Not all that glitters is gold – on Okko, it’s the limba wood, the design, shape, light and colour of Giorgio Vafiadis’s Deco interiors and the engineering by Mondo Marine, the creator of a 41-m high-performance yacht with details created by skilled craftsmen.
Before looking at the spaces of the 41-m Okko and talking about its atmosphere, interiors and exteriors, comfort and details of the furniture, we must linger for a moment on its naval and engineering features.
Without these, all the rest would be meaningless. In spite of its spacious interiors and imposing superstructure, this superyacht, the 61st by Mondo Marine shipyard, is a high-performance vessel. It has a maximum speed of over 16 knots – 14 knots at cruising – and a range of 3,000 miles at 12 knots. The fact that it is built entirely in aluminium is important, but as Luca Fresco – the engineer responsible for the naval design – explains, other features are too.
Examples of these are the optimisation of the bulb area as a function of the semi-displacement hull, and a study made to minimise the resistance of the fins and other appendages on the hull. Sea tests demonstrated considerable stability and manoeuvrability, while the vessel’s reliability, understood as strength over time, is confirmed by the ABS Maltese Cross certification. This means that every single part of the propulsion and control line has been tested. Mondo Marine currently has three 41-m-plus leisure vessels under construction, each unique, designed, studied and built by the shipyard’s engineering department. All members of this team have their own fields of expertise, but just one acts as the reference point for each project. In this case, Luca Fresco is the contact point between the builders and Imperial Yachts, the Owner’s representative and surveyor. “From an engineering point of view, the most innovative aspect is the adaptation of the naval platform to a different design from that of the previous vessels,” he explains, “which had smaller volumes than those of this vessel with its shuttle style.
The other technical features that differentiate it from its predecessors are greater acoustic insulation and less vibration. Both of these are achieved through special construction techniques for the supports and reduced speed of the conditioned air passing through the suction and output grids, which are one source of background noise.” The helm has a Navi-Conning software and hardware system which permits a detailed and general overview of the vessel using five monitors. These show information from the CCTV cameras, radar, autopilot, engines, echo sounder and all the navigation equipment. One interesting detail is the positioning of the steering fins in front of the exterior doors of the wheelhouse, so as to see the sides of the vessel clearly and to facilitate any sea rescues. Okko is among the few yachts that comply with the Cayman Islands safety directive, which has just been issued, requiring the rescue boat to be in a specific position. This is a solution that Mondo Marine has also adopted on the 50-m Alexander Again without sacrificing the Owner’s space.
The magic of the interiors
Okko encompasses large volumes within its soaring lines without disrupting the harmony of its visual impact or impeding its performance in navigation.The relationship between the interiors and exteriors is balanced and the logistics are carefully considered so that the crew and guests have clearly separate areas and gangways that correspond to their varying usage requirements.
On entering the main salon, you are immediately enraptured by a magic that pervades the whole yacht. It has a highly masculine feel created by Deco furnishings, bordeaux, brown, tobacco and dull gold colours and limba wood, which the Owner was very keen to include. This wood was very popular in the 1920s, and on the yacht it creates enchanting contrasts of light and dark, reinforced by its unusual lustre – a sort of wooden mirror that opens up the spaces and accentuates the light.“Limba sheets have a light part and a dark part,” explains architect Giorgio Vafiadis, creator of the interiors and the external lines. “Here, I chose to have the dark tones predominate. The light brings out the micro-contrast of the grain and creates a sense of space, as the vessel was designed to seem even larger.”
The salon and the dining room follow a classic access arrangement, entered through a rounded sliding glass door from the wheelhouse, a very spacious area although it is home to a huge U-shaped sofa, a table and chairs.
First a welcoming open space, then the salon, which is full-beam and has three soft Ipe Cavalli sofas to portside in the living area. At the back, the dining table is decorated with floral inserts in flame maple, designed and made by Mondo Marine’s craftsmen. The whole salon is flooded by natural light from the high windows running along the sides. A door on one side leads to the pantry, while from the other you enter the lobby, dominated by the limba staircase that connects the four decks like the steps of a waltz. It is unique in its magnificence, accentuated by plexiglas handrails and stainless steel finishes. Next we come to a delightful day head for the guests and the Owner’s full-beam suite. In the salon, the lustre of the wood picks out an almost oriental motif around the skylight in embossed dark Galuchat leather. This effect is accentuated by the grain of the wood placed vertically throughout, like crystals. This is also echoed in the curved strips of the skirting at the end of the wall, the chandelier specially made by Ipe Cavalli, and the table featuring decorative floral marquetry, the work of the shipyard’s craftsmen. This lustre and these reflections give the salon dynamism, together with the golden forms of the sculpture on the wall and the translucent shapes of the Venini vases. You can get a sense of the Deco flavour in the furniture as a whole, such as the steel feet of the sofas and chairs, the choice of velvets, the Zantas appliqué by Ipe Cavalli and many other details. The use of a stamped leather motif in manta hide and not in that of true Galuchat is a practical and ecological choice. The first is more durable and gives the same effect; the use of authentic sharkskin, so fashionable even today, threatens the species uselessly.
Its dark tones frame the television, and it is also used on the panels of the skylight and the furniture of the main salon and wheelhouse, while beige and white tones return in the cabins and upper salon.
Together with wood, marbles, onyx, screen-printed glass, polished and bronzed mirrors play an important role, taking a variety of forms but following a common thread. The Owner’s bathroom is worthy of Rudolf Valentino. The floral motifs of the glass and a large mirror framed by small mirrors in a Greek key design would be equally perfect for Greta Garbo and the powdered goddesses of the past.
The dark Saint Laurent marbles contrast with the golden tones of Calacatta and Giallo Siena marbles, and a sink in white onyx lit from within. In the cabin, further polished mirrors on the wall reflect chromatic contrasts tending towards Bordeaux, like the lampshades on the lamps by Venetian master glass makers Barovier & Toso.
Here again, wood grain plays an important role, becoming sculptural on the rounded edge of the bed. The full-beam arrangement and the light that comes in through the windows give the suite a very spacious feel, with a relaxation area featuring a romantic blue dormeuse, a study and a capacious wardrobe.
The lower deck is the guest area, featuring two spacious VIP cabins with separate wardrobe rooms and two double cabins with a desk and white marble in the bathrooms. Each is in symbiosis with the style of the Owner’s suite, but softened by much lighter chromatic tones and silk velvets on the bedcovers and cushions, some by Silvia Quagliotti and some by Fendi.
The large oval lobby around which they are located is in keeping with its staircase, which takes centre stage on the way up to the higher decks. On the lower deck, mirrors highlight the white of the skylights, the bed heads, the finishes of the furniture, the fabrics and the marble of the bathrooms, giving the spaces their own light. The upper deck is entirely a living area, with the helm station forward. This has a very clean, minimalist layout, a comfortable ergonomic chair, two side exits and a long vertical window that allows maximum visibility. In the aft section, there is a welcoming salon with inviting sofas by Fendi, which opens out towards the outside section of the deck. [...]
Okko technical specifications
|LOA||40.80 m / 133’81’’ ft|
|Beam||8.10 m / 26’56’’ ft|
|Draft||2.30 m / 7’54’’ ft|
|Engines||2 x MTU 12V2000M91
2 x 1,500 BHp @ 2.350 rpm
|Speed||16.5 knots max.|
|Range||3,000 Nautical miles @ 12 knots|
|Fuel capacity||48,500 litres / 12,812345 US gallons|
|Fresh water capacity||8,500 litres / 2,2454624 US gallons|
|Classification||✠ A1 Commercial Yachting Service, ✠ AMS E|
|Naval project||Mondo Marine Engineering|
|Exterior design||Giorgio Vafiadis & Associates|
|Interior design||Giorgio Vafiadis & Associates
|Shipyard / Year||Mondo Marine S.p.A. / 2012