On Board 88m M/Y Project X with Capt. David Cherington

23 June 2023 By Claire Griffiths
Credit: Theatre360

Claire Griffiths is Dockwalk’s contributing editor in the Mediterranean. She fled to the sunny south of France from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Claire has a background in journalism for national and regional UK press and a career in political and corporate PR prior to that. Claire’s hobbies include eating, sleeping and dancing at inopportune times. She tries to avoid sheer drops and Olympic bobsled runs. Email Claire at

Capt. David Cherington was working for a door manufacturer when one day he saw an advertisement seeking refit carpenters in Portsmouth, UK. The yacht was the 59-meter M/Y Elan Y Mor belonging to Sir Bernard Ashley. “It was a conversion rather than a refit, and a year later when the yacht left, I was offered the job as deckhand carpenter,” he says.

Cherington stayed on board for three years, ended up as second officer, and met his future wife (the chef). They moved to Florida and worked on small yachts mostly in the Caribbean. “Over the course of [those] three years, I got all my licensing done and my 3,000 ton in 2007,” he says. He worked on M/Y Meamina for seven years and did stints on M/Y Talisman Maiton and M/Y Il Cigno.

Beach Club
Credit: Theatro360

The keel for M/Y Project X was laid in 2010 at Marco Marine in Chile, which then went out of business. The bare bones of a yacht was shipped to Delta Marine in Seattle, Washington, where it laid in long-term storage. In 2018, Cherington was asked to visit Delta and see if she was worth putting together. “I said yes because I like a challenge, and it was a challenge!”

The yacht was shipped to Golden Yachts in Greece and work started in December 2019. She was delivered in July 2022. “She started off with a really sound hull and was already built up to the bridge deck,” Cherington says. “We did quite a bit of alteration. The heli deck is completely changed and the stern is three meters longer.”

Main Salon aft view
Credit: Theatro360

Ken Freivokh was the exterior designer and Massari Design did the interior. “I made sure the designers’ ideas were practical,” Cherington says. “I added a few bits and pieces such as making sure the stew pantries were adequate and big enough. I also had input into tender bays and tender operations: We’ve got two RIBs, a limo, and a Pedrazzini in the beach club.”

Upper Deck Salon
Credit: Theatro360

Cherington changed the function of some spaces, for example, a technical engineering space became the crew gym. He also had input in the large engine room and the two-room galley: the main galley and the scullery. The yacht has three chefs and 28 full-time crew. She sleeps 12 guests for charter or 19 if operated privately. The yacht is six stories up, and the crew lift goes from the tank deck to the bridge deck.

M/Y Project X with tender
Credit: Theatro360

“I’m particularly pleased with the layout,” Cherington says. “I’m a charter captain and when I saw the layout, I knew this could work really well as a charter boat. We’ve got massive deck space outside but also interior volume. She’s well oversized for her length. You’ll find 100-meter boats that don’t have the volume of this boat.”

Credit: Theatro360

Project X is equipped with a guest gym, sauna, hammam, ice cold shower room, and hairdressing and massage parlors. “The beach club is impressive, and it stays operational while we cruise instead of being the place where you pack away all the furniture,” Capt. Cherington says. “The only thing stored there is the Pedrazzini, but that is like a form of artwork, and it sits on its chocks looking very pretty.”

The only thing he’d change is one entry point. “When crew come onto the boat from the tender, they have no option but to walk through the guest area.”

Owner's Suite
Credit: Theatro360

The integrated bridge by Wärtsilä will take some adjustments and he’d change the position of the radar. Cherington designed the wing stations, which work well. The glass guest elevator, which the manufacturer claims to be the largest circular lift fitted on a yacht, runs from the lower deck to the sun deck guest gym and can hold up to 15 people.

Credit: Theatro360

“It was one of my career goals to do a build from scratch. I’ve done some major refits on some very large vessels, but never a new build pretty much from scratch, so that was a tick in the box for my career,” Cherington says. He’s not sure he’d do another but is happy to remain on board Project X as he knows it well and it offers him rotation, which will keep his wife happy, he says. “I’ve always been someone who strives for the next level, and building a yacht was another big step. I want my crew to have ambition, too, and I make sure there is some sort of training scheme on board. I learned that at the very beginning when my captain did the same for me.”

This article was originally published in the June 2023 issue of Dockwalk.


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