I make no apologies for featuring two unusually
Although I’m as big a fan of small, affordable boats as anyone, I make no apologies for featuring two unusually large motor yachts in this month’s issue. I don’t care how far out of
my league Sunseeker’s spanking new
£10 million 37M is, I still want to know what it feels like to drive. Let’s face it, staring down on the Needles from four decks up, as you direct 180 tonnes of immaculately engineered British muscle through the swell at 25 knots with nothing more than a twitch of your right forefinger has got to be an experience worth hearing about.
Eddie Jordan certainly thinks so and took the trouble to pick up the phone on his brand new yacht and tell us why he (or to be accurate his holding company) has just spent such a colossal sum of money acquiring the very first one. His comments are as telling and entertaining as any I have heard. I spent 20 minutes listening to the bloke singing the praises of Sunseeker, their products and above all their passionate and patriotic MD Robert Braithwaite. The two things that stick in my mind most are that EJ claims he has never lost money on a Sunseeker yet – “Which is more than can be said for my planes” – and that of the ten Sunseekers he’s ever owned there was only one he wasn’t blown away by – “An early Manhattan, which I sold on to Ralf Schumacher.”
I should add that neither Sunseeker nor Braithwaite put him up to this. In fact, Sunseeker refused even to confirm that EJ was the boat’s owner. This was just one boat nut nattering to another, separated only by the small matter of 100ft between our respective boats’ lengths and several million quid.
The other large craft, which I personally had the pleasure of spending time on board, was Nick and Dawn Payne’s achingly beautiful 88ft classic Dagless motor yacht Telamara, which you can read about on p64. This 34-year-old wooden superyacht was the Sunseeker 37M of her era, a millionaire’s plaything, which only the super-rich could afford. Now she is a comfy and surprisingly practical home for the Paynes as they cruise around the Med living out their lifelong dream. Age has not dimmed her appeal one iota but inflation and the market’s irrational fear of wooden boats have taken their toll on her value, to the point where she is now worth considerably less than a Fairline Phantom 48. No disrespect to Fairline but I know which one I’d rather own.