She’s the woman behind the hugely popular YouTube channel Aquaholic, but what would Marianne McHugh buy if she had £5m burning a hole in her pocket?
Growing up in the west of Ireland, I was always close to water, so swimming, paddling and kayaking were second nature. But powerboating is a new hobby: luckily, I’ve taken to it like the proverbial duck to water!
Given £5 million to spend, I would indulge my passion for discovering new beauty spots while brushing up on my geography and interest in history.
Botnia Targa 37
If I was looking for a sea-going little ship then I’d opt for a Botnia Targa 37 because it’s sturdy, seaworthy and suitable for all-weather cruising.
It has the pace to shorten distances and the walk-around wheelhouse nature means it would be easy to handle, even on my own. The Targa 37 has space for guests who visit, and twin engines for reassurance in far-flung places.
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For more accessible and reliable boating, I’d like a Regal 2250 because it’s small, neat and trailerable.
I have no objection to squeezing into a cuddy cabin every night, because the daytimes would see me up at the helm, navigating some of the 2,000-odd miles of history-soaked canals, enjoying Victorian engineering ingenuity, drifting at leisure through the wonders of the industrial Midlands, and toasting the sunset in innumerable dock-side pub gardens.
The Falkirk boat lift? Come on, who doesn’t want to see that?! I’d go for a diesel-engined version so that fuel is easily accessed and to afford the boat enough performance for coastal blasts when required.
Two years ago I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of days as a charter guest on a Princess 72 in Mallorca, one of the best boating experiences of my life.
It was a great size for eight guests, with loads of room on the flybridge for warm evenings, a great saloon and four huge cabins.
So, for pure indulgence, I’ll have one of these parked in Palma, with a crew on board, ready to meet and greet me when I nip out in a halcyon post-COVID world of travelling.
We’ll island hop, explore the Mediterranean, and with all those spare cabins, I’ll discover friends aplenty coming out of the woodwork!
Running cost surplus: £2,460,000
Send in your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org with My Fantasy Fleet in the subject line. You must choose three boats for your imaginary fleet with a total value of up to £5 million.