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Best In Show: New Boats for Charter

Meet our top picks from the 2008 Antigua and St. Maarten charter shows.

February 18, 2009
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Charter

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Best in Show Yachting

Nero: The 209-foot Nero may look historic, but she’s as modern as motoryachts come. Her owner wanted a boat that harkened back to the romantic designs of the late 1800s and early 1900s while incorporating up-to-date features. He thought about a restoration, but decided that to truly have the best of both yachting eras, building new was the only option. He created the company Corsair Yachts and flew a team of Western experts to a Chinese shipyard. The result is a breathtaking, classic design that boasts zero-speed stabilizers and more.

Though she launched in 2007, Nero first entered charter in winter 2008, when she wowed brokers at the St. Maarten show. Particularly striking was the yacht’s audiovisual system, which includes a cinema room with a 95-inch-wide screen and 9.1 THX Dolby Digital Sound. Nero also has an outdoor cinema with a 90-inch-wide screen and 7.1 THX Dolby Digital Sound.

10 guests, 21 crew, lowest weekly base rate: 476,000. Burgess Yachts, (212) 223-0410; _**www.burgess.com**_

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Shear Fantasea: Although Shear Fantasea was built in 2001, the 112-foot Crescent entered charter for the first time in September 2008, when she got new owners. Their first order of business: Installing underwater lights, a feature they learned to love during previous years of being charter clients themselves. They’re also making a 32-foot Everglades available to guests who want the benefits of a dedicated fishing and watersports tender.

Shear Fantasea will be priced in dollars yearround, even during the summer season in the Mediterranean-a fact that her owners hope will make her a good deal compared with euro-priced boats in the same size range. The husband-andwife team of Capt. Wayne and chef Natalie Nolander bring a strong reputation from previous charter yachts, including the 100-foot Hargrave Katina.

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8 guests, 4 crew, lowest weekly base rate: $47,500. The Sacks Group Yachting Professionals, (954) 764-7742; _**www.sacksyachts.com**_

Pacific Wave: Pacific Wave is a 1986 one-off from an Italian consortium that built an America’s Cup contender before creating Pacific Wave as a private vessel for the group’s attorney. The current captain, Lynn Griffiths, became the 72-foot sloop’s fifth owner in June 2008 after spending countless years chartering bareboats for regatta races. Griffiths spent her first three months of ownership refitting Pacific Wave, which had already undergone two previous refits to keep the ship in top form.

The most recent refit included adding charter-friendly details such as Egyptian cotton linens, waffle robes, luxury towels, Villeroy & Boch china and crystal, and Molton Brown spa products. “We may be the same size sailboat with similar rates as other charter yachts,” Griffiths said at the Antigua show, “but we’re trying to offer what I would expect on my own holiday, which is a better experience.”

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6 guests, 2 crew, lowest weekly base rate: $18,000 (including food). Nicholson Yachts, (401) 849-0344; _**www.nicholsonyachts.com**_

Azzurra II: This 157-foot CRN was built in 1988, completed a $7 million refit in early 2004, and underwent another refit in 2008 that included renovating the top deck in a way that left brokers smiling at the St. Maarten show. Though Azzurra II is an older yacht, she has many modern amenities including zero-speed stabilizers, WiFi throughout, and a 50-inch drop-down plasma television for movie nights under the stars. She also offers a forward, on-deck master suite with 21 total windows climbing up and around the king-size bed for extraordinary views.

Capt. Will Keiser has a long, successful history in the charter industry and has been aboard Azzurra II since November 2006. Previously, he ran the 156 Broward Inspiration and the 118 Hatteras Nirvana, both of which also enjoyed strong reputations.

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10 guests, 12 crew, lowest weekly base rate: $140,000. International Yacht Collection,(888) 213-7577; _**www.iyc.com**_

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Coco Loco: Coco Loco’s brochure lists her as a 2007 build because that’s when her owner took control in the shipyard, but she didn’t launch until 2008, and she made her winter charter debut at the St. Maarten show. She is hull number two in Broward’s 124-foot Wide Body Series with an extended swim platform and a hidden compartment for keeping Jet Skis off the on-deck guest areas.

Interior details include Egyptian cotton and silk linens, inlaid limestone marbles(actual round marbles, as opposed to slabs or slivers), and cappuccino-colored onyx quartz. Coco Loco is the owner’s first charter yacht, and he plans to protect these décor investments by accepting charters primarily from families and low-key groups who won’t get rowdy with red wine on the plush carpeting.

10 guests, 6 crew, lowest weekly base rate: $120,000. Fraser Yachts Worldwide, (954) 463-0600; _**www.fraseryachts.com**_

Beverley: The 121-foot Beverley was one of three new Benetti launches that Camper & Nicholsons International displayed at the Antigua show. While the 197-footers Xanadu and Amnesia stood out for their size, Beverley’s interior décor drew its own share of attention. Interior decorator Geraldine Darlington of Cannes-based Interieursud worked with designer Francois Zuretti to create a memorable main salon rich in warm wood tones, brown leathers, and burnt-orange fabric detailing. The yacht’s exterior spaces, too, offer flashes of color including deep red pillows on plush, oversized dining and lounge chairs. For additional outdoor fun, Beverley offers a custom-built, 19-foot Pascoe tender that seats 11 guests and cruises at 40 knots, thanks to a 190-horsepower Volvo-Penta inboard diesel. Experienced charter Capt. Gary Bush joined Beverley prior to the yacht’s build and thus knows every circuit, gasket, and feature.

10 guests, 7 crew, lowest weekly base rate: 100,000. Camper & Nicholsons International, (954) 524-4250; _**www.cnconnect.com**_

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Arioso_: Arioso’s_ chef Philippe LeScelleur took home first place in the “Concours de Chef 2008” in the 91- to 149-foot category at the Antigua show, with his sensational entrée of seared tuna coated in a ground-coffee-and-wasabi rub. But the 130-foot Westport his galley calls home won plenty of accolades, too. Brokers were singing the praises of the November 2008 soft goods refit that warmed Arioso’s previously beige interior with peach tones.

Arioso is among about a half-dozen Westport 130s available for charter, but is the only one marketed as offering all four of the following: zero-speed stabilizers, seven crew, VSAT communications, and a towed 30-foot Intrepid. Much of the crew, including LeScelleur, came to the yacht in 2007 from the owner’s previous boat, the Westport 112 Arietta. That yacht had about a 25-percent rate of repeat clients, a good record that should continue thanks to Arioso’s larger size and additional features.

10 guests, 7 crew, lowest weekly base rate: $95,000. Northrop and Johnson, (954) 522-3344; _**www.njyachts.com**_

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