EXTERIOR PHOTOS: Sandro Bertozi; INTERIORS: Michele Chiroli
JR and Loren Ridinger have owned a few megayachts over the years. However, all were brokerage buys. This time around, the American couple decided, they’d take the leap into commissioning a yacht. Not just any yacht, though. Utopia IV had to be different. She needed speed. She needed efficiency. And just as important, she needed spaces as adept at letting them relax with their multi-generation family as they were at entertaining corporate clients.
Rossinavi and Arrabito Naval Architects delivered a 207-footer (63-meter) blending the best elements of a trideck and a speedboat. She has the volume of a super-size superyacht, coming in at about 986 gross tons. But, she also has the agility of a zip-around-the-harbor toy, boasting a reported top speed of 33 knots. Her quadruple MTUs, paired with KaMeWa waterjets, further permit a reported cruising speed of 26 knots. All the while, Utopia IV still crosses the Atlantic at 12 knots. Her “intelligent propulsion,” in the words of Federico Rossi, the shipyard COO, pair with smart engineering that further keeps draft to 7’2” (2.2 meters).
The Ridingers, who own Market America, an e-commerce and marketing company, took delivery last spring. Having spent the summer exploring the Med and now cruising stateside, they’ve put Utopia IV through her entertaining paces. The vast saloon (above) is capable of welcoming dozens of guests for cocktails. Given this big, dedicated seating area, along with a bar at the aft-deck entry, it allows foot traffic from additional guests and crew to flow smoothly. When it’s family-only time, the Ridingers’ grown children and grandchildren can comfortably gather and enjoy the views through the sliding doors to each side. Bulwark cutouts enhance those views, too.
Enhancing family time even more, surely, is this beach club. Team for Design – Enrico Gobbi gives it playful appeal, via a fish mural behind the bar, forward. Encompassing 753 square feet (70 square meters), the beach club has acres of teak decking for loose seating arrangements, and for the grandkids to jump repeatedly into the ocean. The tiniest members of the family can learn to swim one level up, in the aft-deck pool. Abundant sea-green tiles complement the colors of the oceans that Utopia IV cruises.
Throughout Utopia IV, the mood is soothing. Pale woods, leathers, and white and grey fabrics set the scene, with turquoise splashes. The master suite, though, kicks things up a notch. Its sheer size is significant, 1,776 square feet (165 square meters). The bed, with a custom painting as a headboard, faces a glass-enclosed hot tub. Since the entrepreneurial couple is heavily engaged in business, JR Ridinger has an office (visible just to port through the doorway). Loren Ridinger, meanwhile, who also blogs about fashion, has a custom display for some of her favorite handbags in another part of the suite. Finally, for pure enjoyment, sliding doors lead to a fixed balcony, which quickly became JR’s self-proclaimed favorite spot this summer.
When it comes to family, Utopia IV treats them the way it treats the owners: royally. This full-beam VIP suite is one of five guest staterooms below decks. Twin cabins cater to the small set—and, like proud grandparents, the Ridingers display their artwork on those cabin doors.
“This represents a dream for Loren and me,” JR wrote on his blog a few months ago. “Utopia IV is simply stunning, and we are looking forward to a lifetime of memories with her.”