Monday, January 28, 2013

Can You Say: Mega-Yacht..?

We rolled into Falmouth Harbour, Antigua in time for the Antigua Superyacht Challenge.  By “rolled in” I mean the crossing from Guadeloupe was rather sporty.

Nelson’s Boatyard (English Harbour) in the foreground, Antigua Yacht Club center, and Falmouth Marina to the right.

We manage to get a front row seat by grabbing a mooring inside Falmouth Harbour.

By front row seat, I do not mean for the races that were held outside the harbor in very rough conditions, but inside where we could watch the yachts come and go.

Our closest mega-yacht neighbor is the Maltese Falcon is a ship-rigged sailing luxury yacht, commissioned and formerly owned by American venture capitalist Tom Perkins.  It is one of the largest privately owned sailing yachts in the world at 289 ft. The yacht was sold in 2009 reportedly because the owner wanted a larger yacht.  The ship has fifteen square sails (five per mast), stored inside three free-standing carbon fiber mast; they can fully unfurl into tracks along the yards in six minutes. 

The sailing yachts competing are at least 80 ft long and require a lot of crew, a.k.a., “rail meat.”

We counted 18 crew members on one yacht, but this one may have more.

203’ ATHOS

All week long, yachts have arrived and departed.

Often it is hard to guess the size of these yachts until you use the crew to understand the scale.

Besides the mega-yachts, there are some very interesting smaller yachts.  This one is certainly an investment in varnish.

But, not to worry, there seems to be many capable hands on Antigua; for a price.

 220’ Garcon

There are also plenty of motor yachts hanging around Antigua.  This one we did not find to be particularly handsome.

But, the helicopter on the fantail was a nice touch.

138’ Bystander

We did think that Bystander was a very handsome motor yacht and a consideration if we ever decide to upgrade from Motivator.  However, we did count 6 crew members when she came in and their salaries would probably put a dent in our cruising budget. 

Unfortunately, someone always has a bigger yacht.  And, it showed up in Antigua to steal the thunder.

394’ M/Y “A”

"A" was designed by Philippe Starck and was commissioned in November 2004, and delivered in 2008 at a rumored cost of $300 million. 

“A” is named for the first initial of its owners, Andrey and Aleksandra Melnichenko.  Andrey Melnichenko is a Russian businessman and billionaire, and wife, Aleksandra, is a former Serbian model and pop singer.

The ship’s styling has evoked comparisons with submarines and stealth warships such as the Zumwalt class of stealth destroyers designed for the US Navy.  

Reportedly, the upper deck contains the owner’s cabin that boasts a revolving bed.

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