A fusion of style, relaxation and equipment
Benettienetti has never before made one quite like her. On boarding Sai Ram, it is not difficult to understand why this yacht is so uncharacteristic for her builder.
Sai Ram induces a sense of equanimity from the moment of boarding. There are no formal meeting areas or meticulously positioned seating here, just a wealth of places where guests can unwind in a casual ambience. A large, toweling-covered sofa follows the slightly curving line of the transom, in the main deck that becomes an extension of the saloon, the uncluttered styling pervades the whole interior.
As with all of the reception areas, the main deck saloon is a delightful medley of earthy colours and dark ochre hues. On the floor, simple dark wenge boarding acts as a canvas for a scattering of richly coloured oriental rugs. Just as one starts to become attuned to the feeling of being in a gallery of contemporary design, one is confronted with a piece of antique oriental furniture that exudes exotic tales. Such ultra-modern interior styling can often seem cold, but not here, the unarguably skillful touch of Lazzarini Pickering Architetti has impressed softness on the lines.
Ahead of the informal reception area is a dining space, not a room as such, although closing the concealed sliding doors could make it seem so if private or formal dining is required. Forward, to starboard, a door leads into a small lobby, from here you can go to the owner’s study, the dark wood desk swivels through 90 degrees for taking in the view through the large, eye-shaped window.
The owner’s bedroom is simple with a low king-sized bed. The headboard is deep red leather, as are the surrounding floors tiles and the ceiling, and the bedspread and sofa opposite are made from a coarse, naturally fibrous cloth. Colourful chunky rugs on the floor and numerous oriental artifacts and statuettes add to the raw fundamentalism of the styling.
Leaving the main deck via the stairs down from the main lobby one enters a small foyer, four doors lead only to the guest staterooms, two twins and two doubles. All have low, firm beds, materials in natural shades and bright rugs to break up the dark wenge floors. The suite shower rooms are crisp and clean, with large shower cubicles and marble washbasins.
As if to remind us of our ties to the 21st century, each suite has a remote-controlled, 22-inch flat-screen television and a music system connected to the vessel’s main entertainment server.
On the bridge deck one first encounters the VIP suite. Its main benefit is the huge eye-shaped windows that flood the stateroom with natural light and offer spectacular ocean views.
Any underlying element of coldness evoked by the austere simplicity of the design is swiftly expelled by the rich base colouring of the materials, warm wenge floors, antique furniture made from natural materials and the subtle use of leather and suede to offset the modern materials, harsh edges and angular joinery. At the aft end of the corridor is another recreation area, here a simple wooden-framed natural stone table with two deep ochre casual sofas allows one to take in the view through the giant windows while lingering over morning coffee.
There is a full cocktail bar with stylish, modern stools and a well-equipped pantry to take care of guests’ culinary needs. The pièce de resistance, though, is indisputably the sky dome in the center of the room. At first glance it looks like a simple glass table only 30 centimeters or so above the floor, but it is actually a glass box, the bottom of which forms a skylight in the ceiling below.
Between the two layers of glass are placed exquisite antique bowls, oriental sculptures, ornaments and candlestick holders.
The crew has their discrete access doors to the living areas, there is a comprehensively equipped pantry to satisfy the needs of the owner and his guests. Beyond the pantry is the pristine galley, surrounded by a glistening stainless-steel worktop, with a central preparation pod containing two sinks and a series of ovens below. Four large, glass-fronted food chillers cover one wall and, opposite, a six-burner hob, griddle, fryer and pizza oven. Walking into these working areas, one gets the sensation of being backstage in a theatre.
On the bridge deck is the captain’s cabin and office, which leads into the pilothouse, spacious and well laid out, have a main console forward housing two large radar screens and two multi-function PC displays for navigation and monitoring functions, a small wheel and engine and thruster controls on the console.
A second navigator’s console with a chart table is installed behind the two raised pilot benches, and two further PC displays can be configured by the operator. To starboard is the communications desk, where most of the radio, Navtex, and satellite terminals are housed. All surfaces are covered in grey leather to diminish reflection and to retain vital night vision, while wing bridge posts on each side deck aid in manoeuvring the yacht.
Teak stairs lead from the superstructure to the deck where the heliport is located. A fully equipped bar and barbecue are positioned further forward, opposite an inviting spa pool and, when not housing the helicopter, the raised helipad forward can be used as an extra lounging area with the simple addition of loose sunbeds and cushions.
Sai Ram is a very inspiring yacht that reflects the development of man for millennia. She is a perfect sanctuary for the modern businessman and has the power to offer calm and relaxation, a rare gift in these day and age.
N°2 caterpillar 3512 B1850 HP@1600 RPM
Text: Edmiston & Company ± Photo: Edmiston & Company