The fishing cockpit on Mea Culpa comes complete with pop-up barbecue and trap
These are yachts for that most passionate breed – sportsfisherman. They are finely honed but powerful machines, performance-oriented and stuffed to the gunnels with equipment, technology, gizmos and gadgets, all geared towards that one goal of landing fish – and lots of them. Some are designed to go the distance, allowing the truly dedicated to spend weeks offshore, many have a shallow draught so they can close in on coast cruisers, all are armed to the teeth for deep sea combat. But even sportsfishers have a softer side, with the kind of luxury you would expect from any superyacht. Here are five quite different specimen, all sportsfishers to the hilt, but superyachts nonetheless.
Mea Culpa | 2003 | McMullen & Wing | 39.62m
Sportsfishing yachts look like a breed apart from superyachts, but one that blends the best of both is Mea Culpa. She was built to a Jack Sarin design by McMullen & Wing for an experienced fisherman who was intent on fishing the remotest corners of the world, but at the same time wanted a yacht that could hold her own in the stylish ports of the Caribbean and Cote d’Azur. And she has done just that – proving she is as much at home docked stern-to in St Barth’s as she is raising black marlin off the Great Barrier reef.
No expense has been spared in terms of quality and comfort, from her zero speed stabilisers to her custom woven carpets.
While her towering crow’s nest offers a superior view of the fishing grounds, her fishing equipment outlay is second to none: in the cockpit she boasts a fishing centre with tackle storage drawers, a stainless steel sink and drain board, two live bait wells with curved, laminated glass panels and interior lighting, a Murray fighting chair with interchangeable backrests, rod holders, a refrigerated transom fish box with an integrated cutting board and 56 new rods built in 2010 and 2011.
And for an on-the-spot fresh fish supper, a propane barbecue rises up from beneath the cockpit deck via hydraulic lift.
‘Mea Culpa is in absolutely immaculate condition despite having over 100,000 miles under her hull,’ says Curtis Stokes her broker. ‘She has fished and cruised all over the world, from Alaska to Central America to New Zealand. There is no other fishing yacht like her for range and comfort and she catches a lot of fish.’
Patriot | 1984 | Feadship – De Vries | 26.6m
A rare Feadship ‘Gentleman’s Sport Yacht’, Patriot may have been built back in 1984, but she was practically rebuilt when her current owner bought her in 2005 and immediately put her through a 15 month refit at Derecktor Shipyard in Florida. She was stripped back to a bare metal hull and refurbished from the bottom up with the aim of creating an ergonomic, safe, extremely quiet and state-of-the-art ‘one-off’ sport yacht.
But Patriot is more than a sports yacht, offering the very best in comfort and luxury from her zero speed gyro stabilisers to her high gloss cherry interior. When she splashed back into the water in 2007 Patriot had had well over $10 million invested in her and was practically a new yacht.
And as Justin Onofrietti, her broker at Denison Yacht Sales points out, ‘The yacht is essentially being offered for well under 60% of the money invested into her by her current owner who would love to see her go to a new owner that has the same passion for yachting that he does’.
Mary P | 2001 | Queenship | 26.52m
Another fisherman’s dream boat, Mary P too has travelled the world in pursuit of the next big catch, cruising from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico on her own bottom and spending two years in the fishing grounds of Australia. Owned by the same family all along she has been designed to be a perfect platform for their fishing, diving and cruising activities, and has large open living areas which make family cruising comfortable.
Her fishing throne is a large Murray fighting chair with an offset base and rocket launcher back rest, and her aft deck comes with all the necessary equipment including a 12 gang rod rack, striking rod holders and fixed rod holders, a bait station with tackle storage and sink, a transom mounted ice chest with an icemaker, an in-deck fish box and live well, as well as bait freezers.
‘A recent price reduction of half a million speaks to the sincerity of the seller,’ comments broker Parker Bogue at Bradford Marine Yacht Sales. ‘This one-owner vessel has “all the right stuff” and is ready for world cruising and fishing.’
R80 | 2010 | Donzi | 24.38m
Combining form and function into an unbelievably high tech performance machine, R80 is the newest flagship Donzi 80 sports fish yacht, developed and designed by Bob Roscioli. She packs a punch with the newest developments in oil bath drive systems combined with DDC/MTU 2400 common rails and an innovative underwater exhaust system. Performance aside, her open bridge arrangement and cabin layout provide the best in cruising comfort for her owners, guests and crew.
‘This new 80’ is unquestionably the finest large sport fishing vessel on the market today – we challenge you to sea trial any yacht on the market and then compare it to the Donzi 80. You simply must experience the quality and performance to believe it,’ says her broker Thom Conboy at Merle Wood & Associates, who describes her as ‘top flight of top flight’ in terms of manoeuvrability, speed, construction technique and detail – right down to her paintwork.
Go Fisch | 1982 | Elliott | 21.95m
Go Fisch is a yacht whose fishing credentials have put her on the silver screen with a starring role in an ESPN Outdoors fishing programme called Offshore Adventures. Her owner is now busy filming a new National Geographic television show and does not have time to use her.
She is a classic Yacht Fish style motor yacht that combines the best features of a sportfish boat and a motor yacht with a design made famous by her West Coast builder Elliott who customised each cold-moulded yacht for each buyer. These yachts allowed their owners to cruise offshore for tuna, or to cover long passages south towards Mexico and Panama to reach previously untouched fishing grounds.
The aft deck and cockpit area are easy to operate when hooked up to big game fish, and full walkarounds to the bow allow fishermen to keep fighting the large fish with no interruption. A live bait well on the bow makes it easy to pitch to snook and other coast cruisers when bowing up to the shore line with the yacht’s shallow 1.65m draught.
‘She is a timeless sportsfisher that is in need of a minor refit and a loving owner,’ says her broker Alex Clarke at Denison Yacht Sales. ‘An excellent opportunity to own a true classic that has proven to raise large fish from California, to Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua.’ First listed for sale less than a year ago at $850,000, she is now asking less than half that and her owner is open to lower offers.
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