One of the great custom yachts to come out of American shipyard Palmer Johnson and built in 1994 as Lady Jenn to a design by Tom Fexas, 44.2 metre Grand Illusion now has the charms of a well-maintained classic. Rumor has it that early on, she carried two Harley Davidson motorcycles on board and has had a good history as a charter yacht in years past. She had an extensive refit in 2017, a couple of seasons in the Mediterranean and now she is on the market. Worth Avenue Yachts broker James Greenwood gives us a quick tour.
What makes Grand Illusion stand out?
I think probably the interior work after the refit the owners did when they came on board. Without taking anything away from the original layout and the way the interior looked, she now has a lovely feel to her with big oversized couches. The owner loves to use the boat and love their watersports. She is a reflection of them really; they are very relaxed on their boat. It’s not big on formal occasions, although the dining area would contradict that.
How many guests can she accommodate?
She is five staterooms can sleep 11 guests.
What recent work or refit has the boat had?
Mainly they did a small extension on the back to create a swim platform and open the transom up a bit, they went through her mechanically, did all the service work that needed doing, deck work, paint work, and then they worked on the interior. They spent a lot of money on the interior. They wanted to make the boat theirs. It’s consistently well maintained. The boat gets what it needs. The crew have all been there for a while and they run hard in the summer and they have the winter to catch up with the work that needs doing.
Is Grand Illusion suited for charter?
She is a private yacht currently but would be an awesome charter yacht. The layout and deck spaces are good. She may do a bit better in the US, where people understand more what Palmer Johnson is all about, and she’d do well in the Bahamas and Caribbean.
What type of owner would Grand Illusion suit?
People who when they want to be formal, they can be but for the most part like to spend time in their shorts and enjoy what a boat is all about, watersports, having a drink, barbecues. The current owners are a good outdoorsy family that comes from a California. They are not too stuffy but when they want to be formal, the boat delivers.
What's your favourite onboard feature?
The feel of the interior. It’s not over the top. You don’t feel too nervous to put a drink down but when they want to turn it up a little, the crew delivers and put on a show.