Sea Ranger: the ultimate expedition yacht
by Tom Isitt
Sea Ranger, previously named Lone Ranger, is not a typical superyacht. She isn’t large and white and shiny, she doesn’t have an infinity pool that turns into a disco, and she doesn’t drip with Lalique or Swarovski. At first glance Sea Ranger seems positively utilitarian. Her lines are far from sleek and curvaceous, she has a huge crane on the aft deck, and a superstructure that Brunel would have been proud of. Sea Ranger really is no ordinary superyacht.
Originally built by Germany’s Schichau Unterwasser in 1973 as a tug for towing massive oil platforms across the oceans, and salvaging distressed tankers, she was converted into a luxurious private yacht by Claus Kusch for a French owner in 1994, and named Simson S. A few years later she was sold to an American businessman and renamed Lone Ranger.
Exchanging oil fields for the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival, a new Sea Ranger emerged, fitted with tenders, seaplanes and helicopters and ready to carry families across the oceans as the world’s pre-eminent luxury expedition yacht.
After 15 years in service, Sea Ranger was donated by the American owner to an oceanographic institute, and for three years she cruised the seas as a marine research ship. As a purpose-built sea-going vessel, Sea Ranger is truly at home at sea, be it the Caribbean, North Atlantic or Antarctic. In even the highest seas, this is a yacht which is stable, secure and safe.
Sea Ranger and her truly astonishing story will appeal to a new generation of luxury yacht owner. The yacht epitomises low key luxury, but most importantly offers the ideal platform for anyone wanting to explore the farthest flung corners of the world with their family.
Don’t be fooled by Sea Ranger’s rugged exterior, which conceals beautifully fitted accommodation for up to 10 guests and all the luxury trappings to be expected on a superyacht. Sea Ranger also has wide, comfortable decks with lots of space for lounging and dining, as well as Jacuzzis and a host of tenders and toys. Her interior features a large master suite with private owner’s library/study and four spacious guest staterooms, all en-suite. The large open deck space, including a basketball court, swimming pool and helicopter pad, plus her ability to carry a 40ft cabin cruiser and numerous small boats, add to her many amenities.
Sea Ranger has a 31,000 mile range at 12 knots, with Quantum stabilisers (installed in 2004) for greater comfort. In the last decade Sea Ranger has cruised the world several times, including a trip to Antarctica and the Arctic polar ice cap.
As her brokers, Y.CO, succinctly put it: ‘Watching her arrive for the Cannes Film Festival, or the Monaco Grand Prix, among the modern motor yachts is like seeing a polar explorer appear at a Hollywood soirée: everybody else is suddenly made to feel a little less adequate. It was as if those that admired her in these sometimes surreal surroundings knew that, unlike many of the big Mediterranean boats, she would soon be somewhere else, among icebergs in the high latitudes of the Arctic or riding the long swells of the Atlantic, on her way to the Southern Ocean.’