guest cabins, spacious, well-laid out, feature a queen size berth, dresser, and small desk/table. Each also sports an 18” Panasonic TV, opening ports, and ensuite heads.