5 Features This Wine Enthusiast Loves About Her Aviara
Kristi Lam loves to entertain. As the owner of Clearwater Wine Bar & Bistro, she spends her days creating memorable experiences for restaurant and catering customers. Now she and her husband Dave have another venue for entertaining, the Lady Bella, a 32-foot Aviara luxury day boat. Aviara is a new line from MasterCraft influenced and sold exclusively by MarineMax.
See Her 5 Favorite Features:
“The design of the boat is so intuitive,” said Lam. “The layout is perfect for spending hours out on the water. There is so much room to relax, and the aft seating arrangement allows our guests to be on the boat or in the water, yet share the same experience.”
Similar to a well-appointed pool deck, the aft seating on the Lady Bella includes three side-by-side adjustable chaise lounges, each with ample under seat storage for a combined roomy 34x68 inch sun pad. Unique to the Aviara is a second row of pop up bar stools behind the chaise creating stadium seating for up to six people to face the water. Each cushion is made of CoolFeel vinyl upholstery making it comfortable to sit on even in direct sunlight.
2. Sun-shade System
The couple’s favorite feature on the boat is the power controlled sun-shade system crafted by MakeFast, Europe’s premier shade-system manufacturer. With the push of a button, the shade covers the entire back portion of the boat, all the way to the engine. In addition there is a front bimini shade that takes about four minutes to put up – protecting the entire 32-foot craft from the suns rays, something Lam’s husband, a dermatologist, appreciates.
The heart of the entertaining happens between the stern and the port side. Guests relax in L-shaped seating, where Lam can pop up a triangular table for lunch or happy hour in less than two minutes. Drinks are secure in five stainless steel beverage holders mounted in teak in the bulwarks. If guests prefer to be upright, no problem, the Aviara is deep enough for someone over six feet to stand comfortably on deck and in the head.
As a caterer, Lam appreciates the wet bar across from the luxurious seating – especially the space to chill three upright wine bottles. In addition, the area has a sink, pull out cooler, refrigerated drawer, trash and a small teak corner counter with three beverage holders. All of this is under a fiberglass hard top that includes mood setting LED RGB accent lights that can change color, as well as two of eight 1500-watt Klipsch speakers.
4. The Helm
“When I cater an event,” said Lam, “I walk through what my customers will be doing to ensure every detail is addressed. I feel like the Aviara design team did the same thing with this boat. The flow is seamless.”
That sense of stress-free boating extends to the driver as well. The helm is well thought out with a clean triple-display dash, one-touch joystick piloting and an Italian handcrafted hydraulic steering wheel. The twin Mercury Verado 350 outboard motors bring the right amount of power, and the boat offers excellent maneuverability.
“It handles like a Porsche,” said Vincent Martone, the sales consultant from MarineMax Clearwater that worked with the Lams.
“It’s such a stable boat,” commented Lam. “During our first trip to Longboat Key we hit a storm. There was a small craft advisory, and there was a portion of the ride that required us to be in the Gulf during rough seas, yet the boat handled beautifully, we didn’t even get sprayed by the wave splash.”
5. Shallow Draft
One of the Lam’s favorite places to anchor up is the north end of Clearwater Beach. The boat’s shallow draft allows them to get close to the dog friendly shore where the family, which includes the couple’s two cocker spaniels Bella and Sadie, can enjoy swimming and chasing balls on the beach.
The couple’s most memorable trip was to St. Petersburg, where they parked the boat at The Vinoy Renaissance Resort Marina and stayed at the historic hotel in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg. The trip took about 45 minutes in the Aviara and was so easy they plan to make it a monthly excursion.
The novel design of the Aviara inspired Lam to do some innovating too. She created a new gourmet picnic menu for the Clearwater Wine Bar & Bistro. “The menu items are perfect for a day on the water and come in containers that fit perfectly into the Aviara refrigerator,” she said. “It’s effortless entertaining, just like the boat.”