On Board 97m M/Y Carinthia VII with Capt. Luca Mosca

7 May 2024 By Risa Merl
Guy Fleury/Fraser

Capt. Luca Mosca has helmed his fair share of large superyachts, but when the opportunity came to serve as captain on board the recently refitted 97-meter Lürssen motor yacht Carinthia VII, he jumped at the chance. 

“She definitely is an iconic yacht, and this has been a huge push to my decision and will to become her captain,” Mosca says. “She is one of the first projects of the legendary yacht designer Tim Heywood, part of the Lürssen brand, full stainless-steel build … All of this, along with her history, her heritage, her sleek and elegant lines, her classic but contemporary interiors, and her exceptional performance make Carinthia VII a unique yacht. Being her captain is an honor and a responsibility too — her legacy is something special to take care of.”

Capt. Luca Mosca

Since her delivery in 2002, Carinthia VII has had continuous ownership by Heidi Horten. Carinthia VII’s new owner was drawn to the yacht’s timeless Tim Heywood exteriors and spacious interiors, and the challenge of transforming a well-known private yacht into a commercial vessel appealed to him immensely. The main goal was bringing her up to commercial code and giving her all the appeal of a modern charter superstar, while being sympathetic to her original styling and details that make her the icon that she is.

Top deck
Guy Fleury/Fraser

This is the owner’s third major refit project, and for each he has been assisted by the same team, which includes his former captain Ralph de Joode, who now serves as owner’s rep, and the designers at Bizzozero Cassina Architects. According to de Joode, the owner had two non-negotiables for the refit: a short refit time and maintaining the yacht’s high standards.

The decision to refit the yacht at her original builder, or in this case Blohm+Voss, which now sits under Lürssen’s Yacht Refit & Services division was an easy one. “If you buy a Porsche, which garage would you take it to for a service? Porsche,  of course. That was our philosophy,” de Joode says.

Main salon
Guy Fleury/Fraser

RYacht Management introduced Mosca to the owner who was looking for a senior captain with charter experience and a good reputation. He comes from a long line of captains on his father’s side, and he began working in yachting when he was 20 years old. Over the years, he’s helmed some impressive yachts from 51-meter Mondomarine Tribu, which had a unique round-the-world cruising program, to 73-meter Nobiskrug Plan B, and most recently the 85-meter AKYACHT Victorious, for which he was interviewed by Dockwalk. His resume certainly fit the bill. “The owner and I were immediately a match, sharing the same vision and goals for him and Carinthia VII.”

Guy Fleury/Fraser

The short turnaround time added a challenge to the already complex refit. “The full conversion from private to commercial registration was demanding and involved a lot of engineering works,” Mosca says. Structurally, to meet DNV commercial code, she had to be upgraded to a two-compartment ship, which required adding watertight bulkheads amidships on the tank deck and lower deck. She also received many new items, such as zero-speed stabilizers, shore power converter system, HUG exhaust gas filters, alarm and monitoring system, and firefighting system. Her engines received an overhaul, and the refit included a full paint job, darkening the trademark Carinthia Blue hull color to a shade dubbed Majestic Blue.

Main deck aft
Guy Fleury/Fraser

Carinthia VII now features an 11-meter-long pool on the main deck, partially covered by the overhand of the upper deck above. Like most refits, some compromises had to be made, like the fact that the pool sits on the deck itself, rather than being recessed, as tender storage is below. The yacht also has two new bars on the sun deck, a cinema/lounge on the upper deck, and a state-of-the-art 85-square-meter gym on the bridge deck. Other features, such as a teppanyaki grill, new swim platform, beauty salon, and upgraded spa area with a fold-down balcony, will add to Carinthia VII’s charter popularity.

Dining salon
Guy Fleury/Fraser

One of the notable things about the refit was what didn’t have to be changed because the yacht had enjoyed considerable upkeep over the years. The original woven parquetry flooring was sanded and oiled to look like new, and the majority of the original joinery was preserved, though the mahogany wood was changed from a high-gloss to a more modern matte finish.

Upper deck corridor
Guy Fleury/Fraser

Carinthia VII will winter in the Caribbean and The Bahamas, then head back to the Mediterranean for the summer. Capt. Mosca says what makes Carinthia VII an especially good charter yacht is that she will appeal to a wide range of clients, whether they like the idea of an iconic classic or appreciate something more modern. “Her interior has been carefully renovated, without overturning her classic nature, and we have a full array of brand-new water toys and tenders, including an 18-meter Windy chase boat,” he says.

Owner's cabin
Guy Fleury/Fraser

Before taking on this role, Capt. Mosca was well aware of Carinthia VII’s existence. “Since her delivery in 2002, she has been a point of reference in the industry, not just because she was the seventh yacht built for the same owner, but for the uniqueness and quite secretive aura of the project,” he says. “I still remember myself admiring her when she was docked in Antibes more than 20 years ago. At that time, I would never have imagined becoming her captain; it was just a dream, one which came true!”

Owner's suite lounge
Guy Fleury/Fraser

This article was originally published in the January 2024 issue of Dockwalk.


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