The three-year rebuild of Oceanco’s 345-foot yacht H3 turned out to be less of a refit and more of a rebirth. Some would argue this is a brand-new yacht, built on the bones of a 20-year-old gigayacht with pedigree. The 33-foot extension, a modified superstructure, and a completely reimagined interior by Reymond Langton all give the boat a new persona.
Robb Report stepped aboard during the final stages of preparation before H3 (known internally as Project H) will be delivered to its Middle Eastern owner later this month.
The first thing that catches the eye is a large waterfall at the stern, spilling over from the 23-foot-long main-deck infinity pool. It’s a theatrical nod to the yacht’s exterior transformation, which saw 26 feet added to the steel hull at the stern and seven feet to the forward deck line. The extra length accommodates the owner’s request for a large pool aft that is designed with a raising dance floor. It also gives the vessel, originally launched in 2000 as Al Mirqab, a sleeker, more modern profile. The next owner, F1’s Force India boss and now fugitive Vijay Mallya, renamed it Indian Empress. He was known for throwing extravagant parties aboard.
“The yacht was very boxy before, so we cut the entire superstructure off and rebuilt it to be as sleek as possible,” Jonathan Bevan, Reymond Langton’s exterior designer, tells Robb Report. Bevan also designed H3’s two “mini-me” Compass tenders—a 36-foot limousine and 34-foot open sportboat—that look like the mothership.
The owner’s deck and upper-deck aft areas—once used to host large parties for the opening night of the Monaco Grand Prix—have both been reduced in length. Coupled with a new enclosed gym on the sun deck, it gives the profile a more balanced look.
Bevan also eschewed straight lines in favor of contoured bulwarks that run the length of the yacht. “We’ve added a rolling-wave undercut that reflects the surface of the sea below and gives a sense of motion when the boat is moving,” he says.
The ripple effect is echoed in the outdoor lighting that washes the bulwarks and floor in soft illumination at night. This exceptional lighting was done, in part, to achieve the owner’s second request— “to make H3 the best charter boat on the market.”
Another noteworthy feature is the 33-foot-long video corridor. It links the welcome lounge and bar with the main salon, as well as concealing the tender bays on either side. On our tour, a floor-to-ceiling aquarium was displayed, but it can be used for all types of media, from videos to artwork. In the welcome lounge, an LED screen or “tech window” is linked to a camera pointing outside to give guests the choice between a virtual view or normal TV.
The interior has been taken back to the bare skin and designed anew. “A refit of this scale has not been done before. We wanted to create something dramatic and unrecognizable that can be enjoyed by family as well as for entertaining,” Reymond Langton’s interior designer, Elizabeth Kozlova, tells Robb Report.
Custom art runs throughout the yacht, including leather wall panels by Helen Amy Murray, woven metal by Sophie Mallebranche and decorative glass by Bernard Pictet. A palette of ivory and taupe tones combines with fiddleback sycamore, light oak, soft nubucks, and Foglizzo leathers that contrast with bronze and nickel detailing. The en suites and day heads are dressed in light marbles, such as Calacatta Vagli, Crema Delicato, and backlit quartz.
In the main foyer, a round Bianco Lasa marble floor frames a glass elevator that runs from the main deck to the bridge deck. The dedicated owner’s deck has a full-beam stateroom with walk-in wardrobes and an en suite. A private beauty salon and a study can be used as two additional guest cabins. The owner’s lounge has sofas, casual dining for 14, three Lasvit glass chandeliers, and two backlit infinity mirrors on the same level.
The owner’s lounge leads directly into a climate-controlled winter garden where an extendable table seats up to 32 guests. Glass doors pull back to reveal the exterior deck where movies are watched on a 130-inch outdoor cinema screen.
The yacht’s gross tonnage increased from 3,045GT to 3,521GT during the rebuild, which gave the designers more room to play with in an already high-volume vessel. They responded with high ceilings, more accommodation to sleep the 32 crew, and a full-beam VIP that serves as a second master, with private use of the bridge deck aft. Six guest cabins on the main deck bring total guest accommodations up to 20. On the lower deck is a destination spa with a hammam and sensory shower, a hair salon, and massage and beauty rooms.
Powered by triple, military-spec MTU 20V 1163 TB93 diesel engines for a massive 30,000 combined horsepower, H3 hit 30 knots during sea trials. That’s an impressive top end for a yacht this size, but then again, everything else about the new H3 is extraordinary.
Click here to see more images of H3.