boat international magazine July 2015 issue
If you read the UK’s Daily Mail (of course you don’t), you might gain the impression that the superyacht lifestyle amounts to little more than Champagne and empty bling. Naturally, yachts are undoubtedly the most spoiling form of fun – as this issue’s party feature illustrates – but they are also forces for good in numerous ways, not all of them obvious. On top of the employment and technical innovation the industry creates, superyacht owners are increasingly coming to the rescue following natural disasters, reports Claire Wrathall, who tells the story of Dragonfly when her crew witnessed the devastation caused by a cyclone. And no one is working more tirelessly to save the oceans she loves than Wendy Schmidt, says Georgie Ainslie, in her interview. If all this altruism is getting to you, return to the fun and plot your summer, meal by meal, with our spectacular Riviera restaurant guide.
It’s hard to look at a boat like Okto and think that the shipyard that built it is struggling. Having experienced her pedigree during a sea trial off Monaco, I can personally vouch for the quality of this particular 66 metre production. ISA Yachts launched four boats last year: Okto, Silver Wind (another recent BI cover star), Philmi and Forever One – all fascinating projects, but the Ancona yard hasn’t signed an order since May 2014. I hope a solution can be found to the yard’s current difficulties, not least because of the more than 100 very skilled workers whose jobs are at risk. It’s a sobering reminder that the pick-up in business the industry has seen since the GFC isn’t a universal experience. There’s talk of a buyer – something I hope is more than rumour because if ISA was to disappear, so would a future of yachts like Okto, which would be a monumental shame.