ED­I­TOR’S LET­TER

Yachting - - DEPARTMENTS - pa­trick sci­acca Ed­i­tor-in-Chief pa­trick.sci­acca@yacht­ing­magazine.com

Af­ter countless in­quiries from read­ers, friends and fam­ily, our ed­i­tor-in-chief an­swers the burn­ing ques­tion: What is the best boat?

Friends and Yacht­ing read­ers of­ten ask me, “What­boat­should I get?” I al­ways an­swer, but I never an­swer that ques­tion. (Not even for fam­ily.) In­stead, I sug­gest that peo­ple make a list of how they will use their boat and what fea­tures they’d like to have on board. A boat is a per­sonal choice. It’s an emo­tional choice. It’s your choice, not mine. ¶ I was re­minded of this while walk­ing the quay at the Cannes Yacht­ing Fes­ti­val, where I saw two com­mer­cial fish­er­men mend­ing a net be­hind their mod­est, mid-20-foot fish boat. They were obliv­i­ous to the bil­lion-plus-dol­lar spec­ta­cle sur­round­ing their home port. They talked, they hummed, they worked. All with a smile while they pre­pared for their next day on the wa­ter. They had their per­fect boat. ¶ Soon af­ter, I stepped aboard a 55-foot power cata­ma­ran that a cou­ple from the United States was tour­ing. The wife said she was not con­cerned about top-end speed but wanted range and the abil­ity to cruise at a jog­like pace for ex­tended pe­ri­ods. The prospect of be­ing able to power most of the cat via so­lar pan­els was an at­trac­tive sell­ing point. She went on to say it was just the type of boat they wanted. ¶ Then I saw a 115-foot mega-yacht from a dis­tance. Her sil­ver metal­lic paint gleamed in the late-af­ter­noon sun, and her styling was sleek. I toured the yacht, which was built in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Porsche, one of seven such yachts to be pro­duced. The auto com­pany’s in­flu­ence could be seen in the tran­som garage door, which re­sem­bled the back of a Porsche 911. The bar top and radar arch were formed to look like spoil­ers. It worked. The sil­ver hull paint was a Porsche color too. Her in­te­rior was uber-chic, much like an up­scale Man­hat­tan loft, with high-gloss woods, rich and dark mar­ble, and con­tem­po­rary fur­nish­ings. Sev­eral sea tri­als were sched­uled with po­ten­tial own­ers, and she may have turned out to be the best boat for one of them. ¶ A few years ago, I asked my son if he wanted to take our boat out for a ride. He said, “No, I want to take that one,” as he pointed to the in­flat­able. We left our boat in her slip and spent a cou­ple of hours cruis­ing our lo­cal canals on the rub­ber boat, hav­ing a blast. My son had an ear-to-ear grin the en­tire time. As soon as we re­turned, he asked when we could do it again. It was his pre­ferred ride. ¶ So, ask me all you want, but my an­swer will al­ways be the same: The best boat is the one that gets you on the wa­ter.

We left our boat in her slip and spent a cou­ple of hours cruis­ing our lo­cal canals on the rub­ber boat, hav­ing a blast.

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