Much of what the owner of Ariadne knew about yachts 16 months ago, he’d learned by watching television and movies.
“I remember as a kid, I always thought that a yacht would be the be all and end all of sophistication,” he says. “I remember seeing yachts when they were used in movies like Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe. I remember Madame X with Lana Turner and John Forsyth. They had these elegant, classic, Thurston Howell III looks — how he got that wardrobe and his wife’s wardrobe onto that little boat with Gilligan, I have no idea, but he looked like he was going on what I thought of as a yacht.”
As a charter client in his adult years, he’d experienced a bit of that lifestyle, but yacht ownership wasn’t something he coveted. He fancied all things classic, including boats and especially transatlantic liners, but spent his time owning and fixing up historical gems on land, ranging from homes to his 1977 Lincoln Mark V Continental Coupe.
Then he saw her. She wasn’t at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2017, but her advertisement was. Oh, the photo: her long lines, her sleek bow, her absolutely beautiful bones.
She was a 124-footer built in 1979 at the Breaux’s Bay Craft shipyard in Louisiana, which specializes in commercial aluminum vessels, but had owners who crafted her as a yacht for themselves. More recently, she’d been tied to a pier in Florida and used as a go-nowhere sitting room. By an owner with really bad taste.