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I’m torn between the old-school elegance of Blue II and the no-nonsense styling of La Datcha . Both capable explorer yachts, but each representing very different personalities. As I type, La Datcha is in the Maldives, on her way to the Kamchatka Peninsula, a vast, largely empty wilderness hanging appendix-like off the edge of Russia. As a place to shake down your new explorer yacht and test all its toys (twin helis and Triton sub, to name but a few), it doesn’t get much better than that. But beyond the headline features, it’s the more prosaic aspects of a boat like this that really ramp up its functionality in far-flung places: the substantial mud room, for getting cold-weather gear on and off, vast wastewater tanks for cruising in no-discharge zones and an over-sized laundry. So yes, La Datcha is about as awesome as you can get for an explorer yacht of her size in all sorts of ways. But you know what? One look at Blue II and I was in love, so I’m going with the heart over the head on this one. Turquoise Yachts’ new 56-metre Blue II gets my vote.

Stewart Campbell
Editor

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