Liara is the first-ever PY100 series sailing yacht from Performance Yachts in New Zealand.
First Impression: Liara
Date toured: December 2009
August 2011 Editor’s Note: Liara is now part of the charter fleet at Edmiston and Company.
The 98-foot sailing yacht Liara is the first of her kind, and she’s been getting a lot of attention ever since she was delivered in April 2009. She is Hull No. 1 in the PY100 series from Performance Yachts, built at New Zealand’s Southern Ocean Marine shipyard. Just before this review was posted, Liara was nominated for two Boat International Media 2010 Superyacht Awards: Best Sailing Yacht in her size range, and a special Technology Award.
I could write volumes about her design and construction, but from a charter perspective, I think the most important thing that I learned during my tour with Capt. Ross Applebey is that she was built for a man who previously had a 65-foot yacht—and who did not like the way it fit into the charter market. Liara, from her size to her layout to her features, was conceived to “right the wrongs” that the owner saw in his previous charter yacht.
“The crew area is pretty special,” Applebey told me. “We can live pretty well in the back of the boat, and all the generators and machinery are at the back with us, so we can be tuned in and right there if there’s a problem.”
Aboard the owner’s previous yacht, the guest cabins were in that same aft space—and he was regularly disturbed by crew trying to do their jobs as quietly as possible. Thus, on Liara, all three guest cabins are forward, as far away from everyday crew noise and machinery as possible.
The master cabin is the farthest forward and has a queen-size bed as well as a twin-size bed, both of which taper at the foot. The guest cabin to port has a queen-size, tapered bed, while the guest cabin to starboard has two twin beds, also tapered. I especially liked that each cabin had at least one overhead hatch plus at least one port light, allowing lots of natural sunshine to enter.
I also was pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of toys that Liara offers for charter—far more than most other sailing yachts in this size range. I counted a couple of beanbags, several remote-controlled sailboats, a pair of BIC open sailboats (shown in the photograph at right), two Windsurfers, a pair of inflatable kayaks, fishing gear, three wakeboards, water skis for adult- and kid-size feet alike, kite surfing gear, and a nearly 15-foot Williams teak-sole tender.
Liara also is outfitted with WiFi that is accessed via an antenna for free connections when in port, and via Fleet Broadband (at an extra charge) should you need to log on at sea. The media system has three terabytes’ worth of space and is controlled by a Phillips Pronto system that accesses everything from satellite television to lights to your own iPod.
The yacht spent most of her first summer being used by the owner in the Mediterranean. She arrived in the Caribbean just before my tour and was preparing for her first charter season there during winter 2009-10, after which plans were to return to the Western Mediterranean and, perhaps, Croatia, Turkey, or Montenegro.
“If the charters come,” Applebey said, “we’ll go.”
Nicholson Yachts manages Liara for charter. Her lowest weekly base rate is $55,000 for as many as seven guests. Any reputable charter broker can tell you more or help you book a week onboard.—Kim Kavin