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Tooled up: Inside the Allen Exploration fleet

Tooled up: Inside the Allen Exploration fleet

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50m Westport Gigi

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Whether you’re seeking sunken treasure or insights into ocean pollution, it helps not to restrict yourself to the water’s surface. Superyacht owner and CEO of the Allen exploration fleet, Carl Allen, talks us through his fleet of yachts and the tools that take him to both the murky depths and the skies above...

50 metre Westport Gigi

“I love the big white boats, and the Westport is just a tremendous white boat. It was built in the US. It’s got six rooms, it’s glamorous, the cuisine, the service, you get all that with Gigi and it only draws 2.6 metres, which enables me to get into some really neat places in the Bahamas, like Staniel Cay and Harbour Island. You’re not going to the Bahamas with anything bigger than Gigi,” Allen says. Gigi was built in 2010 with an interior designed by Glade Johnson.

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55m Damen Yacht Support

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Image courtesy of Jim Raycroft

Allen spotted the Damen support vessel, ex New Frontiers, at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in 2016. “Just touring it, I knew I had to do the deal.” Renamed Axis, the yacht support platform was fitted with a garage to house a Triton sub, an Icon A5 aeroplane, a complete dive shop – soon to include a decompression chamber – plus top-notch crew quarters and guest cabins. Fitted with top-of-the-range electronics, it has a paperless bridge and dynamic positioning. “The DP is not the quietest thing in the world, but it is amazing.”

The support vessel holds 60,000 gallons of fuel, so it can supply the whole fleet, and its watermaker produces 20,000 gallons of fresh water daily. “We can actually supply islands with water. We get a lot of sail boaters that come up to us [for water], and I’m always happy to oblige.”

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Viking 52 Open Express

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Gigi has a nifty 11.9 metre SeaVee centre console, with triple Mercury Verados, that is rigged for fishing, a custom RIB for diving and sub operations, and Axis carries flat boats. But Carl, an avid fisherman, likes the Viking 52 Open Express. Based on the Viking 52 Convertible hull, it’s American made, sturdy and fast, and keeps the captain close to the action on its 13.2m2 cockpit with mezzanine. “That’s where I really do my fishing,” Allen says. It’s called Frigate. “Frigate birds go looking for blue marlin and that’s what we do.” It’s available for charter separately, but it also goes with the fleet.

“My stepdad was always into convertible fishing boats, and whenI got my wife on the water, it was one of these things where I could have my fish and eat it too.”

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