In the Club: Superyacht owners' favourite destinations this season
Every month, members of the Boat International Media Owners' Club tell us where they are on the seven seas, what they can see from their decks and share their top trip tips...
Harry Vafias: AE Cap D’Antibes and X
How has your cruising season been?
Amazing. We had two and a half months of constant cruising with the family. We went to Mykonos, Milos, Poliegos, Spetses, Antiparos, Serifos and Shinoussa. It was a busy couple of months!
Which of those is your favourite?
Poliegos, Milos and Kimolos. I’d recommend them to anyone. Just Google them and you’ll understand why.
What about a summer highlight?
Swimming at Sarakiniko. It’s a bit like swimming on the moon. Google again!
Have you got a favourite water toy?
It’s the same one since I was 16 years old – my stand-up Jet Ski.
Which of your two yachts do you spend most time on board?
Our 57 metre Benetti, AE Cap D’Antibes.
She’s listed for sale — are you trading up or down?
Every time we want to trade down to something smaller the clever brokers convince me to buy something bigger! In any case, I love inspecting yachts and I am a serial yacht owner, buying and selling yachts every two years.
Which yachts have you got your eye on at the moment?
Owner of La Cima III
What made you head to Greece this season?
I don’t like jellyfish, expensive marinas and the “in” crowd, so that rules out the South of France! I have spent the last few summers in Croatia, which has a beautiful coast. Unfortunately the authorities there see foreign boaters solely as a revenue opportunity — they charge a very high cruising tax and vignette for your boat, your tender, your Jet Ski etc. The marinas and harbour walls are crazy prices.
Was Greece different?
So different. Kind, friendly people, no hassle from the port police or coastguard, inexpensive marinas, and fabulous islands that are just perfect in the summer — and each one is different. The food is fresh and well priced as long as you don’t go for goat and you cannot beat a fresh Greek salad. Plus — no jellyfish.
What were you drinking on board?
Yorkshire Tea at breakfast and tea time and Campari with fresh orange juice as an aperitif. The local Greek wines were good, and draught Mythos beer slips down very easily.
How’s the boat running?
Like clockwork all summer. I co-captain the boat and at one point had to take the boat to Milos and then Poros with one deckhand and a novice stewardess. Leaving Poros the port engine wouldn’t start and I spent three hours in the engine room, but had to give up in the end. An MTU engineer eventually found a broken cable to the starter motor. I love my 4000 series MTUs — it’s the first problem in seven years. The Kamewa jets are just awesome.
Yacht:La Cima III
Length: 35.37 metres
Owners of Renaissance
Tell us about your summer cruising...
New England is still our favourite summer destination. We built our latest boat, Renaissance, specifically for charter so we joined her at the Newport Charter Yacht Show in June. We were proud when she won two awards: Best Charter Chef and a surprise award of Best Yacht Hop Party for the lively party Captain Doug Meier and our crew hosted with a Gilligan’s Island theme.
Where did you head then?
After a run to Martha’s Vineyard we zipped up to Boston and Marblehead, where we invited six of the area’s harbour masters on board for a tour. We then settled in Newburyport, Massachusetts, for a week during which other family members joined us. The youngsters enjoyed anchoring offshore at Plymouth and taking our Chris-Craft tender to visit the colonial village of Plimoth Plantation.
How’s Renaissance running?
Renaissance is running beautifully and operating like a finely tuned machine. Our crew is professional and fun so our guests always enjoy an extraordinary yachting experience
Is she chartering well?
Charter demand for Renaissance is especially strong in August between Newport and New York City with several stops in the Hamptons. We plan to rejoin the boat for another three weeks, bringing our total time on board this summer to eight weeks. We have several charters in the Bahamas this winter and look forward to spending time aboard then as well.
What’s your sundowner of choice?
As former rag sailors, our sundowner of choice is Captain and Coke or Casamigos Tequila on the rocks with lime. You will usually find us drinking Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water.
Length: 35.4 metres
Location: New England
Steve and Linda Dashew: Cochise
Where have you been cruising?
After putting a quick 13,000 nautical miles on the log in six months we decided to take it easy the rest of the year. We have been cruising along the eastern seaboard of the US and Canada, with no particular goal other than relaxing and enjoying the lifestyle that comes with our new FPB 78.
How’s Cochise been performing?
This is the first time the two of us have had lots of visitors aboard — and cruised with crew. The space planning is working quite well, in particular the top 'matrix deck', which is something new for us. We usually have four or five of us up there when on short passages or working our way into a new anchorage. The ventilation works so well in this area that we congregate here in the warmer times of the day. We have been cruising at a little faster clip when coastwise, about 11.5/12 knots. Fuel burn is up in the range of a mile per gallon She’s an incredible looking machine.
How do people react in harbour?
We do get a lot of questions and comments. Folk want to know about Cochise and why she has a bare aluminium exterior. Most people think she is military or ex-military.
Where are you headed to next?
After the J Class Regatta in Newport the tentative plan is a straight shot to Nova Scotia, probably Lunenburg. We will then make our way slowly back down the coast, hopefully following the fall leaves.
What’s been your summer highlight?
We have been pushing pretty hard with new design work and sea trials the past four years, so being back afloat, with no deadlines and going where fancy takes us, is wonderful.
Do you have any onboard rituals?
Catching the green flash as the sun sets. Barring that, just being at sea with the wind at our backs, surfing down the waves under a lifted sky, and then watching the riot of reds and oranges in a nice sunset.
Length: 26.3 metres
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