Form and Function
Like matter and energy, they are two forces inextricably tied to one another. Form and function each alone can give rise to beauty and utility, but when their powers align, a special kind of art is possible, which leaves one unable to discern between fine aesthetics and exceptional craft. This is the space Meridian’s industry-leading designers and builders strive to create.
They surely succeeded in marrying exquisite form and versatile functionality in crafting the 441 and 541 Sedans. This issue of Meridian Lines explores the similarities and common philosophy behind these two vessels. And given that the younger 541 carries forward principles originating with its elder sibling, you might say the 541’s recent accolade in the boating press—the flagship Meridian Yacht was named one of Boating magazine’s 10 Best Boats of 2012—is a title the two could share.
Speaking of elite company, this issue of Lines marks the launch of the Meridian Yachts Owners Circle. It’s a special club, just for Meridian owners. Members of the Owners Circle enjoy exclusive benefits throughout the year. The MYOC not only promises to strengthen the community of Meridian owners, but also gives Meridian the chance to show appreciation to its loyal customers with gifts and VIP treatment. Membership is open to all current Meridian owners; to enroll at no charge, visit www.meridian-yachts.com.
The new MYOC joins a number of common threads already connecting Meridian owners, one of which is surely their appetite for exploration. This issue of Lines witnesses Meridian owners tying up in locales iconic and exotic, from Nantucket Island to Thailand. Oceans may separate them, but their spirit of adventure is cut from the same cloth.
A chronicle of Meridian Yacht owners’ unforgettable journeys, gatherings and adventures. A place to share knowledge, expertise and the finer points that make Meridian a genuine boater’s boat.
Tucking into Nantucket A 15-day excursion to this storied maritime locale tests the mettle and stirs the senses of a New York-based crew. + Fine onboard entertaining begins with a few good friends and a special bottle of wine. Care for a Cruise A couple of Seattle-based Meridian owners cross tranquil Dent Island off their cruising bucket list. + From affordable boat insurance to financing to towing programs, NBOA is the one-stop shopping experience for boaters nationwide.
The construction, appearance and design of Meridian Yachts, explored in depth. A review of new vessels, technologies and accolades.
The Art of Meridian The 441 and 541 Sedan are sibling yachts in more ways than one; in their similar looks, amenities and engineering, these two vessels bear all the marks of a shared yacht-building philosophy. + A leading satellite phone and internet provider beefs up its Caribbean coverage. + A portable power pack that lets you wander well off the grid on your next adventure. + Tips on hassle-free boat insurance shopping.
THE ART OF MERIDIAN
Written by Roger Kamholz | Photography by Richard Steinberger
Like works of fine art, the Meridian 441 and 541 Sedans are a pleasure to behold, both from a distance and up-close. Their clean, muscular, streamlined shapes have been carved by the finest naval architects in the industry—designers who are ever mindful to balance exquisite form and intuitive function. But far more than a brand name and a striking resemblance link the 441 and 541. This pair of Meridians are true sibling vessels, sharing a number of important traits and exhibiting the best of what Meridian has to offer discerning boaters, from handsome lines to proven components to plush comforts. In short, they evoke the unique and masterful Art of Meridian.
Witness, for example, the signature window design common to both Meridians. Their characteristic twin-tier salon windows distinguish Meridian Yachts from other vessels in their class. Besides bestowing great looks, this stacked window design offers numerous practical benefits on the 441 and 541, such as flooding the interior with natural light and giving passengers an orienting view of the horizon regardless of whether they are sitting or standing. The 541—which expanded upon several design cues established by the earlier introduction of the 441—takes the sleek, stacked-window profile further with a third set of windows along the hull sides, clad in a graceful brushstroke of smoked glass.
Go ahead, allow those seductive profiles to lure you closer. Once onboard, you’ll notice the 441 and 541 both have a broad stance that allows for an abundant amount of space in the aft cockpit. This shaded entertaining area—covered by Meridian’s signature extended bridge overhang—includes a long sofa with drink holders as well as walk-through access to the transom. Overhead lighting, built-in speakers, non-skid stairways to the bridge and optional snap-in carpeting lend the aft cockpit comfort, safety and functionality without sacrificing an ounce of style. The seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces finds ultimate expression onboard the 541, which features an ingenious electro-hydraulic drop-down window and sliding glass door between the galley and aft cockpit.
When Meridian designers sought inspiration for the salons of the 441 and 541, they took cues from the look and layouts of modern homes, rather than simple conventional wisdom. Adhering to warm, welcoming palettes, rich surfaces and airy spaces, Meridian crafted the equivalent of great rooms on the water. Well-placed seating wraps passengers in soft, familiar comforts, allowing natural conversation to flow.
At 47 and nearly 54 feet long, respectively, the 441 and 541 are undoubtedly large vessels. But it’s a testament to Meridian’s thoughtful design that their helm stations instill such confidence in their captains. Three-hundred-sixty degrees of near uninterrupted visibility ensure that the captain always has a bead on his surroundings. The helm seat and bridge hatch have been well positioned for captains who prefer to reverse into their slip, offering a clear sight line to the vessel’s starboard aft corner. The helm console layout of the 441 and 541 both allot dash space for dual navigation displays. Rocker switches and instrumentation are within close reach thanks to a wraparound console design.
Like bowing samurai, the twin throttle controls at the helms of these yachts wield their impressive power with grace and precision. Ultra responsive Mercury SmartCraft™ instrumentation keeps you informed of the vessel’s vital functions, providing the confidence to embark on the most far-flung journeys. Mercury’s revolutionary Zeus propulsion system—available on the 441 and standard on the 541—takes the complexity out of slow-speed maneuvers such as docking and negotiating crowded marinas; a helm-mounted joystick commands independently articulating pod drives, which allow the vessel to move sideways and spin effortlessly, and even hold a position to within a few feet simply by the touch of a button.
Zeus was introduced after the 441 made its debut, but Meridian designers worked hard to see this groundbreaking technology incorporated as an option into this vessel. With the younger 541, they were able to conceive it from the keel up with Zeus in mind, making the 541 the first bridge boat ever built specifically to accommodate and optimize the system.
So while the 441 and 541 may be beautiful to look at, their thoughtful functionality speaks to an important, common fact: they’re by no means meant to be treated like museum curios, locked up and set aside for hushed veneration—these vessels are built to be enjoyed. Thanks to their unshakable stability on the water and refined accommodations, a world of possibilities is within reach. The lifestyle they afford is one of confident cruising and effortless entertaining. With the 441’s pair of staterooms and the 541’s trio, owners can freely share the Meridian lifestyle with family and friends. And perhaps their shareability is one of the most important traits they share.
Portraits and accounts of the people living and shaping the Meridian Yachts story. Whiskey River A 391 Sedan plays chariot on a truly spirited cruise down the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. + GMC’s Yukon Denali Hybrid is a technological marvel. For the Love of Water This couple of Midwest transplants are loving their retirement and all its possibilities on their new 441 Sedan. + With Raymarine’s lightweight and handheld TH-Series camera, you can see in the dark.
The distant places where Meridian owners find themselves—be they home or very far from it. A taste of the rich cultures, stunning coastlines and other rewards that lie at the other end.
Mexico The beautiful waters and rich, still-palpable maritime history of the port city of Veracruz are best savored with the assistance of a Meridian Yacht. + From the imposing Castle of San Juan de Ulúa to the scenic backdrops used in filming “Romancing the Stone,” Veracruz is a treasure of stunning sights. Thailand The first Meridian sold in the country makes a memorable maiden voyage, visiting two of Thailand’s most remote and picturesque coastal islands. + En route to the less-trafficked Thailand? Some helpful tips for when you’re on the Koh.