The recent Australian high-end boating shows threw up a couple of rare pearls, in every sense of the world. Mighty impressive was the 31.5 metre New Zealand made superyacht, christened the ‘Black Pearl’. Built by bespoke Kiwi boatbuilders, Diverse Projects, who co-opted 120 individual sub-contractors, the Black Pearl is named after the foreboding hue of the hull, which mirrors the Tahitian black pearl colour. Powered by a pair of grunt-ish Caterpillar engines producing a crusing speed of 12 knots, the the Black Pearl has long range capebilities, meaning summers sailing Croatia and Capri aren’t out of the question for the recently minted social media mogul. But arguably the boat’s most impressive features are to be found under the hatch. Designed by Melbourne architect/creative, Chris Connell, the Black Pearl’s interior is the ultimate post-modern aqua casa. Light-filled and on the stylish end of the quirky spectrum, the Black Pearl’s soft blonde, eco-silk wood finishes (taken from rolling poplar limbs) and orange vertical surfaces are Prada-esque.
Smaller, but no less dynamic, is the Belize 52, a 16.1-metre luxury cruiser from the newly-formed Belize Motoryachts company. Based on Australia’s Gold Coast, Belize Motoryachts are named after Belize, the boat-friendly nation in the Caribbean; the company is the brainchild of former Riviera boat bigwigs, Lee Dillon and Wes Moxey, who took time out after the GFC to create their vision of the ultimate 2011 cruiser.
The co-founders had a short, but ambitious, checklist: their boat had to be individual, timeless and exclusive; it had to be comfortable, but performance-oriented; most importantly, it had to be one-of-a-kind, or one of only nine (the boats are limited edition).