The Dublin-born captain of 36.9 metre superyacht Fair Lady, who has been at her helm since 2008, tells us what it's like to charter this classic as she heads to the rugged coasts of Scotland for her summer cruising season
What are the best parts about being a captain on board a classic superyacht? And what are some of the challenges?
"Fair Lady, first delivered in 1928, has been sympathetically maintained and refitted over the years and she still has a real feel of authenticity. I never tire of the compliments we receive at anchor or in harbour even when surrounded by much larger vessels. The main challenge is she is a constant labour of love!
What makes Fair Lady the perfect charter yacht?
Despite Fair Lady’s relatively modest size by today’s standards she boasts three separate interior communal areas with a main saloon, dining saloon and a card room. There is also a well sheltered upperdeck alcove and lounging area and the main deck features an aft seating dining area. This layout not only provides enough space for being together but also an escape for those quieter private moments.
Fair Lady will be cruising in Scotland this summer. What will her itinerary look like?
We will be predominantly based out of Oban on the west coast which gives easy access to the Inner and Outer Hebrides and Skye. Itineraries are mainly focused on quiet, picturesque anchorages interspersed with excellent wildlife viewing, visits to historic sites, houses, gardens and distilleries as well as outdoor activities such as hiking and golf. Stop-offs will include sports like Iona, Fingal's Cave, Islay Distilleries, hikes on Jura and Skye or wildlife spotting in the Treshnish or Shiant Islands.
Due to uncertainty around travel right now, cruising in Scotland is a good option for UK-based charter clients and owners planning a staycation.
Is this the first time you will be visiting Scotland with Fair Lady or do you have prior experience in the area?
This will be my third season in Scottish waters with Fair Lady, having been there in 2015 and last year. Probably my favourite thing is finding new anchorages. We have a reasonably fail-safe selection of itineraries that will always please clients whatever the weather, however it is always good to explore the routes less travelled when the conditions permit.
The weather in Scotland can change quickly - what kind of activities do you have prepared for when the weather turns?
It is often said there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing! So beach walks, sightseeing and more can usually carry on. If the weather looks to be poor for a longer period of time, an escape to the Caledonian Canal can provide a very unique experience. I should also mention the outstanding fresh Scottish produce that guest can feast on both on board and ashore, particularly fish and shell-fish.
Additionally, the card room on Fair Lady was designed for those more inclement days and is adequately stocked with various board games, and we have quite an extensive movie library and the means to stream films that clients may have brought with them.
What type of guests do you think a Scottish charter would be best suited for?
Scotland is suited to all types of guests but a reasonable amount of agility is required as often getting ashore will involve beach landings or scaling rickety docks! Guests will need to bring suitable clothing for the outdoors, a desire for some adventure and don’t forget to pack a sense of humour!"
Fair Lady is managed for charter by Burgess with a weekly low summer charter rate starting from £56,000 (Terms: MYBA) and a high summer rate starting from £68,000 (Terms: MYBA).