When it comes to interior outfitting, no comment is usually a good comment. As design editor, when I go around any yacht, the first things I notice are imperfections and bad finishing; wood grains not matching, rough edges on carpeting, panels that are not flush. There are many yachts that fall into the ‘no comment’ category and a common thread with these yachts is that they had a specialist interior outfitter working on them. Mogambo is one such yacht.
Having worked on previous projects for Nobiskrug, Metrica was awarded the interior contract following a trusted and established relationship. However, shipyards will often undertake the task of fitting the interior using their own in-house team, as was the case for 39.7m Apostrophe built by Hakvoort. Although this may be the cheaper option, an external contractor may have a more advanced approach and it is important owners don’t underestimate the value of a knowledgeable and experienced team.
“The gym on the top deck was a last-minute addition to the yacht, which was built by the shipyard’s in-house team, as it was considered to be part of the exterior,” designer Andrew Langton tells me. “It was also cheaper for them to do it than asking Metrica. However, to match all of Metrica’s samples was a challenge for the yard and their team really struggled to achieve the same colours.”
Drawing inspiration from the African name, chosen by the build owner’s husband from the 1953 film set in Kenya starring Clark Gable and Grace Kelly, the studio set out to conceive a dramatic interior – a departure from the monotone finish of the build before it. While some of the initial ideas suggested were dropped by the client, the combination of dark woods in combination with light-coloured finishes were worked into the final design.
A notable and intriguing feature linking each room within the interior is the two eight-millimetre-deep by four-millimetre-wide grooves in the wall that run throughout the yacht, from wardrobes in rooms through to the bathrooms and into toilet areas. These grooves cross over from wood to stone, requiring pinpoint accuracy to ensure a flush finish – something easy to detect by touch if not by eye when done poorly. Langton explains how special attention was paid to where joints would be located to help disguise them and avoid as many butt joints as possible, due to their relatively weak hold when not reinforced.
A crocodile-like pattern has been crafted into the walls in the main salon, master and guest suites, through the incorporation of two-millimetre V-shaped grooves in the walnut, adding dimension to the otherwise flat walls. These grooves run vertically and horizontally in a wavy line pattern similar to that created by a large aquatic tetrapod moving over ground, adding additional complexity for the outfitters.
“The installation on board is always a complicated process, as different trades with different philosophies need to be coordinated, which was successfully done by Nobiskrug,” says Dittmar. “Working closely with the shipyard and the design team was important in achieving the high- quality finish expected by the client.”
The work conducted by Metrica was of such a high standard that when it came to inspecting the build quality, interior specialist Patrick Grab – a former employee at Nobiskrug with intimate knowledge of the inner workings of yacht construction – found no faults. Those more experienced within the industry will know that this is a very rare occurrence.
It would be easy to forgo hiring a specialist interior outfitter when each shipyard has its own on offer, but yachts such as Mogambo demonstrate what a difference it can make.
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