Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Palm Beach Social Diary

Cakewalk made its debut at the International Boat Show as the largest American-built yacht since the 1930s. Seen anchored at the Hilton’s dock on the 17th Street Causeway, I was impressed by just how big big can be when some talk of keeping a low profile.
SPLASH! The 51st Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show
By Augustus Mayhew

As I approached the Bahia Mar Hotel’s valet parking portico to pick up a press pass for Thursday’s Primetime Preview of the “world’s largest yacht show,” I was waved away by a barricade of unsympathetic security and uniformed police. I thought I was early but the place was already unbelievably jammed, as thousands, an understatement, had already converged for the five-day event held at “the yachting capital of the world.”

For the next hour or more I was trapped in a bumper-to-bumper crawl on the 17th Street Causeway because a semi had flipped. Then, since it was time for lunch, I motored over to Las Olas Boulevard where every lunch spot was SRO. It gave me time to re-think my approach to the event. After a burger-and-fries, I headed to the waterfront Hilton where I jumped on board the Water Taxi that took me back to the Bahia Mar. While even the word boat makes me seasick, the Water Taxi was fun, providing just the right angles and perspectives for my Canon 5D to take a few snaps of the fabulousness.
Bigger is better in yacht world, and at 281 ft. and 2,950 tons, Cakewalk’s staggering dockside presence could make for the largest ever built in the US if measured by volume, according to its builder, Derecktor Shipyards of Bridgeport, Conn.
The Water Taxi was $10 for an all-day pass and was really great although lacking the style of their Venetian vaparetto counterparts. It afforded views of the waterway’s parade of grand houses, more than several being auctioned.
Along with various tenders and sport crafts stored on the lower deck, Cakewalk offers a Vikal custom limousine craft modeled on the Bentley Continental.
From the Water Taxi I had a wonderful view of Cakewalk’s lower deck where it looks like the deals are done.
A last look at Cakewalk with the 17th Street Causeway afar, as the Water Taxi ripples by.
The 247-ft. Northern Star has auxiliary craft and heli at the ready.
As impressive as the Northern Star is, the Cakewalk’s massiveness really overwhelms it.
Across from the Hilton, the iconic Pier 66 has a revolving restaurant atop and the Triumphant Lady docked at sea level.
A sleek geometric composition flies the ubiquitous Cayman Island flag.
“The Venice of America,” as seen from the Water Taxi.
A backyard pleasure craft prepped for those Bimini runs.
I am not sure whether you would use the word mansion or if there is a specific architectural style that fits this Ft. Lauderdale magnum opus. There may be a pre-set CAD button that says, “Big House Ft. Lauderdale.”
The For Sale sign is to the right of the sculpture.
All the privacy money can buy must have been the guiding aesthetic principle for this breathtaking wonder.
At the boat show
The Lazzara Motor Yacht pavilion.
At 142 ft., Big Zip is termed a superyacht. Although the real super superyachts these days might range from 300-500 ft, Big Zip appears to have all the comforts. Like all yachts for charter and sale, if you Google the boat’s name, they have countless glossy interior photos, deck plans and all the specs.
With a crew of 13, the 170-ft. Quantum of Solace is asking 27,000,000 Euro.
The 189-foot Mi Sueno is tagged at $54,800,000 USD.
Anchors aweigh.
Bikini is in the Marshall Islands, what better offshore haven to register your dream boat if Cayman is a little too close.
The scene

Although I did not spot any Black Sea barons or Red Sea royals there were quite a few Russian models, “Picture yes, but name, no ... I no give up name ...” But, they were probably at last month’s Monaco Yacht Show where there might have been a few more of the super superyachts. By 2 p.m., the cocktail tents were SRO as the heat index reached 90+. Lots of flip-flops, deck shoes, cargo pants, t-shirts and logo caps for the “Primetime” event.
A Brazilian contingent immortalizes the moment.
Models aplenty.
There were lots of rules.
The $34.5 million USD asking price for Mine Games includes a two-person submarine.
Mine Games deck plan.
This Dutch company offers a one-person submarine for 420,000 Euro. The five-person 100 meter C-Explorer is 966,000 Euro.
They weren’t giving them away but the new Rollers and Bents were a popular attraction.
At 156.9 feet with a cruising speed of 16 knots, Nice-N-Easy is asking $24.9 million USD.
The 149-ft. Cocoa Bean.
It was time to head by to the Hilton where this lovely relaxed boat was docked next to Cakewalk making for a subtle contrast.
And it appears Cakewalk comes with its own red carpet and media banner for photo ops. Cakewalk operates with a crew of 24.
Bon voyage!

Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.

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