Your average weekend boats, these are not.
With a multitude of beaches, coves and islands to discover, Thailand has long been considered ideal for water lovers and all of their preferred activities. These days, spending time in the city has become an increasingly fraught proposition; and one of the best ways to extricate yourself from all the usual stresses of urban life is to commandeer a boat and (in the words of American rockers Styx) simply “sail away”.
Assuming price is no object, one of the best — and certainly most stylish — ways to set sail is onboard a luxury yacht — an enduring symbol of the ‘work hard play hard’ crowd and an increasing popular asset class for urbanites. We look to one of the world’s leading dealerships Simpson Marine bring you a rundown of the best luxury yachts on the market: From multi-deck leviathans to an agile day boat that’s perfect for whizzing around Phang Nga Bay.
Also, though each of these state-of-the-art vessels is available for immediate purchase, should you want to try before you buy, Simpson Marine can also craft a number of day-long charters on some of these models, which make for the perfect pretence for getting out onto the water. To really showcase each yacht’s extent of capabilities and features, the luxury yacht broker can offer a mixture of culinary, cultural, and technical experiences. When all’s said and done, you’ll be better positioned to judge which ship is worth splurging for. Till then, check out a few of our favourites below, from largest to smallest:
Colloquially known as the ‘Attila’, this 200-foot superyacht is a fitting tribute to the fearsome historical warlord of the same name. It’s clad in an imposing hull of chromed steel and to date, is the largest vessel ever built by Italian shipmaker Sanlorenzo. All four decks are equally befitting of a modern day emperor: Divided between four guest rooms; a social area; the ‘beach club’ (which boasts a sauna, hammam and gym); and a helipad.
Part of the ‘Explorer’ range launched by Sanlorenzo a few years ago, the 500EXP is part of the burgeoning range of ‘expeditionary’ luxury yachts — capable of sailing long distances across the high seas. And with longer time spent at sea, you’ll want to pack all your toys with you (or simply more open space when it comes to entertaining guests above deck), hence the stern is fitted with storage for three to four tenders. Being an evolution of the previous 460EXP design, this yacht clocks in at an impressive 138-feet.
Launched earlier this year, the SL96 is the brainchild of designers Chris Bangle and Bernardo Zuccon — a dynamic new yacht concept which, as its name suggests, only incorporates one deck on the starboard side. The absence of a portside equivalent enabled Bangle and Zuccon to add an extra 108 square feet to the SL96’s interiors. Good thing too: all of them are designed by renowned architect Laura Sessa, consisting of a Mediterranean inspired saloon, dining area and multiple ultra-sleek guestrooms.
Unveiled at Cannes three years prior, the SX88 makes an immediate impression on aquanauts and landlubbers alike: thanks to its distinctive blend of an explorer-style hull and wide open transom. San Lorenzo often describes this style of crossover yacht as a ‘social boat’; and clearly, much effort has gone into achieving this lofty feel. The main deck is unobstructed from stern to bow and, unlike more conventional yachts, almost all of the furniture can be moved around — a game changer for those who prefer to entertain on the open water.
Aptly sized for long and short excursions — as well as the ability to get right up close to the rockiest coves, the Squadron 50 combines the DNA of British boatmaker Fairline’s similarly sized 53 and 48 models with the all-important flybridge. The smallest member of the Squadron family is able to comfortably accommodate up to seven guests: Emphasising access to the great outdoors and a variety of socialising options. It’s a vessel made for family enjoyment — from gathering round the teak table for breakfast or catching some sun on the submersible bathing platform. Available for fast delivery in Asia.
Despite its extremely compact size, Fairline’s F-Line 33 is far and away the most approachable and agile watercraft to make our list. This stylish cruiser is a swanky alternate mode of transport for those crossing the harbour or the outlying islands alike, and packs in a surprising number of refinements which make it ideal for conducting a day trip. Sip highballs in the cockpit bar before retiring to the boat’s fully upholstered foredeck — purpose-built as a sunbed.
The baby brother in Aquila’s three-model catamaran lineup, the 36 fuses a spacious layout together with some truly impressive best-in-class cruise speeds, such as its maximum speed of 32 knots. 14 guests may be accommodated across all of the catamaran’s combined space, making it an assured option for weekend gatherings on the open water. Available for immediate delivery.
Hotly anticipated thanks to a high profile appearance at the Cannes Yachting Festival last September, Lagoon’s new Sixty 7 is a sized-down take on the boatmaker’s flagship Seventy 8 powercat. Ideal for coastal excursions as well as full-blown seafaring, the sizeable 32-foot beam allows this newest generation of catamaran to comfortably accommodate up to a dozen guests. With an emphasis on unobstructed views and plenty of room to roam, the Sixty 7 is setting a new standard in on-board comfort.
Purpose-built with “Asia cruising in mind,” the Lagoon 46 is the eponymous French shipbuilder’s latest design to combine a fixed sail design together with onboard power. It is ideal in situations involving a trip across coastal waters and is a hit for boating enthusiasts who aren’t interested in roughing it, thanks to a laundry list of luxuries like B&G navigation, electric toilets and (drumroll please) air conditioning. Available for immediate delivery.
In typical form for Groupe Beneteau, the French boatmaker has introduced a slew of new options in the form of a single package with the Oceanis 51.1. The fifth model in the eponymous lineup of beginner-friendly cruiser yachts comes to market in three configurations (i.e. racer, cruiser, daysailer) all of which are geared toward different proficiency levels. The one signature element is the hull, a third of which is ‘stepped’ in order to create additional space for the boat’s interiors.
This article was first published on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.