From the undeniable appeal of charter, to outright ownership, yachts offer you the freedom of the open seas
There is an old saying to do with sailing, ‘A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are made for’. This oft-used expression is attributed to a little-known American author by the name of John Augustus Shedd, who is proof that even the most insignificant of us will go down in history should we ever think of something moderately clever.
But, snark aside, he made his point. There is something inherently sad about the image of a boat in harbour: boats, and yachts in particular, are meant to represent freedom – the thought that we can go anywhere and do anything. They also represent human ingenuity and our ability to conquer the wildest elements of nature.
An un-sailed vessel of any kind is enough to leave poor Herman Melville turning in his grave. With this in mind, there is a world of chartered yacht experiences out there for you to explore. Or, if you would rather, you can purchase your own yacht and plot your personal course across the high seas of adventure.
Experiencing the beautiful Mediterranean from the comfort of a chartered yacht is surely the only way to travel these tranquil seas. Crewed yacht charters are ideal for those who like the idea of a luxury sailing holiday and the freedom it offers, but are not experienced sailors.
The Moorings has established its reputation as one of the world’s premier yacht charter companies, offering an award-winning fleet in multiple destinations across the globe, including the Caribbean, the Far East and, of course, the Mediterranean itself.
A chartered sailing holiday with The Moorings offers all the luxuries you would expect from a cruise, without the hassle of interacting with fellow passengers. Instead, there is just you, a few choice friends and family, and an expert crew and chef to ensure your every need is catered for.
Destination du jour in the Mediterranean is the wonderful Croatian coast. Across the Adriatic from Italy, this rugged and sparsely populated stretch of land offers visitors a peaceful retreat after drifting across the turquoise seas.
After scenic jaunts between islands, explore the expansive areas of national parkland surrounded by rocky islets, historic towns and quiet cypress forests. There are more than 30 islands in the region open to those in search of adventure.
“A crewed charter brings together the perfect balance of sailing, pristine beaches, colourful nightlife, fascinating history, and an unspoiled natural setting”
As the economic landscape has changed, so has the face of tourism, and Croatia has quickly become a must-see destination. Croatia’s historical charm is evident in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Trogir, a medieval gateway that offers a high concentration of palaces, churches and towers to inspect when you should wish to explore on dry land.
Oenophiles will want to schedule a stop in Vis, where over 20% of the arable land is covered in vineyards, while those beach bunnies who enjoy soaking up the sun will find a lot to love about the breathtaking Brac coastline.
Madeleine Roast from The Moorings, says: “A crewed charter brings together the perfect balance of sailing, pristine beaches, colourful nightlife, fascinating history, and an unspoiled natural setting so that each day is an experience like no other.
“All meals, hors d’oeuvres, snacks and beverages are included, as are snorkelling equipment, fishing gear, kayaks, paddleboards and other water toys.”
For those of you looking to get a sample of yachting life, before considering committing to a larger vessel, this is the ideal starting point.
Prices are from £9,725 (based on six sharing) for a Moorings 4800 crewed sail-catamaran seven-night yacht charter, including private captain and gourmet chef, inclusive of all meals and drinks. Tel: 033 0332 1520
If someone were to ask you to name a luxury British yacht company, there is one brand which would immediately spring to mind: Sunseeker.
Since their genesis in 1969, it is a brand which reached global recognition in later decades, culminating in an on-screen partnership with the James Bond franchise, where their yachts appeared in the films The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day and Casino Royale.
When it comes to opulence, their largest boat, the Sunseeker 155, is undoubtedly a sight to behold. Measuring an impressive 155ft and with a range of up to 400 nautical miles, this is one superyacht that will carry you wherever your heart desires.
A sublime combination of design and engineering, every detail, feature and interior space is nothing short of extraordinary.
The Sunseeker 155 comes in at around £32 million, with various upgrades available. Tel: 020 7355 0980
The opportunity to be able to sail away to the destination of your dreams at a moment’s notice is the sort of romantic ideal we all hold in our hearts from time to time. Fortunately, there is no shortage of British companies looking to o er you the bene t of their extensive experience in the yachting industry.
Oyster Yachts have been producing some of Britain’s finest yachts for over 40 years and are now the international market leader for world-class cruising yachts; recognisable for their distinctive deck saloon design and Seascape windows.
In 2016, they added the Oyster 745 to their range. With a hull length of just under 22 metres, it has the option of up to five cabins and four heads. She offers a clear separation between guest and crew quarters and, together with her modern hull lines and styling, she promises pure comfort and superb performance.
For the inexperienced, when it comes to buying your own yacht, you will have to hire a crew to skipper your vessel until you are able to confidently manage things between yourself and your passengers. Thus, when it comes to planning your moorings, it is well worth enquiring about local crews for hire who can help guide you on to your next destination.
With the difficulties that naturally occur with purchasing your own, it may seem strange that many people still choose to buy a yacht. But it is no surprise to Will Blair of Ancasta (ancasta.com), an international yacht broker, as they see the emotional connection their clients make to their yachts on a daily basis. “Sailing and boat ownership is an emotional thing, so most prefer to own their own boats,” explains Mr Blair. “We do sometimes arrange charters for clients who are not yet in a position to purchase, or who wish to try an existing model before completing their purchase.”
If you are planning on making the step into full boat ownership there is a lot to consider, but the benefits for those who put the work in are clear. Yacht ownership offers that most exciting of experiences: total freedom.
The Oyster 745 can be purchased starting from £3.15 million. Tel: 023 8083 1010
Super yachts are individually tailored and bespoke- built, designed for the Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) market, who want to experience luxury yachting at its nest.
Mark Duncan, of Yachting Partners International (YPI), one of the leading brokers of super yachts, says they have seen an increase in the market in recent years: “The number of new yachts being ordered and launched continues to grow, as does their size and the complexity of how e ciently they run and perform. There is more interest from new markets, such as India, Asia and South America, as the number of UHNWIs grows every year.”
While the smallest examples of the super yacht category are available on the market from around the £2 million mark, the largest can command prices of £400 million and beyond – so there is certainly sense in chartering a super yacht before committing to buy.
“Chartering is probably the easiest way to enjoy all that a super yacht has to o er, not only for onboard facilities, dedicated crew service and water toys, but also for visiting and experiencing some of the most amazing destinations that only yachts can reach,” says Mr Duncan. “It is like being in the best seven-star hotel in the world, except the chef and hospitality is there just for you and your guests.”
Though grander in scale, super yachts still fall into the same two categories: sailing and motor. Both have their positives and the one you select will have an impact on the type of destinations open to you.
“Sailing yachts are particularly enjoyed by owners and charterers who revel in the experience of being at sea, feeling the wind in their hair, and getting involved in the actual sailing of the yacht themelves,” explains Mr Duncan. “Motor yachts, and these account for 80% of the market, appeal to a slightly di erent owner or charterer. They tend to o er more interior space, more facilities and considerable home comforts.”
One of YPI’s more popular charters is the 236ft AXIOMA, able to accommodate up to twelve guests and 20 crew. Outstanding features include an in nity pool on the main deck, an open mezzanine and a large, round table on the owner’s aft deck, which o ers an amazing al fresco dining experience. Other features include a media lounge on the owner’s deck, a socialising area and the bridge deck, which features a large Jacuzzi with a swim-in bar, surrounded by sun pads. You will also nd a fully equipped gym and steam room.
With everything taken care of, the only thing left is to point your ship in the direction of your preferred destination, be that St Vincent, Dubai or South America. Adventure awaits!
The AXIOMA can be chartered from €490,000 per week depending on the season, or purchased for €68 million. Tel: +377 99 99 97 97