Yacht Charter to Anywhere
For a kid growing up in Georgia, Lake Lanier was a great place to dream about someday owning a boat. The owner of the 63-foot Nordhavn Asturias was one of those kids, playing on ski boats and sailboats that his father and grandfather owned.
“I’d been planning on it since I was 12 years old, going to boat shows,” he says of buying his own ride. “I’ve been dreaming about this every day of my life.”
After graduating from college, he took seven years of classes with the United States Power Squadrons and became a piloting instructor—still without owning a boat of his own. He amassed boating magazines to learn about boat styles and builders. Today, he has 2,000 of them, including Yachting, organized chronologically by publication date.
When he finally had enough money to buy the yacht of his dreams, he commissioned a Nordhavn 63. “It’s the biggest boat that I can operate myself, but it’s also the smallest boat that I could really have a captain on board,” he says. “It is right in that middle range that can go either way.”
He took delivery in 2017 with a plan of crossing oceans and exploring the world, starting in 2021. During his first two years of ownership, he did smaller cruises, including up to New England and down to the Bahamas, with a stop at the Potomac River in Washington, D. C.
“I’ve had the boat in some pretty big storms,” he says. “We’ve hit 30-foot waves for a day and a half, and the boat did fine, and the crew did fine with me and three of my friends. The boat is as strong and as safe as they know how to make it.”
Asturias handling so well and being so much fun to be aboard, he says, are why he is offering her for charter. He still owns his auto dealership and has a couple more years before he can cruise off on his own adventure, and he wants the boat to be used in the interim.
That is great news for anyone interested in chartering a Nordhavn because they rarely come onto the charter market. Most people who buy them are like the owner of Asturias—eager to live out their own cruising dreams—so the boats remain private.
“It’s definitely rare,” says Jeff Shaffer, who manages Asturias as part of the fleet at Superyacht Sales and Charter. “It’s for the charterer who is looking for something off the beaten path, more along the lines of adventure charter. It’s not a fast boat for somebody who wants to go from Miami to Bimini and back in six hours, but I think it’s going to appeal to a crowd who likes to relax and explore.”
The owner is offering Asturias this winter in the Bahamas and Caribbean, and for summer 2020 in New England, where itineraries can be broader than what is typically available. Because Asturias is built for the owner’s long-distance cruising plans, she has extra refrigerators and freezers, go-far fuel capacity, stabilizers and other systems that make it possible for charter clients to extend their options as well.
“I want families, people that appreciate the fact that they’re on a unique boat—the kind of people who don’t just want to sit around and drink and suntan,” the owner says. “If they really want to go to the outer edges of the Bahamas or some remote islands with no restaurants, it can be done.”
Shaffer also plans to work closely with Nordhavn to offer extended- weekend charters to anyone thinking about buying a boat of their own. The owner of Asturias hopes they will be every bit as excited about all the features that excite him.
“I chose this boat because of its size and also because it’s an aft pilothouse, so the tenders are stored up front,” he says. “When you’re underway, it’s a little more comfortable to have the pilothouse center or aft of center. And I just think it’s cool looking. It looks like a big expedition ship.”