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A passion for superyachting

Posted on 28/ 04/ 2021

Copyright Photo: Jeff Brown

Words by Julia Zaltzman – MYStories are developed in collaboration with Superyacht Life

Far-flung Destinations, Exquisite Craftsmanship and Family Adventures to Remember Forever – Is It Any Wonder These Owners Have Fallen in Love With the Superyacht Life

• Designed to create great memories for children
• The satisfaction to build a wholly bespoke, super-personalised boat
• The pursuit of the perfect superyacht: a lesson in unadulterated craftsmanship

The superyachting world is full of happy choices. Which continent should you sail to next? What colour scheme would you like for your interiors? Should you carry a jet ski, a submarine, a helicopter or all three? But before you can answer any of those questions, there is a far more fundamental choice to be made – are you going to choose motor or sail?

For some, yachting is in the blood, a multi-generational pastime sewn into the family DNA. For others, it’s a surprising discovery stumbled upon in later life. Whatever the circumstances, most owners will agree that once that brave new world of family adventure and bucket-list destinations reveals itself, there’s no turning back.

“ I taught my child to swim in quite frankly the most beautiful sea I’d ever witnessed in my life off the islands of Sardinia,” says Jamie Waller, owner of Balance. “ I get so much out of these experiences>.” It’s a far cry from London’s concrete jungle where Waller grew up. The endless opportunities that a life at sea offers his family sees them choosing to spend three out of four weeks every summer month aboard Balance cruising around the Mediterranean’s turquoise waters.

“ Every country I go to, I get this buzz of how amazing it is to be able to do this with my wife and children,” he says. “ My ambition is that by the time the kids are 18, we will have visited every safe country in the world with them. To go through the Panama Canal with the children – that’s the big one.”

It’s hard to refute the awe-inspiring wonder that witnessing the wilds of Patagonia or the calving glaciers of Antarctica deliver, but just sometimes, the most rewarding yachting pleasures are about enjoying life on your doorstep. For the owner of Dot, being able to escape the daily trappings of Hong Kong’s throbbing, non-stop lifestyle is a gift he wholeheartedly cherishes.

“ Dot was always imagined as a weekend home rather than a yacht that moves around, even though she is capable of reaching Australia,” he says. “ She was designed as somewhere to create great memories for my three children and has already delivered them in spades. We actually only take her out three or four times a year. Long Ke Wan is an amazing place for a four-day weekend, and it’s fun to cruise through the harbour when there are fireworks.”é une construction entièrement sur mesure et ultra-personnalisé.

Capturing priceless memories is his standout experience of yacht ownership. “ Watching my kids jump from the roof into the sea, stargazing with them top side and enjoying games of charades as the sun sets after dinner – this is what I treasure. When the luminosity at night lights up the fish swimming and jumping ahead of us, that is the magic of Hong Kong that few get to see.”

As precious as it is, yachting offers more than a platform for idyllic family time. It also enables some owners to experience the satisfaction derived from building a wholly bespoke, super-personalised boat. For some owners, like Professor Hans Georg Näder, the pursuit of the perfect superyacht is a lesson in unadulterated craftsmanship. His appetite for sailing began when he was a young boy learning to sail in his “little Optimist”, and today, his performance racer Pink Gin VI is infused with tributes and reminders of the personal experiences, travels and passions he’s since experienced.

“ I wanted the yacht to be fun and quirky” he says, “ so small details like the inclusion of art by some of the artists I have encountered on my travels and whose work I admire help to achieve this. At the inception stage, we came across the idea of using 7000-year-old bog oak wood as a feature and this runs through the yacht, from the capping rails outside through the upper saloon table and even to the sharp keys on the piano. Such little details are what make the interior so special.”

" Whether built or bought, a sense of inclusivity is often one of the most unexpected aspects of ownership. Life-long connections are formed in the most unexpected of places, from the local yacht club to a stilt village in the Sepik River. The unlimited access that superyachts provide, often to places where roads and railways are yet to reach, lifts a cultural veil that separates us from faraway communities and unchartered waters. Simultaneously, when onboard guests who are contained in one restricted space – albeit a luxurious one – share life-affirming experiences, formalities are encouraged to slip away, leaving room for bonds to be forged.

“ Over the years I have often seen people we have invited on board who didn’t know each other still in touch years later,” says Hugo Verlinden, owner of Seven Sins. “ The boat brings people together. You can’t get the same result after any other kind of trip. You are so close on a yacht holiday. After a couple of days, it’s not the same relationship anymore.”

Anthony Lim, serial builder and owner of Annette 2, agrees: “ Spending time on a yacht is not about getting to the destination, it’s about the journey itself. You can do things like hiking or golfing, but sailing is more inclusive for the rest of my family. My children get really excited about it and that is what makes me happy.”

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