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JFA Yachts Launches Long Island 78’ Power

The JFA Yachts Long Island 78’ Power is powered with twin 500 hp Cummins diesels. Cruise speed: 12 knots. Top speed: 15 knots.
The JFA Yachts Long Island 78’ Power is powered with twin 500 hp Cummins diesels. Cruise speed: 12 knots. Top speed: 15 knots. (Courtesy JFA Yachts/)

JFA Yachts in France has launched the first Long Island 78′ Power, an aluminum yacht with a composite superstructure and wheelhouse.

The interior allows for 360-degree views of the great outdoors. The galley and salon are to port on the main deck, with direct access to the foredeck. The dining area and navigation station are to starboard. Forward on the main deck are a lounge and seawater pool.

Accommodations include five staterooms for the owners and guests, all located in the catamaran’s hulls.

Up on deck, the flybridge navigation area is enclosed with seating and a desk. Abaft that space is a sky lounge with a dining area and small cooking space.

According to JFA, the Long Island 78′ Power has a cruising speed of 12 knots and a top speed of 15 knots, powered with twin 500-horsepower Cummins engines.

Who designed the Long Island 78′ Power? Marc Lombard Yacht Design Group handled naval architecture, while Darnet Design did the interiors. 

For more information, visit: jfa-yachts.com

KVH Industries - 40 Years of Boating Tech

KVH performs final assembly of its two-axis stabilized TVRO antennas and stabilized VSAT terminals in Middletown, Rhode Island.
KVH performs final assembly of its two-axis stabilized TVRO antennas and stabilized VSAT terminals in Middletown, Rhode Island. (David Schmidt/)

Click, click. Tick, tick. Click-tick. Click-tickity-tick. Clickity-tickity-click.

My ears struggle to decipher the unsyncopated cacophony ringing from a sequestered testing room at KVH’s Middletown, Rhode Island, headquarters. “Hang out in here too long and you’ll go nuts,” says Alan Sylvestre, KVH Industries' director of manufacturing.

He’s only partly joking. The staccato sounds emanate from motors that keep KVH-built very-small-aperture terminals (VSAT) and TV receive-only (TVRO) antennas locked onto their correct satellites. Sylvestre points to the digital counters below each motor. Some read “just” 13 million cycles (and counting), while others have surpassed 40 million tests.

Studying the motor-testing area, which sounds like a highly caffeinated, typewriter-driven newsroom, I realize that KVH’s stringent quality-control protocols support the company’s goal of scaling up service-provider operations without swelling employee head counts or customer costs. The approach has served the company well since it was founded during the run-up to the 1980 America’s Cup, and it has given yachtsmen access to onboard technology that was a pipe dream just a few decades ago.

KVH was born when the French America’s Cup syndicate sailing the 12-Meter France 3 wanted a tactical sailing computer. A team member made a chance acquaintance with a young Martin Kits van Heyningen, who was working at a Newport, Rhode Island, boatyard in between semesters at Yale University. When he heard what the sailors wanted, he said that his father, Arent Kits van Heyningen, then an engineer at Raytheon and an accomplished sailor himself, “could make anything.”

The elder Kits van Heyningen built the world’s first sailing-specific computer, as promised, but soon realized that analog fluxgate compasses weren’t compatible with digital computers. So, he returned to his basement laboratory and built the world’s first self-calibrating digital fluxgate compass.

He and his sons, Martin and Robert, worked under the SailComp banner from 1982 to 1985 before changing the family-owned business’s name to KVH. The company’s military-facing arm, TACNAV, was founded in 1991, and in 1997, KVH acquired the assets of the Andrews Corp.'s Sensor Products group, a Chicago-based fiber-optics developer. This purchase allowed KVH to become involved in the inertial navigation and fiber-optic gyroscope trade, and the company soon had clients ranging from the US government to commercial and recreational boaters.

KVH runs hands-on technician training, which lasts two to five days, for advanced repairs at an in-house lab.
KVH runs hands-on technician training, which lasts two to five days, for advanced repairs at an in-house lab. (David Schmidt/)

KVH introduced its first TVRO system in 1994 and went public in 1996. In 1998, KVH started reselling Inmarsat’s L-band (1 to 2 GHz) satellite-communications antennas and airtime service before deciding to enter the satellite-communications trade itself. In 2007, KVH created its regional Ku-band mini-VSAT Broadband satellite-communications network by leasing satellite transponder space on geosynchronous satellites, and began manufacturing a 60-centimeter stabilized VSAT antenna—dubbed the TracPhone V7—that exclusively operated on this end-to-end network. In 2011, KVH added the 37-centimeter TracPhone V3 to its VSAT lineup, followed by the 1.1-meter TracPhone V11 in 2012.

These antennas and terminals drew upon the company’s core compass technologies. Today, KVH specializes in building fiber-optic gyro equipment, and satellite-communications and entertainment solutions.

And the company continues to innovate. In 2017, KVH launched the next-generation mini-VSAT Broadband 2.0 network, delivering faster service at attractive prices and supporting high-throughput-satellite (HTS) airtime service and antennas. The antennas include the TracPhone V7-HTS (2017), TracPhone V3-HTS (2018) and TracPhone V11-HTS (2019). Additionally, KVH launched the TracPhone LTE-1 antenna, delivering the lowest-cost routing across cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

“You can manage a business by cutting costs or by delighting the customer,” says Elizabeth Jackson, KVH’s chief marketing officer. “We’re focused on delighting the customer and setting them up for success.”

The company’s HTS antennas come with dual channels. There’s a high-speed line that’s typically reserved for owners, their guests, and critical communications such as stock trading, and a second, slower (but free with unlimited data) line that’s meant for crew use and uploading data to the cloud.

“KVH’s Watch technology lets us [monitor] the performance of each antenna,” Jackson says, explaining that this internet-of-things portal is a key advantage to KVH’s end-to-end network. “We’ve grown so fast, it’s now a matter of having the systems to support the scaling. We used to be a hardware company. Now we’re a service company.”

Hardware is typically a one-time sale, while service represents an ongoing relationship and a business that can be scaled up without swelling head count.

“As we add more customers, we don’t need to add one-to-one employees to support the systems,” Jackson says. “There’s always some element of human [involvement], but infrastructure and systems can be scaled more efficiently.”

Additionally, KVH’s embedded data-use controls allow users to set their airtime allocations, which plays into customer demands for fast, dependable service and predictable bills.

“We collect position and performance data every three seconds,” says Robert Balog, KVH’s chief technology officer. The company uses this information to help customers avoid signal blockages.

KVH practices lean manufacturing with a single-piece flow on its production floor.
KVH practices lean manufacturing with a single-piece flow on its production floor. (David Schmidt/)

And KVH can use vessel-generated data such as speed, heading, roll, pitch and yaw—as well as vibration levels—to see any effects on the yacht’s VSAT performance. Inside KVH’s network operations center, screens and maps show every KVH-equipped vessel, its operational status and its performance metrics.

“Our system monitors every region,” says Jeff St. Pierre, KVH’s senior manager of global technical support. “We want to notice any issues before the customers.”

KVH’s back-end analytics constantly check for latency issues, packet loss, thrashing (the time an antenna spends hunting for a satellite), speed and connectivity. Should any network issues arise, St. Pierre’s team is on hand 24/7/365.

Other specialist team members can be found on KVH’s cavernous production floor, where the company does final assembly of two-axis stabilized TVRO antennas and two- or three-axis stabilized VSAT terminals.

“Each line is its own product,” Sylvestre says, adding that factory workers are trained to build and pack specific products. “All tools are calibrated, and every screw has a torque requirement.”

KVH practices the process of lean manufacturing with a single-piece flow, inspired by Toyota. KVH designs components in-house but builds them elsewhere.

“When I started here 25 years ago, lead time was 16 weeks,” Sylvestre says with a smile. “Now it’s two days, or one if it’s the last day of the quarter.”

While skinny lead times are good for getting products to customers, Rick Driscoll, KVH’s vice president of service development and implementation, says that what yachtsmen really want is the ability to stream data. KVH offers speed-based plans, where customers buy gigabytes of data at the fastest speeds available, and fixed-price plans that deliver predictable bills at slower speeds. There’s also a high-end, high-speed, unlimited-data streaming service for V7-HTS and V11-HTS customers.

“The holy grail is full streaming on a yacht at a reasonable price,” says Jim George, KVH’s senior director of global leisure sales. “People want the same [streaming] experience on their boat that they have at home without worrying about overages.”

Review: Simrad NSO EVO3S

Benefits of Simrad’s NSO Evo3S are speed and the ability to update software and firmware down the road.
Benefits of Simrad’s NSO Evo3S are speed and the ability to update software and firmware down the road. (Courtesy Simrad/)

Multifunction displays and marinized computers are fast at first, but layers of software and firmware updates can deposit speed-sucking e-sediment, and newly networked equipment can further tax aging processors. Eventually, the best option for this technology involves hitting the refresh button.

If this sounds like your helm, and if you have Simrad equipment, then the NSO Evo3S is worth a look.

Simrad’s NSO Evo3S display (read: a marinized display with a built-in black-box processor) shares a familiar moniker that adds a significantly faster, six-core processor to its predecessor model. The updates make the NSO Evo3S operating system, application-specific software and networked hardware perform better, while delivering future-proofing for upcoming software updates and hardware.

Simrad’s older-generation NSO Evo3 display and the new flagship NSO Evo3S display share identical platforms, operating systems and touchscreen-only user interfaces. Both systems also have the same screen technology, which includes optical bonding to combat fogging, as well as in-plane switching to deliver wide-angle viewing. Both units further share identical networking capabilities. The NSO Evo3S display is available in 16- ($6,999), 19- ($8,799) and 24-inch ($10,999) screen sizes.

The differences between these two displays reside under the bonnet. “The NSO Evo3S has a next-generation processor,” says Stephen Thomas, Simrad’s executive vice president. “It’s taken the [NSO Evo3′s] display and made it a lot faster.”

Thomas and Greig Keesing, Simrad’s product manager of displays, say the NSO Evo3S upgrades are thanks to the i.MX 8 processor, which is the successor to the i.MX 6 chipset that served as the NSO Evo3′s muscle.

“The i.MX 6 is a four-core processor, while the i.MX 8 is a six-core chip,” Keesing says. “The i.MX 8 has four standard-speed cores and two really fast cores. It’s two to three times faster than the i.MX 6, depending on what you’re doing.”

The system deploys its standard-speed cores first because they consume less power and generate less heat. The system reserves its high-speed cores for graphically intensive applications, such as rendering data from a downstream Simrad StructureScan 3D sonar. “It’s a tangible difference in speed,” Keesing says.

For example, Keesing says, the i.MX 8-equipped NSO Evo3S is significantly faster at commanding a yacht’s digital-switching system, and it’s twice as fast at facilitating page transitions. Additionally, switching between panels is smoother.

“The idea is that you can run the entire boat off of one display,” Keesing says. “The NSO Evo3S improves a user’s experience with the overall ecosystem” of networked marine electronics, including thermal-imaging cameras, radar, sonar and digital-switching systems.

NSO Evo3S displays are bereft of hard buttons and knobs, so Simrad sells OP50 remote controls—either separately or as part of a system pack that includes an MI10 dual-payload micro-SD card reader. The system packs also include external GPS antennas because NSO Evo3S displays, and the NSO Evo3S marine processors, ship without an embedded GPS receiver (they’re typically installed in areas that yield poor reception).

In addition to the NSO Evo3S, Simrad also released its black-box NSO Evo3S Marine Processor (starting at $4,499), which has dual i.MX 8 processors.

“MPUs are like having two MFDs in one box,” Keesing says. “A customer could install two NSO Evo3Ss or one NSO Evo3S MPU and two monitors.”

Based on Simrad’s pricing, customers can buy a single 24-inch NSO Evo3S display for the same price as an NSO Evo3S MPU that comes bundled with dual 19-inch Simrad-branded touchscreen displays.

“Some owners run three displays on their helm—two that connect to an NSO evo3S MPU and a third that connects to a separate [PC-based] system,” Keesing says, noting that this setup allows the NSO Evo3 MPU to be physically installed with other onboard black boxes.

As for how many NSO Evo3S displays or NSO Evo3 MPU-powered monitors can be installed aboard a single yacht, Keesing and Thomas say there’s no real limitation, aside from the physical size of the yacht’s helm. An owner of a 70-footer might spec two 19-inch displays at the helm and another one or two 16-inch screens on the flybridge, while the owner of a 90-footer might opt for three displays at the helm and two screens on the flybridge.

Redundancy is another consideration. While a single NSO Evo3S MPU can drive two monitors, the whole boat could go dark should this lone black-box computer fail. On the other hand, if an NSO Evo3S display fails, then the operator can just switch to using a different unit.

“If there are no financial restraints, MFDs would be the option that I’d go for,” Keesing says.

So if you’re running legacy Simrad MFDs or black-box-driven displays—or if you have NSO Evo3 displays and want a speed boost—NSO Evo3S displays and/or NSO Evo3S MPUs could be a great upgrade. Neither system flinches at fast page transitions, nor will they balk at managing a busy digital-switching system or graphically rendering complex sonar data that can help you hook a pelagic prize.

Yacht Experience Matters

Experience can often be the best teacher.
Experience can often be the best teacher. (Steve Haefele/)

A number of my industry pals have been voicing a common gripe. The internet has provided a fresh crop of boat buyers who know all there is to know about boats, and who don’t appreciate the wisdom of those with practical experience. Would you be wise to a pitch that promised the moon? Don’t answer. Please read on.

If you can learn to fix a Rolex or suture a wound by watching YouTube, then why not learn how to invest in the pastime? There are legions of self-appointed pundits online to explain all you need to know. Marine mavens have been with us since Noah.

And before internet experts nudged dreamers off the dock, there were plenty of enablers. Most yacht-design clients I dealt with arrived with a maven in tow. In many cases, these were simply friends of the victim who enjoyed hearing their own sea stories and promoting their brilliant solutions to the challenges of marine design. I recall one who insisted that self-contained plastic heads fit for a pop-up camper were ideal for a 60-foot motoryacht. “Why not a 5-gallon bucket?” I deadpanned.

Mavens were often friends of a client who’d tired of their freeloading pals bumming rides on their boating budget. Others practiced self-promotion for profit. On one project I remember, the client’s interior decorator conjured an arrangements plan for a 100-footer with a crayon set. The problem? The boat was 80 feet. I pointed out the challenge, and the client took me aside and explained the facts: “Eighty feet is all you have, and if the decorator isn’t happy, my wife isn’t happy—and no boat.”

In custom projects, mavens are often hired hands and come with the title project manager. Customers often bestow this honorary title on a captain, surveyor or designer. I have always found this amusing because, in truth, once a contract is signed—for better or worse—the builder is the only project manager. And for richer or poorer, the change-order markup ensures that the builder will remain happily married.

There is certainly value to having your own qualified eyes and ears at the shipyard, but the details of construction and outfitting should be agreed to before wood is sawed. Surprises in new-yacht construction are usually not good ones. Design revisions after the fact should be avoided because they can cost more than cash. Unexpected weight gain can have serious effects on performance.

The truth is, there are more “experts” willing to tell qualified dreamers yes than no. When choosing a professional in the marine industry, I’ve always recommended asking two simple questions: Have you ever done this before? Did it work?

If the answer is no and you move ahead, then you are a pioneer and might realize a faster return investing in commercial space travel to the moon. So, you’ve searched the web and found a 200-foot semi-submersible bowrider with A-list accommodations and surface speeds over 100 knots. Go get 'em. Godspeed, John Glenn!

New Yachts: Princess Yachts Y78

Powered with twin 1,800 hp MAN diesels, the Princess Y78 has a projected top-end range of 34 to 36 knots.
Powered with twin 1,800 hp MAN diesels, the Princess Y78 has a projected top-end range of 34 to 36 knots. (Courtesy Princess Yachts/)

The Princess Yachts Y78 creates an entry point for the builder’s Y series, which also includes 85- and 95-footers. The 78-foot size is also a transition point for many yachtsmen—from being owner-operators to having a part- or full-time crew.

The Y78 is geared for entertaining at sea with three well-defined alfresco social zones. The primary one is on the flybridge. To starboard is U-shaped seating with a folding teak table for dinner with a view. A second settee is just forward of this one, and two helm seats are on centerline. To port is a third settee for two more guests, so the helmsman will never lack for company while cruising over to Bimini. Abaft the settee is a wet bar with an electric grill and refrigerator, reducing galley trips for food and beverages. There is real estate for three chaise-style lounges or a davit and tender on the after section of the flybridge. The forward half of the flybridge is covered by the hardtop, which retracts when sun is desired.

The salon has U-shaped ­seating to starboard and a two-seat settee to port. Forward is formal dining for eight. Almost 360 degrees of glass allows ocean views from all areas.
The salon has U-shaped ­seating to starboard and a two-seat settee to port. Forward is formal dining for eight. Almost 360 degrees of glass allows ocean views from all areas. (Courtesy Princess Yachts/)

The flybridge overhang protects the second outside zone: the cockpit. It has U-shaped seating and a folding teak table, making it a solid spot for lunch after a morning swim in the salt.

The third social area is the foredeck lounge, with U-shaped seating molded into the yacht’s superstructure for sundowners with friends. There is a sun pad for four guests.

Taking up the Y78’s full 18-foot-11-inch beam, the ­master stateroom is flanked by hullside windows for natural light. Abaft the berth are the head and a walk-in closet.
Taking up the Y78’s full 18-foot-11-inch beam, the ­master stateroom is flanked by hullside windows for natural light. Abaft the berth are the head and a walk-in closet. (Courtesy Princess Yachts/)

Belowdecks, the Y78 accommodates eight people in four staterooms, all with en suite heads. There is a full-beam master stateroom amidships with direct access; a forepeak VIP with a double berth; a guest stateroom abaft the VIP and to starboard, also with a double berth; and a guest stateroom abaft and to port of the VIP with twin berths. A crew cabin is abaft the engine room with twin berths and a head.

For meal and snack prep, the yacht’s galley is forward and to starboard in the salon, and has a four-burner cooktop, a microwave/convection oven, two stainless-steel sinks and a full-height refrigerator/freezer. Countertops can be granite or quartz. The galley can also be closed off from the salon/dining area via an electrically operated glass partition.

The lower helm has twin seats, two displays for GPS, a radar and a depth sounder. Side-deck access is via a door to starboard, and there’s an opening window to port.
The lower helm has twin seats, two displays for GPS, a radar and a depth sounder. Side-deck access is via a door to starboard, and there’s an opening window to port. (Courtesy Princess Yachts/)

Power for the Princess Yachts Y78 is a pair of 1,800 hp MAN V-12 diesels, and the builder says the top-end speed range is 34 to 36 knots.

Take the next step: princessyachtsamerica.com

Check Out this 180-Footer by Dixon Yacht Design

Dixon Yacht Design has debuted plans for Project 175, a 180-foot sailing yacht with a low-profile, a flybridge with helm stations and a hot tub.
Dixon Yacht Design has debuted plans for Project 175, a 180-foot sailing yacht with a low-profile, a flybridge with helm stations and a hot tub. (Courtesy Dixon Yacht Design/)

Dixon Yacht Design in the U.K. has unveiled plans for Project 175, a “statement yacht” that would have a length overall of 180 feet.

The sailing yacht design is low-profile with a flybridge and the type of expandable aft deck that’s more commonly found aboard motoryachts.

Sails would be on a ketch rig; headsails are set up with an overlapping genoa and a smaller, non-overlapping blade sail, both furling and on a fixed stay. An off-wind Code sail would be on an underdeck furling drum and hoisted through the deck when required.

The idea, according to Dixon Yacht Design, is “to simplify the process as much as possible on tried and tested control systems with proven in-service reliability.”

Inside, Project 175 has a salon with a formal dining space. Four guest staterooms are on the lower deck, along with an owner’s stateroom that spans the yacht’s 36-foot beam. There’s direct access to the beach club aft from that owner’s stateroom, by way of a private salon.

Up on the flybridge are helm stations, a hot tub and entertaining space.

What kind of power would Project 175 have? A hybrid system with an energy-recovery component that uses the propulsion propellers to generate electricity underway.

For more information, visit: dixonyachtdesign.com

Refitted and Ready to Charter

The 112-foot <i>Indigo</i> is accepting inquiries for Florida and Bahamas yacht charter at a weekly base rate of $50,000.
The 112-foot Indigo is accepting inquiries for Florida and Bahamas yacht charter at a weekly base rate of $50,000. (Courtesy RJC Yachts/)

RJC Yachts says the 112-foot Westport Indigo has completed a major interior refit, and is now accepting inquiries for Florida and Bahamas yacht charter.

Indigo is a 2006 build that accommodates eight guests in four staterooms. The refit included all new carpeting, furnishings, artwork, linens, towels, soft goods, electronics and audiovisual systems.

“No expenses were spared to deck out this beautiful yacht with all you need on board (and in the water),” according to RJC’s team. “They have a large selection of water toys including the 35-foot Scout LXF tender, three Yamaha wave runners, two Seabobs, four SeaWing scooters, an eFoil surfboard, floating mats, towable tubes, paddleboards, wakeboards and more.”

What’s the lowest weekly base rate to charter Indigo? It’s $50,000, with four crew.

For more information, visit: rjcyachts.com

Horizon Yacht Launches FD92

The FD92 is the first tri-deck model in Horizon's fast-displacement series.
The FD92 is the first tri-deck model in Horizon's fast-displacement series. (Courtesy Horizon Yacht/)

Horizon Yacht has launched FD92, the first trideck model in the builder’s fast-displacement series.

The FD92 has an interior pilothouse as well as an open flybridge. The design evolved from an owner’s request to reconfigure an FD87 to achieve those features. Horizon’s designers created a lightweight, carbon-fiber flybridge to make the idea a reality.

According to Horizon, the motoryacht retains the predecessor’s high-performance piercing bow and hull design. Beam is 23 feet, 3 inches, and power is twin 1,900-horsepower Caterpillar C32 Acerts.

Who designed the Horizon FD series of yachts? Cor D. Rover, who is based in the Netherlands.

Take the next step: go to horizonyacht.com

Sanlorenzo’s Largest Superyacht

This transom opens to reveal an 840-square-foot beach club with a sauna, steam bath, massage room and fitness zone.
This transom opens to reveal an 840-square-foot beach club with a sauna, steam bath, massage room and fitness zone. (Courtesy Sanlorenzo Yachts/)

When Sanlorenzo Yachts in Italy set out to build its largest-ever yacht, the 64Steel Attila, it turned to two of the nation’s most respected design teams for help. Officina Italiana Design, which has worked with Sanlorenzo as well as with Riva Yachts, was tapped for the 64Steel’s exterior lines. For the interior, Sanlorenzo went to Francesco Paszkowski and Margherita Casprini, who have worked with Sanlorenzo as well as Tankoa, ISA, Baglietto, Custom Line and CRN.

The result is a superyacht with innovative features, not the least of which is a barbecue inside the dining area on the main deck. The owner, an Argentine entrepreneur who commissioned the Sanlorenzo 46Steel Achille for delivery in 2012, wanted the ability to cook over open flames in the enclosed space. The shipyard made his dream a reality, using A60 fireproof stainless steel and an advanced smoke-removal system.

Officina Italiana Design drew the 64Steel’s exteriors. The firm has also done work for Italian builder Riva.
Officina Italiana Design drew the 64Steel’s exteriors. The firm has also done work for Italian builder Riva. (Courtesy Sanlorenzo Yachts/)

An entire deck on the five-deck yacht is reserved for the owner’s use, with the master’s bed facing the bow, as well as a private hot tub outside. The decor highlights natural teak as a primary material, with glass, fabric, backlit onyx and steel accents. White, gray and brown make up the entire yacht’s color scheme.

A full-beam VIP and four additional guest staterooms are on the main deck, with quarters for 18 crew belowdecks. There’s an elevator to the crew level for transferring stores, along with refrigerated compartments, a laundry facility and a climate-controlled, 500-bottle wine cellar.

The main deck aft can become an indoor-outdoor space thanks to opening sections of glass all around.
The main deck aft can become an indoor-outdoor space thanks to opening sections of glass all around. (Courtesy Sanlorenzo Yachts/)

According to Sanlorenzo, Attila has a top speed of 17 knots with her twin Caterpillar 3516C engines. That should be plenty of power for showing her off from Portofino to Sardinia, or anywhere beyond Italy her owner chooses to cruise with her next.

Reviewed: Sabre Yachts 58 Salon Express

The Sabre 58 Salon Express has an aft-galley setup that easily services guests in the salon and cockpit.
The Sabre 58 Salon Express has an aft-galley setup that easily services guests in the salon and cockpit. (Billy Black/)

The Sabre Yachts motto is “crafted in the Maine tradition,” and the Sabre 58 Salon Express illustrates that motto well. It’s the only American- built, Down East-style yacht in this size range, aside from bespoke vessels.

Everywhere I turned on board the Sabre 58, the company’s 50 years of boatbuilding experience was evident. There was the corner joint in the American cherrywood (not veneer) interior, so seamless that my finger couldn’t find an edge. Same goes for the bank of dovetailed maple drawers in the galley.

The Sabre 58 is the largest model in the builder’s Salon Express line, which includes 38- to 48-footers, but is smaller than the queen of Sabre’s motoryacht fleet, the 66 Dirigo. There are no crew quarters on the Sabre 58, which is designed for owner-operators, a fact that is reflected in the side-deck access door next to the helm seat.

The yacht’s hull design is by naval architect Kevin Burns and the Sabre design team. It’s a modified deep-V planing hull form with 15 degrees of deadrise at the transom and 24 degrees amidships.
The yacht’s hull design is by naval architect Kevin Burns and the Sabre design team. It’s a modified deep-V planing hull form with 15 degrees of deadrise at the transom and 24 degrees amidships. (Billy Black/)

That helm has a joystick for controlling the twin 725 hp Volvo Penta IPS950 diesels. The joystick is in the armrest of the twin Stidd UltraLeather seats abaft the teak steering wheel. The dash has a cantilevered solid plank of cherry holding a tidy row of rocker switches below a pair of flush 17-inch Garmin touchscreen multifunction displays. With an eyebrow to prevent reflections from the windshield and a “glove box” for the skipper, this space is a wooden rendition of a glass-bridge system. A double-wide companion seat is to port.

On this same deck, stainless-steel-framed doors aft fold away for entry to the yacht’s salon, thus removing the usual demarcation between the cockpit and interior. You’ll be in the galley, and yes, it’s the first aft galley on a Sabre. It’s a couple of steps from the cockpit’s dining table, and two steps from the dinette and settee abaft the helm.

Stairs next to the helm descend to an atrium with a skylight. Beyond that are a hidden washer and dryer, as well as the full-beam master stateroom.
Stairs next to the helm descend to an atrium with a skylight. Beyond that are a hidden washer and dryer, as well as the full-beam master stateroom. (Billy Black/)

But as Bentley Collins, vice president of marketing at Sabre, points out, “If you use your boat for cruising with family and friends, then what better spot to put the galley than smack in the middle between the indoor and outdoor social spaces.”

Stairs next to the helm descend to an atrium with a skylight. Beyond that are a hidden washer and dryer, as well as the full-beam master stateroom. The stateroom has a 76-by-80-inch king island berth with a 10-inch-thick mattress and an inlaid headboard. In addition to drawers and underberth stowage, nightstands are on each side of the berth, and a pair of cedar-lined hanging lockers have shelves.

The Sabre 58 Salon Express hull also uses the latest technology of
resin-infused biaxial glass, Corecell foam coring, and foam-cored biaxial glass stringers.
The Sabre 58 Salon Express hull also uses the latest technology of resin-infused biaxial glass, Corecell foam coring, and foam-cored biaxial glass stringers. (Billy Black/)

Forward of the vestibule is the VIP space, with a walk-around queen berth, a built-in bureau and a double-door hanging locker. The VIP’s en suite head has a stall shower with a door and doubles as the day-head, with access from the vestibule. A third stateroom has an en suite head with a shower and twin berths that convert to a double.

Underway, the dynamic-positioning system should come in handy when waiting for bridge openings. The engine room, reached via a stainless-steel ladder by way of a hydraulic cockpit hatch, has a nonslip walkway between the engines. An oil-change system serves the engines, pod drives and 21.5 kW generator. Other items of note here are a pair of 85-foot Glendinning shore-power cords, an isolation transfer on each shore-power service, and a 3.5 kW Mastervolt high-output inverter/charger for onboard power sans generator. There is arm’s-reach access to everything, including the dual Racor Max 1000 fuel filters and the Groco water-intake strainers—not to mention a gloss-white, Mylar-faced foam noise barrier.

The builder added more space than usual for provisions, with cabinets far above the galley countertops.
The builder added more space than usual for provisions, with cabinets far above the galley countertops. (Billy Black/)

The Sabre 58 is delivered with a CZone NMEA 2000 networked electrical system that combines onboard Wi-Fi as well as digital switching. Owners can monitor systems and control a multitude of circuits using the provided iPad Mini. (A second iPad Mini is optional.) Launch ports are installed in the salon. The master stateroom has a fixed-network display, and another is in the engine room.

According to Sabre, the 58′s top speed is 31 knots; during the boat’s first cruise from Maine to the Miami International Boat Show in February, it averaged 28 knots from the Shinnecock Canal off Long Island, New York, to Norfolk, Virginia, a distance of about 370 nautical miles over the course of 13 and a half hours. As Collins says, “That’s cruising.”

The Sabre 58’s Down East heritage is immediately evident in the cherrywood interior, proud bow and trunk-cabin design.
The Sabre 58’s Down East heritage is immediately evident in the cherrywood interior, proud bow and trunk-cabin design. (Billy Black/)

Due to the boat’s sound-attenuation insulation, noise levels barely touch 60 dB(A) at the helm—that’s the level of normal conversation—while cruising at 28 knots, according to the builder. Efforts to reduce noise include the use of coring on cabin sides and engine-room bulkheads, as well as tabbing all furniture into place.

Sabre Yachts is entering its 50th year in business, and the Sabre 58 Salon Express embodies the builder’s knowledge base, classic lines and modern use of technology. This yacht is as modern as it is timeless.

Take the next step: sabreyachts.com

Islamorada’s Top Angler

Capt. Skip Bradeen has been sharing his fish knowledge with clients in the Florida Keys for 56 years.
Capt. Skip Bradeen has been sharing his fish knowledge with clients in the Florida Keys for 56 years. (Lisa and Greg Poland Photography/)

Skip Bradeen has a lot of fish tales from his 56 years of plying the waters off Islamorada in the Florida Keys. But one of the longtime captain’s best stories came from being out with Paul Newman, one of the many A-list actors, athletes and politicians who’ve come aboard Bradeen’s 50-foot Carolina sport-fisherman Blue Chip Too.

Newman landed a 273-pound hammerhead shark, a formidable catch. When they returned to the marina, Newman wanted his picture taken with his prize. “He said, ‘I want to be hoisted, upside down, next to the shark,’” Bradeen says.

The photo of Newman, arms folded, hanging upside down with his hammerhead, ended up going out nationally over a news service.

Bradeen is regarded as a local celebrity in his own right in the Upper Keys, in large part because of his daily On the Water With Capt. Skip Bradeen radio fishing reports. He has recorded them for 32 years. Bradeen gives listeners the inside scoop on what’s running around Islamorada, no matter whether it’s king mackerel, wahoo and sailfish in winter or mahimahi and tuna in summer. His expertise, combined with his trademark charm, led Salt Water Sportsman to name him one of the top 50 captains in the world.

What brought you to Florida’s Islamorada from New York’s Long Island? I came here for a two-week vacation in 1964 before I was supposed to start butcher school. I fell in love with the place. I’d been around boats since I was 8. I signed on as a deckhand and never left.

After all these years, what do you still enjoy about being out on the water? I love what I do. I love catching fish. I love the clientele I get introduced to every day. I pinch myself all the time that this is how I get to make my living.

Skip’s star picks on Islamorada

Wahoo’s Bar and Grill: It’s upstairs at Whale Harbor Marina, so you can sit on the beautiful veranda, watch the boats come in and enjoy fresh fish.

Ziggie & Mad Dog’s: They have great service and tremendous steaks. My favorite is the bone-in rib-eye.

Robbie’s of Islamorada: The restaurant is wonderful. You can feed tarpon there by hand.

Theater of the Sea: It showcases every kind of fish from the Islamorada area, plus turtles, dolphins and more.

Brokerage: Ocean Alexander 85E

With twin 1,600 hp MTUs, the Ocean Alexander 85E saw a top speed of 22 knots. At 10.7 knots, range was 2,200 nautical miles.
With twin 1,600 hp MTUs, the Ocean Alexander 85E saw a top speed of 22 knots. At 10.7 knots, range was 2,200 nautical miles. (Courtesy MarineMax/)

Yachting first met the Ocean Alexander 85E in 2011. It offered a modern exterior look for the builder, while retaining a traditional motoryacht interior.

Several exterior elements were noteworthy, including the reverse transom, house-length side windows, and raked nature of everything from the radar arch to the window pillars to the hardtop supports.

Accommodations included four staterooms with a full-beam master, plus two cabins for crew.

At press time, there was one Ocean Alexander 85E for sale: a 2011 model with an asking price of $2.948 million.

From the Archive

“The salon makes good use of loose bucket chairs and built-in settees to create a conversation area or a comfortable media room in which to view the 40-inch pop-up TV in the after corner. Large windows all around and the twin stainless- steel doors aft give everyone a good view, even when seated. I liked the toe switches for the electric salon doors. Anyone carrying a tray of food or drinks won’t have to do a balancing act.” —Yachting, July 2011

ACR Electronics Launches 406Linkonline

A 406Link service subscription is $49 a year.
A 406Link service subscription is $49 a year. (Courtesy ACR Electronics/)

ACR Electronics has launched its upgraded 406Linkonline beacon testing and messaging service, which lets users in North and South America receive satellite self-test confirmation of their 406 MHz epirbs and personal locator beacons.

The service sends a custom 406Link message to as many as five mobile and email contacts within a few seconds, according to ACR Electronics.

“406Link is a unique technology that can offer every beacon owner and their loved ones greater peace of mind by enabling them to self-test and verify their location before they head to sea or on an outdoor adventure,” Mikele D’Arcangelo, vice president of global marketing and product management, stated in a press release. “Beacon owners should remember that no subscriptions are required to notify search-and-rescue forces around the world of your emergency distress message. The authorities will respond when you press the activation button in an emergency, even if your 406Link subscription lapses.”

The 406Link service has a subscription price of $49 a year.

How does 406Link work? It sends an encoded test signal to the Cospas-Sarsat network of search-and-rescue satellites. That signal is received and then picked up by ACR ground stations. They send a confirmation message to the beacon owner and specified contacts via email and SMS text message. 

For more information, visit: acrartex.com

Galati Launches G120 Signature Series

The G120 has a reported top speed of 25 knots and a cruise speed of 22 knots. There are 7,000 gallons of fuel on board.
The G120 has a reported top speed of 25 knots and a cruise speed of 22 knots. There are 7,000 gallons of fuel on board. (Yachtpics/)

For the past 45 years, a couple in Florida have been clients, and friends, of Carmine Galati at Galati Yacht Sales. Theirs is the kind of relationship that involves going beyond the basics; when the couple wanted to be married on board, Galati became a notary so he could personally perform the ceremony.

And so, when the couple wanted a customized build in the 120-foot range, Galati was eager to help them find the right yard for their vision. The couple already knew Hargrave Custom Yachts because they owned a 101-footer, and Galati had worked on deals with Hargrave for two decades. He felt like the builder was ready to flex its muscles a little more than usual.

“Their abilities are amazing,” he says. “I knew they had it in them, in all aspects.”

The result is the Galati G120 Signature Series by Hargrave Custom Yachts, with Hull No. 1 serving as an example to inspire other owners who have custom ideas. This couple’s requirements included five staterooms instead of the usual four in this size range, along with extra soundproofing for quiet onboard experiences. The owners wanted to be able to cruise at 22 knots and push the boat to 25 knots in a pinch. And they wanted the standard 5,500 gallons of fuel increased to 7,000 gallons, for better range—a requirement that Hargrave achieved by turning the fuel tanks athwartships, in a way that not only allowed the tanks to be bigger but also let them serve as extra soundproofing between the engine room and guest area.

The sizable country-kitchen-style galley was a must-have on the owners’ list because they do a lot of family cruising.
The sizable country-kitchen-style galley was a must-have on the owners’ list because they do a lot of family cruising. (Yachtpics/)The yacht’s widened beam also allowed for some bigger-boat features such as walk-around side decks and a day-head on the top deck.
The yacht’s widened beam also allowed for some bigger-boat features such as walk-around side decks and a day-head on the top deck. (Yachtpics/)

“We did things that Hargrave typically doesn’t do,” Galati says. “We added to the beam. I think we added a foot and a half. Consider what that gives you in volume—it’s a lot.”

The G120′s 25-foot beam allowed for a sizable country-kitchen-style galley, which was a must-have on the owners' list because they do a lot of family cruising. Other owners can go without the oversize galley and instead move the master stateroom from amidships belowdecks up to the main deck forward. With that layout, it’s possible to add a beach club aft without losing any crew space.

“We put additional soundproofing throughout the boat. People can be in the hot tub on the top deck, and they don’t hear anything in the salon.”
“We put additional soundproofing throughout the boat. People can be in the hot tub on the top deck, and they don’t hear anything in the salon.” (Yachtpics/)The owners worked with Shelley DiCondina of Yacht Interiors by Shelley to choose the stones, fabrics and more.
The owners worked with Shelley DiCondina of Yacht Interiors by Shelley to choose the stones, fabrics and more. (Yachtpics/)

“I ran our service department for 17 years, so I know the importance of crew,” Galati says. “We took the whole design and went into painstaking detail in terms of placement of everything.”

The yacht’s widened beam also allowed for some bigger-boat features such as walk-around side decks and a day-head on the top deck, near the hot tub. Shelley DiCondina of Yacht Interiors by Shelley worked with the owners to select upgraded fabrics, stonework and more. The owners personally visited a quarry in Taiwan to select the slabs that are used in the galley, Galati says.

Standard specs on the G120 call for 2,185 hp MTU V-16 2000 engines down below.
Standard specs on the G120 call for 2,185 hp MTU V-16 2000 engines down below. (Yachtpics/)If owners choose the optional layout with the master on the main deck, space opens up for a beach club aft.
If owners choose the optional layout with the master on the main deck, space opens up for a beach club aft. (Yachtpics/)

Catera, as Hull No. 1 is called, was delivered in May 2019 and made her public debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this past fall. The owners have since been cruising in Florida and the Bahamas, where by all reports, Galati says, they feel that Hargrave built exactly what they wanted. That’s especially true of the soundproofing, which is put to its toughest test when the whole family is aboard and the yacht is underway.

“People can be in the hot tub on the top deck, and they don’t hear anything in the salon,” Galati says. “You only hear what you want to hear in every room.”

Going forward, Galati and Hargrave are eager to find the right owner to build Hull No. 2. From contract signing to delivery, the process is expected to take 14 to 16 months.

Onboard wedding planning, of course, is an optional service.

Take the next step: galatiyachts.com

Seakeeper’s Smallest Gyro

Whereas larger Seakeeper models can take as long as 45 minutes to spool up, the Seakeeper 1 takes 15 minutes.
Whereas larger Seakeeper models can take as long as 45 minutes to spool up, the Seakeeper 1 takes 15 minutes. (Courtesy Seakeeper/)

Revolutionary. That’s the word that Andrew Semprevivo, president and CEO of Seakeeper, uses to describe the company’s Seakeeper 1—the smallest model yet and one built entirely from the ground up.

“All of our other models are very much the same,” he says. “We just kind of sized them down. They get smaller and lighter, but the overall geometry and mechanical makeup are the same.”

The Seakeeper 1, on the other hand, had to be designed differently because the 23- to 30-foot boats it’s intended to go aboard are radically different from larger vessels. The unit had to be quieter because it will physically be closer to the skipper. It had to be flush-mounted, to lower the time and cost of installation for the smaller end of the market. It had to be made of plastic and look nicer because people other than crew would see it. And it had to be no more than 17 inches high, so it could fit inside a leaning post instead of forcing boat owners to give up the aft-facing seat that’s popular aboard today’s center-console boats.

The Seakeeper 1 is small enough to fit inside a leaning post, so center-console owners don’t have to lose the aft-facing seat.
The Seakeeper 1 is small enough to fit inside a leaning post, so center-console owners don’t have to lose the aft-facing seat. (Courtesy Seakeeper/)

“Every other unit, we’d have our engineers design it to get it small and light, and then we would do our best to wrap the mechanical elements of it to make it look as aesthetically pleasing as possible,” Semprevivo says. “This time, we designed it how we wanted it to look first.”

One of the most significant changes that emerged from the design process is the Seakeeeper 1′s flywheel, which spins at a maximum rpm of 9,750. The faster the flywheel spins, the less it weighs and the smaller the unit can be. A new motor helped make the design work and had the bonus of reducing spool-up time. Larger Seakeepers take 25 to 45 minutes until they are spooled up for stabilization, Semprevivo says. The Seakeeper 1 knocks that wait down to 15 minutes.

The Seakeeper 1 is an entirely new design, with a new flywheel and motor inside. “It had to be flush-mount,” says CEO Andrew Semprevivo. “We wanted the installation to be as flexible as possible, and to get down the time and cost to install them.”
The Seakeeper 1 is an entirely new design, with a new flywheel and motor inside. “It had to be flush-mount,” says CEO Andrew Semprevivo. “We wanted the installation to be as flexible as possible, and to get down the time and cost to install them.” (Courtesy Seakeeper/)Larger Seakeeper units are made of sheet metal. By ­contrast, the Seakeeper 1 is built in plastic for a sleeker look and reduced weight. It also has a viewing window that lets owners see inside. The exterior color is a custom shade called Seakeeper White.
Larger Seakeeper units are made of sheet metal. By ­contrast, the Seakeeper 1 is built in plastic for a sleeker look and reduced weight. It also has a viewing window that lets owners see inside. The exterior color is a custom shade called Seakeeper White. (Courtesy Seakeeper/)

The new model is expected to be available to manufacturers and the public this month, even taking into account the global slowdowns associated with the novel coronavirus. More than a dozen boat manufacturers including Jupiter, Regal, Cobia and SeaVee are planning to include it in new models, Semprevivo says. Retail price is $14,900.

Turquoise Yachts Sells 246-Foot Motoryacht

Power for the 246-foot superyacht is twin 2,575 bhp Caterpillar 3516 diesels.
Power for the 246-foot superyacht is twin 2,575 bhp Caterpillar 3516 diesels. (Courtesy Turquoise Yachts/)

Turquoise Yachts in Istanbul has sold NB69, a 246-foot sistership to NB66.

NB69 was sold through broker Stuart Larsen at Fraser, and marks the first time Turquoise is collaborating with Sinot Yacht Architecture & Design in the Netherlands. Sinot will handle interior design. Exterior design is by A.Vallicelli & C. Yacht Design.

NB69 was already under construction when the sale was made. On July 17, Turquoise used its floating dock with a 2,500-ton lifting capacity to transfer the yacht from its Kocaeli facility to Istanbul, where interior outfitting and exterior painting will take place.

Onboard features include a full-beam beach club with opening shell doors on either side in addition to an aft opening; a tender garage for a 33-foot limousine tender as well as a guest tender, a rescue tender and personal watercraft; a touch-and-go helipad forward on the upper deck; and a private owner’s area with an outdoor dinette and hot tub.

When will NB69 be delivered? The yard says delivery is on schedule for the last quarter of 2021.

For more information, visit: turquoiseyachts.com

Southern Wind Launches “Ammonite”

The SW96 <i>Ammonite</i> is the third hull in the builder's high-performance cruiser series.
The SW96 Ammonite is the third hull in the builder's high-performance cruiser series. (Courtesy Southern Wind/)

Southern Wind in Cape Town, South Africa, has launched Ammonite, the third hull of the SW96 model.

Ammonite is the second Southern Wind built for Marcus Blackmore, whose Blackmores Ltd. sells vitamin and herbal products in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

“When we started building the SW82 Ammonite, Marcus Blackmore’s first SWS yacht, he trusted us to have the technical knowledge, design features and craftsmanship skills to build his ideal yacht,” SWS commercial director Andrea Micheli stated in a press release. “During the build process we also discovered that there was true friendship underlying our relationship. We have added this secret ingredient in the construction of his second yacht with us.”

After she’s delivered to the owner, Ammonite is expected to cruise to Australia and New Zealand, where the owner, captain and crew will defend their title in the Millennium Cup. From there, the yacht is bound for Southeast Asia and Alaska in tandem with the 2022 Transpacific Race.

When will Ammonite be delivered? The plan is for delivery at the end of September in Cape Town.

Take the next step: sws-yachts.com

Yacht Redo Through Refit

<i>Broadwater’s</i> interior refit included swapping out mahogany for brushed oak, walnut and eucalyptus.
Broadwater’s interior refit included swapping out mahogany for brushed oak, walnut and eucalyptus. (Adam Voorhees/)

Leon de Haas, the project manager for Project Ragnar, is about as busy as a man can get. Two weeks after the 223-foot converted icebreaker launched in February, he was juggling a beehive of activity, including three companies alone for the interior’s details. The 2,450-gross-ton Ragnar, formerly a multipurpose support/supply vessel, looked nearly nothing like she did almost three years ago, when she entered Icon Yachts' shed.

Her decidedly commercial profile is erased, replaced with a still-imposing but softer-looking explorer silhouette. She also has a painstakingly detailed interior and a fascinating assortment of land and sea toys.

“Basically, we ripped everything out and made everything new,” de Haas says. “We don’t call it a refit. We call it a conversion.”

So does Bureau Veritas, which is classifying Ragnar with a hull rated to Ice Class 1A Super, one of the highest ice-class notations. It’s a first for yachting. The vessel will be able to operate in subzero temperatures and break through ice nearly 10 feet thick.

Radical transformations like Ragnar’s are rare, but owners regularly give existing yachts comprehensive makeovers to suit their vision. It’s a way to flex creative muscles while benefiting from a shorter timetable and lower costs than a new build offers.

Project Ragnar reflects a tremendous redesign from stem to stern, evolving over multiple years.
Project Ragnar reflects a tremendous redesign from stem to stern, evolving over multiple years. (Icon Yachts/)

Consider the two Broadwater refits that designer Adam Voorhees handled for the same owner. The first refit took place over seven months in 2017 at Lauderdale Marine Center in Florida. The ex-Blue Moon, a 165-foot Feadship from 1990, wasn’t intended to be gutted, but she ended up that way “because we realized it would constrain the vision,” Voorhees says. In fact, they realized “there’s truly no way to utilize the existing architecture” to live the way the owner wished. He didn’t want parallel walls or right angles—not even mirror images to port and starboard. “It was a very aggressive way to do a refit.”

The new, casually elegant, modernized Mad Men vibe is just what the owner wanted. Chevron patterns in oak lie underfoot, for example, while hundreds of aluminum pieces comprise a mural in the spiral stairway.

With the second Broadwater refit—currently at Royal Huisman—the owner liked the original architecture of the 171-foot ex-Rasselas, a Feadship. However, a lot is still changing.

Rasselas was a very beautiful, classic Feadship, so we’re just enhancing her,” Voorhees says. A 13-foot stern extension will create a beach club and expand the aft deck. A redesigned sun deck will have a larger hot tub, a bar and a day-head. Inside, the gentleman’s-club ambience with dark mahogany is gone, replaced with a more modern brushed oak, black walnut and fumed eucalyptus. Bronze and stone help set the mood.

<i>Broadwater’s</i> first refit plan didn’t include an interior teardown and redo, but that’s precisely what happened.
Broadwater’s first refit plan didn’t include an interior teardown and redo, but that’s precisely what happened. (Adam Voorhees/)

Another recent project is Marala, delivered in 1931. The 194-footer arrived at Pendennis' Falmouth, England, shipyard this past August for an 18-month restoration. Remarkably, she’s relatively true to her original layout and has her original MANs in the engine room. But she requires some new steel and is undergoing superstructure modifications to return her styling more to what Charles E. Nicholson originally penned. Marala also is gaining new domestic and electrical systems.

“We are quite well-known for classic yachts,” says Mike Carr, Pendennis' joint managing director, noting the yard’s work on Fair Lady, Haida 1929, Malahne and Shamrock V, to name a few. That background is a major reason why Marala’s owner chose the yard, and why London-based interiors studio Muza Lab is working closely with the in-house staff: to balance respecting early 20th-century character against the challenges of piping and ballast, among other technical hurdles.

Even with all of the classic-yacht refits and restorations that Pendennis has performed, “it’s quite a tricky process,” Carr says. “Until you get into the bowels of the boat, you can’t know the cost for sure.”

The yard has a policy of warning customers in advance about unforeseen expenses and then letting them decide whether to revise the wish list to preserve their budget.

<i>Marala</i> is among the few yachts from the 1930s to have preserved her original character and engines.
Marala is among the few yachts from the 1930s to have preserved her original character and engines. (Pendennis/)

Interestingly, the owner of Ragnar added to his wish list. “The owner had a lot of innovative and creative ideas,” de Haas says, which also heightened the complexity of the conversion. Icon Yachts took up the challenge, he adds: “You have a very steep learning curve in dealing with a conversion. It’s different than what the industry does with a refit.”

Ragnar is different in her interior approach too. “The owner wanted this shocking contrast between a rough and aggressive exterior and a luxurious interior,” de Haas says. With the design studio RWD, the owner selected diverse looks throughout the yacht (which has heated windows and doors, so they won’t freeze in polar regions). He also wanted accommodations for 16 guests, so they would be comfortable after heli-skiing or zipping around on a Ripsaw ATV.

That yacht may be extreme, but all of these yachts may be extreme in one way or another. And the owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cruising Bimini

In Bimini, the scene is blissfully the same as it was this past year.
In Bimini, the scene is blissfully the same as it was this past year. (Zach Stovall/)

Nadia Rolle says little has changed on Bimini since this time a year ago—which is a great thing. The Bahamas took a beating from Hurricane Dorian in September 2019, but Bimini was largely spared. While the Abacos archipelago is still working to clean up the disaster that Dorian created around Marsh Harbour in particular, over on Bimini, it’s business as usual, with boats arriving from the United States in about the same numbers as in years past.

“Everything is pretty much the same,” says Rolle, a senior executive with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. “We’re the gateway—the first stop out of Florida. Things have been pretty good. It’s only when the weather is bad that we can see a difference.”

Bimini is about 60 nautical miles from Miami and has long been a first stop for Americans cruising to the Abacos or the Exumas. It’s also a place known for fantastic fishing. The season for blue and white marlin typically peaks in May and June, right around the same time Allison and bluefin tuna, along with grouper and snapper, tend to be lurking around.

Ansil Saunders, now in his late 80s, is synonymous with bonefishing in Bimini. His most famous client was Martin Luther King Jr. In the mangroves, they talked about the beauty of life all around.
Ansil Saunders, now in his late 80s, is synonymous with bonefishing in Bimini. His most famous client was Martin Luther King Jr. In the mangroves, they talked about the beauty of life all around. (Zach Stovall/)

Also in June is the boaters' delight known as the Bimini Boating Fling. (There are actually two this year: June 17-21 and June 24-29.) It’s a guided crossing from Bahia Mar Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the Bimini Big Game Club. Each flotilla can have as many as 30 boats, making them ideal for first-timers or for cruisers who simply prefer to cross in a group.

In fact, the crossings have been happening for a number of years, with some boaters returning multiple times. They know Bimini hasn’t changed—and that’s exactly what keeps them coming back for more.

Bimini Basics

Bimini is the closest region of the Bahamas to the US mainland, located about 50 miles east of South Florida.

Resort World Bimini Bahamas can accommodate yachts up to 100 feet length overall. The marina is directly in front of the Hilton resort and casino. Bimini Big Game Club can take boats up to 140 feet length overall, with one slip for a 160-footer. A dive center is among the offerings on-site. Brown’s Marina has slips for boats up to 150 feet length overall. It shares 200 feet of waterfront boardwalk with Bimini Big John’s Bar & Grill. Bimini Sands Marina can handle boats up to 100 feet in length. Mackey’s Sand Bar is on-site, known for seafood pizza. Bimini Bay Marina has dockage for yachts up to 200 feet length overall. The controlling depth at the marina is 12 feet.

CL Yachts: A Brand is Born

CL Yachts has roots in commerical shipbuilding.
CL Yachts has roots in commerical shipbuilding. (Courtesy CL Yachts/)

CL Yachts is slated to debut its new flagship, the CLX96, stateside next spring. I’ve seen preliminary modeling, and the CLX96 is a yacht that is modern in many ways. However, looking back at this builder’s ancestry, it’s also a model that reflects a lifetime of building vessels for the rigors of life on the sea.

CL Yachts is a pleasure-craft brand born out of parent company Cheoy Lee, a shipbuilder with commercial-boat beginnings dating back more than a century near Shanghai. Today, the yard is located in Zhuhai, China, along the Pearl River.

“My great-great-grandfather had joined a British merchant ship as crew for several years, and after his experience, he started his own shipyard, with much of his business being the repair and maintenance of British ships,” says Hans Lo, deputy director of CL Yachts. "From these humble beginnings, we eventually found ourselves in Hong Kong during World War II, while trying to evade the Japanese. We were fortunate during the war, and despite the Japanese army having seized much of our property, we were able to get it back and resume business.

“We’ve always built commercial boats in Asia, mostly for Hong Kong,” he adds. “As the oldest shipbuilders in Hong Kong, our history with our home city is long, and at one point, over 50 percent of ships operating in Hong Kong harbor were built by Cheoy Lee. Nowadays, our commercial boats include tugboats, offshore supply vessels, ferries, crew-transfer vessels, pilot boats, water taxis, etc.”

The CL Yachts CLB88 is the brand’s first motoryacht from a blank sheet of paper.
The CL Yachts CLB88 is the brand’s first motoryacht from a blank sheet of paper. (Courtesy CL Yachts/)

Building off its commercial business, Cheoy Lee expanded into the yacht market 60-plus years ago. In 1957, the yard built the 52-foot Sparkman & Stephens-penned Bermudan yawl Mah Jong. Three American yachtsmen commissioned the wooden yacht and then sailed it around the world back to the States. National Geographic chronicled the epic passage. (Mah Jong was refitted between 2014 and 2017 and is currently available for charter in Massachusetts.)

Cheoy Lee’s teak sailing yachts became popular, and eventually, the yard was building them at a rate of one per day. Then, in the 1960s, fiberglass hit stride as a modern construction material, and Cheoy Lee evolved with the times. In fact, the company was researching vacuum-bagging and foam-coring construction techniques as early as the 1970s. A common practice today to improve resin-to-glass ratios, reduce weight and reduce emissions, vacuum bagging was a technique virtually unheard of at the time.

Today, the yard has been building yachts via vacuum infusion for more than 12 years. Lo says that on average, the yard has a sizable team of craftsmen focused on its fiberglass builds.

From humble beginnings, Cheoy Lee Shipyards (and now CL Yachts) has become a global brand across multiple market segments.
From humble beginnings, Cheoy Lee Shipyards (and now CL Yachts) has become a global brand across multiple market segments. (Courtesy CL Yachts/)

Cheoy Lee also pushed the boundaries of fiberglass construction in terms of length overall, launching the 130-foot Shango II in 1975, reportedly the world’s largest fiberglass yacht at the time. The yacht, like Mah Jong, is still plying the waters today as Nataly.

Because of its extensive research and innovation with fiberglass, Cheoy Lee was asked to work with Lloyd’s Register to develop its fiberglass workshop inspection and quality-assurance protocol, which is still used today for class certification. Cheoy Lee, and now CL Yachts, has contributed to thousands of builds over the decades. The CLB88 (see “The Next Generation,” this story), the first from-scratch model for CL Yachts scheduled to debut this month in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is actually Hull No. 5,176. The yard’s yachts can be found cruising the waters around six continents.

Not limiting its builds to fiberglass, Cheoy Lee has created transatlantic-capable superyachts like the 151-foot Mazu with a steel hull, composite superstructure and bulbous bow meant for long-range cruising comfort in most sea conditions. The yard also builds in aluminum.

<i>Marco Polo</i> was built in 2007 by Hong Kong shipyard Cheoy Lee and presents a vessel that is both luxury super yacht and Transocean Explorer.
Marco Polo was built in 2007 by Hong Kong shipyard Cheoy Lee and presents a vessel that is both luxury super yacht and Transocean Explorer. (Courtesy CL Yachts/)

Cheoy Lee and CL Yachts do all their work in-house, from concept to creation. “The yard utilizes three- and five-axis CNC [routers] for everything from hull molding to furniture building, allowing for tight tolerances that would not be possible through traditional boatbuilding methods,” Lo says. “While 3D programs allow us to lay pipework and wiring relays, among other space-planning exercises, we still believe in the full-size mock-up, which we build for every new model. There is no substitute for a full-size mock-up when it comes to giving someone the sensation of space, and that is one of the advantages of our shipyard.”

Building on its legacy of constructing yachts like its commercial ships, CL Yachts is the next evolution for the shipyard. “CL Yachts represents a rededication towards the luxury sector and celebrates a new era for the company, looking towards the future with innovation at its core,” Lo says.

After the launches of the CLB88 and CLX96, Lo says, the company plans to fill out the model line between 50 and 100 feet length overall. Cheoy Lee will remain focused on larger yachts.

If past success is any indicator of future potential, then CL Yachts has the opportunity to continue this shipyard’s long history of innovation and expansion while carving out its own place in yachtbuilding history one design at a time.

This CL Yachts’ galley has stylized indirect lighting above that adds a modern touch.
This CL Yachts’ galley has stylized indirect lighting above that adds a modern touch. (Courtesy CL Yachts/)

Built like Ships

“Building workboats that are meant to operate 24 hours of the day, seven days a week means that there are certain standards we apply to all our vessels—standards that are immediately seen when you enter our engine rooms or inspect our wiring relays,” says Hans Lo, deputy director of CL Yachts. “Things are also noticed immediately underway, with clients often commenting on the strength of our build, of how little creaking and flexing there is in the hull, how the center of gravity always feels low, and overall how the vessel inspires confidence to go farther, explore further. The demands of a working vessel are much greater than that of a pleasure craft, and that experience flows directly into every build that comes out of our shipyard.”

The Next Generation

The CLB88, scheduled to debut this month, is CL Yachts' first from-scratch model. The designer is Jozeph Forakis, who also penned the in-build CLX96. The new look “creates a comfortable, clean environment using a sophisticated, subtle and spirited combination of modern and traditional materials,” says Hans Lo, deputy director of CL Yachts. “We call her ‘the motoryacht: re-imagined.’” Like the CLX96, the CLB88 has a straight sheerline that descends proportionally as it progresses aft (see: New Yachts column, August), adding a sense of movement in the vessel’s lines. A raked windshield adds to the motoryacht’s relatively sleek profile. The CLB88′s lines are supported by modern construction in fiberglass and carbon fiber. Hull reinforcement comes in the form of a 3,000-gallon integral fuel tank. Floated floors—not tied directly into the yacht’s support structure—should help keep the vessel quiet underway. Power is twin 1,600 hp Caterpillar C32 Acert diesels providing a reported 25-knot top hop. The yacht has a four-stateroom, five-head layout with two crew cabins.

Coming Soon

The CL Yachts CLX96 is a trideck yacht with a rugged explorer attitude. The superstructure has reverse-raked windows on the main and top decks, giving the stout-looking craft a lean-forward, shiplike appearance, seemingly daring the ocean to dance. The profile lowers gently in linear fashion as focus transitions from bow to stern, adding a sense of sleekness while accenting the CLX96′s proud bow.

Take the next step: clyachts.com

Boston Whaler Introduces 240 Vantage

With a single 350 hp Mercury LS DTS outboard, the builder reports a top speed of 43.3 knots. Engines options range from 250 to 400 hp.
With a single 350 hp Mercury LS DTS outboard, the builder reports a top speed of 43.3 knots. Engines options range from 250 to 400 hp. (Courtesy Boston Whaler/)

Boston Whaler has introduced the 240 Vantage, the fourth model in the Vantage line of boats.

“The 240 Vantage is incredibly versatile and customizable,” company President Nick Stickler stated in a press release. “We call it the Swiss Army knife of boating. Just like our new 280 Vantage, the 240 is ideal for boaters who want to take advantage of everything the water has to offer.”

The 240 Vantage is designed for fishing, cruising, beaching, water sports and more. There is seating from the bow to the stern, with the portside seating convertible to face forward or aft, or to be flat.

A fiberglass prep center is optional in the cockpit, and the boat has a standard enclosed head and sink. A windlass and bow-boarding ladder are available for beach landings.

For fishing enthusiasts, there’s an insulated in-sole fish box, an optional live well at the transom, and stainless steel rod holders throughout the boat. Enclosed rod stowage is in the console.

What else comes with the 240 Vantage? A V-8 Mercury Verado engine and Raymarine electronics. There’s also an optional watersports tower with wakeboard racks.

For more information, visit: bostonwhaler.com

Second Pershing 140 Delivered

Pershing builds the all-aluminum 140-footer in Ancona, Italy.
Pershing builds the all-aluminum 140-footer in Ancona, Italy. (Courtesy Pershing Yacht/)

Pershing Yachts in Italy has delivered Hull No. 2 of the Pershing 140.

The Pershing 140 is the brand’s all-aluminum flagship. It was created in collaboration among naval architect Fulvio De Simoni, the Ferretti Group Product Strategy Committee led by Piero Ferrari, and the group’s Engineering Department.

The Pershing 140 is also the brand’s first model built at the Ferretti Group’s Ancona Super Yacht Yard, which specializes in the construction of steel and aluminum yachts 130 feet length overall and larger.

Features aboard the Pershing 140 include a raised cockpit with direct access to the sundeck, a private owner’s area on the main deck, and a beach area that can be extended with three foldout sides.

Hull No. 1 of the Pershing 140 had an entertainment room on board, while Hull No. 2 has a full-beam master stateroom with a studio, lounge and walk-in closet. Onboard materials and furniture are by Poltrona Frau, Minotti, Artemide, Roche Bobois, Molteni and Fontana Arte.

Is Hull No. 3 of the Pershing 140 under construction? Yes. It’s expected to launch in 2021.

For more information, visit: pershing-yacht.com

Huckins Sportsman 38 Launches

The anchor windlass and capstan are hidden at the bow, helping to keep the Sportsman 38’s lines clean and decks clutter-free.
The anchor windlass and capstan are hidden at the bow, helping to keep the Sportsman 38’s lines clean and decks clutter-free. (Courtesy Huckins Yacht/)

By now, the world was supposed to have met the Huckins Sportsman 38, an all-new, hybrid-power yacht inspired by the lines of the builder’s classic Sportsman 36 from the 1930s. The 38′s debut was scheduled for the Palm Beach International Boat Show this past March.

But then, the coronavirus pandemic gripped the country, shutting down pretty much everything, including that boat show. The team at Huckins had the boat launched and on track to be displayed, but now, the builder is planning the official debut for this fall, likely at the Newport International Boat Show in Rhode Island.

“The boat looks just like the renderings,” says company owner Cindy Purcell. “She’s really pretty.”

Here’s the good news, according to Purcell: The sea trials went exactly as planned, with the hybrid propulsion system—twin 380 hp Cummins QSB 6.7 diesels and a 20 hp Elco EP—functioning the way the builder expected it to perform. The boat reportedly hit the projected speed numbers with no problems.

This settee forward converts electrically to a queen-size berth. The joinery is mahogany.
This settee forward converts electrically to a queen-size berth. The joinery is mahogany. (Courtesy Huckins Yacht/)

“We’ve run her on electric. We’ve run her on diesel,” Purcell says. “She’s 39 mph on diesel and about 8 mph on electric.” (And 350 hp Suzuki outboards remain an option.)

The rest of the build on Hull No. 1 has gone according to plan too, Purcell says, with no substantial changes to the previously announced layout and features. The Huckins Sportsman 38 has an airy cabin with 6-foot-6-inch headroom and a galley whose overhead opens to the bridge deck, to let in yet more natural light. The V-shaped settee forward (see the photo at right) converts to a queen-size berth for couples who want to overnight on the hook in favorite anchorages, and the head has a separate, full-size, enclosed shower. Modern conveniences—such as two power sunroofs inside, as well as a power sunshade and cockpit misters outside—combine with classic touches, including the stanchions aft with a look reminiscent of the 1930s design. Construction is all modern, with FRP/Corecell infusion, E-glass, vinylester resin and carbon fiber in the stringers.

The new Huckins Sportsman 38 is inspired by the Sportsman 36 that the builder launched in 1936.
The new Huckins Sportsman 38 is inspired by the Sportsman 36 that the builder launched in 1936. (Courtesy Huckins Yacht/)

The Huckins team is so eager to show off the boat, Purcell says she has no intention of making the public wait. The Huckins yard is in Jacksonville, Florida, on the Ortega River, which connects nearby to the St. Johns River. That’s where Hull No. 1 of the Sportsman 38 will be this summer, and Purcell hopes to see a parade of interested boaters heading her way.

“Anybody who would like to see the boat can come to the yard,” Purcell says. “We can do a sea trial.”

For owners, it just may be a meeting worth the wait.

The Experienced Captain?

"The professional skipper had few distractions. He did his chartwork and held a course by looking across the compass and out the windshield."
"The professional skipper had few distractions. He did his chartwork and held a course by looking across the compass and out the windshield." (Steve Haefele/)

This past month, a boat plowed into a navigation aid not far from our dock. The local news reported on the rise in boating accidents in our area. After noodling the statistics, I discovered that, given my tenure in the pastime, I was at risk. I went to sea in a bassinet, practiced naval architecture and earned a captain’s license. How could this be?

The numbers in the report suggested that those with the most time on the water—sober or otherwise—are increasingly running into stuff and into one another. It seems that skippers who claim to have boating “experience” are the most likely to become a statistic. Experience just isn’t what it used to be.

Back in the day, there were no online exercises or certificates. I earned a position at the helm of a 13-foot Whaler after several years of hands-on tutoring in seamanship and the rules of the road. Most boats were incapable of more than 20 knots back then, and there were fewer boats on the waterways. Aids to navigation were just as plentiful, and skippers used their eyes and a chart to avoid collisions.

At the time, radiotelephones were just a bit more reliable than Morse code. Radar sets fitted with blackout cones were disorienting when functional, and radio direction finders were almost useless. Electronics gave the owners of larger boats something to brag about, and generally, skippers only turned on the stuff to impress the guests. The professional skipper had few distractions. He did his chartwork and held a course by looking across the compass and out the windshield. It was a brilliant setup.

By the time I graduated to yacht designer, primitive flasher sounders had become “fish finders,” a troubling term for one seasoned skipper I can recall. I was working on the design of a large sport-fisher for his boss when the skipper pulled me aside for a talking-to. The boss had traded the guest head for space to implant a 4-foot retractable side-scan sonar fit for a navy frigate. The skipper explained that his boss seeing fish, and then not catching them, could threaten his job security. “I’m being paid to be the fish finder,” he said.

The skipper’s point is still timely. Back in the day, experience meant making landfall in the right ZIP code. This can now be accomplished hands-free or via point-and-click. Modern electronics are great tools, but they might not spot a 50-knot center-console on a winding waterway or a knucklehead fishing a mile offshore in a kayak, buried between 5-foot seas. And most certainly, “experience” does not mean using electronic tools to speed down the waterway in the darkness. I see it all the time.

While reading about the most recent incident near my dock, I remembered a boater who suggested that all the navigation aids should have lights. If this was an experienced boater’s view, then I suggest we add stop signs and a double line down the middle of channels as well.


Meet the Vicem 50 Classic

The Vicem 50 Classic, slated to debut this fall, will have a fiberglass hull and superstructure.
The Vicem 50 Classic, slated to debut this fall, will have a fiberglass hull and superstructure. (Vicem Yachts/)

Vicem Yachts in Turkey has unveiled the 50 Classic, an evolution of the 46 IPS model with a scheduled premiere in the United States this fall.

The Vicem 50 Classic has a single stateroom forward with an ensuite head. An optional layout adds a guest stateroom, and a flybridge model is also available. Owners can customize countertops, cabinetry, soles and more.

“We believe the 50 Classic fits a perfect middle ground for customers between the 46- and 55-foot range in the Classic Series,” Yigit Akbarlas, production manager, stated in a press release. “The 50 will give customers 400-nautical-mile range, excellent seakeeping, and accommodations luxurious and comfortable enough for longer trips.”

What’s the top speed for the Vicem 50 classic? According to Vicem, the 50 Classic should achieve top and cruising speeds of 28 knots and 24 knots, respectively, with standard twin Volvo Penta IPS600 engines. Those speeds increase a few knots, the builder says, with optional Volvo Penta D8-IPS800s engines.

For more information, visit: vicemyachts.com

Hargrave’s 186-Foot Vessel Shows Creativity

The 186-foot <i>Baba’s</i> is the largest custom yacht to date from Hargrave, in both length and volume.
The 186-foot Baba’s is the largest custom yacht to date from Hargrave, in both length and volume. (Suki Finnerty/)

If you ask Sam Shalem what convinced him that Hargrave Custom Yachts could build an 887-gross-ton 186-footer—its most complex yacht ever—he answers without hesitation: “I developed a confidence.”

It’s a sensible reply from a man who commissioned three Hargrave yachts prior to Baba’s, which is 50 feet larger and more than double the gross tonnage of his last Hargrave. Baba’s is also classed to Lloyds Commercial Large Yacht Code (LY3), despite initially planning solely for a private yacht. So, what has he experienced with Hargrave that he believes he wouldn’t have elsewhere? He’ll tell you, again without hesitation, “They’re highly honest. ... They’re professional.”

These days, many shipyards tell buyers they can design their yachts the way they see fit, but some of those same builders actually offer semicustom yachts. Some, arguably, are more production than semicustom. Clients have two, maybe three choices for general arrangements, for example, and the exterior styling is set in stone. Fewer permit moving nonstructural bulkheads. Much of the time, the systems and engine packages are nonnegotiable.

That was not the case with Baba’s.

“That’s the biggest advantage of Hargrave,” Shalem says. “They let you do this.”

Every square inch of the interior aboard <i>Baba’s</i> reflects the input of Shalem, including materials used, design styles and even stitching.
Every square inch of the interior aboard Baba’s reflects the input of Shalem, including materials used, design styles and even stitching. (Tom Serio/)

Hargrave saw the challenge as a way to prove its mettle to would-be owners outside the United States. “This is the connection to the global market we never had,” says Michael Joyce, Hargrave’s CEO. The yard also let Shalem—a longtime owner of a real-estate-development and -management company who is accustomed to assembling teams—play a large role in choosing craftsmen to work on the project. This father of four and grandfather to even more (baba means “grandfather” in several cultures) was hands-on in nearly all aspects, ranging from gathering the workers to specifying the systems to selecting the mosaics in the interior.

Shalem’s boat-ownership days date back to 1975, when he purchased a 22-foot bowrider. Fast-forward to 1999, and he took delivery of his first Hargrave, a 92-foot flush-deck motoryacht he christened Babe. Seven years later came the 105-foot Hargrave Dream, followed by the 136-foot trideck DREAmer in 2011.

DREAmer was the first Hargrave constructed somewhere other than the Kha Shing, Taiwan, shipyard. She was constructed in Turkey, at Shalem’s request, at Ned Ship Group.

Formal dining can be an elegant affair aboard this 186-footer for Sam Shalem, his wife, Lydia, and their children and grandchildren.
Formal dining can be an elegant affair aboard this 186-footer for Sam Shalem, his wife, Lydia, and their children and grandchildren. (Tom Serio/)

When it came to Baba’s, another shipyard switch was in order because of her steel hull and aluminum superstructure; the previous yachts were all fiberglass. The former Sunrise Yachts shipyard in Turkey was available, so Hargrave acquired it and renamed it HSY, for Hargrave Super Yachts. Shalem researched regulatory requirements, sourced international subcontractors, picked department chiefs, and selected his captain and crew. Joyce credits “Sam’s people skills” in bringing together these teams, including Turkey-based Unique Yacht Design for styling and interiors.

The yacht is designed for family use with six staterooms: a main-deck master, four guest staterooms belowdecks and a VIP on the bridge deck. A waterfall spills into the hot tub on the sun deck, which Shalem’s grandchildren particularly love. The most popular place on board is the beach club, with its own hot tub, bar and gym equipment. The family especially enjoys the space because it’s something DREAmer didn’t have.

“This is the most detailed owner we’ve ever worked for,” Joyce asserts, adding that Shalem was as specific about the color of the leather stitching as he was about equipment. The master-stateroom headboard replicates the band of a Cartier watch. Two galleys are on board, with the main-deck galley being a showpiece of stone. (Shalem likes to cook, though the belowdecks galley for crew comes into play when he’s with his family.) The yacht’s wooden wall panels took six months to craft and complete, according to Joyce. Each piece required hand-shaping, sanding, gluing and then veneering.

<i>Baba’s</i> is equipped with not one but two galleys. Note the backlit countertop.
Baba’s is equipped with not one but two galleys. Note the backlit countertop. (Tom Serio/)

The crew has a lounge with a video game console, leather settee and head. Together with Shalem, the captain selected all the helm electronics and their layout. Having served aboard DREAmer for three years, the captain has a good working relationship with his boss.

Overall, the boss is thrilled with the boat. “This is my baby,” Shalem says. As for Hargrave, it now has five yachts under construction at the HSY shipyard, as well as the capability of constructing in fiberglass, aluminum and steel. The hope? To show even more would-be owners how confidence looks.

Take the next step: hargravecustomyachts.com

Refit For 100-Foot Yacht Charter

<i>Sea Breeze III</i> can accommodate six overnight guests. For day charters with America’s Cup spectators, she’s expected to take at least 60 people.
Sea Breeze III can accommodate six overnight guests. For day charters with America’s Cup spectators, she’s expected to take at least 60 people. (Courtesy 37 South Yacht Charter/)

They first saw her at a marina in Brisbane, Australia, and were thrilled when she turned out to be as pretty as she’d looked in the photos online. Her name had been Ulysses, because that’s what New Zealand billionaire Graeme Hart calls many of his boats. He had moved on to a new yacht, leaving the 100-foot 1976 Millkraft available for someone with a love of traditional vessels.

Charlotte Devereux turned out to be that person.

“He wasn’t the original owner. It was a custom build in Australia. I think he was the second or third owner, but he’d done quite a bit of work on her and spent a lot of money on her,” says Devereux, who, along with her life partner, bought the boat and renamed her Sea Breeze III. “We really discovered how beautiful she was with the beautiful features and mahogany finishing and 9-karat-gold sinks—there are all these details that were absolutely phenomenal.”

Devereux had run a 12-room boutique hotel in New Zealand, and her family had restored classic boats when she was growing up. Her partner is a former America’s Cup sailor who competed as a grinder during the races in Perth, Australia, in 1987. Together, they decided to refit Sea Breeze III into a “boutique-style” charter vessel in time for bookings at the America’s Cup in Auckland in March 2021.

According to the New Zealand government’s most recent data, there are about 960,000 recreational vessels in the whole country. More than half are kayaks, canoes and powerboats smaller than 20 feet, meaning larger yachts often can have secluded anchorages all to themselves.
According to the New Zealand government’s most recent data, there are about 960,000 recreational vessels in the whole country. More than half are kayaks, canoes and powerboats smaller than 20 feet, meaning larger yachts often can have secluded anchorages all to themselves. (Courtesy 37 South Yacht Charter/)

As this issue of Yachting lands on newsstands, work is scheduled to be completed on the structural part of the refit, which includes adding a bulkhead, renovating the crew quarters, and raising the bridge deck to allow more headroom on the main deck below.

“By raising it, we gain more headroom,” Devereux says, “and it allowed for reinforcements, so we can take up to 99 guests out for a day charter at events like the America’s Cup, where you want a spectator platform.”

The yacht’s exterior lines won’t change, she says, but after the structural part of the refit is complete, work on the interior will begin, probably in June. Devereux was still looking for the right interior designer this past spring, trying to find someone who shares her sensibilities about style.

“We don’t want the nautical look,” she says. “We want something that—for example, I had my boutique hotel, the Devereux Hotel, years ago, and it had all the rooms decorated. What caught everybody’s attention was that it wasn’t just a traditional hotel. On boats, you tend to still see the traditional or the very modern. We wanted to bring in something that’s not being done in the boating world, something out of an interior magazine like Elle or Vogue where you wouldn’t actually believe it’s a boat.”

In her mind’s eye, she sees an updated version of the Devereux Hotel for the yacht’s three guest staterooms and other living areas.

Yachts in Auckland are booking monthlong charters during the America’s Cup, allowing plenty of time for guests to explore the region.
Yachts in Auckland are booking monthlong charters during the America’s Cup, allowing plenty of time for guests to explore the region. (Courtesy 37 South Yacht Charter/)

“Each room had a different country theme,” she says of her hotel. “There was a French room, an Egyptian room, the Tuscany room, the Antigua room—from the bedding to the decor, it was that theme with gorgeous antiques from around the world. We want to do that on the boat, to showcase beautiful artwork and antiques. It’s such a historic boat that it’s wonderful to bring that in—but with modern elements to give it a twist.”

The interior work is expected to take another few months, making Sea Breeze III available for charter toward the end of this year. Inquiries are already coming in for one-week bookings during that time period, Devereux says, as well as for longer-term charters at the America’s Cup—when the yacht will require a minimum booking of 30 days.

“That’s what most of the boats here are doing,” she says. “Some are talking about booking for 90 days. It’s crazy. There aren’t a huge amount of boats available, but one has booked for 40 days, another for 34, so people are needing to get in quickly because they are getting snapped up. People can bring guests on for the day and then stay for the night, then maybe they can cruise to the islands that we have within reach.”

Before she was known as <i>Sea Breeze III</i>, this 100-foot yacht was called <i>Ulysses</i>—the same name that New Zealand billionaire Graeme Hart gives many of his boats. He reportedly now owns the 380-foot explorer yacht <i>Ulysses</i>, which has cruised with a 68-foot Princess ­tender on her foredeck.
Before she was known as Sea Breeze III, this 100-foot yacht was called Ulysses—the same name that New Zealand billionaire Graeme Hart gives many of his boats. He reportedly now owns the 380-foot explorer yacht Ulysses, which has cruised with a 68-foot Princess ­tender on her foredeck. (Courtesy 37 South Yacht Charter/)

During the America’s Cup, Sea Breeze III will be based at Auckland’s Viaduct, which is also where the Prada Race Village will be to support the Luna Rossa Challenge campaign.

“We’ll be somewhere in that small area, right in the small hub of it,” Devereux says. “I say to the teenage girls, ‘Well, this is going to be a bit of fun, having Prada right next door.’”

Devereux plans to be there herself, serving as hostess aboard Sea Breeze III just as she did for guests at the Devereux Hotel back in the day. Her plan is to coordinate whatever the guests want, be it a yoga instructor, disc jockey or trained bartender.

“We’re very much about creating a very special experience,” she says. “This isn’t about white-glove butler service. This is about a wonderful New Zealand experience.”

Take the next step: 37southyachtcharter.com

New Safety Gear for Boaters

Bushnell’s Forge line of binoculars includes a model with 15x56 magnification range for a wider field of view.
Bushnell’s Forge line of binoculars includes a model with 15x56 magnification range for a wider field of view. (Courtesy Bushnell/)

National Safe Boating Week starts on May 16 this year, with a goal of encouraging all boaters to be more responsible and wear a life jacket out on the water. And because the event happens in spring, right before the summer boating season in much of the country, it’s a great time to take an inventory of gear that can help keep everyone safe in an emergency—or, even better, help to avoid emergencies altogether.

An often-overlooked piece of gear that can need upgrading is binoculars. Often, boaters will buy a pair and use them for a decade or longer, not realizing that newer models can be a better tool. Bushnell, for instance, has the Forge line that includes a model with 15x56 magnification ($799). “The 15x56 could be very popular to the marine community, as it provides additional magnification and field of view to help scan the horizon, view wildlife, or to help identify nautical markers or maritime signal flags on commercial or military vessels,” says Bushnell communications coordinator Vic Ziliani.

The Spinlock Deckvest 6D life jacket has a Shoulder Fit System that lets wearers adjust the jacket for their body type and comfort. A harness-­release ­system is optional.
The Spinlock Deckvest 6D life jacket has a Shoulder Fit System that lets wearers adjust the jacket for their body type and comfort. A harness-­release ­system is optional. (Courtesy Spinlock/)

Also worth a look for an upgrade are the life jackets stowed on any boat. Designs have come a long way in terms of comfort, making newer life jackets more likely to be worn, especially by people who want freedom to move around.

Spinlock’s Deckvest 6D life jacket (about $295), which became available in March, is intended to be “as much a piece of sportswear as a piece of safety equipment,” according to the company. Its features include automatic inflation and an optional harness-release system that lets the boater disconnect from a safety line by releasing a lever. The idea is to give a man overboard a way to disconnect from the boat if he’s being dragged through the water.

ACR’s ResQLink 400 uses GPS, a 406 MHz signal and 121.5 MHz homing capability to reach search-and-rescue teams. ACR says it can guide help to within 300 feet or less of the beacon.
ACR’s ResQLink 400 uses GPS, a 406 MHz signal and 121.5 MHz homing capability to reach search-and-rescue teams. ACR says it can guide help to within 300 feet or less of the beacon. (Courtesy ACR Electronics/)

And in the digital-safety-device category, ACR Electronics has the ResQLink 400 personal locator beacon ($309). It’s buoyant, has a strobe light, and uses GPS and satellite technology to relay the boater’s position to search-and-rescue teams. The multifunction clip is designed to let boaters wear the PLB however they’re most comfortable.

As with life jackets, when safety and comfort meet, every boater wins.

Brokerage: Viking Yachts 55 Convertible

The Viking 55 Convertible’s three-stateroom, two-head setup has room for six to fish the tournament circuit in comfort.
The Viking 55 Convertible’s three-stateroom, two-head setup has room for six to fish the tournament circuit in comfort. (Courtesy Viking Yachts/)

When I first ran the Viking 55 Convertible in 2012, its 33.5-knot cruise speed impressed me. That boat had optional 1,550 hp MANs (1,400 hp MANs were standard). Top hop was 42 knots.

Angling features included a 151-square-foot cockpit, a transom fish box, and bigeye-size in-sole boxes that could also be used as livewells or plumbed to the ice maker. Our test 55 had optional Rupp outriggers and a Release offset fighting chair.

At press time, there were five Viking 55 Convertibles for sale, ranging from $1.74 million for a 2013 to $2.35 million for a 2015.

From the Archive

“Her vacuum-infused, Baltek-cored hull—except for where there are through-hull penetrations, which are solid fiberglass—sports a planing hull form. This hull form features amplified convex sections forward and aft that help with head-sea performance and enhance stability in a seaway, roll moment on the drift or trolling, and lift when throttling up. Two small strakes add to her effortless planing ability.”

Yachting, February 2013

Sunreef’s MM460 Cat is Coming

The Sunreef MM460 will have a 150-foot length overall and a 55-foot beam.
The Sunreef MM460 will have a 150-foot length overall and a 55-foot beam. (Sunreef Yachts/)

Sunreef Yachts in Poland has unveiled plans for the Sunreef MM460 Cat, a new design by Malcolm McKeon with a 150-foot length overall and a 55-foot beam.

The yacht has a glass superstructure topped by a 645-square-foot flybridge. The flybridge is home to dual helm stations and relaxation spots for guests with broad, elevated ocean views.

On the main deck aft, beneath the flybridge overhang, is an alfresco dining area along with L-shaped sofas. This area connects to the main salon via full-height glass doors that retract almost the full width of the superstructure. Inside is a lounge and dining area that can seat 18 guests.

The master and VIP staterooms are forward on the main deck, and are equal in size. Four additional guest staterooms are in the starboard hull, and all of them can be configured as twins or doubles.

The port hull houses the crew quarters and a beach club aft. The beach club has a bar, sauna and fold-down platform for direct water access.

How much sail area does the Sunreef MM460 Cat carry? More than 26,900 square feet.

For more information, visit: sunreef-yachts.com

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