It’s not every day that a crew member gets to christen a yacht. Then again, it’s not every day that a yacht like Cakewalk is launched.
Measuring 281 feet and displacing nearly 3,000 gross tons, Cakewalk, built by Derecktor Shipyards, is the largest American-built yacht in terms of length in more than 70 years. Equally significant, it’s largest ever built stateside in terms of volume. Cakewalk slipped into the water on Aug. 8 at Derecktor’s shipyard in Bridgeport, Conn.
The couple who commissioned the yacht could have christened it themselves, as is tradition. Instead, they gave the honors to Carmen Golinski, who oversees the interior crew. The owners, who have owned a few yachts previously, have close relationships with all of their crew.
Those relationships are definitely reflected in the way Cakewalk is set up. Because they entertain and make the yacht available for charter, they know full well that the galley needs to be spacious and well equipped. As a result, it’s spread over three decks—yes, three. No mere pantries on the levels above the main deck; they have full-size refrigerators, microwaves, and plenty of prep space. The crew also get two staircases for their own use to reach all six decks of the yacht. This way they can go about their business efficiently and without interrupting the owners and/or guests.
As for the relaxation spaces, there are a handful of well-proportioned and beautifully designed rooms. Tim Heywood Designs was responsible for the general arrangement (as well as the exterior styling), while Dalton Designs handled interior design. A strikingly large fireplace greets guests as they enter the main deck through aft-deck doors. If they board at the formal entrance at amidships along the starboard side, they’re treated to a marble-lined lobby featuring a grand staircase, with a wrought-iron ballustrade, and an elevator. All guest staterooms are on the main deck, providing for great views while at sea or at anchor. The owners reserved an upper deck for themselves, with an intimate lounge, an office, and panoramic views through the wrap-around windows in their fully forward stateroom.
At the launch, many of the individuals instrumental in the build of Cakewalk expressed immense pride. Capt. Bill Zinser, who oversaw construction for the owners, says, “She is what we knew she could be all along. It makes all the hard work, all the long days, worth it. We have great owners, and we worked with a great group at Derecktor. We can’t wait to show her off to the world.” Paul Derecktor, president of Derecktor group, thanked the owners as well, for their vision and their support of the yard on such a complex project. “For the first time, an American yard has shown it can equal or better the work of the best European yards,” he says.
Cakewalk is expected to remain at Derecktor through September, receiving finishing touches. Upon delivery, the yacht will head south, perhaps to the Bahamas for the owners to enjoy a little cruising. Cakewalk will also be on display at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in late October.