Yachting's Dozen: Palawan VI

Thomas J. Watson Jr. followed Magellan's route aboard the 60-foot auxiliary Palawan VI. One of Yachting's Dozen from our October 2011 issue.

Palawan VI

Type: 60-foot auxiliary
Builder: Abeking & Rasmussen
Year: 1984
Original owner: Thomas J. Watson Jr.
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Why This Yacht Matters_: Palawan VI was one of seven Palawans owned by IBM's legendary CEO and passionate sailor Tom Watson Jr. Watson had Sparkman & Stephens design it to accommodate the kind of cruising he wanted to do as he headed into his 70s — he needed a yacht that would comfortably carry extended family but still be single-handed and sailed around the world. Watson's exploits were often covered in the pages of Yachting, and he wrote a piece for us about achieving the last of his three big sailing dreams, following Magellan's route, aboard_ Palawan VI_ in the September 1986 issue of Yachting.

From the pages of Yachting: For me, sailing into the lagoon at Deception was the climax of a project that had been in the making for many years. The event that triggered it began on November 26, 1970, when I awoke in the night with a modest pain in my left side, I thought it was a touch of indigestion, drank some water and went back to sleep. ... Shortly, I found myself in the Greenwich (Conn.) hospital. One month later I was discharged, having recovered from a moderate heart attack. As a result, my life priorities were completely rearranged. Being able one day to sit on my front porch in Greenwich, look down at the boat at the dock, and say, "Well Palawan_, we've done it all," would mean the fulfillment of my third dream cruise ... to follow Magellan's track to his Strait_. — Thomas J. Watson Jr., September 1986