It’s risky to build yachts on spec during a recession, but Richmond Yachts wouldn’t want it any other way. The British Columbia-based yard prefers to retain full control over design and amenities, because in projects this size that are custom-commissioned, change-orders can and do cause big delays and cost overruns.
That’s not to say the builder is averse to altering its approach to projects. Its newest yacht, the 150-foot Status Quo, showcases a few significant differences compared to previous Richmonds and other spec-built boats.
If you’re familiar with Richmond Yachts’ history, you may recall that each of its three previous launches (this is hull number six) measure 142 feet LOA. Status Quo may be “just” eight feet longer, but there are key advantages to that extra length. Naval architect Ward Setzer (who designed the semi-displacement hull for the yard’s other yachts) designed Status Quo’s hull, which additionally has a bulbous bow designed by Richard Royce for increased seakeeping. Performance is respectable: a reported 18-knot top-end speed and 16-knot cruise, powered by twin 2,000-hp MTU 16V-2000 diesels. There’s also increased fuel tankage — 13,000 total gallons versus 11,000. Yet another highlight, unusual for Status Quo’s size, is a touch-and-go helipad. Located on the flying bridge, it can accommodate a Eurocopter EC120, carrying four passengers plus a pilot. The yacht has tie-down capabilities if the ‘copter will stay more than a few minutes.
One final engineering achievement, though more of a fun fact: Status Quo will grant her eventual buyer bragging rights to owning the largest all-fiberglass yacht built in Canada.
Bragging rights aside, the interior shows why Richmond Yachts attracts a buyer’s business. Its in-house team collaborated with Pavlik Design for the formal atmosphere, much like that of a grand estate home. From the sapele and pomele paneling to the marble soles throughout her three decks, everything is expertly book-matched and executed in-house. Several rooms further showcase radiused cabinetry, a difficult-to-achieve detail that has become a Richmond Yachts calling card.
Crown moldings complement the woodwork, especially in the dining area, where a custom mahogany table seats 12 and sapele and pomele come together on the custom china and crystal buffet. Just like many yachts in this size range, an entertainment center, containing a pop-up 50-inch television, separates the dining area from the saloon. It’s interesting to note that on the previous Status Quo (Richmond Yachts gives this name to all of its projects), a wall separated the two areas. It turns out that the yard’s clients are evenly split in their preference for one design versus the other.
What won’t divide them, however, are the ways to entertain friends and family. Formal affairs are ideal for the dining area, with its Murano glass chandelier. The chef and stewards will know exactly when the next course needs to be brought out thanks to a closed-circuit TV system in the galley. A butler’s pantry just forward of the automatic door to the dining area lets stewards stage platters and load the dishwasher without getting underfoot in the cooking area. In addition, the aft deck contains a teppanyaki bar to port, a few steps away from alfresco dining. As Captain Richard Lenardson says, “You can have your own Benihana show here.”
As comfortably outfitted as the skylounge is, with its reversible-topped card table and granite-topped bar with leather barstools, the flying bridge one deck up is sure to be the primary relaxation space. Richmond Yachts prefers to call it the “fun deck,” for good reason. Along with the hot tub and sunpads forward, there’s a bar beneath the shade of the arch. Also beneath the arch is a 46-inch television, which can display sports programs via satellite, movies on demand, and even Status Quo’s radar position and chartplotter data. It’s kept out of sight when not in use, somewhat protected from the elements, behind a flip-down, high-gloss wood panel. In a smart move, Richmond Yachts fitted a day head—air-conditioned, to boot—within the base of the arch.
When it’s time to retire for the evening, Status Quo offers flexibility in her accommodations. Most owners will find the twin, the full-bedded, and two queen staterooms belowdecks well suited for guests. There’s a handy refrigerator and sink in the guest foyer, for midnight snack attacks. (A two-drawer refrigerator and freezer are also in the owner’s suite.) Richmond Yachts offers an additional VIP stateroom aft of the pilothouse, though owners tend to reserve it for the captain, and wisely so. Besides its convenience to the navigation and communication equipment, it conveys a sense of respect for a demanding job, which includes overseeing eight crewmembers.
Status Quo, like other megayachts in her size range, is compliant with Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) safety standards, so the eventual owner will not only gain peace of mind, but the ability to offer the yacht for charter.
Luxury and excellent building standards are in keeping with Richmond Yachts’ philosophy that the more some things change, the more some should stay the same.