The owner of Skyler joined the club of superyacht owners after the local boating community in his hometown sparked his interest. This curiosity has evolved into over a decade of investments and a heightened passion for yachting. Starting from the beginning, the owner relays his journey through superyacht ownership and how, in this game, the only way is up. Living by the Detroit River in Michigan, the repeat Benetti client from the financial community in NYC was destined for a lifetime on the water. “The boating marina was closer than the parking garage so naturally I became interested. Then I moved back to New York and I wandered into a boat show there and ended up buying my first boat,” he explains. Having changed yachts almost every two years since, he puts his 14 years in the industry down to enjoying the continuous learning process. “The more I learn about it, the more I’ve changed vessels as I appreciated different ways to use boats.” Taking a look at the larger models of his superyacht collection, the owner has previously built and owned a 30.6-metre Custom Line 100 and a 38.1-metre Benetti Vivace 125, all before creating his current charter project with Benetti in 2018, the 41.94-metre Skyler. Building these luxury vessels is no mean feat, but for this owner, it has been made a smooth and enjoyable process thanks to having assembled “the right team”. “I tend to build my boats all from scratch, because I like the idea of understanding and appreciating exactly what type of vessel you have. It’s more of an achievement, and I got into ownership early enough to learn who were the better people and partners to work with.” With that in mind, when creating Skyler, he took a new direction: “I discovered getting into the charter business made a lot of sense to me, and I didn’t have a full appreciation for that before. So I designed a boat, not just for the way that I would want to use it, but also for what I think high-end luxury charter guests would appreciate,” he explains. Built for up to 12 guests who are accommodated across five staterooms, Skyler is a versatile superyacht whose 9.05-metre beam and 445 GT volume have been put together following the exterior design cleverly crafted by Stefano Righini Design. Since hitting the water during the summer of 2018, Skyler has already been crowned as one of the top ten boats presented during the Antigua Yacht Charter Show 2018, and the owner himself has also reaped the rewards of his venture into the charter sector. “Chartering is a way to be productive economically. Running Skyler does very well, it keeps both her and the crew busy and exercised. Plus she is built in a way with certain features - such as the spacious closets, gym and large galley, which are great additions to a charter program. From day one I think we organised Skyler so it is very productive for the owning company, the crew and the guests.” The more notable features and customisations on board Skyler were all intentional and important improvements to his previously owned Benetti 125, such as the fully-stocked tender garage, Jacuzzi and extended sun-deck. “I ask myself: why did I have the Vivace 125? Well, when we decided to buy a boat many years ago, speed was important to me. She was very quiet, very fast, very manoeuvrable, it even had a joystick. But what I realised is that when we were in the Caribbean at anchor, the only way to go back and forth was to get wet in a small tender. So I decided to have a bigger tender that we towed, and when towing a 43 Intrepid you can’t go fast anymore. I found that having a large and fast boat that can’t go fast anymore defeated the purpose. So this is why Skyler is a more comfortable, stable, quiet and luxurious boat.”
Optimising the size was also an important consideration for the owner, as was maintaining a high level of detail for his guests. A particular detail that is consistent throughout Skyler is the level of contact with the outdoor environment as all those on board are brought close to the water through the way the windows and dual terraces open up. The sundeck has also been optimised so “you have a great view looking forward and with the large Jacuzzi forward as opposed to aft, space is not wasted and the sundeck flows much better.”
“You see this on very few boats,” he adds. “We’ve organised the bow so it’s space charter guests can use, and I’ve seen boats that are much much larger that don’t have anywhere near that type of utility.” The details on board Skyler were fashioned from the owner being mindful of the exclusivity. “We want to provide a great service at a good price, but not just charter every day to just anybody.” With silk carpets, nickel door handles and rich wood accents, Skyler is certainly sensuous and, thanks to the interior design work of Benetti’s interior department and A La Mer, is set apart from the previous models in the Fast 125 series. If he is following his self-made trend of upgrading every two years, the time is nearly upon the repeat owner to be shopping around for his next superyacht project. “Skyler is my best boat because of what I’ve learned from all the other ones. I may upgrade. If it continues to go well with Skyler then maybe we’ll think about that next level. The next size up would probably be a 50-metre, and that wouldn’t have much more interior space, perhaps a little bit more exterior space.” “I’m sure there’s something we haven’t thought about with Skyler, so if the process is pleasurable to design, then it is always fun to create something from a blank sheet of paper and see how it comes out. We may do it again, so I wouldn’t rule it out!” For the meantime, and as she dips in and out of the Mediterranian and the Carribean, the fun continues for him and Skyler - something that very simply epitomises what it is to be a superyacht owner.
SuperYacht Times - The State of Yachting 2019
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