// SEA CHANGE
The luxury yacht experience is more attainable—and lavish—than ever. Start navigating the possibilities with these four standouts.
THE LUXURY YACHT EXPERIENCE IS MORE ATTAINABLE—AND LAVISH—THAN EVER. START NAVIGATING THE POSSIBILITIES WITH THESE FOUR STANDOUTS.
The ocean calls to us, and we flock to it, drawn by its lifegiving vitality and unknowable powers. From its sandy shores to its deepest canyons, humanity has spent centuries exploring earth’s vast waters and inventing new methods to experience them. As our charting capabilities have advanced, one vessel has stood above the rest in its ability to provide a luxurious gateway to the sea: the yacht. Perhaps no other word in the English language can conjure the same vision of exclusivity. The unparalleled luxury of your own fivestar hotel, the majestic splendor of the ocean transformed into your backyard, an oasis of relaxation, an endless private playground, and, beneath it all, the most lavish means of travel ever known—this is the promise of life on a yacht. And while exclusivity is certainly the first word in yachting culture, new frontiers of experience and ownership are opening this world as never before. From day trips to weeklong charters, the time is now to experience the ocean in a way you may have only dreamed possible.
FOR A DAY
What, you may wonder, is the difference between a boat and a yacht? “The difference is who makes your drinks,” jokes Patrick Curley, a cofounder of Yachtlife, an app start-up determined to make waves in the often onerous world of yacht chartering. “If you’re on a boat, you’re making your own drink because you’re driving. If you’re on a yacht, you have a crew that’s making it for you.”
This tongue-in-cheek answer proves a point: Yachting is, above all, a luxurious experience. But as with many such experiences, it can be difficult to come by. The Hamptons has all the elements necessary for a world-class yacht market to thrive—from an abundance of water to the high-net-worth individuals enjoying the summer on its legendary beaches—yet the culture has never taken root out East as it has in Miami, the South of France, and Sydney, Australia. Yachtlife plans to change that.
By bringing the ease of renting a vacation home to the luxury day-charter yacht space, Curley is positive that Hamptonites will experience the ocean in a way that has previously been out of reach. “When you play around with the app,” he explains, “it’s literally like you are booking a hotel room or an Airbnb.” This is in contrast to the numerous emails and spec sheets one usually has to sift through to book a day charter. From a 25-foot Vandutch to a 145-foot Christensen, Yachtlife provides access to a fleet of yachts that can be taken for days or weeks at a time.
“Charter a boat from Sag,” says Curley, “go all the way to Shelter, eat lunch, have some rosé, go back on the boat, cruise up to the North Fork, go to a vineyard—it’s really going to change the experience for people. We’re definitely very excited for the Hamptons.”
FOR A WEEK
Day chartering may provide a taste of the yacht life, but once you spend a week on a boat in the Bahamas or the Mediterranean, you will do it every single year for the rest of your life. Chartering for a week or more at a time delivers the experience of extended-stay yachting without the complexities (mooring, crew, maintenance) that come with ownership. And if you have the means, chartering a mega-yacht— anything over 75 feet long—can be a life-changing experience.
Shawn Laird, Northrop & Johnson’s director of charter management for North America, spotlights one such boat. “Party Girl is an iconic, 205-foot motor yacht,” says Laird. “She has an elegant interior designed by Cristiano Gatto, is one of the top charter yachts in her class, and is also one of the newer models in her genre.”
On the seas since 2013, Party Girl has two owner suites, one with 180-degree views and a private balcony; eight staterooms (as opposed to the usual six); and a beach club on the water-level deck.
Party Girl also comes outfitted with all the water toys you can imagine, including four Yamaha Waverunners and a waterslide.
“The boat is suited for families or couples,” says Laird, “or even one couple that wants to get away and be completely isolated. And everyone is treated to an exceptional level of individual service.”
“Party Girl is suited for families or couples, or even one couple that wants to get away and be completely isolated.”—shawn Laird
FOR A DREAM
For a rarefied few, mega-yacht ownership is in the realm of actual possibility. For the majority of yachting enthusiasts, however, it will always remain the stuff of dreams. And as dreams go, none are more rousing than the Jubilee, a boat in a class all her own.
This once-in-a-lifetime Burgess masterpiece is the largest yacht ever constructed in the Netherlands, the cradle of yachting; more than five years in the making, the 360-foot stunner debuted in June in the South of France. With exterior styling by Lobanov Design and interiors by Sorgiovanni Designs, Jubilee easily sleeps 30 and features unique design elements inside and out.
“All the accommodation is on the main deck and above,” explains Rupert Nelson, Burgess sales director in Monaco, “so all cabins have full windows to the sea, and the owner himself has a duplex—the top two decks on the yacht.” The exterior’s sleek outfitting of glass and aluminum gives the illusion of nine decks, but it has the usual four. “All of that is basically hand-cut, hand-welded, hand-pressed, hand-shaped, then fed,” says Nelson, “so every curve on a yacht takes five times as much as a straight line or a straight edge would do. That’s a phenomenal amount of work.”
With an aquarium, swimming pool, gym, helideck, water-level beach club, outdoor dining area for 20, outdoor movie screening area, and countless ultraluxe amenities, Jubilee is truly a dream come true.
“All the accommodation is on the main deck and above, so all cabins have full windows to the sea, and the owner has a duplex.”— Rupert Nelson
FOR A LIFETIME
For those with a passion for the yachting life but a desire for a more personal experience on the open seas, a more modest vessel without the need for a full crew can offer both luxury and intimacy. In this class of yacht, the Riva 56’ Rivale is unrivaled.
“There is no other boat like it,” boasts Mauro Micheli, chief designer at Officina Italiana Design. “It is unique in the open segment of these dimensions.” Unveiled earlier this summer on Lake Iseo in Sarnico, Italy, the Rivale model was created for both long cruises and shorter day-cruising trips.
Elegant both inside and out, it features sizable exterior spaces and a sporty profile. “It is designed for dynamic owners who want to take an active role aboard their motor yacht and do their own skippering,” explains Sergio Beretta, CEO of Officina Italiana. This means that while you may be stirring your own martinis, you will also have the power of the twin 1,000- or 1,200-horsepower MAN engines at your fingertips, propelling the boat to an impressive cruising speed of 31 or 34 knots, respectively— more than twice that of most mega-yachts.
“Because of its close connection to the sea and the generous spaces it affords, it is perfect for sharing with friends or family,” says Beretta. The two fully outfitted en suite cabins—a master suite and a VIP cabin—ensure that longer journeys will be as restful as they are invigorating.
“The Riva 56’ Rivale is designed for dynamic owners who want to do their own skippering.” —Sergio Beretta