If the idea of a galley in an enclosed lounge on the flying bridge sounds intriguing, the owner of the Explorer 49.5, a 162-footer, is a kindred spirit. Further notable, this is one of three galleys the owner asked Tomasso Spadolini to include in the long-range megayacht.
While the owner is still weighing builder choices, the design has been in the works for the past year. The design brief included several “musts,” as you would expect. These included large, sheltered areas to make the megayacht as suitable for off-season cruising as summertime cruising. The owner and his family additionally wanted an elevator connecting all the decks, including the flying bridge. Plus, they stressed one-level living on each deck as much as possible.
In fact, this is how the unusual, galley-equipped flying bridge (above) resulted. According to Spadolini, they wanted “a flying bridge that wasn’t a classic…flying bridge!” Rather than feature sunpads, it’s for the family to gather around the central, open galley—not a mere cooktop—and at the dining table for 12. Just beneath the hardtop, you can see the glass-enclosed elevator, with stairways to each side for, respectively, the crew and guests, too.
Of course, the interior of the Explorer 49.5 includes the main galley, specifically on the lower deck. However, a third galley is aboard, too, on the main deck. This one is for the owner and his family or other guests to use. Regardless of location, Spadolini says the minimum countertop dimensions are about three feet long by just shy of two feet (60 centimeters) deep. A dumbwaiter connects all three galleys as well.
While mealtime together is a central focus, the Explorer 49.5 emphasizes relaxation throughout the interior and alfresco areas. Interestingly, those alfresco areas lack fixed sunning spaces the way you would expect to see. Spadolini explains that the owner purposely wanted loose sunbeds and umbrellas and deck spaces capable of accommodating them fore and aft. So, for example, the helipad and the main aft deck, with fold-down platforms, each suit the desire. Further flexible, the pool on the main aft deck remains flush with the decking when covered, and rises hydraulically about 2’3” (70 centimeters) to be filled with seawater when guests wish to swim or soak.
Off-yacht fun is a priority, too. The Explorer 49.5 holds a nearly 20-foot (6-meter) aluminum tender that can carry motocross bikes and a quad. Furthermore, the tender’s bow opens to deploy the toys.
Not everything about the megayacht is so unusual, though. She features a full-beam master suite on the main deck, for instance, and four guest staterooms below decks. Crew, meanwhile, have their cabins forward below decks, and the captain’s cabin sits aft of the wheelhouse. Since the Explorer 49.5 will venture far and wide, including to the Arctic, cold rooms line the lower deck.
Although the shipyard decision has yet to come, the Explorer 49.5 certainly will have a steel hull and aluminum superstructure. Spadolini anticipates transatlantic range at a 10-knot cruise under Caterpillar power, too. Finally, he hints, “all we can say is that it will definitely be built in Italy.”
Design Studio Spadolini spadolini.it