I like yachts.
40′-74′ is the sweet spot for me. At that size, a family can comfortably live aboard (as long as they want), you can captain them yourself, and they are fully sea-worthy. Take them, literally, all around this water planet.
Here’s what matters to me in a yacht:
- First, the layout. It must have space and make good use of the space. The layout must be intelligently thought-out and be beautiful.
- Second, the range and fuel consumption. This makes me look twice at sailboats. You may not know this, but motor boats get poor gas mileage. And by poor I mean 0.20 mpg. You read that correctly. Sporty yachts get 1/5 mile per gallon. There are several motor yachts that have the range to take you from California to Hawaii… but it will cost you around $5,000 for fuel. One way. (It is 2,200 nautical miles from LA to Hawaii.)
- The quality of the materials, components, and construction. Nordhavn yachts are not the sexiest (as you will see), but Nordhavn yachts are, well, the best.
- How many people can sleep on it. This is kind of number 1, repeated.
- Is not a traditional sailboat. Sailboats are so elegant and natural, their power is free, and they have essentially unlimited range. But the keeling (leaning over under wind) is the deal-breaker. And working the sails is hard work—you don’t arrive refreshed. And you are going to get wet. I do like sail catamarans, though.
Here are my favorite yacht makers, in order (side point: why are there so many boat makers?! There are literally hundreds! It must be easier/cheaper to make boats than autos?):
- Wally (so beautiful it hurts. Remember the Wally 118 from the movie, “The Island”?)
- Outer Reef
- Horizon (some catamarans)
- Sunreef (catamarans, some sailing)
- Prout International (some multi-hulls, some sailing)
- Gunboat (sailing catamarans)
- Fountaine Pajot (catamarans, some sailing)
- Almost made the list: Cantieri di Pisa (too long, but too legendary and too well-made to not mention.) Riva (beautiful, overpriced, no flybridge?), Pershing (breathtaking, I don’t value speed that much), Leopard, Mangusta (both beautiful, both too large), Hatteras, San Lorenzo, Inrizzardi, Rodman, Hargrave, and Uniesse (all lovely, but don’t move me)
- Didn’t make the list: all the mega yachts (there are dozens!), which are as impressive as they are trying to be. And which are out of reach, even to dream about. And which require full crews.
Here are some of my favorite yachts:
Fuel consumption: 0.33 mpg @ 30 mph
Range: 4,000 mi
Fuel consumption: +/- 2mpg @ 6.5 mph
Range: 300 nm
Fuel consumption: 0.3 mpg @ 30 mph
Range: 1,000mi ??
Fuel consumption: +/- 6mpg @ 20 mph