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A Yacht for Every Taste

Posted on 21/ 07/ 2021

In collaboration with Superyacht Life | by Dominique Afacan


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? 





While the very word ‘superyacht’ tends to conjure up images of shiny white motoryachts to those outside of the industry and in the media, there is a thriving sailing superyacht market that somehow shares less of the spotlight. The two options are so tempting in their own right that some of the most enthusiastic owners end up trying both. 

Take Jan Verkerk, who currently owns three sailing yachts and a motor yacht. A long-term sailing enthusiast, Verkerk grew up in Holland, experimenting on the water on a wooden boat given to him by his father. Understandably, the thrill of upgrading to a sailing superyacht, like Thandeka, his recently purchased fast cruiser, has been thrilling. 

Sailing is my passion,” he says. “You feel closer to the water, there’s a sense of adventure and it’s the really classic way of yachting. It is also very economical fuel wise.” Thandeka is currently chartering in the Sea of Cortez, where guests can explore Mexico’s Pacific coast in comfort, and in the safe hands of a professional sailing crew. 

Charter guests so far all appreciate the sailing part,” says Verkerk. “We might have an active day on the water but then every evening we find a nice quiet bay,” It’s also fun for those with families on board. “We teach guests to sail and to navigate – and some of them like it if we get the children involved. We make them part of the crew and they love it.

Of course, being a motor yacht owner too, Verkerk has a rather balanced view on the motor versus sail debate. His beloved motor yacht Sherakhan, has cruised all over the world, from Bermuda to Fiji, Mexico to Alaska, with guests enjoying the views from the comfort of a jacuzzi out on deck and winding down with massages in the onboard spa. 
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Beyond all of the onboard comforts, one of the main attractions of a motoryacht for Verkerk is the ability to exert a little more control over your journeys. “Motorboats sail in a straight line, so you can work out your time of arrival,” he explains. “On a sailing yacht, you have no idea what time you’ll get to your destination.” 

For some though, it is exactly that slow pace that appeals. Richard Hadida, owner of sailing yacht Lush, is one of them. “Enjoying the journey sounds like a cliché, but for me, it is true,” he says. “I am not in a hurry. I saw four whales last time I went from Corsica to Monaco – why would I want to hurry through that?” 

For nervous sailers, a steadier journey might appeal – and motor yachts certainly deliver on that. “For a start, there are stabilisers,” says Verkerk. “With sailing, that is not the case, so when you have rough seas, the boat will move. I love that, but it’s not for everybody.” Anthony Lim, owner of catamaran Annette 2 agrees. ‘Whilst I enjoy racing and sailing, some people panic. I’ve got a lot of non-sailing friends and business associates and I don’t want to expose them to that. It’s more important that their champagne glasses don’t fall over!

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In terms of luxury, the old myth that motoryachts offer more comfort than sailing yachts feels outdated. Any witness at one of the industry’s renowned boat shows, for example, the Monaco Yacht Show, need only look at the boats on display to see that they have many of the bells and whistles that traditionally were associated solely with motoryachts. With gyms, cinemas and palatial bedrooms all part and parcel of these majestic boats, the experience of sailing feels as far from roughing it on the high seas as it’s possible to get.  

Whichever type of yacht you chose – both share one key similarity – and that is the unrivalled lifestyle they offer. On the water, whether speeding by motor or gliding by sail – the superyacht life is one that holds endless appeal.