Denver Resident launches US Largest Yacht in “Cakewalk”

By Krista Payne
Posted . Filed under Our Projects.

Cakewalk Yacht

Diamond Spas is thrilled to have played a small part in such a monumental feat; The largest Yacht made in the USA since 1930. “We knew we were fabricating one of our products for a yacht, but we had no idea who it was for, or how big a yacht, says Caleb Salazar, Diamond Spas Sales Director.  We don’t ask a lot of question in regards to the names of the owners or the size of their boats or houses that we make our products for,  so we were pretty psyched when the news came out that this was going to be the largest Yacht on record since 1930 and that the owner was from right here in Denver.”

As seen on The Denver Post

Check out the Launch of the Cakewalk.

Since opening in 2001, the Connecticut operation of Derecktor Shipyards has built, repaired or upgraded tug boats and lobster boats, fireboats and ferries, sailing yachts, motor yachts and catamarans.

But one vessel — owned by Denver resident Charles Gallagher — overshadows all the others.

At 281 feet, Cakewalk is the longest yacht built in the United States since the 1930s, when Bath Iron Works of Maine delivered J.P. Morgan Jr.’s 343-foot Corsair IV, a vessel that spent its final years as a commercial cruise ship and ended up a shipwreck.

And at nearly 3,000 gross tons (a measure of volume, not weight), Cakewalk is believed to be the most spacious yacht ever built in America. It cost more than $82 million.

Next month, after nearly four years of construction, the six-deck maritime marvel will cruise away from its Long Island Sound birthplace for a public debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Gallagher, a private equity investor who hired Derecktor to build Cakewalk, said that size was not his main concern.

“There’s no such thing as having the largest yacht in the world,” he said Wednesday by phone from Denver. “But it is important to us to have the finest-quality yacht in the world. That’s what I set out for.”

Gallagher, Derecktor and others in the U.S. yachting industry view Cakewalk as more than a uniquely grand vessel. They see it as an assertion of American prowess in large-scale luxury yacht construction, an act of daring even for a firm as celebrated as Derecktor, which built “Stars & Stripes ’87,” the 1987 America’s Cup winner.

Cakewalk — Gallagher’s fifth yacht of that name — features a spiral central staircase with balusters of ivy-like wrought iron, a formal dining salon (with chandelier), a fireplace, an elevator and “Versailles-patterned woodwork.” There are six staterooms for guests and separate quarters for captain and crew.

The master stateroom has a separate sitting room, his-and-her baths and walk-in closets. There’s a grand piano on board, original art and a walk-in cooler just for fresh flowers.

With a range of 5,000 nautical miles at 15 knots, the ship can easily cross the Atlantic. Its belly will hold three custom-built tenders for ferrying guests to and fro, along with recreational craft, including two “underwater scooters.”

“This is a go-anywhere boat,” said Bill Zinser, the Connecticut native who is captain of Cakewalk and its full-time crew of 25.

Despite the size, splendor and cost of the new Cakewalk, it is not the world’s largest yacht, or even close to it: On Power & Motoryacht magazine’s 2010 list of 100 largest yachts, Cakewalk ranks No. 38.

The reigning champion is the 557-foot Eclipse, built in Germany for Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

Gallagher, 72, an experienced leveraged buyout engineer who remains involved in companies bearing the family name, expects Cakewalk to inspire awe and respect all the same.

“I think it will surprise a lot of people that feel only the Dutch and Germans can do this,” he said. “I wanted to be the first one to demonstrate to the yachting industry that the U.S. shipbuilding capability can produce quality that meets or exceeds the quality standards of the large yachts that are built in Holland and in Germany.”

Click here to get the 3D version of the ship.

Cakewalk 2

3 Responses to “Denver Resident launches US Largest Yacht in “Cakewalk””

  1. dr stan seidman

    wonderful to see a yacht of this caliber built in usa! though disappointed that it does not fly an american flag, as does lexner’s(victoria secret owner) 315 ft yacht. our u.s. would have a much better future if manufacturing were brought back to our shores.

    Reply
  2. Joseph Swanson

    Liz Dalton, the Interior Designer just sent me a copy of “The Yacht Report” specifically written on the CAKEWALK, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading. My wife and I commissioned Liz over a year ago to do a Penthouse for us, and now know that we made the right choice. She is a fine, talented lady, and has played an important part in putting together what reads to be the finest yacht I have observed ever reading about.

    Congratulations to the entire team, and I look forward to seeing this fine Yacht one day.

    Reply
  3. Nancy Barry

    Seeing “CakeWalk” is absolutely Breathtaking!!! I was in St. Thomas, US VI this past week on the cruise ship Carnival Glory with my Fiance’ and had the pleasure of viewing this magnificent vessel right next to us. It was late in the day and getting dark when we came up on the top deck, and while just completely taken by her beauty, the side opened up and 4 jet skis came along side of her and then a gorgeous boat came from the other side and loaded up with crane lifts into the hull. This was amazing to watch, and a treat to witness the care that was taken to make sure all went well when loading. Still thinking of the sheer elegance and majestic site was glorious. I could only wish to ask to see her interior, I know it would be the finest Yacht sailing in the oceans.

    Reply

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