Last year, the German shipyard Lürssen launched Ester III, a motor yacht nearly 66 metres in length, built to a design by Espen Øino International with interiors by Reymond Langton Design. Ester III features fresh new stylistic solutions combining classic interiors with decidedly unusual compartmentation and an elegant exterior profile in decisive lines reminiscent of a military vessel.She is one of those yachts that will be readily recognisable by her silhouette but also by her level of quality in general, which is visible even in spaces where the Owner and family may never set foot. Naturally this aspect will be apparent to anyone who has the pleasure of observing the yacht up close or inside, but the originality of the shapes, some of the solutions for comfort and the uses of external space will be visible at the Monaco Yacht Shows and to anyone who has the pleasure of encountering the vessel at sea or in port. The elements that contribute to the final result certainly include the designers idea to create three decks, with a wide-body main deck up to the main section, meaning that the first upper deck is effectively the main deck for the forward section.
This decision affords considerable interior space and, together with a maximum beam of 11.60 m, ensures high levels of comfort. There are six cabins, comprising one Owner’s suite and five guest cabins, as well as nine crew cabins providing comfortable accommodation for 17. We spoke with members of the crew, who are almost all Italian, and they told us that the accommodation and relaxation areas for the crew go well beyond the requirements of legislation and are highly suitable for long stays on board. The captain’s cabin aft of the bridge is certainly a real suite, furnished with care in high-quality materials, but the eight crew cabins and the generous crew mess with a dedicated pantry are equally comfortable. Before we describe the various spaces on this original yacht, here is Espen Øino detailing the history of this project that arose from the personal relationship between the renowned designer and the owning family.
“Every project has its own story and Ester III is no exception. What makes the story of this yacht a bit unusual is that the owning family and I are friends. As a result, the relationship between us was not the conventional client-designer relationship, and this created an opportunity but also a risk – the first because it was certainly an opportunity to propose something genuinely unique and to have the client really listen to it, but it was also a risk because all this could potentially have put our friendship to the test. It quickly turned into a great opportunity, in part thanks to the approach the client took after seeing the initial concept, and I was very often told to do what I would do if it was my own yacht. So I must say that my research, both stylistic and functional, started from what I would do for myself. The owning family had a lot of faith in my advice, although there were some things where I couldn’t change their minds. For example, the possibility of turning the forward helipad into an area for use as an extension of the sun deck – there was no way, they wanted to leave it as it is. Of course when there are parties on board this area can be used, but no furniture of any sort was planned, whereas I was thinking that the space could be used differently when it wasn’t needed for the helicopter. I should say that everything on board Ester III is based on an interplay between open and covered spaces. The first thing you notice is that from a stylistic point of view there isn’t, or rather there doesn’t seem to be, a connection. This is because the first request from the Owner’s young family, with three children as well as the parents, was to create a homelike environment inside. It was therefore very satisfying to see the Owner’s wife go into the main salon, get comfortable on the sofa and exclaim that she felt right at home. Of course, in a house, personalisation based on individual taste is very much to the fore and the designers involved have had their work cut out for them selecting the many special materials, such as marbles and onyxes with very refined colours and veins. In my view, the result is an unarguably original yacht from an aesthetic point of view, but one that is most importantly functional and liveable to a degree that is unusual on vessels of this size.
One of the design challenges we tackled enthusiastically was the creation of the aft swimming pool, the aft side wall of which is transparent so that the whole thing can be observed from the stern swimming platform. The effect is stunning from an aesthetic point of view, but most importantly from a functional point of view the presence of this element in the setting of the aft section with its low bulkheads descending towards the stern allowed us to create a genuinely striking open air relaxation area.”
The designer also described many other small details, such as the decision to build the forward garage with double side openings so that two boats can be launched and manoeuvred easily, safely and quickly. Then there is the two-level engine room as on much larger ships, the projecting flybridge with control monitors built into the superstructure yet protected from any reflections, and the carefully designed on-board routes that allow the crew to move about freely and carry out their work optimally without ever interfering with the life of the Owner and guests on board. However, that’s not all, as a boat for a family with three children and an Owner who wants to spend long holidays on board it needs to have spaces where the kids will be safe and entertained.
This has resulted in countless measures to forestall the danger of accidents involving the children, and areas have been specially designed for them to relax and play in while being equally enjoyable for the adults. These notably include the audiovisual system in the main deck lounge and the one on the top deck where, in addition to a large screen that can be electrically adjusted to face the sofas or the chairs, there is a large disappearing screen to create an open air cinema. Between these two areas for relaxation, there is a third, the sky lounge, which of course has no shortage of audiovisual systems, a mobile bar, sofas and small tables. Connected to this area and to aft there is an open air dining area with a table positioned centrally athwartships, aft of which there is another sunny relaxation area with deck chairs, armchairs and plenty of space to play or relax. When it comes to the interiors, the space that we found most striking is the Owner’s suite, not just in terms of size but also its particularly favourable position, allowing the full beam of the hull to be used and a raised floor area to be created, furnished with the utmost care.
A custom made bed stands regally in the centre, leaving room for the whole family to play together. There is of course also an office, walk-in wardrobe, double bathrooms with separate toilets and washrooms, a relaxation area with a sofa and small table, and a dressing area. Three of the guest cabins are intended for the children and two for more occasional guests, but all of them are accessed from the central lobby and the lift that connects all the decks on the yacht. Another relaxation area is provided by the section containing the gym, massage room and sauna on the lower deck to starboard, where a changing room and a day head complete the fittings of this well equipped space from which the view outside can be enjoyed or shows can be watched on monitors designed to be compatible with the light and the microclimate in these spaces. Ester III is a yacht that, as all the designers involved have told us, has been built around the Owner and his needs, in fact as a “family summer holiday boat”.
Michael Breman, Lürssen’s sales director, told us: “Ester III demonstrates that contrary to what some have said, Lürssen is ready and willing to take on the construction of smaller vessels than it has generally built in the past. We are happy to accommodate requests from owners and their designers with the production capacity we have and that’s all there is to it, there are no size limits. Anyone who thinks Lürssen only produces yachts of more than 80 metres is mistaken, we are ready to look at smaller ships as well, obviously always in accordance with our quality standards. Size isn’t a problem for us, we want to produce the right boat for the right owner. Here again, we produced a fully custom boat where there were specific requirements for the balance between open air and covered areas, and equally detailed requirements for the interiors that the owner’s wife followed personally. All of this always requires a relationship to be built up with owners, because only in this way can we really understand what they need or even simply wish. The owner spent a lot of time on the design and development phases, which certainly helped to achieve the final result.”
Espen Øino had this to say about the exterior design: “She is a vessel with decisive but very elegant lines, in some ways muscular, but her overall aesthetic is capable of translating this formal decision into soft lines. I am personally highly satisfied with the result, because this project incorporates many of the things I particularly like, such as the presence of a substantial visible structure, wide external corridors, a substantial flybridge harmoniously built into the superstructure, decisive lines and much more. I was able to express all this as I chose since the owner really gave me complete freedom to do what I would have done for myself. That includes the tender, which has the same lines as the yacht but with solutions that make it a distinctly unusual limo tender, but most importantly a functional one as it can be used as an open or closed boat. It’s also a very fast boat that uses very advanced technology from a construction point of view, so in short, in just eight metres we replicated many of the stylistic and functional solutions that were initially devised for the yacht.”
Ester III is a vessel with substantial formal and design content, incorporating innovative solutions capable of giving the owning family the “holiday at home” feel that they expressly requested. Nonetheless, although the engines and transmission are based on a traditional technical set-up, all the systems have been optimised to reduce energy consumption. In terms of build quality, there isn’t much to add to the fact that the yacht is built by Lürssen, a shipyard famed for the care it puts into every vessel it produces. It’s worth highlighting the engine room, which is worthy of much larger ships, but is also designed so carefully – also from an aesthetic point of view – that it almost looks like another salon with post-modern artwork rather than a technical space. We are taking the concept to extremes, of course, but it gives you an idea of the level of attention paid by the shipyard to this space, as well as the general level of quality we found on Ester III.
Photos by Klaus Jordan
Ester III technical specifications
|LOA||65.99 m / 216’5’’ ft|
|LWL||64.50 m / 211’6’’ ft|
|Beam||11.60 m / 38’1’’ ft|
|Draught||3.40 m / 11’2’’ ft|
|Construction material||steel / aluminium|
|Range at 12 knots||4.000 nautical miles|
|Main engines and generator sets||ME: 2 x MTU 12V 4000 M63, 1.500 kW at 1.800 rpm
AuxE: 3 x Kilopak 260 kVA / 208 kW
|Emergency Genset||1 x Kilopak 149 kVA / 119 kW|
|Propulsion / Steering||JASTRAM steering gears with 2 high lift rudders|
|Bow thruster||JASTRAM BU 40 F-Model 10 – 200 kW|
|Stern pump jet||Schottel SP J57RD, 200 kW|
|Fuel capacity||120,000 litres / 31,700646 US gallons|
|Fresh water capacity||18,600 litres / 4,9136002 US gallons|
|Fresh water makers||HEM Duplex 38/5600, 2 x 22.000 l/day|
|Sewage system||Hamann AG|
|Stabilizers||2 x Quantum zero speed|
|Air conditioning||Heinen + Hopmann|
|Class||✠ 100A1SSC Yacht Mono, G6 ✠ LMC, UMS|
10 guests in 5 cabins
17 crew in 9 cabins
|Tender||Windy 26 ft limousine tender
Zodiac rescue boat
|Designer exterior||Espen Øino International|
|Designer interior||Reymond Langton Design|
|Builder / Year||Lürssen - 2014