FORCE BLUE: How a refit transformed the 70M charter yacht
As I approach the recently refitted 70.6-metre explorer yacht Force Blue, moored alongside the historic port of Nice, France, the dance of charter guest changeover is in full swing. The yacht’s crane flies overhead with a sizeable pallet of provisions, which is deftly lowered onto the ample working foredeck while the tenders are being stowed, decks washed and stainless steel shined.
Force Blue has just disembarked guests who spent eight weeks on board, and her crew is busy getting ready for new charterers arriving that very evening. She’s been consistent in attracting charter business, but this latest refit – which included a seven-metre stern extension, updated interiors and added performance – aims to make her even more desirable.
“The key to the refit was to refresh the yacht and improve her charter capabilities,” says Force Blue’s long-time captain, Ferdinando Tarquini. The previous summer, pre-refit, she racked up 13-plus weeks of charter, which she is set to easily surpass this year – it’s only halfway through the Mediterranean season when I step on board, and she’s already booked 12 weeks. As the captain tells me, the owners have yet to spend an extended period on board themselves since the refit. What mattered most was to maximise her charter potential.
Force Blue has a long and rich history. She was launched by Royal Denship in 2002 as 63.3-metre Big Roi to a design by Tom Fexas and Ole Steen Knudsen with original interiors by Ole Rune Design and Christensen & Rottbell. She had a subsequent redesign and several refits of varying degrees over the years. However, with tastes and habits evolving, this burly expedition vessel was due for a rethink of how she could best be used, lived in, and appreciated by her many return charter clients.
To read the full article, click here. FORCE BLUE is the cover boat in BOAT International's November Refit Issue.