Many things in sailing shrouded in mystery. Yacht owners, especially large ones, like privacy and almost never share with the press details of the selection, construction and operation of their vessels. MBY on secrecy was able to talk with the owner of one of the recently launched Benetti yachts — Skyler (Crystal 140, 41,93 m, 2018). It is noteworthy that this is his second Benetti for the last two years. The reason for such devotion to the brand?
Your previous yacht was a Benetti Fast 125. Why did you choose this model?
At that time, I was thinking more about speed. I was important to quickly get from Manhattan to Newport, Rhode island. Model Benetti Fast 125 fast and maneuverable, equipped with the highly efficient bottom rotary columns Azipull 65 from Rolls-Royce with a joystick (at the time very new technology. — Approx. MBY) and at the same time very quiet. Then all this was for me of paramount importance.
And why did you decide to change it?
Fast 125 perfectly served its purpose: for the Mediterranean is a great boat — you can quickly get anywhere. But then I realized that the boat was bigger — I’ve seen a lot — may make sense from the point of view of Charter business and the ability to keep the team busy. I used the boat infrequently, so the team a lot of time no was busy. Plus I wanted to have a big tender: I don’t like small — they always get wet, and tow it behind a fast boat is problematic. So I started thinking about the Charter and that a larger yacht with a stable hull transient and transatlantic cruising.
- An outdoor Seating area in the bow of the upper deck
- Length 41,93 m, width of 9.05 m, draught of 2.28 m fuel capacity 58 000 l engines 2 x Cat C 32 Acert engines (1600 HP), maximum speed of 15.5 knot, a cruising range of 4000 miles (11 knots), cabins 5 (12 people), the crew of 7 people, design Stefano Righini/Francois Zuretti/Benetti
In a world of many shipyards. Why did you decide to build your next Benetti yacht again?
First, I’ve always liked Italian design. I know that the tonnage of the Italian yacht more than yachts from Northern Europe, but the use of space is impressive. Second, Benetti is a world brand. If you later sell it, the buyer can be anywhere, in Asia, in Russia, in the United States… Local brands do not have such awareness, and sell these yachts more difficult. Benetti — largest shipyard, known throughout the world; their yachts are easier to sell and to give in trade-in. They are built to the highest standards, so I decided to stay with Benetti, the shipyard did a great job c task.
And shipyards, and brokers recognize that building a custom yacht is not a simple process. For the customer it’s too hard?
Yes. You have to love to do, appreciate the process, often at the shipyard. By the way, this is another reason why I chose Benetti: there is a pleasure to come. If we go to the shipyard, to be honest, I prefer Italy more than any other part of Europe. For good performance you need the right team on the project: competent interior designers, a great Manager, who works with the shipyard and knows what to do and how to do it.
A new project with Benetti was smooth — nothing to complain about. Benetti recently greatly advanced in the production issues: everything is done more efficiently and consistently. I think we all benefit from their internal changes that have occurred in the last few years. Building Skyler was pleasant, and thanks to the experienced team no problems.
How much time was building a boat?
In total — from idea to launch — it took about two years.
- The master cabin is full width of the housing (9 m) is located forward on the main deck
Skyler was launched in July 2018. Managed since then to make some interesting travel?
Far we haven’t walked: first, it interfered with the weather, then the yacht took part in the Antigua Charter Show, plus needed time to test. So far we have made only short cruises.
The reserve at Skyler exceeds 4,000 miles. It’s a lot more than you need for crossing the Atlantic. Will use the potential?
Cruising range — is partly the reason for our choice of this boat. Soon we are going into the Atlantic and go with the Caribbean Islands in the Mediterranean sea. Reserve enough even if we want to get from the Caribbean to Alaska. Or from the United States to South America.
Skyler is suitable for travel in such harsh Northern waters, like Alaska?
Of course. But we’re going there in the summer. In the winter I would certainly not go for such an expedition need Explorer, but in the summer… Why not?
How did you get into yachting?
Good question. I lived in Michigan, close to Marina. There I first became acquainted with the yacht. Then went to new York, bought a small boat. This was 12-14 years ago. Since then I’ve had six different boats each time their length was increased twenty feet or so. You could say I spent a lot of time studying the advantages of different types of boats. Of course, you could just buy a big ship, but I think after going through a few smaller boats, you start to understand the benefits of each.
I agree with the statement that the yacht owner is happy twice: when he buys a new boat and when he sells it?
I will not argue with that. It is fairly typical for the industry.
- On each side in master cabin has open balcony
What is your philosophy of sailing? Is it changing over time?
It’s an interesting process: as I’m sailing for some time, the transition from smaller to larger helped to understand the preferences and understand how to operate certain boats. Now I decided to try to deal with the Charter: the yacht is to be operated, she has to go to the sea, the team is too good to keep busy. Charter business attracts me, it is even more interesting than just to have me personally buy a yacht, but to use it occasionally. I think this is a productive approach, especially given that earlier on the Charter I knew little.
What do you find sailing is the most pleasant?
The most attractive feature of owning a yacht that you can go anywhere. No need to settle in the hotel, where you can enter only after three o’clock, and obliged to go up to twelve. Where there may not be a desired number or all booked. Don’t you want something to constantly pack and unpack. The yacht always understand how to use it, the team knows what you need: some food, water, or movies. Everything is already aboard, and the Marina is usually located in the best location in the city. I believe the yacht is the most luxurious and civilised way to travel the world, and it is not obsolete. You can go to the Mediterranean for two or three weeks to visit many places in Italy, France or Croatia. It’s luxury not to mention the pleasure of just spending time on the water.
What do you like best on Board Skyler?
Sometimes the boat becomes excessively large, so do not feel that you’re on the water. So we don’t want to move too far in terms of size, in order not to lose the feeling of being close to the water: it is important for us to hear and feel. Skyler and the dimensions of the reserve allow you to travel around the world with comfort without losing the contact. In the master cabin two hinged terraces and huge Windows that open. There is a bright feeling that you’re in nature, you hear the sound of the sea, breathing in that air. It’s important to me, and I think for our Charter guests, too.
Size Skyler allow the boat to go into places that are inaccessible to larger vessels, but have the same comfort level. Skyler is an awesome boat transitional mode of motion, very stable, with great reserve, however, is not too big. So I’m very happy with the choice — Benetti has done an excellent job and demonstrated a real skill. As I said, the quality of construction Benetti has just improved in comparison with previous years, and Skyler is evidence of it.
You are going to continue to build a new yacht to go to sea? Not boring over time?
There are so many places I have not been a lot of interesting boats, and it’s good business. So, I think, will continue to build new — I like the process. And given that most of the planet’s surface is covered by the ocean, go is where. Just look at the USA: Alaska, New England, the Caribbean… And still have Central and South America, and the Mediterranean sea a lot of interesting: the Eastern part, the Western…
Already begun thinking about the next boat?
Yet. You may begin to think in the next year. As for Skyler, she has a huge capacity of 455 reg. t, and the limit in this class — 499 reg. t, otherwise you fall under very different rules of operation. So in this sense, the space for a bit: there is already a need to think whether it makes sense to have these problems and what it will do. Especially since we just started a Charter program. But I know that to design and build a new yacht takes two to three years, so think about the future in advance.