As the Palm Beach International Boat Show opens today, visitors can’t help but notice the grey-hulled M/Y Kismet front and center. At 223 feet (68m), the Lurssen is the largest yacht to appear in the 28-year-old show.
“We couldn’t ask for a better place to be,” said Chief Officer Casey Giesler as he oversaw a doubling of his deck crew finishing up prep work yesterday.
Getting the yacht in this prime location, though, was a bit hectic, he said. The yacht draws 12 feet, but there was only about 8 feet of water outside the ICW channel.
So they called Geno Gargiulo and his team at Commercial Diver Services to make some room. It took them a week, but when they were done, they had vacuumed out the soft sandy bottom and made a groove 40 feet wide and 15 feet deep between the slip and the channel.
They used an air lift, first invented 40 years ago by treasure hunter Mel Fisher , with whom Gargiulo once worked.
It’s basically a 6-foot length of 8-inch PVC pipe with pressurized air piped in through a commercial compressor.
As piped-in air goes in the pipe, it expands and rises, creating a vacuum at one end that sucks sand, rocks and whatever else is in its way out the other end.
“It’s basically an underwater Shop-Vac,” he said.
While his divers were underwater, yachts were lined up outside the whow, waiting to stage in. At one point, Gargiulo said he counted 36 yachts waiting.
And yet they still all made it into place.
“They moved 800 boats into this show.,” said Gargiulo, who opened a new office for his company at Rybovich recently. “What a puzzle. It always amazes me how they do this, create a city of boats out of nothing.”
Perhaps mayor of the city is M/Y Kismet, which has been listed for sale since at least the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show in October. In that show, its slip was tucked behind other large yachts accessible by a separate dock.
The yacht couldn’t make it to the docks at the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami so this week’s show is its first chance for front-and-center boat show exposure.
“The boat’s actively for sale, so we wanted to get as much exposure as possible,” Chief Officer Giesler said.
“There is a great clientele here,” said Kevin Callahan, Kismet’s broker with Moran Yacht & Ship. “It’s got one of the best atmospheres of any show.”
Lucy Reed is editor of The Triton. Comments on this story are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.