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Next Gen Sportfishing Salons 2.0


Yachts, both outside and inside, let us enjoy the water. Some have expansive deck space for entertaining or sunning while also sporting the most luxurious interiors imaginable. Large motor yachts can vary greatly in layout and arrangements. Our sportfishing yachts are somewhat more limited, as their central function is fishing. As we have discussed here before, general designs among sportfishing yachts tend to be somewhat consistent. This means a lower cockpit deck for fishing, a flybridge to operate the boat, a lower accommodations area and a salon tying it all together. Salon layouts in high-end sportfishing yachts often follow the same cues … settee, dinette, galley. But there’s no reason why we can’t consider new approaches in our salons. Let’s discuss several less common ideas.

Day Head: A day head makes a lot of sense. Not having to go all the way forward and down below when you gotta go is a plus. But putting a head aft in the salon near the cockpit, while practical, significantly reduces sight lines out the sides an aft end of the salon. One recent trend is putting a half bath just forward of the salon before going downstairs, in the space some refer to as the pantry. This space offers enough room for a toilet and a sink while still providing some storage as well. And it has zero impact on visibility from inside the salon. While not as handy as a day head immediately inside the salon door, it is a nice compromise that is practical and doesn’t cost us any floor space inside the salon.

Aft Galley: One idea I have always liked is the aft galley. Let’s face it, in our homes, people gravitate to the kitchen. Therefore, why not make the galley a centerpiece in our salon? With it located aft in the salon, the galley opens up the space. We can include a nice-sized high-top island or peninsula counter with bar seating. How about a bar at the aft window? That salon window can open, either flip up or slide down. This way, our galley space is connected with the mezzanine area, which has become a standard feature for most mid- to large-sized sportfishermen. This lets those who want to be more on the inside to still interact with those fishing outside. With this layout, the interior and exterior can effortlessly be blended together.

Built-In Technology: Newer devices like large flat screen TVs enable us to hide them in a cabinet and rise at the push of a button. This is common now, so we don’t have to look at the giant monitor when not in use. Another technology commonly used today in motor yachts is LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) glass. Again, at your fingertips, you could switch your salon windows from clear to completely opaque, or anywhere in between. This is appealing, both for times offshore, adjusting the tint based on how sunny it is, or at the dock, where at night you’d like some privacy from those walking around.

Sustainable Materials: Another trend is more sustainable materials for interiors. The term sustainable is somewhat gray, but some choices are more environmentally friendly and make sense without going with faux materials. One is cork. It provides a nice surface underfoot and is resilient to damage while also easily replaced if dinged. Finishes and colors vary as well. Other examples of interesting interior finishes include bamboo, jute and fish leather, along with many other emerging choices. While it’s great to be more earth-friendly, I think it would also be refreshing to see
new and creative finishes and colors in the salon that can set the design apart while still maintaining the highest level of fit and finish.

Cork Floor in boat

Obviously, the larger the boat, the more space in the salon, and design options expand. An 80- or 90-footer allows for more varied use of space when compared with a smaller sibling. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be creative with whatever space is available. While resale value is always a consideration, new owners have the refit option to make the yacht their own. Designers and builders have great new concepts and access to various materials and technology to create bespoke features fitting world-class yachts. I look forward to seeing the latest ideas come to fruition at the docks. ITB 👍

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