Captain's insight: How 52m Alloy sailing yacht Q matches performance with luxury

Written by Jessamie Rattray

It's late 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand, and Alloy’s 52-metre high-performance sailing yacht Mondango — now known as Q — is about to be delivered. There’s only one way to celebrate a custom-built ketch destined to cover vast sea mileage: champagne. As the bubbles shower across the bow in a nod to the time-old tradition, Q is officially delivered and the seeds of her legacy sown.QAt Alloy Yachts’ Auckland-based shipyard, the plans for Q’s creation proved consistent with a progression of large flybridge yachts built by the shipbuilder. The fifth-largest Alloy yacht at the time of her delivery and still the sixth-largest today, Q is a pedigree of her kind. The splendidly designed ketch-rigged sailing yacht retains her elegance out on the water. This elegance must not be mistaken for weakness; Q is a product of supreme craftsmanship, faster and stronger than many of her competitors.QQ comes from noble origins. New Zealand-based Alloy Yachts has a reputation that extends worldwide, trusted for its expertise, artistry and durability. With the legendary Ed Dubois of Dubois Naval Architects Ltd as an integral player in the 52-metre custom build, Q is a sailing yacht that was always headed for excellence.

Dubois hatched the vision for Q’s exterior designs and naval architecture. The result was a sailing yacht with a modern but charming superstructure made up of clean and classy exterior lines and an ample deck space supported by Q’s midnight blue hull.Q sailing yacht in St BarthsPhoto: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesUnder the Cayman Islands flag, Q sails the seas as a distinguished blue water cruiser. Known for her superior sea-kindliness, Q is a sailing yacht whose capabilities do not go unnoticed.Captain Connor BoydOne of her Captains, Captain Connor Boyd, enlightened SuperYacht Times on Q’s sailing versatility, explaining “we have sailed her in stormy North Sea conditions with confidence and comfort. Likewise, her large and variable sail plan lets her take off in lighter breezes.”Q yacht at the 2019 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta Day 1Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesQ’s ketch rig with three head sales creates a balanced sail plan, guaranteeing easy sailing in all wind conditions. For Boyd, “guests can feel the boat come alive once the easily hoisted sails are set and trimmed.” Over the past several years, Q has spent time sailing the waters of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, both for charter and as a regular contestant on the international superyacht racing circuit, namely the Corinthian Class of the St Barths Bucket Regatta. 

Today, Q is available for charter exclusively with Camper and Nicholsons. This winter, she will traverse the seas in the Caribbean, offering charter opportunities in the islands eastwards of Panama. From iconic Caribbean superyachting destinations like the Bahamas and Aruba, to more untouched pieces of paradise, such as Trinidad and Tobago and the Windward Islands.Highlighting Q’s compatibility with tropical regions, Boyd stated “deep lagoons, consistent winds, and remote beauty are all the things that Q was built for. She’ll have no trouble cruising comfortably between islands.” This will prove useful in 2023, when Q is set to sail onwards to the lesser frequented waters of Central America, before an expansive navigation across the Pacific Ocean to wondrous French Polynesia for the summer season of 2023. Under the command of captains and crew with expert knowledge of such regions, guests can get a taste of the 121 islands of French Polynesia.French PolynesiaPhoto: Benedikt BrichtaBoyd has seen more of this region than most. He recommends the Society Islands, especially Tahiti, the largest island of the archipelago, home to unparalleled adventure. “Guests can hike the massive volcanoes and then paraglide down to the beaches below, or take a dip in a mountain waterfall pool. For the surfers, Teahupoo is one of the most famous big wave surf breaks in the world.”French PolynesiaPhoto: Cosmic TimetravelerBoyd celebrated the revival of Polynesian culture in Tahiti, explaining “Guests can experience the rich and ancient Polynesian culture through observing Tahitian dancing at its finest. In these traditional displays, several schools compete for the best in show.”French PolynesiaPhoto: Moon RuQ’s size and capabilities make her ideal for exploring French Polynesia’s remote atolls and motus. For Boyd, “Guests can have a true Robison Crusoe experience with a deserted island all to themselves. Seemingly untouched island chains are just waiting to be explored.”

While Q ticks all the performance boxes, her designers did not neglect her in regard to luxury and comfort. For Q’s interior, the British Reymond Langton Design penned a neat and sleek design. Polished woods of different shades characterise Q’s interior, with pops of vivid colours woven throughout.QGuests onboard Q can pay witness to the sailing yacht’s luxury adornments. From within the open-plan main salon, panoramic views of the ocean are observable. An owner’s suite and four spacious guest suites are situated below, accommodating up to 12 guests comfortably.QA new owner took the reigns of Q in 2016, and that same year she was booked in for an interior refit. Putting their own spin on Q’s interior, the new owner instructed a fresher, brighter and more contemporary feel inside the sailing yacht. New fabrics and woods were implemented throughout to both balance and compliment Q’s fine, ornate detailing found in both her staterooms and common areas.QOutside, Q’s various assets are a mark of exceptional attention to detail and guest experience. Q’s exterior features a 5,500-litre Jacuzzi situated on the large foredeck — an impressive litreage for a sailing yacht — overlooking the sprawling sunbed area.QOn the flybridge, guests can choose from her multiple seating areas, one with the optional conversion into a full-length dining space. On balmy evenings, the aft lounge provides a retreat, with the finishing touch being the projector installed on the mizzen boom for a home-cinema feel.

It can be said with certainty that Q stands out in her class. With a cruising speed of 10 knots and a high speed of 12 knots, Q ranks above the average compared to other yachts of a similar size. Her high speed, in particular, is 1.27 knots faster than the average sailing yacht in the 50-55-metre size range. The blissful meeting point between a thorough-bred performance ketch and a blue-water cruiser, Q takes a prime position among sailing yachts currently available for charter.



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