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Courtesy of owner

Owner's logbook: swapping a sailing yacht for an explorer and catching dogtooth tuna in Bali

8 April 2024 • Written by Grace Trofa

Every month, superyacht owners reveal where they are in the world and share their future plans. This month, BOAT speaks to Marcus Blackmore about switching from a sailing yacht to an explorer (while racing around Australia), and Bob Giles about hooking tuna and trevally on board his 30-metre VivieRae...

Marcus Blackmore, owner of Nauta Air 110 

Length: 33.5m
Year: 2025
Location: Ancona

Credit: Adobe Stock

You’re building your first big motor yacht. What prompted that decision?
We have been following Cantiere delle Marche’s success in the explorer market for some years. While sailing our Southern Wind in the Caribbean we had the opportunity to look over a Nauta Air 110 and Caroline, my wife, fell in love with that boat. Having decided to sell the large sailing boat we thought a new motor boat would be our cruising choice for the next few years, so the CdM Nauta Air 110 became the one. We signed the contract in February.

How have you modified the design for your purposes?
We have had fairly detailed discussions with CdM over the past few months to finally agree a general arrangement for the boat. Caroline wanted two distinct lounge spaces, hence a focus on an upper saloon, and I wanted a comfortable lounge in the wheelhouse for guests. I guess the old adage of “happy wife, happy life” prevailed on the relatively minor changes we made to the basic boat.

Read More/Australian businessman Marcus Blackmore signs for new Cantiere delle Marche explorer
Nauta 110

Who will do the interior design?
The exterior and interior design will be done by Mario Pedol and Massimo Gino at Nauta Design, who also did our last two sailing yachts. We have found them excellent to deal with.

Where will you keep the motor yacht?
After a 30-month build programme we plan to spend a few months in Europe on board and then we’ll likely bring the boat to our home in Sydney. We are keen to get back to the South Pacific.

Credit: Maurizio Paradisi

You’ve just taken delivery of a new race boat, too. What can you tell us about that?  
I decided that the logistics of keeping a large cruising yacht that I was keen to race in Europe should be replaced with a more serious dedicated racing yacht, hence us commissioning Botin Partners to design Hooligan, a new TP52. The boat was built in New Zealand by SP Technologies with a plan to build the lightest, fastest and strongest TP52 ever built.

So far so good – we won our first regatta at Festival of Sails in Geelong in Australia but the real test will come with the upcoming TP52 Gold Cup Series in New South Wales. I love racing – right now I’m competing in a regatta in Port Lincoln in South Australia and Caroline is cage diving with great white sharks! Just because we’re building an explorer yacht, life is definitely not slowing down.

Bob Giles, owner of VivieRae 

Length: 30m
Year: 2017
Location: the Maldives

Courtesy of owner

Where’s the best fishing you’ve experienced on this latest adventure? 
The best fishing was between Bali and Komodo. We fished a rock formation in a heavy current and caught several dogtooth tuna, the largest about 45 kilograms, and a large giant trevally. Since we’ve got to the Maldives, we’ve caught quite a few wahoo with an average size of 10 kilograms. Nothing for the trophy cabinet just yet.

Did you do the passage to the Maldives? 
My crew did that one and I flew in to meet the boat. The islands are amazing and even better than I imagined. We have been doing a lot of diving and have made several dives with giant manta rays. It’s very easy to cruise inside the atolls with good weather protection. There are many beautiful remote beaches with lots of coconut palm trees and great snorkelling. There’s no shortage of beautiful resorts, either.

Read More/On board with Bob Giles, owner of 30m Nordhavn VivieRae
Bob Giles is pictured on the right
Courtesy of owner

Before the Maldives you were in Thailand and the Andaman Sea. What were the highlights from there? 
We spent most of our time in Thailand in the Similan Islands, which are all protected, and you’re forbidden to land and go ashore on most of the islands. There’s no fishing within three nautical miles of them so we went a little further out but had no luck. 

Interestingly, there were lots of Taiwanese fishing boats outside the protected area and perhaps that’s why our luck was out. The diving was good – mostly around granite pinnacles that held lots of huge schools of fish. We also visited an elephant sanctuary in Phuket, which was great. It was very interesting to learn about the elephants and their mahouts (caretakers).

Credit: Adobe Stock

Where are you heading after the Maldives?  
I will come back at the end of February and go to the most southern part of the Maldives where it is most remote. We will stay around the islands until early May when the crew will depart for the Red Sea. That will be an interesting journey – we will pick up four armed security guards in Oman and they will stay on board as far as Egypt.

I will meet VivieRae in late May in Egypt and do some diving and fishing in the northern part. After that we will go through the Suez Canal and on to Greece, then Italy and Turkey, before heading to Bermuda in late October.

First published in the April 2024 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

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