We spoke to Mary and Mark Shores - owners of the 32.97 metre sloop Marae - recently all about sailing, ownership and the beauty of chartering.
When did your love affair with sailing begin?
Both my husband and I grew up on the East Coast of the U.S. around Chesapeake Bay. Being on and around the water has been part of our lifestyle from our youngest days, and even today, it’s where we enjoy relaxing with our family and friends the most. We have been married for over 37 years and sailing together since we were young.
What yachts did you previously own before Marae?
We started sailing on an 11’ dinghy and gradually moved up in size as time allowed with our growing family. Before Marae, we owned a Little Harbor 60 named Destiny. This was our first experience with a Ted Hood/Ted Fontaine design which we loved and why we selected Marae, which is a similar but updated design. It also was an Alloy built yacht which assured us on the quality of the engineering and construction.
Did you look at many yachts before you purchased Marae?
Our family was growing and we wanted to move up in size to provide a comfortable place for our children and future grandchildren to come to be on the water. We wanted a yacht that was truly a sailboat from a performance standpoint and also one that could still get into those quiet snug coves for those unique, secluded nights. We looked at a number of sailing yachts over a several year period before deciding on Marae. When we saw her the first time, we were so struck by her beauty that it left us speechless.
Marae is offered for charter - was this always the plan?
When you buy a yacht of this size, you are running a small business. Chartering is the best approach to achieve our goal to maintain Marae to the highest standards. Marae is also U.S. Flagged which greatly simplifies the chartering contract process for guests and brokers.
While we do of course have a beautiful yacht to charter, it is our world class crew that really brings the magic to life for our charter clients. Captain Frank Ficken, his wife Sue, our chef, Dylan Rowe Clark, our engineer and Maggie Fowler, our stew, are world class.
Where will she be cruising in the next couple of years?
Marae has been in a routine of being in the Caribbean for the winter - from Grenada to the Virgin Islands - and New England for the summer, so the Newport, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard areas, plus there has been a lot of interest for charter clients to use her in Maine. Her unique design also allows her to be used across the Bahamas and the Chesapeake as she moves North and South. One special event we are planning is for Marae to be in Bermuda for the America's Cup in 2017.
With the market saturated with yachts available for charter, how do you make Marae stand out?
Anyone that has been aboard immediately recognises that Marae is a special sailing yacht… unique features include the numerous entertaining spaces. The best experience that is hardest to communicate in writing is when you have her 200 tons at full sail cutting through the crystal blue seas.
Our focus is to try to relay that experience to charter brokers and their clients. We start with a custom website symarae.com that does a good job of communicating the unique features of Marae including the crew and we also participate in a number of charter shows.
You’ve owned Marae for a number of years… Would you consider building a new sailing yacht?
We are passionate about yachting and being on the water so we are always keeping an eye on both new builds and resales that come on the market, though Marae is hard to improve on for how we use her!
Photos by Jeff Brown
The full interview with Mary and Mark Shores is featured in the 7th edition of the SuperYacht Times newspaper. Subscribe now and never miss another issue!