According to the Macquarie Dictionary, the word “illusion” means something that deceives the senses or mind. For example, by appearing to exist when it does not, or appearing to be one thing when it is in fact another. So, whether the owner of this new Supernova 88 intended her name “Illusion” to perfectly describe most people’s first impression of this exquisite Warren Yacht or not, remains a matter of conjecture. At first glance she appears to be a modern, streamlined, luxury motoryacht. But shielded from view below decks is a living area that exudes all the old world charm of one of the great five star hotels of Europe.
So, why draw analogies about her name ? Because her sleek, ultra-modern external lines; enormous open-plan aft deck entertaining area; the contemporary colours and styling of the main deck and classic opulence of the lower deck accommodation; work as individual areas to transport their occupants into different realms. Then, just to add to her illusions there are other, more subtle features, such as the metallic paint work on her superstructure; fibre optic backlit name on her garage door and fibre optic underwater lights around her hull; an underwater camera piped into the lower saloon’s pop-up 42″ plasma television screen, heated towel racks in all en suites; and heated mirrors to stop them fogging up.
But her opulent style, fit-out, finish and sparkling performance are far from an illusion. They are the trademarks of this $8.3m Warren Yacht. Warren Yachts is now a division of Shipworks Brisbane. The Warren Division designs and builds custom fibreglass superyachts and the Obsession line of semicustom yachts from 75 to 115 feet. The Warren shipyard is located at Kincumber, a coastal town just north of Sydney, with additional capacity at the new Shipwork’s facility in Brisbane. Warren has been designing and building the highest quality custom yachts in Australia for more than 20 years. According to the spiel from the Warren Yacht’s team, the boat’s composite construction and semi-displacement hull was derived from a customised hull that Dave Warren developed many years ago.
With a hull length of 87Ft 6″, a beam 19Ft 5″, a sharp bow entry to slice through the swells and props positioned in tunnels for added bite on the water, this boat was made to handle Aussie conditions. The on-water performance of the hull has been so good it has been used on eight vessels to date including the shorter and faster Supernova 77, which has a top speed of 36 knots plus. However, extending the hull to 88 feet and with conventional drives fitted, the Supernova 88 has a top speed of 32-knots plus, but cruises easily at 24 knots. At that speed she has a range of more than 450 nautical miles, about from Sydney to the Gold Coast.
She’s powered by twin MTU 1320hp diesels driving through ZF Gearboxes and spinning fitted-pitch Teignbridge props. Her fuel capacity is 6700lt. Not only can she handle offshore conditions with a minimum of fuss, but according to her skipper, bow and stern thrusters make her easier to park than some 30 footers. Now she’s parked I was anxious to have a look around. After stepping onto Illusion’s large swim platform, which gives access to the garage that houses a Zodiac tender and other water toys, teak and stainless steel stairs lead up onto the spacious aft cockpit. Here, a massive U-shaped lounge, finished in stylish stain and fade resistant Sundrella outdoor material, surrounds a removable table.
But this is not your average aft deck lounge set-up; this sucker’s big and could easily accommodate eight people for end of day drinks. That’s after the girls have finished sun baking and stowed the cushions that is. Two large sliding glass doors open to reveal the contemporary decor of the lavish main saloon with a beige carpet, off-white upholstery, burlwood coffee tables and metallic silver cabinetry. To make guests feel at home, there’s a bar and sink, icemaker and fridge situated in the middle of the cabin. Piped music floated through the airconditioned boat as I moved forward to the main deck’s lavish dining area.
It’s situated under the world’s largest opening roof, on a boat that is. This could bring dining under the stars into a completely different light. Two pale blue leather lounges surround a magnificent handmade burlwood dining table, the ideal setting for a little silver service dining. The helm station is forward of the dining area and has commanding views to 320 degrees around the boat, only the transom area is shielded from the skipper’s vision. At first glance the dash was a bit like the bridge of a 747, but the skipper assured me if you follow the logical sequence of its layout it’s quite easy to understand. And it was. Looking forward there was two sunpads on the foredeck, but the low bowrail would make this area an at anchor only sunbaking location.
A stylish staircase winds its way to the lower deck where the Supernova 88 transforms yet again. All the joinery and paneling here is done in beautifully polished wood; a finish the team was more used to when exploring boat’s of such high calibre. The accommodations are exceptional for a vessel of her size with a full beam owner’s stateroom with private en suite; forward VIP stateroom with en suite; double guest cabin with en suite and twin guest cabin, which shares the double guest en suite. Suffice to say the opulence of the cabins was five-star. Also on the lower deck is the impressive galley and family saloon.
Basically, to starboard is the galley, which contains all the equipment necessary for cruising and entertaining, oven, microwave, dishwasher, built-in coffee machine, compactor and full height fridge and freezer. Aft of the galley is a separate laundry with a washer and dryer, sink and additional fridge and freezers. To port is the family room, which features a stylish U-shaped lounge finished in pale blue leather and two beautiful handmade coffee tables. The saloon is separated from the galley by a pop-up 42″ plasma TV with its own home theatre system and Foxtel. The kids will love that one. The captain’s quarters are below the aft cockpit on the port side.
The cabin is also air-conditioned and gives access to the engine room. The engine room is not as large as I have seen on other vessels of this size and has no work area, but it’s large enough to carry out daily maintenance and servicing easily. And what about any major work ? According to the skipper, if he doesn’t get at least 10 years of trouble-free boating from these big MTUs he’d be extremely surprised. Such is the well-documented history of these top engines.
This Supernova 88 is an impressive boat on all counts. Out back it’s all water sports and entertaining, while the main cabin is stylish and ultra-modern with a metallic finish one does not expect on a boat of this type and it works. Below decks she’s a fivestar hotel with all the trimmings and many small features that are all designed to make life onboard hassle free.
Her name is Illusion, but there are no tricks about her performance, style and finish. The only thing that disappears quickly when you come onboard is the thought of how much it cost to own a vessel of this calibre. You are too busy bathing in her luxury to be bothered counting the pennies.
Words and Photos by Ian Macrae