Every month, owners from around the world tell us what they have been up to, where they have been cruising and what is next on the itinerary for their beloved vessels...
Owner of Emotion 2
How has your season been so far?
We had three weeks on board at the start of the season. We got on the boat in Cyprus, and got off in Rhodes. We spent some time on Kastellorizo, which is a magic little Greek island that not a lot of people appreciate. It’s just two kilometres from the Turkish coastline and Greece’s most easterly island. The Blue Grotto there is just spectacular – it’s like a cathedral inside. We paid a local guide with a little outboard boat to take us in the first time, but the next time we approached in our tender and Seabobbed in. We had the whole place to ourselves
Did you visit Turkey?
We were there for a week and it was wall-to-wall Russian oligarchs. Every big Russian boat you can think of was there and every marina was overflowing. We weren’t looking for a marina, as we prefer to stay at anchor, but when we went to check into the country, you could see there wasn’t a berth to be had. We cruised the coast, visiting Marmaris, Göcek and Fethiye. We had our younger son and his wife on board with us for three weeks, and then our older son and his fiancée joined as well. It was the first time we’d all been together on the boat as a family, which made it very special
Have you cruised Cyprus before?
No, mainly because it feels like a really out-of-the-way place when you’re so used to cruising the Aegean. We always thought we’d use it as a way point if we ever wanted to go down through the Suez Canal and do an event like Red Sea Week, but we’re glad we took the opportunity this year because we were starting the season early in May and we were chasing the warmer water
Would you like to do the Red Sea?
We’re very curious about it, and were planning to go in 2020 before Covid-19 hit. I like the idea of doing the Suez Canal and visiting an undeveloped cruising area. The next time they do Red Sea Week, we’ll probably head down there
How are the charters?
We have the odd gap here and there but Emotion 2 is basically booked all the way through. The boat will be in the Western Med for the first time in a while later this season, so we’ll spend some more time on board in the South of France in September and October and then take the boat back to Greece in November
Yacht Coral Ocean
Location St Tropez
Can you tell us about the work you’ve done to Coral Ocean since buying her?
We have done a complete rebuild of the interior and exterior while maintaining and respecting the original lines and design. One of the most prominent changes on the sundeck was the removal of old communication domes. This allowed us to extend the deck and create an upper saloon, which features a full-service bar and a round dining table suitable for any time of the day. We also added an aft balcony and observation area, indoor and outdoor sound system, in-built electric skylight, retractable 85-inch TV and, to top it off, a unique convertible indoor sunbed complete with an opening sunroof. This has increased the volume of Coral Ocean by approximately 120GT. She has also had a top-to-toe repaint, and the extended master bedroom now includes his and hers en suites, a treatment room, hair salon, infrared sauna and a new skylight. Like our other boats, Coral Ocean now carries a light, bright and open feel and is the perfect yacht for families, friends and entertainment
How does it feel to be the new guardian of such a special, iconic yacht?
It certainly was a big responsibility to have purchased an icon such as Coral Ocean and then to take on a full rebuild. It certainly feels like the whole industry is watching to see the result, but we were fully aware of the task ahead and we’re convinced the rebuild won’t disappoint. We took the bold position to rebuild the yacht under our own project management and we have no regrets. We have been able to do everything as we wanted without fear of changing our mind which means the yacht has only received the best of the best with no shortcuts – in true Ahoy Club style
Given the Covid-19 restrictions, have you managed to spend much time on board at all?
We’ve only spent one week on board after purchasing her at the 2019 Monaco Yacht Show, which was one of the fastest sales in superyacht history. This gave us enough time to decide we were going to completely transform her. The pandemic period gave us a good amount of time to rebuild the yacht with no shortcuts and a lot of love and passion. What could have been a challenging task managing the rebuild via video from Australia was made almost seamless by our fantastic team on the ground in Palma and awesome technology
Your other big boat, Mischief, meanwhile, is in Australia. Have you done much cruising with her over the last two years?
Absolutely, we have done so much travelling on Mischief over the past two years from Sydney Harbour to Port Stephens to Jervis Bay, up to Fraser Island and then cruising around the Whitsundays and Lizard Island as well as over to Tasmania. Being “stuck” in Australia has allowed us to explore our own country more than we would have on a normal year, which has been a great experience for us
How will you split your time between the two yachts?
There’s more than two now – as well as 72.5-metre Coral Ocean and 52.4-metre Mischief, we also own 35-metre Rascal, 30-metre Chaos, and four chase boats – Trouble 1 and Trouble 2 (both Pardos) and Cheeky 1 and Cheeky 2 (both Axopars). All of the boats have busy charter schedules thanks to the booming charter market but we are excited to spend time on Coral Ocean during the Monaco Grand Prix where we will be relaunching her. The beautiful thing about yachting is that we never have to see another cold winter so we have plans to spend summer in Europe, autumn in Australia and the South Pacific and then winter in the Caribbean
Owner of Escapade
Location Porto Cervo
You’ve put the yacht up for sale...
It wasn’t an easy decision, but we’ve been toying with the idea of building a new yacht for the last two or three years and we didn’t want to end up owning two yachts. So we’ll sell Escapade and then start the process of designing and building the next one. We still love her, so if it takes a long time to sell, it’s not a problem. Once she sells, we’ll charter during the build phase of the next one. It’s up for €13.75 million (£11.8m), which seems reasonable for her level of design, build and equipment
The timing was really set around our youngest son. He’s still at home, so if Escapade sells, the new one should be ready by the time he goes to boarding school or university, which means we’ll have the chance to do our second round-the-world trip. Right now he is too young to stay at home on his own and too old to join us on the boat for long periods, as he needs friends, a teacher for every subject and he wants to go out, which is obviously impossible when you’re mid-Pacific!
How far along are designs for the next yacht?
We don’t have anything defined yet, but we probably wouldn’t make it much longer. We would, however, have a different layout, possibly with the cockpit and saloon on the same level, to create one large area when the doors are open. We will keep an eye on the brokerage market in the meantime, but so far the idea is to custom-design and build the next one
Can you pick a favourite memory from your time with Escapade?
Definitely our round-the-world trip, which produced plenty of highlights: swimming with whales in Tonga; my wife Lily’s birthday in Bora Bora with about 30 Polynesian dancers, musicians and friends on board; cruising the Strait of Magellan and rounding Cape Horn. It has been a great experience, and we’re now looking forward to the next chapter
Location Palm Beach
Ariadne recently finished a comprehensive refit. What work did you do on the boat?
Everything! Ariadne is a unique classic with stunning lines and a traditional elegance one doesn’t see much any more, but she had been neglected for years with no real improvements since she was re-engined in the early teens and only the most basic maintenance. Her initial one-year-plus yard visit included a new sea chest, new exhaust systems, complete fairing and repaint, an enormous new sundeck which added a bar and a spa, a redesigned best-in-class master, new lighting, gorgeous new decor and bathrooms throughout, and a new galley. Plus hundreds of details down to the light-switch plates and dinner chimes. Three other major yard periods since have covered work that we found wanting while the boat was in service as a successful charter yacht, such as new teak decks, a new crew lounge and all-new running gear. She’s now a big, maritime Swiss watch
Have you managed to spend time on board recently?
Unfortunately, from a yachting perspective, as business picks back up post-Covid-19, it makes time on board scarce. I am looking forward to riding up the East Coast on her in May as we relocate from the Bahamas to New England for the summer. To me, a boat is meant for transportation, and my favourite time on board is when Ariadne is underway at sea heading for new horizons
Where is your favourite port of call in New England?
Any with lobster boats offshore where we can tender over and buy their catch for $10 a pound!
And do you have a favourite restaurant in the area?
New England seafood is so fresh and abundant. The joy of dining on the local bounty on deck on a summer evening is the best place to be, particularly if you can manage a moonrise over the bay. On land, the historic Red Inn at the tip of Cape Cod in the West End of the port of Provincetown; it’s elegant, convivial and relaxed, with stunning water views and beautiful gardens. The food and drink aren’t bad, either
We’ve heard you’re going to list Ariadne for sale. What motivated your decision?
I’ve been unable to spend enough time on Ariadne to make the care I give her worth it, so I decided to see how the market would react to everything I’ve put into her – the mechanics, the improvements, the quality
Do you think you’ll buy another boat?
I’m not nearing retirement, but when I can slow down, I know there’s nothing better than pulling into a beautiful harbour on a stunning vessel like Ariadne – unless it’s yours. So, yes!
Owner of REV Ocean
After the news last summer that the project would be delayed, what’s the latest?
While we patiently wait for the delivery of our vessel, the REV Ocean team is busy working on core science, operations and communications activities that are needed for our operational phase. This also involves working closely with our network of partners and ocean solutions enthusiasts. The length of construction delay is still uncertain and our best estimate for final delivery is still in the range of two to four years. In the meantime, some of the key equipment to be used for our core science work and our charter guest experiences is being put to use. Our new Aurora deep-diving ROV was deployed in 2021 and a new, soon-to-be-named, three-person sub is being launched in Barcelona at the end of April
While you wait for the boat, how are you using its equipment?
Last year six members of the REV Ocean team joined a unique research cruise to the High Arctic to explore newly discovered deep sea volcanoes on the sea floor between Norway and Greenland. The cruise provided the opportunity to use the new Aurora ROV and to push our equipment and team to the limits of extreme exploration, diving four kilometres below the permanent ice cap to film and take samples. After an official baptism in Svalbard in September 2021, Aurora headed straight north on board RV Kronprins Haakon to one the most exotic and challenging diving locations imaginable. The cruise was the first to visually explore and sample newly discovered hydrothermal vents and provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the researchers on board. Samples taken are indicating the discovery of new species, and high-resolution footage captured is intended for broadcast in a top-tier documentary production. For charter guests coming on REV Ocean the expectation is to provide similar experiences, and to give unprecedented access to the ocean. Charter guests will have a hands-on opportunity to co-pilot the ROV, help take samples, name new species and participate in real-time documentary film-making
Is the submarine nearly ready?
Pairing up with ROV Aurora is our new Triton submersible, which can take three people down to 2,300 metres. This will be the deepest-diving acrylic sphere sub in the world, and like Aurora, it will provide researchers and charter guests unique opportunities to experience the ocean like nothing else can. The sub will undergo final testing and sea trials in Barcelona during the MYBA show at the end of April and the whole REV Ocean team will observe the certification and participate in the baptism ceremony. The sub is already being requested for a combination of science and film-making uses, exploring never-before-seen environments in the most remote parts of the ocean. Like Aurora, the sub has extensive sampling equipment, 4K cameras and provides the most immersive underwater experience imaginable in the 180-degree acrylic sphere.