Stella Maris

by VSY with Espen Øino, Laurent Giles Naval Architects and Studio Reverberi

An awe-inspiring encounter with nature.
VSY presented Stella Maris in the knowledge that it had built a ship capable of marking a turning point in leisure vessel design.
This consideration is driven by both the technical aspects, which we will describe below, and the design philosophy of the vessel and the shipyard itself, which is based on respect for the environment and contact with it.

It is not surprising, then, that Stella Maris has received the RINA Green Star Plus Gold and Platinum, ABS ES (Environmental Safety) and Lloyd’s EP (Environmental Protection) certifications and that the shipyard in turn holds UNI EN ISO9001 – Quality Management certification since 2008, UNI ISO 14001 – Environmental Management since 2008 and OHSAS 18001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management, also since 2008.  All of this clearly shows that environmental issues are seen to be of vital importance to VSY’s management, not only in the ships they build but also throughout the process that takes them all the way from the drawing board to the launch stage. VSY’s production facilities are exemplary in terms of personnel safety, microclimate and air quality, all elements conducive to work of the highest level of quality.On board Stella Maris, we discover that the majesty of her external structure translates into interiors of unusual height for a leisure vessel, but also with plenty of natural light and elements such as plants and artificial lighting in harmony with the exterior temperature, with the result that anyone entering the vessel is received in an atmosphere of wellbeing and contact with the surrounding environment.To properly understand how it was possible to achieve this design’s outstanding interior heights, there is one equally exclusive structural and design element. By this we mean the staggered decks, where the section to aft of the control section has two decks – namely the main deck and upper deck – plus the sun deck, while the forward deck has three decks up to the shared deck at the top. Naturally, all of this was analysed very carefully to ensure that the structure has the mechanical characteristics essential for a ship of this size. Among the solutions adopted first by the designers and then by the shipyard, the vertical connection bulkheads successfully fulfil the required structural function. However, that’s not all, because this solution results in two covered saloon/relaxation areas of extraordinary size, especially in terms of height, where floor-to-ceiling windows carry the people relaxing in the saloons into an environment that goes far beyond the physical limits of the ship. It’s a solution that has led to genuinely unusual spaces even for ships of this size. Of course, fitting out these spaces required a very careful study in terms of their size and the intention to create them in order to be conceptually in direct contact with the sea. The designers involved, Espen Øino for the exterior design in collaboration with Laurent Giles Naval Architects, and Studio Reverberi for the interiors, worked together to achieve the objectives set by VSY for the creation of this yacht. These included successfully uniting traditional design elements with important variations on a theme, as we can see in the solution adopted for the decks that leads to the extraordinary height of the interiors, as well as the shape of the prow with its distinctive, unusual lines that you can see in the images. Among the special features of this ship, we note the presence of a considerably greater interior volume as compared with ships of the same gross tonnage as Stella Maris: 2,114 GRT. In addition to the extensive available space, the designers also devised bulkheads in the interiors made entirely from glass, further increasing the perception of interior space in some cases, and contact with the exterior in others. The plants that climb two decks vertically, housed in glass cases, contribute to creating an atmosphere that is in our view unique, especially where the saloons are 2.70 metres high. We begin our analysis of the decks with the sun and heli decks, the latter of which holds all the relevant certifications, including those for landing and take-off at night. It is a platform with an octagonal footprint, flawlessly built into the superstructure, forward of which there is an open-air relaxation area with two swimming pools, the lift that connects all the decks, sun beds, sofas, a bar and plenty of space in which to enjoy open-air relaxation while providing all guests with appropriate privacy.
The entire forward section of the deck below is dedicated to the Owner’s suite, while the aft section holds one of the two large saloons. These two areas are divided amidships by the lift which opens to aft to serve the two saloons and forward to serve the three corresponding decks plus the lower deck for the crew. However, to go back to the Owner’s suite, in addition to offering an area with total privacy, it also boasts a privileged position over the sea and covers a decidedly generous surface area. That’s not all, though, because in addition to the comfortable office with a sofa and desk to starboard, it also features two large bathrooms with tub divided by a large closet/walk-in wardrobe, with the night zone located forward. The bed has a central position facing the prow, where a huge window provides a view with an unmistakable impact. The night zone has a hatch on either side providing access to the side walkways present in this part of the superstructure, culminating in a very private relaxation area forward of the cabin itself. It’s a solution that will certainly be highly prized by anyone who, although wanting to bring friends and relatives with them on a cruise, needs private spaces to relax in. Again in the forward section, the deck below the Owner’s suite is dedicated forward to the full-beam bridge equipped with the latest generation of electronics, the captain’s cabin with private bathroom, a day head, the captain’s office, the large full-beam gym and, here again, large windows. A further six guest cabins are present on the main deck, designed to be full-beam, four of which are double cabins and two are twin cabins, each with a private bathroom and all sharing a connecting corridor. We now move on to describing the corresponding decks in the aft section, of which there are two, as mentioned before, and not three as there are forward of the control section. The first deck below the sun deck holds a saloon for relaxation, with a bar, gaming table and sofa section, opening out to aft onto a large floor area where a table for 14 diners lends itself well to informal lunches in the open. The large windows can be opened or closed to create a protected winter garden-style space. Needless to say, the view and perception of space here are truly extraordinary, partly thanks to the height of the structure and the large transparent surfaces facing outwards. The deck below is governed by the same approach, but its intended use is more focused on formal gatherings, with another large table for 14 diners to portside, aligned with the keel, while to starboard there is a relaxation area with sofas, all with a corridor to aft that leads to the large wheelhouse partially protected by the overhang of the deck above. What we have already described would already be enough to show how original this VSY vessel is, but there is actually even more originality to be found in the systems and technical solutions adopted or specially developed to improve safety, comfort and environmental impact. For example, the two large tenders in the garage have been specially made for this ship, in a fully custom build that made it possible not only to have boats that can fulfil all their obvious functions, but also to facilitate rapid, efficient, safe handling on board. Hauling and launching are carried out using two side hatches which, once open, also provide an anchorage point for the boats themselves. To aft of this technical section we find the beach area, with its beach at sea level and plenty of space to relax in the sun or in the shade. All the interiors have been fitted out with a selection of materials capable of maintaining the effect of light and space generated by the huge interior volume. We found this ship striking straight away for the many innovative solutions she contains, but also for the choices that effectively validate VSY’s intentions, marking a turning point in vessel design. We had the pleasure of seeing this yacht at sea, where her magnificence drew the eye from far away and as we approached, offered the pleasing discovery of elegant, balanced lines. In our view, then, Stella Maris is a clear example of how the Italian shipbuilding industry can express its creative and construction capacity to the fullest.


Angelo Colombo

Photos by Massimo Listri, Guillaume Plisson and Beppe Raso

Stella Maris Technical Specifications

Construction typeMotor yacht displacement
LOA72.10 m / 236’6’’ ft
Beam (max)12.60 m / 41’4’’ ft
Draft3.70 m / 12’1’’ ft
Guest10 + 2 (Owner)
Crew18 + 2 (captain)
Total Guest Surface area1532 m²
Interior Areas: 740 m² (Guest + Owner)
Average per Guest: 61.66 m²
External Areas: 792 m²
Average per Guest: 66 m²
Gross Tonnage2114 GT
Maximum speed17 knots
Range at 12 knots5500 nm
Stability assured by“QUANTUM QC 2200 XT ZERO SPEED” stabilizers system
Fully CertifiedHCA/MCA Landing Helideck - Night Landing Allowed
Tender & Toys 1 x 24’ Tender Limo
1 x 24’ Tender Sport
2 x Jet Ski
1 x Rescue Tender
Main propulsion system 2 x Caterpillar 3516B tier II
Max & continuous power2000 kW at 1600 RPM each
Main generators 4 x LINDENBERG LIAG /MAN D2876 LE301
Max & continuous power 290 ekW each
Emergency generatorLINDENBERG LIAG/SISU 645 DSBIG
Max & continuous power149 ekW
Bow thrusterVOITH – VIT 1000/300 - 260 kW
Stern thrusterSCHOTTEL PUMP JET 350 kW – 360°
ClassificationLloyd’s Register
Naval ArchitectLaurent Giles Naval Architects
Exterior design Espen Øino International
Interior designMichela Reverberi
EngineeringVSY in collaboration with Pro Ship Yacht Design & Executive Partners

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