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Sea Magazine - December 2008 - Introducing Estancia

Story and Photos by Bridget Debernitz

A Floating Estate

Julie Wrigley (widow of the chewing gum company heir William Wrigley III) makes no bones about it - she was no seasoned skipper before this adventure began, and she doesn't plan to take the helm of Estancia anytime soon. But she does share McDowell's love of the great outdoors, and while she enjoyed cruising at his side in his Tollycraft, she also believed there was a need to further perfect the total cruising lifestyle they dreamed about; so she, too, was enthusiastic about building and preparing Estancia their way.

"As good as I am with horses, Bill's the same with boating, so I have no problem in letting him handle the piloting," she said. "This is all new to me, but still, from day one, Bill and I agreed on everything - no arguments at all."

Wrigley and McDowell had a joint vision to make Estancia a truly comfortable home away from home, designed in a manner that reflects their shared tastes and hobbies.

"When we signed the contract, we knew we could really design it the way we wanted. Bill and I let the design team know from day one that the interiors should focus on the outdoors and the special art," Wrigley said.

Touches of Wrigley's artistic flair add to the overall attention to detail throughout Estancia. She explained how each room on the boat showcases some of her favorite pieces from a collection she has been cultivating most of her adult life, and that the genre of the paintings, early California Plain Air, illustrates McDowell's and Wrigley's shared love of Western landscapes. Even the yacht's name calls attention to outdoor pastimes - Estancia is the Spanish word for ranch, and coincidentally, also the name of the country club where Wrigley and McDowell met more than 10 years ago.

Art treasures aside, Wrigley also intended to keep the yacht from being a stodgy, stoic museum at sea. "All of the salon furnishings are meant to have guests just put their feet up and relax," she said, noting that the common gathering places on the boat - the main salon and the pilothouse - are her personal favorite spaces on board.

About Estancia

Co-designed by Westport and renowned naval architect Jack Sarin, the 112's contemporary raised pilothouse style is complemented by its efficient hull design. Constructed from corrosion-free composite materials, the 112 has a swift cruising speed and a draft (5 feet, 6 inches) that allows the freed to access most yachting destinations. While on the go in the 112, Naiad 353 stabilizers keep the yacht steady at sea. The boat is powered by twin MTU V1600 2,000 hp diesel engines and tops out at a speed of 25 knots. At a more reasonable cruising speed, however (approximately 12 knots), one can expect to travel a range of 2,500 nautical miles. McDowell stated that he burns about 12 gph of fuel with the 5,500-gallon tank while traveling 9.5 knots (950 rpm).

Two 65 kW Northern Lights generators keep Estancia's electrical systems powered while under way. Additional convenience features include twin Sea Recovery 1,200 gpd water-makers, a satellite TV and phone from SeaTel, a Simrad autopilot with Transat 3000 navigation software and radar by Furuno. The beam of the 112 is exceptionally wide at 23 feet, 9 inches, and its size creates a spacious interior suitable for entertaining and comfort. Multiple large windows add to the boat's open and airy feel. An elegant formal dining area accommodates up to eight guests and is accented by opulent cherrywood with Madrona burl wall surfaces and rich veneers.

Accommodations are generous, with room for up to eight guests plus five crewmembers, who can share two aft stateroom of their own, complete with private heads and showers.

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