Another point of view

A couple of years back I had the privilege of meeting one of Britain’s pre-eminent architects. He lived in a stunning house that he’d designed himself. The reason I’d met him was to talk about his boat, an ageing 36ft trawler yacht. I wanted to know why someone at the cutting edge of design, living in an overtly modern and obviously very expensive house, would want to spend his weekends cooped up in a comparatively small and very traditional-looking craft?

His reasoning was disarmingly simple. However big and however well positioned your house, you will never get to experience the incredible variety of views and adventures you take for granted on a boat. He chose a trawler yacht because it gave him the biggest windows and the most time to take in all these sights and sounds.

You can’t fault his logic so this month we’ve decided to expand the theme with an in-depth look at the world of long-distance adventure cruising. We’ve spoken to a couple who are living their dream of exploring the world in a Nordhavn 57. We’ve done a comparison test of two of the finest new 65ft long-range cruising vessels. We’ve chucked ourselves overboard to find out whether the latest MOB devices work (not always, is the short answer). And we’ve even endured half-a-dozen different types of emergency rations to see who makes the best meals on keels.

Then again if all this sounds rather too much like hard work how about turning to page 118. Janelle Muntz Lassonde’s account of her two-week stay on board a 168ft superyacht is one of the most remarkable stories you’ll ever read. Why? Because she and her husband have just spent more than many people’s houses are worth on a two-week holiday of a lifetime. The fact that she was then prepared to share her experiences and family photos showing what it’s like to holiday on board a billionaire’s yacht is an amazing gesture. I guess that’s what makes boating so special. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, ultimately we all enjoy sharing our passion for getting afloat.