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Luxury Living Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is all about coastal living and entertaining. So why not take your home style to the sea and go yachting? Whether you buy or charter, your fabulous adventure will be luxe, from sophisticated staterooms to alfresco dining fit for Goldie Hawn (think Overboard!) and Aristotle Onassis.

Yachting Fun: Aston Martin, Mercedes Benz and Bugatti all design luxury yachts. But you can set sail in local style on a Tampa Bay-based Lazarra or Bertram yacht. Quality Boats of Tampa Bay can also help you navigate purchasing the yacht of your dream. Sophisticated sailors know that a yacht club provides safe berth and convivial fun, especially those in downtown St. Petersburg, Davis Island, Palma Ceia, Sarasota, Treasure Island and Carlouel yacht clubs.

Seaworthy Style Trends: You might think navy/white with red accents dominates yacht interiors, but according to George Hetzel, VP Sales/Marketing for Pursuit Boats, people are looking for the same design they experience in a new home. “They want more modern tones and palettes that are neutral, architecturally sleek interiors and sophisticated furnishings,” he says. “We use a tremendous amount of woods, but in softer colors. White, especially pattern cream and white, are big, with owners bringing color with accessories and art.”

What’s big is bringing the outside scenery indoors with a lot more glass. “People want seamless integration of the outdoor entertaining space and galley/dining area, connected by two huge glass doors that can be opened or closed,” adds Hetzel.

Interior designer Anita Unger agrees. “The trends follow the land. Nautical colors are out. Simple elegance, contemporary style and neutral colors are in without being blah, especially if you think you may want to sell the boat down the way or charter it out.”

Unger would know. Anita’s Interiors, Inc. specializes in custom interior design, styling and space planning for yachts, private residences and aircraft. She’s designed interiors for Navy vessel H.H. Hess, Christina and mega yachts from California to Florida for more than 20 years.

Unger points out that comfort, safety (padded panels behind the bed) and multiple functionality (TV recedes into the ceiling) comes first. Unger uses hurricane glue to batten down artifacts and a locking system mechanism on artwork so it doesn’t swing. “Of course, you got to be careful not to put nails or screws in the bulkhead,” she admonishes, laughing.

Client’s daydreams and collecting passions determine the style and design. “One client liked art deco-inspired furnishings, no wood. So we took the wood out of his seating-in-the-round saloon where he and his friends would drink and watch television and replaced with new veneers. We used a palette of beige, oatmeal and black,” says Unger, who works with her husband Bill in the design business. “One client wanted Marilyn Monroe in the master bathroom and another client, their small Monet.”

Other design trends you’ll see are alfresco galleys with icemakers and refrigerators, grills, built in bars and lounge furniture situated by the water’s edge to create a dreamy sun lounge with swim platform. Larger master staterooms and private sundeck areas are all the rage on megayachts.

Popular amenities include wine coolers; unique entertainment solutions (disappearing wide screen TVs); storage spaces for water toys (paddleboards, kayaks) and bikes and a home office space that allows the owner to plug in from anywhere on their cruise. Performance has become a huge desire for people now as well, with boats getting bigger and going faster. “People want to get where they are cruising quicker and arrive in style,” says Hetzel.

Charter Your Nautical Adventure: Wealthy millennial style is to rent, check it off the bucket list and move on to summering in a Tuscan villa. In any case, you can test the waters by chartering a crewed yacht (complete with captain and chef) from The Moorings from 20 destinations including Florida and Caribbean ports of call. Want to check out the mighty Pacific? In San Diego, savvy sailors book Zolna Yachts (seen here) to vacation in the downtown harbor or cruise to Newport Beach and Catalina.

Celebrity Sightings: During the Indy Grand Prix in downtown St. Pete, you’ll see amazing celebrity-owned yachts. These modern classic superyachts are the toys of the rich and famous. Although they come and go, who can forget Tiger Woods’ Privacy, Johnny Depp’s Vajoliroja, Steven Spielberg’s Seven Seas (infinity pool, 15-foot glass wall that converted to a theater) and Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen’s Octopus (complete with two helipads, game room, spa, hot tubs, recording rooms and two submarines).

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