Taking ownership of a yacht with a rich charter history, such as Mirabella III, is akin to buying an Old Master painting—you can do with it what you will, so long as you don’t screw it up for everyone else. Ownership of such boats is more than a legal concept. It’s a feeling in the hearts of charter clients who loved her, a week or two at a time.
And so it was that the British owner of Mirabella III, a 137-foot sloop built in Thailand in the 1994, had come to love her as well. Then the opportunity to buy her arose. “A spectacular boat in terms of its volume, it had has five guest cabins, huge, flush decks, an 11-story-high mast, just acres of room,” he said. “The opportunity to buy her came up a couple of years ago, and we have spent the last two years refitting, practically rebuilding her from the ground up.”
The owner felt a responsibility to the yacht, but he was also sensitive to the environment: “The most eco-friendly way of whizzing around the planet is sailing,” he says. “We stripped the engines down, and rebuilt them and we added in the fuel-processing equipment aboard. We burn fuel very economically and it produces far less toxic fumes…of the various grades of diesel that are used to power these boats, we will only use the most eco-friendly fuels. It’s easy to buy cheap fuel, but actually what you can get is black smoke out the back and it’s unpleasant and it’s not worth it anyway.”
Mirabella III had her appearance updated as well. “We even laid a new, flush teak deck,” says the owner. “We didn’t buy precut teak from a deck manufacturer, or a deck supplier. We sourced the raw teak itself from sustainable sources and had it shipped to Europe where it was cut and laid to our specifications…In effect it’s quite an economical thing to do.”
Even the entertainment on board has taken a greener turn. A new “beach” swim platform offers sun and swimming, but also lets golfers take swings at targets floated behind the boat. The difference: The golf balls on board are biodegradable and actually disintegrate into edible material. “They have their sport and feed a few fish,” says the owner. “What could be better than that?”
Refit Considerations: Green is becoming less the moral high ground and more the status quo. Look into green alternatives on any refit project—it may be less expensive than you’d expect.
Nicholson Yachts, (401) 849-0344; www.nicholsonyachts.com
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Whether you’re looking at propulsion, onboard systems, or eco-friendly efficiency, you can refit your way into next-generation technology—today.