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Parsifal III superyacht

On board with Parsifal III owner Kim Vibe-Petersen

The owner of 54 metre superyacht Parsifal III – a star cast member of hit TV show Below Deck – tells David Edwards the origin story of his innovative sailing yacht...

Kim Vibe-Petersen likes to call his pride and joy, the 54 metre sailing yacht Parsifal III , a “game-changer”. He likes to call the TopBrewer coffee maker he designed and manufactures a game-changer as well. But coming from him this is no lazy cliché. The Dane, with almost perfect English, chooses his words carefully and changing the game is simply what he does. In fact it completely defines him.

For if you ask the 65-year-old CEO of coffee firm Scanomat how he would describe himself, he replies without hesitation: “I’m an inventor.” Although he quickly corrects himself: “I’m as much a businessman as I am an inventor. When you run a small business, like we did in the beginning, you have to be able to do everything.” That may be true but you don’t need to spend long in his company to see that, at heart, he’s an ideas man, a restless bundle of thoughts and ambitions, many of which he’s been able to realise.

Even a conventional education wasn’t for him – “I didn’t fit in to the school system. I got pretty bored, I couldn’t enjoy myself going that slow” – and he couldn’t wait to leave and join his parents’ vending machine business, in which he’d already been working since the age of 14.

He set about transforming this simple firm. “I started my own business within their business. We were importers of machines from abroad. I started to invent products. I invented the first fully automatic cappuccino machine in the world. It went from zero to 95 per cent of the business within two years.”

Vibe-Petersen was off and running, doing everything, as he says. But the business would have been nothing without the product, the invention. Where does that creative spark come from? He doesn’t know. Not from his father, a salesman who clearly passed on the business sense. “I’m only interested in doing something that no one else has done,” he explains. “I’ve always wanted to do things differently. I’m interested in new things, in developing this world and hopefully doing things better and more easily than they were done before.”

That approach goes a long way to explaining Parsifal III and how that remarkable yacht came about. Kim and his wife Nina had owned and chartered out two Parsifals : the 34 metre Valdettaro now called Unplugged and her sister ship now known as Ree . But the inventor in him wanted to do something new. “ Parsifal III was a game-changer in the sailing yacht industry,” says the game-changer. “We were one of the first to use (designer) Rémi Tessier and we did the complete boat with him. That made his business grow.”

Boat interiors at the time (2004) were, in Vibe-Petersen’s words, like 16th century castles or English pubs. Even though they own a 300-year-old house five minutes’ drive from Scanomat’s HQ in Kokkedal, north of Copenhagen, he and Nina didn’t want that tired, traditional style. “All the other boats had a lot of small rooms, which I couldn’t see any use for. We made Parsifal III open, so you could see 360 degrees around from the main saloon. There was no special dining room, or special pantry, or anything that disturbs your sight. I wanted it to be one big thing. That was new. Also, we wanted the outside to correspond to the inside of the boat, with a very modern look.”

It was a meeting of minds between owner and designer. “Me and Rémi are very close, yes. When I visited him in Lyons for the first time, his showroom was full of Danish furniture. There was Poul Kjærholm and Arne Jacobsen and all these famous Danish designers. He was in love with Danish design. But he was very talented because he understood what we wanted to do, so in combination with me and Nina, we developed the curved, round design. Minimalism was the key word and luxury was the next. We liked the luxury, with the chrome and so forth, but we liked it in a lower-key way.”

Charter customers and awards judges liked it, too. Long before the boat emerged from Perini Navi’s yard, one client booked it for 17 straight weeks. “From 2006 to 2009 we didn’t use the boat ourselves because it was totally chartered out: 25 weeks a year, which is unheard of,” says Vibe-Petersen. “We could have got five times the amount of bookings for it.” Among the five awards Parsifal III won in 2006 was Sailing Superyacht of the Year at the Boat International   World Superyacht Awards .

“We inspired the whole industry,” says Vibe-Petersen proudly. That same pride is evident when he asks, as I arrive, if I’d like a cup of coffee. We are in the light and airy foyer of the Scanomat building in Kokkedal, north of Copenhagen, with several glass-topped plinths around us.

He takes a glass from one and places it below a stainless steel tap. Next to the tap is an iPad, with the TopBrewer app open on its screen. He asks what coffee I’d like; how strong and how much milk. I could have specified the tamper pressure I’d like applied to the coffee that is being ground behind the counter. He slides a few gauges and taps a button and 25 seconds later I have my espresso. And it’s really good.

“You get a lot of lousy coffee around the world,” Vibe-Petersen says. “You have to give quality coffee every time and that’s why people have to use our coffee with our machines, so we make sure they don’t put bad coffee in them.” Again, as he talks, the inventor in him is so apparent and so appealing. He is completely immersed in this product, and is responsible for every element, particularly the machine itself hidden under the counter. If, as he says, he wants to do things better and more easily than they were done before, then TopBrewer is a roaring success.

Just like with Parsifal III , customers and judges are agreeing. Apple has installed TopBrewers in its Caffé Macs employee cafeteria in Cupertino; Bloomberg has done the same, as has Level39 in London. McDonald’s is testing a bespoke TopBrewer system that will cut the time it takes to serve coffee by two-thirds. Beyoncé and Jay-Z have one, Steven Spielberg has one. “TopBrewer is getting very big. It’s very trendy to use our product,” says the proud inventor.

The original TopBrewer, costing from £5,000, was launched in 2012, but a new model will be able to make iced drinks thanks to a second, adjacent swan-neck tap, as well as deliver whipped cream for hot chocolate and provide all kinds of soft drinks.

But the really clever part of the product is revealed in the TopBrewer Café in Copenhagen, which I visit on my way home. There, via my phone I can order and pay for my very own customised coffee. Malou, who works there giving demonstrations to intrigued customers, says people are rapidly getting used to it. “We can change people’s coffee habit,” says Vibe-Petersen. “If you want to compete with Starbucks, which everyone wants to do, then you have to come up with a game-changer like ours, to do that kind of quality of coffee. This is about the best you can get.

“And can you imagine what kind of potential that has on a worldwide scale? You don’t have to have staff. At the airport you don’t want to wait in a queue. If you are in Hong Kong, Singapore, London or Copenhagen, you can always get the same coffee, your favourite. The one you love.”

Clearly for Vibe-Petersen, it is not just about the invention itself. Its application and the joy and benefits it brings to people complete the process. In this, making a coffee machine is the same as chartering out a boat: done well, they both bring great pleasure.

Business and life for the Vibe-Petersens is a family affair. Their sons Sebastian and Frederik work for the company: Frederik is involved in the IT department, and worked on TopBrewer’s integration with the app; Sebastian, like his father, is more technical and product-focused. Nina, 10 years Kim’s junior, is a central figure in their charter business.

“It was always the whole family who created the atmosphere of our businesses,” says Vibe-Petersen. “One thing is that the boat looks nice, the interior looks nice. But you have to have a good crew and you have to train them how to operate; how to take care of the people and make them feel good. “All my family are very service-minded, they all have that service gene. This is so important in the charter business. You have to understand what you like yourself and whether other people will like the same thing. If they don’t, you have to find out quickly what they do like.”

Vibe-Petersen’s formula for what charter customers like – and his record indicates that it’s a winning one – is to gently encourage them to try new activities. “Make them active, make them do things they didn’t know they would like to do. Get them out on a Hobie, a top jet ski , a Laser, get them out on a paddleboard, on a kayak. Try to convince them to try other things that they wouldn’t normally do. Then they are so happy for themselves if they take a step into a new world they maybe were afraid of. There’s a lot of teaching that the crew can do: talk to people, swim with them...

“People like to be pushed a little bit. But don’t push them too much! When it works you get a big reward for it. These people are so happy and they want to come back; [the company] gave me a good holiday. That’s basically what we’re selling. On top of that, you always have to have the best chef. You can repair a lot with good food!”

Vibe-Petersen’s 60 plus years have taught him many things but there are two principles that he believes are central to who he is and what he has done – and may still do. “You have to be prepared to make mistakes. If you do not make mistakes you do not invent. And it’s important that you get bored. When you are bored your brain works behind the scenes. When you are busy and stressed and on your phone too much and on the internet too much you do not develop many things. I love it when I’m bored and can just walk around, that’s when I create ideas.”

At his age many people’s thoughts turn towards home and the garden but Vibe-Petersen says he could never retire. “I work 24/7. I do not have weekends like others. I relax, I have fun and we go to parties and this and that, but in my mind I always work. And that’s not a problem for me.” That’s how you change the game.

First published by BOAT International in 2015.

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PARSIFAL III Yacht Layout & GA Plans

53.8m  /  176'6   perini navi   2005 / 2012.

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PARSIFAL III – Star of the new spin-off series ‘Below Deck Sailing Yacht’

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Written by Rachael Steele

A new series of Below Deck has aired on Bravo that looks at life onboard yachts for charter, and the first sailing yacht to feature is the multi-award winning luxury ketch PARSIFAL III.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht Cast

Below Deck Sailing Yacht Cast

Following her launch in 2005, this 54m/177.2ft sailing yacht from renowned Italian shipyard Perini Navi took  Best Interior Design – Sail Yacht and Sailing Yacht of the Year at the World Superyacht Awards 2006 and Sailing Yacht Interior from the Showboats Awards 2006 . Now, viewers have the opportunity to see this sensational vessel in action and take in every detail of her elegant monochrome interior by French designer Remi Tessier .

Yacht PARSIFALL races at the St Barth Bucket - Photo © by Carlo Borlenghi

Yacht PARSIFALL races at the St Barth Bucket – Photo © by Carlo Borlenghi

The series will place a greater focus on the day-to-day runnings of life on board, as sailing yachts bring a different set of challenges: Not only do the charter grounds need to have reliable wind conditions through their most popular months, the yacht will lean when the wind catches the sails, and the angle has the potential to set loose items flying across the room or even overboard. The greater challenge is also part of the reward, however, and many groups prefer the closeness to nature life on board a sailing yacht achieves.

Adam Glick - Below Deck Sailing - Photo © BravoTV

Adam Glick – Below Deck Sailing – Photo © BravoTV

The interiors are reminiscent of a motor yacht with large windows on both sides providing an abundance of lighting as guests begin the day over coffee on the circular sofas. In the evening, guests can unwind before bedtime with chilled wine and a film on the large projector.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht - Parsifal III - Photo © BravoTV

Below Deck Sailing Yacht – Parsifal III – Photo © BravoTV

Outside, the sheltered main deck cockpit is a desirable space for casual family meals or hosting a candlelit dinner to celebrate a special occasion, while the flybridge has a comfortable alfresco dining area for smaller gatherings. Both decks have a nearby wet bar for quick refreshments while you sit back and take in the beautiful Corfu coastline , and there is the third option of dipping your toes into the water as you dine at sea level on the hydraulic swim platform. When watching from the flybridge isn’t enough, the crow’s nest offers a bird’s eye view of the beautiful surroundings.

PARSIFAL III by Perini Navi staring in Below Deck Sailing Yacht - Al Fresco Dining on Aft Deck, Mediterranean

PARSIFAL III by Perini Navi staring in Below Deck Sailing Yacht – Al Fresco Dining on Aft Deck, Mediterranean

Returning to the flybridge, sun-worshippers will adore the fan-like spread of sunbeds along the stern, at the centre of which is a tempting Jacuzzi ready for use day or night.

Luxury yacht PARSIFAL III has a great selection of high powered water toys and sailing dinghies for adrenaline-fuelled fun or exploring the coastline at your own pace. Among the collection are jet skis, water skis, Seabobs and towable toys suitable for all ages.

The accommodation is designed for up to 12 guests across 5 en-suite cabins: 1 Master suite, 2 double cabins and 2 twin cabins that each contain a Pullman berth.

The professional crew of 9 will provide you and your group with everything you desire while cruising among the beautiful blue waters of the Ionian Islands .

See inside the star sailing yacht  PARSIFALL III  

Please contact CharterWorld - the luxury yacht charter specialist - for more on superyacht news item "PARSIFAL III - Star of the new spin-off series 'Below Deck Sailing Yacht'".

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IMAGES

  1. Parsifal III: Meet the star of Below Deck Sailing Yacht

    below deck sailing yacht parsifal

  2. Below Deck Sailing Yacht

    below deck sailing yacht parsifal

  3. Below Deck Sailing Yacht

    below deck sailing yacht parsifal

  4. Below Deck Sailing Yacht returns for second season with 54m 'Parsifal

    below deck sailing yacht parsifal

  5. Below Deck Sailing Yacht

    below deck sailing yacht parsifal

  6. Parsifal III: Inside the Below Deck Sailing Superyacht

    below deck sailing yacht parsifal

COMMENTS

  1. PARSIFAL III Yacht • Kim Vibe Petersen $18M Sailing Superyacht

    Explore the exquisite yacht Parsifal III, a Perini Navi masterpiece and star of the hit TV series Below Deck Sailing Yacht. Uncover her stunning design, luxurious accommodations, and exceptional performance as she navigates the world's most beautiful destinations. Her owner is Kim Vibe Petersen.

  2. On board with Parsifal III owner Kim Vibe-Petersen

    19 May 2021 • Written by David Edwards. The owner of 54 metre superyacht Parsifal III – a star cast member of hit TV show Below Deck – tells David Edwards the origin story of his innovative sailing yacht... Kim Vibe-Petersen likes to call his pride and joy, the 54 metre sailing yacht Parsifal III, a “game-changer”.

  3. All aboard PARSIFAL III for Below Deck’s hit spin-off, Below Deck

    With such an impressive list of amenities, it is no surprise that PARSIFAL III was chosen for the Below Deck franchise’s latest instalment– she is indeed one of the most sought after sailing yachts on the charter market. Where was Below Deck: Sailing Yacht filmed?

  4. PARSIFAL III Yacht Layout & GA Plans

    Interactive, detailed layout / general arrangement of PARSIFAL III, the 54m Perini Navi Yachts super yacht with naval architecture by Perini Navi Yachts & Ron Holland Design with an interior by Remi Tessier

  5. PARSIFAL III

    PARSIFAL III by Perini Navi staring in Below Deck Sailing Yacht – Al Fresco Dining on Aft Deck, Mediterranean Returning to the flybridge, sun-worshippers will adore the fan-like spread of sunbeds along the stern, at the centre of which is a tempting Jacuzzi ready for use day or night.