Charter show attracts 113 yachts
The sultry weather of the Caribbean in winter is perfectly suited to the slow pace of island life, but our days were anything but slow on a recent trip to Antigua. The Antigua Charter Yacht Show celebrated its 50th anniversary in December and yachts of all sizes turned out in force for the occasion, everything from power catamarans, such as the 70-foot Damrak II (also debuting at the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show) to Top 100 contenders, such as the brand-new Feadship Air and Rossinavi Numptia (featured in this issue). Hosted in three locations along the southern coast of the island—Antigua Yacht Club Marina, Falmouth Harbour and the historic Nelson’s Dockyard—this professional charter show provides brokers (300 were in attendance), vendors and press the chance to not only tour many of the boats available this season in the Caribbean but to also get a sense of life on board.
New, old, classic, contemporary, large, small, sailing or power—it seemed as though everything was represented in Antigua. A few boast relatively recent refits of one degree or another, such as the 208-foot (63.4-meter) Lürssen Polar Star. One trend we noticed was the return of several boats to the charter market after a hiatus. Huntress, a 180-foot (54.86-meter) Feadship built in 1997, follows this line as does Paraffin, a 197-foot (60.1-meter) Feadship built in 2002. One of the biggest draws this year was the beautiful and awe-inspiring Pendennis-built Hemisphere, which at 145 feet (44 meters) holds the title of world’s largest sailing catamaran. The show’s reigning queen was the impressive 266-foot (81-meter) and somewhat controversial Air launched by Feadship in spring 2011. She has a minimalist interior by Rémi Tessier, allowing the surroundings to steal the show through huge windows. Numptia, a new Italian beauty that popped onto the scene after a rather discreet construction, also created quite a buzz. Other notable recent additions to the Caribbean charter market include the 106-foot (32.3-meter) Lazzara Stop the Press, the 141-foot (43-meter) Vitters Koo, the128-foot (39-meter) Feadship Go and the 180-foot (55-meter) Proteksan Turquoise Turquoise.