Cruising the Mediterranean for the first time this season after being launched at Benetti early this year, the latest addition to Benetti’s Fast 125 range is the 38.1-metre motor yacht Skyler. This week SuperYacht Times spoke with her experienced owner on his first impressions of the yacht and why Skyler is so special to him.
Did you charter yachts before owning your own vessels?
I actually owned a few smaller yachts before getting into chartering bigger boats, which then lead me to buy larger yachts later on. It all started for me when I first bought a small boat at a boat show. I then quickly realised it was too small so I bought a bigger one and since then every two years or so for the past 12 years I would end up buying a new, bigger boat.
What made you keep stepping up in size and keep going bigger?
The more time I spent on the sea the more I wanted to travel to further destinations and I also realised I needed more room for family and friends. I owned a 100-foot yacht before and to be honest I wasn’t really in the market place for a new yacht. I always liked the idea of having an upper saloon, especially for the kids, so when I was first presented with the Fast 125 project it really grabbed my attention.
Apart from the additional space, which other features of the project stood out to you?
I was impressed by the silence on board while underway and also when in the boat is in the harbour. The propulsion package makes manoeuvring in port so simple and being a hands-on person myself and someone who enjoys boats, I found this very exciting. I love spending time in the wheelhouse and the exceptional visibility is a great plus not only for guests who are on the bridge and want to enjoy the view but also in terms of safety it is very important for the crew as well.
What are some of your favourite things about Skyler since you have been using the boat for the first time this season?
One of the highlights for me has to be the twin terraces in the master suite. These open up on either side of the cabin and when you are at anchor it really makes the suite feel so much bigger. I recently chartered another 125-foot yacht before taking delivery of Skyler, and I can tell you that few yachts can compare with the space that this Benetti offers. Another thing I enjoy is the galley which has it’s own seating area where we can have a quick meal or the crew can eat there, this is quite unique of a boat this size. And the gym, of course. I don’t know how many 125-foot yachts have a gym on board, but I’m pretty sure you don’t see that too often.
What are your plans with Skyler for this summer?
We have already chartered her out as this is something we would like to keep doing in the future on a limited basis. In fact, the first group that was on board charters a lot of yachts and they said she is certainly one of the best in her class. I feel it is good for the boat to be used frequently and also for the crew to stay busy and get to visit new destinations instead of being stuck in the marina like so many other boats. I manage to use the boat around six weeks a year, so there is enough time in the year to charter her out without turning the yacht in a full-on charter vessel.
How has the construction experience with the Benetti shipyard been for you?
The project faced its own challenges along the way but, to be honest, this is to be expected from a project with new technology at its core. The shipyard worked very hard to transform the boat into what it is today. Benetti has invested a lot into the project and I think that hard work has paid off. What is remarkable for me is that Skyler which is 125-feet long has the same engines as my 100-foot yacht and is able to deliver even better performance in terms of efficiency.
What is one of your favourite destinations to cruise in?
In the United States, New England is a great place to cruise, and I feel a lot of people don’t understand and fully appreciate that. There are so many unique spots along the coast in fairly close proximity to each other. I can go from New York to the Hamptons and on to Sag Harbour. Newport is of course quite popular but there are a lot of places along the way before you even get to Newport. I haven’t done it yet but at some point, because of the increased range I have with Skyler, we will probably make our way up to Canada on the St Lawrence River, I hear it is wonderful.
Additionally, the Caribbean is one of my favourite locations. We keep the boat in St Maarten and spend a lot of time around there, also in St Kitts. The shallow draft of the Fast 125 is ideal for cruising in the Bahamas and I look forward to doing that as well. With Skyler we will probably cruise further into the Caribbean and hope to reach Central America.