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Mystery floats around yacht New luxury vessel at Erie Basin Marina for a week on way to Florida boat show

Buffalo has another sleek, high-priced visitor bathed in a bit of mystery and putting down anchor here -- for a short time, anyway.

No, we're not talking about Terrell Owens.

We're talking about the Sycara IV, a new 151-foot yacht that is resting its motors for a week at the northern end of the Erie Basin Marina, near the observation tower.

The Sycara IV, which was built in Wisconsin and finished just two weeks ago, arrived in Buffalo on Monday and is scheduled to leave next Monday.

Marina visitors won't be invited on board, but they can gaze at the 50-yard-long beauty and chat with crew members.

"We're just coming in here to enjoy Buffalo, do some maintenance, and then we're off," said the ship's captain, who would identify himself only as Graeme.

The Sycara IV, a classically styled yacht, will be unveiled officially at the 50th anniversary of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in late October.

"It's just a 1920s re-creation, really," Graeme said, pausing in his onboard duties Thursday. "It's a totally unique vessel, a showpiece. It's representative of the finest in American yacht building."

The Yacht Forums Web site says the Sycara IV underwent an extensive sea trial on Lake Michigan, where all its systems were tested.

"Her owners, being particularly concerned about the environment, wanted this yacht to have low fuel consumption and a small wake that would not cause damage to the shoreline," the Web site states. "The sea trials confirmed that while cruising effortlessly at 12 1/2 knots with a very small wake, Sycara IV burned only 27 gallons per hour, generator included."

Another Web site, Luxurylaunches.com, states that the yacht's exterior styling, with its teak and white-painted paneling, complements the classy interiors. The yacht boasts, among other features, teak and sycamore flooring, wool carpeting, a leather-upholstered bar, custom stainless steel bar stools, leather nightstands and desks, formal and informal dining areas, and a spa tub.

So what's the price tag?

Graeme was friendly, but he wouldn't talk about the owner or the sale price. "It's like somebody asking, 'How much is your house worth?' and 'Can I come in your home?' It's exactly the same thing," he said.

"We're more than happy to answer basic questions, but it's a private vessel -- somebody's sanctuary."

e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com

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