Seafair's Grand Luxe yacht docked at Brewer's Capri Marina in Manorhaven.
"We have something for every collector," said Lee Ann Lester, who with her husband, David, founded Expoships LLLP, a company that refits large yachts to bring art and collectables to customers with discretionary income. Their first yacht, Grand Luxe, the fourth largest private yacht in the U.S., holds 28 galleries, two restaurants and three bars spread over five decks. The crew consists of about 50 people.
The galleries during the yacht's docking at Brewer's Capri Marina in Manorhaven from Oct. 3 through 7 included antique furniture from Paris; rugs and tapestries from New York; paintings from Munich, London, New York and Paris; sculpture from China; art glass from Palm Beach; designer and estate jewelry from New York, London and Palm Beach; and ancient and historic textiles and objects from New Mexico. Exhibitors will change monthly as well as chefs.
On Oct. 3, Nassau County Museum of Art held a $250 a plate benefit attended by 350 people, the second benefit on the yacht. The Bruce Museum held the first benefit when the yacht docked for five days at the Delamare Hotel Greenwich Harbor. For the 2007-2008 season the yacht will visit 36 affluent coastal communities from Florida to Maine for five days each, beginning with a benefit designed to raise funds for a prominent charity. The Seafair yacht will stay for 10 days at Miami Beach in the beginning of December. Concerts and onboard entertainment will be an ongoing feature of the yacht.
From Oct. 9 to 14 the Seafair yacht visits Chelsea Piers in Manhattan and from Oct. 17 to 21, South Norwalk Connecticut at Veterans Park. For a complete schedule go to their website www.expoships.com. Also go to this website if you want to print out an invitation which is the only way one can visit the yacht unless attending a benefit. There is no charge for going aboard the yacht. Also you can call Seafair at 239-949-5411.
Designed by Luiz De Baso, the Grand Luxe has its own self-contained spud system allowing anchoring at smaller docks. The 3,200 ton ship, with an air draft of 57 feet, requires only a draft of 6.5 feet allowing navigation of the entire Intracoastal Waterway. David and Lee Ann Lester previously organized international art fairs, and. founded Palm Beach International Fine Art and Antiques Fair and Art Palm Beach, which they have since sold. Lee Ann Lester feels very confident about the success of this venture especially after almost a capacity crowd of 3,800 when docked in Greenwich.