After a lifetime messing about in boats, ADAGIO’s owner wanted an expedition yacht. He detailed his requirements in a comprehensive seven-page design brief that set out every aspect of his needs, and the boat’s anticipated use. Above all he sought a motor yacht of superyacht quality, with emphasis on safety, comfort, reliability, serviceability and style. Close attention was to be paid to sound and vibration suppression. He wanted a boat of the “right size”; that is, big enough to cruise anywhere (including high latitudes) in safety and comfort, but no bigger than necessary to do so.
Some specific requirements included an owner’s stateroom with walk-around Queen-sized bed and ensuite; two guest cabins; and private crew quarters aft. The saloon was to open via double doors to a large weather-protected aft deck. The engine room was to have full headroom. Electric generating capacity was to be adequate to run a full range of domestic appliances, with power storage sufficient for generators to be shut down for extended periods.
There was to be an integrated navigation system with redundancy, and a full suite of voice and data communications. A custom program logic controller monitoring system (as used on modern jet aircraft) was requested. It was to be capable of checking systems and operations constantly.
Construction was to be in ALUSTAR high-strength aluminium, painted with AWLGRIP system to high-gloss yacht finish.
Mark Fitzgerald, in Chuck Paine’s design studio in Camden, Maine was chosen for the task because of his design pedigree. In the 1970s, Fitzgerald worked with the doyen of US naval architects Jack Hargrave. Hargrave and his team drew more than 7000 yachts, many of them classics, leaving an indelible mark on the US boating industry – and on Fitzgerald.