I spent part of the weekend checking out the new Lazzara 116, christened Serenity. She’s the largest megayacht in the yard’s 25-year history and marks a few other notable highs. One is a terrific skylight in the galley (which is on the main deck, not the lower deck, as I thought it might be). Another is the open, flowing layout; most Lazzaras use columns and other decorative elements to separate the saloon and dining area, but aboard Serenity they flow smoothly from one into the other.
But the biggest difference–and the one the owner is most proud of–is the fact that Serenity is handicapped-accessible. Chris Heatley, a repeat customer of Lazzara’s, wanted to make sure his sister Pam, who uses a wheelchair, could cruise together with him and his young boys, his other sister Kim, and their mother Nancy. To that effect, there’s a handicapped stair lift leading down to the guest staterooms; if you’ve never seen one of these, imagine a chair that’s on rails, and the rails follow the curve of the staircase’s wall. The lift ends right by Pam’s stateroom.
The Healeys plan to charter the yacht, too (on their own, according to Nancy), so they hope to open up the world of cruising to other handicapped people. They also told me that the stair lift could be removed for charterers who don’t need it. And I can attest to the fact that “able-bodied” people would be comfortable in Pam’s room.
Either way, I think guests will like Serenity as much as I did. Here’s a look aboard.