Boat of the Month - Warren Supernova 75 custom

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A customisation of a Warren Supernova 75, <I>Morpheus</I> looks as stunning today as when she was launched back in 2004. DAVID LOCKWOOD reflects on of one of his all-time top dreamboats now up for sale in spiffing original condition…

Boat of the Month - Warren Supernova 75 custom
Boat of the Month - Warren Supernova 75 custom

It was mid-2004 when pre-eminent designer Dave Warren and yours truly were steaming down the harbour on the 40,000kg-plus Morpheus, helicopters and shutterbugs hovering above, the big CAT engines unleashing their fury. After a day of playing boats, a lone rattle in the Miele microwave oven was the only shortcoming we could find.

This is a fitting place to start this story about a boat that wowed us then, and again in recent weeks after a casual inspection. Boating identity, Lee Dillon, has Morpheus for sale at his new dealership at The Spit. This special remains very much that way.

A redesign of Warren’s successful Supernova 75, the custom flybridge motoryacht teams timeless European styling and minimalist lines with a sterling interior and wonderful engineering. Morpheus has been to Lord Howe Island, The Reef and back, yet she’s served more of her 750 engine hours simply gadding about Sydney Harbour.

Based on a patrol-boat hull, modified by naval architect Peter Lowe, Warren's 75 Fly fulfils the role of everything from executive entertainer to that of luxury long-range cruiser. She is a boat that you might team with a paid skipper when hosting guests, but with bow and stern thrusters and a remote docking device you can wander the deck and dock her yourself.

Rather than cater to fashion, Morpheus has timeless, elegant lines founded on a white hull with a fine, raked bow. The superstructure is sprayed with Awlgrip in nautical blue. The gunwale line has a hip near the transom to soften the sharp angles. Windage isn't a big issue thanks to the low-profile flybridge, yet the boat has deceptive volume for a 75-footer.

If not the engineering — which is virtually to survey standards — then it is the finish that sets this boat apart. The interior is world class, which is hardly surprising considering that Warren has worked with superyacht interior decorator, Sam Sorgiovanni, and sent his boats to the Med' and America.

Inside and outside you won't find a whiff of gelcoat, a naked screwhead, a press-stud or silicon wipe. Like rattles, such things are the pet hates of the Warren. Most of the fabrics used on the boat have been sourced from New York or Europe. The ribbed polished-aluminium sheeting used to line the boat's working or high-traffic areas remains cutting-edge today.

Lighting is something else again, with ceiling features, courtesy lights, night lights and lots of natural light. But the full-width owner's stateroom and home-theatre room have portholes that serve more as picture windows. Headroom, especially below decks, is nothing short of towering.

Back outdoors, the wide transom is flanked by walkways either side of a commodious push-button garage for a jet-powered RIB and home to a Besenzoni crane. Oversized swimladders are also kept in the garage in readiness for those long days at anchor or diving on The Reef.

The cockpit, largely shaded by the bridge overhang, features a high-gloss teak buffet table and a large aft lounge. Wide electric saloon doors, edged with impressive stainless steel framework, bring the indoor/outdoor living areas together. And there's a drink's fridge or several handy nearby.

The walkthrough galley — discreetly concealed when not in use — is among the architectural features indoors. With the island helm, amenities centre and portside lounging area on the one level the boat is interactive for guests, skippers and crew. Bench space, which is much in demand for entertaining, is plentiful, as are stainless steel Miele appliances.

There's a programmable coffee maker recessed in a wall, a deep sink, an oven/grill, a three-burner Ceran hotplate, dishwasher, three-drawer freezer, two fridges plus icemaker, concealed garbage chute and compactor. The island servery contains the microwave and various drawers and cupboards for glasses, platters and suchlike.

A spiral set of stairs leads down to a home-theatre or, if you prefer, an executive boardroom. Behind the wall wearing a 42in flatscreen television (huge in its day) is an additional cabin. All-up, the 75 Fly has four cabins, three heads, two of which are en suites, and the aforementioned crew quarters.

At the helm, twin charcoal-coloured leather helm seats, with walnut armrests containing drinkholders, add a touch of class. The centre console with silver and carbon dash panel has twin electronic Caterpillar engine monitoring panels, twin ignitions, a Raymarine multifunction display panel, autopilot, Sidepower stern and bow thruster control and a searchlight.

A button under the dash, another Warren trait, operates the popup side console with 10in Raymarine screen and Furuno Navnet. Alongside was a chartlocker and Inmarsat EMS Satcomm unit. Plus the Twin Disc remote docking device and Marantz remote control for the sound system.

Another reason for the clean, uncluttered, uncomplicated console is the AMS2000 computer monitoring system. The touch-screen engine control panel looks after fuel, bilge, lights, freshwater and black water, alarm lists and memory functions. The system designer has the ability to dial-into the boat via satellite communications and perform diagnostics from anywhere in the world.

What appears to be little more than a storage hatch off the portside of the cockpit is actually the entrance to the neat crew quarters and eventually a watertight door into the engineroom with twin six-cylinder 1000hp C18 IMO-compliant Caterpillar engines.

Although a pleasureboat, no corners had been cut with the engineering of Morpheus, much of it borrowed from the Warren 75 and 83 Supernovas built to CE or RINA certification. The big-capacity integral fuel tank carries 6500lt (full when we setoff) and there’s a 1600lt integral water tank.

The modified patrol-boat hull has tunnels, five-blade props, reverse chines and transom-hung rudders to maximise speed. Together, these things contribute to a boat that you can drive off the wheel like a sports motoryacht.

I contributed very little to our departure — the skipper, thrusters and Warren himself easily decamped the 75 Fly. It is an ideal two-person vessel. On an imaginary champagne cruise the boat was noticeably quiet and smooth. Continue out to sea at 9kts and you can travel for 1600nm, leaving some fuel in reserve, says Warren. As a 40,000kg light ship, Morpheus ran to 28.4kts during sea trials. At 2000rpm we steamed along the coast at 21.6kts and at 18 to 20kts I'm told the range is about 550nm.

Into a headsea, the patrol-boat hull cuts a swathe. Down sea, it pretty much drives itself. But the greatest testimony to the build quality is that all this remains in perfect working order more than six years down the track.

Morpheus has been professionally maintained with a skipper from Warren Yachts from the day she was launched. Her lines are timeless, the finish first-class, and the build quality is exceptional. Lee Dillon from Luxury Design Motoryachts in Sydney has Morpheus for sale for $2.85 million, with just 750 hours on the twin 1000hp CAT C18s. The boat was the last build in Warren’s Kincumber yard, before the operation moved north and was sold. She remains among Warren’s best works and is a virtual superyacht now at a keen price.

Warren 75 Fly

FOR SALE: $2.85 million
BRIEF: Fully custom boat w/ owner supplied Manchester, loose rugs, scatter cushions, curtains and blinds, and carpets, glassware and utensils, loose chairs, artwork, tenders and safety equipment. Factory options include sunbed on foredeck, telephone system with fax/printer, shore connections for phone, fax and net, security system, 42in plasma television
TYPE: Planing hull with tunnels
LENGTH Overall: 22.85m
BEAM: 5.94m
DRAFT: About 1.37m
WEIGHT: 40,000kg (light laden)
8 + 2
FUEL: 6200lt
WATER: 1600lt, plus desalinator
ENGINES: Caterpillar C18 1000hp at 2300rpm (max)
SPEED: 28kts
DETAILS: Lee Dillon, Luxury Design Motoryachts, d’Albora Marinas, The Spit, Mosman, NSW. Phone (02) 9930 0000, email:


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