Sea Breeze III

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On board 30m classic Sea Breeze III with owners Simon Greenwood and Charlotte Devereux

22 March 2022• Written by Olivia Michel

SUPERYACHT DIRECTORY

Motor Yacht

SEA BREEZE III

Millkraft ·  30.78 m ·  1976

Step on board 30 metre classic superyacht Sea Breeze III with owners Simon Greenwood and Charlotte Devereux, the Kiwi couple who are no strangers to caring for classics...

Yachting is in the bloodlines of superyacht owners Simon Greenwood and Charlotte Devereux. So when they decided to buy and refit a classic yacht in 2018, the couple had measured expectations that locating the perfect vessel might take a while – this was not their first rodeo. But then they were pleasantly surprised.

Sea Breeze III was delivered in 1976
All images courtesy of Ann Orman Photography

“When we actively started looking for our dream restoration project, we weren’t in a rush. We thought that this might be an adventure that takes a year or even longer,” reminisces Devereux. Yet, “only three months from when we started looking we discovered Sea Breeze III in Brisbane.”

Sea Breeze III was first delivered in 1976 by Australian shipyard Millkraft. She was originally built for Australian theme park developer Keith Williams and later owned by New Zealand businessman Graeme Hart. Greenwood and Devereux were instantly wooed by her retro charm and sprawling deck spaces, purchasing her through auction with plans to spruce her up into a charter yacht. The restoration project seemed like the perfect combination of “my background in hospitality and Simon’s boating skills,” said Devereux.

Though they both may have had nautical experiences growing up, Sea Breeze III was the first venture into the superyacht world for the pair. Greenwood’s first-ever boat was a modest two metre P Class inherited from his brother and named Kapai, meaning “well done” or “good” in the Maori language. “It was what most of the stellar yachting careers of New Zealand's sailors began in, back in the day. The class is now a century old and still loved by many.”

At the tender age of 19, Greenwood then became an America’s Cup grinder for team Kiwi Magic. His sailing career blossomed under the watchful eyes of his mother Adrienne Greenwood, who earned a New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to the yachting world, and his brother, who competed at the Olympics on Finn Class yachts.

The Art Deco-inspired carpet is made from recycled fishing nets

An interlude in yachting lead Greenwood to develop a software service called nextminute.com, a system employed by construction companies from plumbers and electricians to landscape gardeners – and perhaps even shipyards – for project management.

Devereux, meanwhile, also grew up boating just like Greenwood, with an uncle in the background participating in the early days of America's Cup racing in New Zealand. Her childhood was peppered with trips to the volcanic island of Rangitoto in Hauraki Gulf aboard a 7.9 metre Raven named Conflict. Her family has a history of restoring classic wooden yachts, going on to own and renovate a classic tug named Knidos, on which Devereux “had many joyful days cruising around Leigh one hour north of Auckland, sipping on G & T’s and throwing the occasional line over.”

The next big project for the Devereux clan was a 1949 sailing yacht named Turakina, “a labour of love” refit that was intended to take six months but lasted as long as three years. Turakina set the scene for the couple’s first romantic outing, where they anchored off Rangitoto Island to watch the sunset.

Devereux's love of classic refits was a clear inspiration when at the age of 24 she bought and refurbished her own hotel, formerly a 100-year old Bordello transformed into a 13-room boutique, before beginning her own fashion brand.

There are six guest cabins on board

“Within the hotel, the rooms were all individually decorated by different country themes,” recalls Devereux. “I had the desire to create a similar concept with Sea Breeze III – a boutique floating hotel on the water. I thought it would be amazing to create this new platform and to do something quite different from what everyone else was doing in the market.”

The couple’s intention for their first superyacht was to get her charter-ready for events in their home country, like the 2021 America’s Cup. The owners were keen to preserve her natural beauty but the project still required significant work to realise Greenwood and Devereux's vision.

“Approximately four metres of the upper aft deck [had] to be entirely removed, redesigned, strengthened and extended to allow for the large number of passengers expected on Americas Cup and other charters,” recounts Greenwood, adding that the new space can now host up to 99 guests for parties and also has been made “more user friendly” with new stairs and access points.

Indoors, Devereux was in charge of the décor “with many hours put into finding the perfect fabric and fittings,” she recalls. The interior now features cabins for six guests, a formal dining area and a generous saloon which leads out to an al fresco dining space. Further al fresco dining and entertaining areas are spread throughout her decks, with a hydrotherapy hot tub topping off the sundeck.

Al fresco dining can be enjoyed while soaking up the sunshine

“We pay homage to Sea Breeze's 1970's style by weaving in her original and unique furniture. Lush and textured coverings, designer pieces and vintage finds harmonise old and new,” details Devereux, describing the design scheme as “a blend of Mid Century Modern and Hollywood Regency glamour,” with quirky elements such as Art Deco-inspired carpeting made from recycled fishing nets. “The interior is far from traditional, nautical style,” she notes.

“We have taken pains to maintain many of the original features, including rejuvenating her teak interiors. We love her heritage that gives her a quirkiness and a sense of history,” says Greenwood. “On the downside, the more wood there is the more maintenance that is required, which comes with a price.” Greenwood describes the project as “definitely a labour of love,” which involved the hands-on owners even doing some of the revarnishing and painting themselves.

Finding Sea Breeze III may have been a speedy process, but the refit was not, waylaid with unexpected interruptions as a result of the pandemic. “A six-month refit turned quickly into nearly two years,” recalls Devereux. With all of the technical difficulties and delays, plus the ever-diminishing supply of traditional wooden boat builders “Sea Breeze went from being called ‘our beautiful girl’ to ‘the bitch’!” remembers Greenwood.

The project undertaken at the Whangarei yard of Oceania Marine was eventually completed literally days before the first charter guests arrived.

Sea Breeze can host up to 99 guests for events

Since the long-awaited refit, the couple has enjoyed getting to know their local cruising grounds better than ever on board Sea Breeze III, cruising from the Bay of Islands to Russell and Waiheke. “There are so many incredible places to explore in our back yard of New Zealand. Many of our islands are still very much untouched and you are constantly surrounded by sea life like orcas and dolphins,” describes Greenwood. “It is so different from Europe where it can be so busy” he adds, “you can go into these bays and not see a single boat, or you can go ashore where there is a lot of buzz. You can be as remote or not as you like, it just depends on the experience the guest is after.”

For summer 2022, Sea Breeze III’s owners are planning to take her further from home for the first time since her refit. With borders in the South Pacific slowly reopening, a visit to the Fijian islands is scheduled from June to October before returning to New Zealand from November 2022 to April 2023. From fishing to foraging for local plants, swimming with dolphins or sampling local wines, charter guests that will be welcomed aboard this year will have a full schedule on Sea Breeze III.

Now that she’s been given a new lease of life, her owners are planning to keep this classic for the long haul. “We absolutely adore her and we just can't imagine not having her, so we really see her as part of the family” Devereux said when interviewed on the BOAT International podcast. The couple hopes that their children and future generations will now be able to enjoy Sea Breeze III as “a boat for life.”

Sea Breeze III is managed for charter by 37 South with a weekly rate starting from $65,000.

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