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My Favorite Room: Tarek El Moussa takes luxury down to sea level

The paparazzi aren’t likely to catch up with HGTV star Tarek El Moussa in his favorite room — a luxury yacht, bought with co-star and imminent ex-wife Christina El Moussa.

Through it all, the divorcing parents of two continue to film and air their seventh season of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop.”

The show’s formula — renovating Orange County homes (some with a viper’s nest of problems) and then showcasing them to gossiping buyers — has been a ratings triumph for the business-savvy real estate couple.

Along with his tabloid-splashed split, El Moussa recently stared down two cancer diagnoses: thyroid and testicular. He’s now cancer-free and has stabilized his well-publicized weight swings, he said.

El Moussa’s nearly $1-million yacht has helped calm all those stormy seas. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom boat with a family room — a 50-foot Sea Ray Sundancer 510 — is docked at a club in Orange County.

What’s not to love about a yacht? But this one looks special.

It’s new, it’s big, and it’s all open — no separation between the downstairs and upstairs, so it’s actually an atrium. It’s funny how the boat is following the same look as houses.

All the exterior flooring is teak, and the bedrooms have cedar-lined closets. There’s a kitchen, a washer and dryer — it just has absolutely everything you need.

We’re loving that sunroof. Does it come off?

It’s actually a convertible. [The yacht] can be fully enclosed with air conditioning and heat, or you can open the whole thing up to get fresh air.

What are your favorite toys on the yacht?

I put in a really, really crazy stereo system, so the boat’s really loud. There’s a small dinghy that goes 40 miles per hour. I like fast things. I like to take the dinghy behind the big boat and jump the wake. Probably not the safest thing to do.

Who do you share the yacht with?

I’ll grab a huge group of friends. We listen to music, barbecue, go paddleboarding, swimming, cruise the harbor. I’ve taken it to Catalina.

Your kids (Taylor, 6, and Brayden, 2) must love the boat. What are their favorite things to do on it?

We take out the dinghy, and I let Taylor sit on my lap, and she drives with me, which she loves. Makes her feel like a big girl, you know. Taylor loves going fast — she’s definitely adventurous, that one.

What’s it like piloting the yacht with a joystick?

Seriously, it’s almost like a video game! If you turn it right, the boat will do a full 360. It can go sideways, it can do a 180, and that’s all by turning the joystick as opposed to working levers, which is a lot more difficult.

The yacht must be great for relieving stress and escaping.

It’s like therapy, just to be out in the middle of the ocean. Sometimes I take it out by myself and just float. You don’t feel like you have to go, go, go, because there’s nowhere to go.

hotproperty@latimes.com

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