UK Millionaire’s Custom Eco-Luxury Yacht Feels Like a Penthouse at Sea

Haze is a 2021 sporty yacht with a penthouse vibe and integrated solar panels 13 photos
Photo: Chalamar
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Short and powerful, "Haze” is the perfect name for this Italian custom yacht. Not too big, sleek, and fast, Haze is above all comfortable, exuding the carefree yet sophisticated vibe of a high-end penthouse. Who needs a huge and, as some believe, ugly superyacht when you can enjoy every summer cruising onboard this perfect luxury toy?
If today's superyachts are often compared to floating mansions, it would be appropriate to describe Haze as a floating penthouse. Size-wise, it's considerably smaller than a superyacht, with its 85-foot (26 meters) hull. Yet, in most ways, it's similar, if not better.

Sporting a metallic grey shade that gives it a contemporary, masculine look, Haze took the industry by storm in 2021, when the negative impact of the pandemic was still noticeable. It was a head-turner and an instant winner, fetching a prestigious Interior Design award for yachts under 40 meters (131 feet).

Lawson Robb and Francesco Guida were responsible for the award-winning, dashing good looks of the new yacht. It was launched by a young Italian brand, Extra Yachts, with a powerful name behind it. Extra Yachts is a brand of Palumbo Superyachts, alongside other popular brands, such as ISA Yachts, Mondomarine, and Columbus. Built on the Extra X86 Fast platform, this sleek boat was meant to combine above-average speed with the luxurious comfort of larger motor yachts.

Haze Luxury Yacht
Photo: Chalamar
UK millionaire entrepreneur Steve Rigby is, in some ways, the typical luxury yacht owner. He always dreamed of owning his private yacht, he had chartered yachts extensively prior to commissioning his first pleasure craft, and he was also a passionate sailor competing in regattas.

In other ways, Rigby stood out among other superyacht owners. He knew he wanted a stern-oriented design and, because those are not easy to come by, decided to have a boat built from scratch, to his specifications, instead of buying an existing one.

He also chose a smaller model because it was the first time he was investing in a private yacht. Informal comfort was one of his explicit requests, which is mostly why Haze feels like a relaxing penthouse without the rigid separation between guests and crew members.

The 85-foot, 86 GT boat was designed to accommodate up to eight guests in four cabins and just two crew members. All the cabins, including the full-beam master suite, flaunt a contemporary minimalist style. Some of the main features include cool grey tones with unusual mustard-yellow accents and industrial-style overhead strip lighting.

Haze Luxury Yacht
Photo: Chalamar
The main salon is Haze's heart and soul. The futuristic architecture is superbly highlighted by an abundance of natural light. This innovative salon doesn't just boast panoramic windows but also a stunning glass roof with integrated solar panels. An enormous U-shaped sofa dominates the area. Like classic salons, it includes a separate spot dedicated to formal dining.

Another attractive space onboard is the beach club, where guests get as close to the water as possible. Haze’s beach club is surprisingly lavish for its size, unfolding over 50 square meters (538 square feet). It includes the standard hydraulic swim platform, lots of sun beds, and enough room for al-fresco dining. The entire aft deck area is remarkably spacious, thanks to the wheelhouse being placed forward. It can even be turned into an outdoor cinema in the evening. More sun pads and large lounging areas can be found on the flybridge.

What makes Haze extra special is the addition of photo-voltaic cells for clean energy onboard. It's part of the "eco-conscious luxury" trend that's slowly but surely taking over the yachting industry. At the same time, Haze remains a speedy beast at heart, capable of reaching 21 knots (24 mph/39 kph) with the help of twin 1,000 HP Volvo Penta engines.

Although in 2021, the pandemic was still causing havoc in the world, the millionaire yacht owner got to enjoy his new luxury toy together with his wife, extended family, and friends. After just two years, Rigby is ready to part with Haze and move on to something bigger and better, possibly a catamaran.

Haze Luxury Yacht
Photo: Chalamar
In the end, Haze proved to have two significant drawbacks. It's limited to Mediterranean cruising because it lacks the range of oceangoing superyachts, and it's perfectly comfortable only for six people, even though it can officially accommodate eight. In other words, the UK millionaire caught the superyacht bug that all luxury yacht owners get – it's always better to have a bigger, more powerful personal boat.

Still, this doesn't take away any of Haze's qualities. The sporty, informal, and eco-conscious pleasure craft is still perfectly fit to become someone's new penthouse at sea. It's currently up for grabs, asking for less than $5 million (€4,4 million), and surely won't stay too long on the market.

It's not just a great design, but its popularity was confirmed during the last couple of years when it chartered for €55,000 per week. It also got its first refit recently, so there's nothing stopping it from finding a new, loyal owner.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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