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Boat International USA - July / August 2006

Written by Tim Pawsey

The construction of Vango's comprehensively molded hull with vinylester resin and Airex PVC core was well underway before her purchase was finalized. However, Westport's expert interior design team, headed by London-based Donald Starkey, was able to execute a vessel that enjoys a unique, formidably artistic character, true to the inspiration that its name suggests.

Beneath her sleek, gently raked exterior, Vango exudes a warm and welcoming personality that balances the ultimate in traditional comforts with state-of-the-art technology. Boarding, through the starboard mid ships foyer, the eye is impressed by the design's degree of richness. Flowing from the play on its name that recalls the Dutch master, the visual art of this vessel rules at every turn. A modern painting set against a full wall mirrored panel by noted Seattle glass artist Dale Chiluly sets the tone and reflects the overall theme.

This contemporary, embossed abstract of swirls and colors hints at hues typical of the Van Gogh-inspired canvases elsewhere and also complements the foyer and companionway flooring of Rosa di Masco marble, inlaid with petrified wood. Much of Vango's innate sense of opulence and sophistication comes from designer Don Starkey's choice of satin pommel sapele and high gloss mahogany throughout the guest areas, which add remarkable depth and texture.

From here, access is easily gained to all parts of the vessel: forward to the 31ft, full-beam owners' quarters; below to guest accommodations; and above to the bridge deck, with all three levels also connected by an elevator. The layout fully anticipates the crew's need to move freely and comfortably without disturbing guests.

The main saloon reinforces the unmistakably luxurious tone in an integrated, cohesive manner ruled by understated, considered taste. The formal but still very comfortable space appears more expansive thanks to wraparound panels of 16 full-height windows with remote-controlled blinds. Sensor-driven, full sliding double doors lead onto the aft deck, with its removable shade canopy above a teak dinning table for 12, bar with twin settees and full accoutrement.

Inside, warm earth-toned furnishings include asymmetric sets of sofas to port and starboard, with a low table and sectional stools tucked underneath. The sense of quite opulence is heightened by custom-woven cream carpeting (in all guest areas) of 100 percent hand-tufted, superbly plush New Zealand wool, over a layer of sound-deadening material.

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