YACHT 'COOKIELICIOUS', MICHAEL AND CHARLOTTE - A WINNING COMBINATION
Cats have become incredibly popular, particularly in more protected areas like the British Virgin Islands, and for good reason. When we have chartered as a family they have been ideal, first for younger kids able to play in safety on large flat decks, then later for teenagers, where plenty of equal cabins can accommodate friends and there's so much space everyone can find their own corner.
There are times however that I remember I am really a monohull sailor at heart. One such time was at the Antigua Show for charter brokers. There were over a hundred yachts there, with almost half in the superyacht category, but one particular yacht that caught my eye was the 2007 Oyster 72, 'Cookielicious'. We have booked this boat several times, very successfully, and I particularly liked this latest combination of boat and crew.
As a kid I did my share of racing but after sailing the Atlantic in an out and out racing machine, I realized there are more comfortable ways to cruise and still enjoy performance. The traditional S & S designed Swan 65 was a perfect example. Getting behind the wheel of one of these beautiful yachts was pure bliss. A hull that seemed to slide through any sea (unlike so many modern designs), yet with a powerful rig guaranteed to thrill. Swan 65s are collectors items these days, but the Oysters are in some ways modern equivalents. They have far more room and very plush accommodations, but are capable of cruising across any ocean in comfort and with plenty of performance.
'Cookielicious' is beautifully built, with lovely maple woodwork and ocre leather furnishings. The first impression is of quality, but there are plenty of hi-tech features, such as the hydraulic TV hidden behind the leather settee in the salon and her mirrored table that lifts to make an inside dining area or lowers to become a cocktail table.
Her accommodations are comfortable. The aft master stateroom has a centerline king size bed, a TV cleverly hidden behind a painting and a large head with a separate shower. Her forward VIP cabin is almost as spacious as the master, but has a tapered berth. She has a large double to port, which can be converted into over/under singles. Each cabin has a flat screen TV and sound system. Topside, she has a comfortable cockpit with a walnut table that expands for dining al fresco. She has all the usual watersport toys, including children's waterskis.
We have always stressed that except for perhaps the largest boats, the selection of the crew is just as important as the boat. Forty four year old Michael Van Bregt is from Holland. He is an experienced sailor who has run much larger yachts, but prefers chartering smaller boats where he can have more interaction with guests and doesn't have to worry about a large crew. He grew up on the south west coast of England and sailed the Pacific when he was 24. To date he has covered over 40,000 sea miles in many different cruising destinations, from the North Sea to New Zealand and Alaska. Initially pleasantly reserved, he is a fascinating man with many stories to tell.
Charlotte Van Den Broek is twenty eight and also from Holland. She's been sailing all her life, first mostly around the English Channel, later in the Mediterranean and more recently in the Caribbean. She trained as a sous-chef in her teens, gaining more experience at university, then graduated to larger sailing and motor yachts in the Mediterranean. At the Antigua Show, we are wined and dined on many beautiful yachts and Charlotte's lunch was the best of the show. Better than some far more expensive yachts. She is also a lovely person - outgoing, with a great sense of humor.
The yacht's name, 'Cookielicious', comes from the the business her English owner runs, which explains the chocolate colored spars! She has a fairly full calendar for the winter season in the Caribbean but has some space in late March and perhaps mid April. She then sails to the Mediterranean and will charter around Corsica, Sardinia, Italy and the South of France. Her price is 18,500 Euros plus expenses, which is fair considering the purchase price of these magnificent yachts. She will quote a US dollar price for the Caribbean, which can be slightly lower depending on the conversion rate and she will offer rates that include all meals, on request.
We have featured 'Cookielicious' but there are of course other beautiful Oyster 62, 65, 72 and 82s chartering in both the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, as well as many other wonderful monohulls. If you want to learn more, tell us your plans and we will suggest some fine yachts, whatever your price range.
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