Measuring impressive 74 metres, MOGAMBO has been gracing our waters for a few years now, as she was launched in 2012. Currently cursing in the Maldives and then Thailand, she was built by the renowned Nobiskrug shipyard in Germany and boasts exterior and interior styling by the equally well-known Reymond Langton Design studio from London. Spacious decks and deluxe accommodation for up to twelve guests make this yacht an ideal home for short or long-term vacation with family, friends or even business associates, partners and colleagues. A superyacht with a style, inviting ambience and a long list of special amenities and water toys to keep you entertained, MOGAMBO is one of the top vessels out there.
Will 2017 be Armel le Cléac’h’s year? The French solo sailor saw in the New Year in the South Atlantic, leading the Vendée Globe fleet home on its final ocean section. We take a look at the Banque Populaire VIII skipper setting out to avenge two runner-up finishes in the race
Nicknamed ‘the Jackal’ for his ruthless ability to hunt down any opposition, Armel le Cléac’h is one of France’s most impressive offshore sailing talents. The 39-year-old has an incredible record in the Vendée Globe, having finished second in the 2008-09 edition on his first attempt, and came home second again in the last race, just three hours and 17 minutes behind winner Francois Gabart.
Analytical, supremely competitive and professional, le Cléac’h is an adversary to be feared. He started his sailing career in Optimist dinghies, moving to the doublehanded 420 before stepping up to keelboats and offshore racing.
Following the well-trodden path of many successful French short-handed sailors, he announced his arrival on the solo scene in his first Solitaire du Figaro in 2000 by taking the prestigious ‘bizuth’ prize for top placed first-timer. He went on to win the Figaro three years later, and again in 2010. He also twice won the Transat AG2R (2004 and 2010).
After a spell in the ORMA trimaran fleet, he moved into the IMOCA 60 class in 2006, then sponsored by BritAir, and rapidly became one of the most serious competitors on the circuit. He was IMOCA champion in 2008, and topped off two Figaro event wins in 2010 with a second in the year’s Route du Rhum in the IMOCA.
Sponsored by Banque Populaire since 2011, he scored some impressive podium results for the partnership, including second and third in the TJV, and setting a singlehanded 24-record of 673 miles in 2014, averaging 28.20 knots on Banque Populaire VII. But twice he has come home as the first runner-up in the Vendée Globe – a supreme achievement for any sailor, but also a gut-wrenching disappointment for one as competitive as Le Cléac’h with a solid, well-prepared and funded campaign behind him.
The foil-assisted IMOCA Banque Populaire VIII
His bid for the 2016 Vendée Globe got off to a strong start when he won The Transat with his 2015-launched, VPLP-Verdier-designed Banque Populaire VIII in the first test of the new generation foil-assisted IMOCA 60s. But on the return leg back to Les Sables d’Olonne from New York, he collided with what was described as a ‘large unknown fish’, breaking up one foil and causing other damage to the yacht.
Fully repaired, Banque Populaire VIII and skipper headed into this year’s Vendee Globe as favourite for many pundits. He took the lead from Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss on December 3, 2016, and for almost a month appeared increasingly unreachable as Banque Populaire VIII extended away from Thomson’s wounded Hugo Boss, with its destroyed starboard foil.
But Thomson was not about to let Le Cléac’h get away quite so easily. As Banque Populaire began negotiating a high pressure ridge in the South Atlantic, Thomson flew around Cape Horn to reduce a deficit of over 800 miles to less than 100 over the course of a week, with Le Cleac’h’s theoretical advantage reducing to just 28 miles on Friday, 30 December. The hunter had become the hunted.
But as the high pressure zone extended across Thomson’s more easterly route, Le Cleac’h’s advantage expanded once again. He headed into 2017 with around a 150 mile lead – not insurmountable, but not insignificant, and a familiar scenario for Le Cleac’h.
“Four years ago, off Argentina, Francois [Gabart] had about the same lead that I have, and he managed to keep that up right the way to the finish,” Le Cleac’h commented in a special New Year’s Day broadcast for French television. “Right now, there’s only three hours separating me and Alex so I’ll hopefully be able to use my experience of that time to push harder and that will be helped by the close contact racing I’ve had of late. But Alex has that same experience of course so we both know what needs doing.”
Sailing the remotest reaches of the world’s oceans, Vendée Globe skippers have few luxuries, but secrecy is one comfort they may guard greedily. This race has been no exception, with Le Cléac’h revealing in the broadcast that he had had some repairs to make to Banque Populaire, but not what they entailed.
Observers will be watching closely for clues to any chink in Le Cléac’h’s armour as he and Thomson progress up the North Atlantic. The toll this year’s relentless pace – Le Cléac’h rounded Cape Horn after 47 days of racing, smashing the 2012-2013 record set by last race winner François Gabart by more than five days – has exacted on Banque Populaire VIII and Hugo Boss is likely to only become visible when they arrive back in Les Sables d’Olonne, currently predicted to be between 14-16 January, 2017.
This morning sees the duo beating upwind, making miles to the north and east as they chase the easterly trade winds. Both are likely to hook into the trade winds within the next 24 hours. Then it will be around 4,000 miles to the finish. Will 2017 finally be the year of the Jackal?
Now’s the time to traipse around boatyards and shows, dreaming of a new boat, if only the money would stretch, says Libby Purves
Through our sailing life it has often been round about now, in the cold bleak months, that we searched for a new little ship. The Boat Show and its impossible yearnings plant the idea of upgrading or starting out; but buying a new boat is rarely the outcome. We’ve done it once, long ago, and indeed it was a big thrill. Having ordered the hull, we had to wait six months after it arrived to amass enough money to fit it out.
Mostly at the Show, one buys new charts, gizmos, mug-racks and humorous t-shirts, or if flush with money a couple of winches, some life-changing nav gear and perhaps a new propeller. Actually, that was a great year: we had a feeble, two-bladed prop on a heavy boat, so I physically chased the vessel’s designer until I ran him to earth having a beer at the YM stand. I said, ‘Oi! If we had a three-bladed prop, how much speed would we actually lose under sail?’
The answer, if I remember rightly, was a worried, ‘Oh, perhaps a quarter of a knot.’ So we shook his hand gratefully and dashed up to the Earl’s Court mezzanine to buy a three-blader. We couldn’t, if I remember rightly, even consider the dizzy and glorious heights of a feathering or folding one.
Anyway, the point is that after the show and before the main season is a great time to tour the brokers’ yards and clamber up ladders to poke around in what are often described rather tritely as ‘pre-loved’ boats. Often I recall them as not looking loved at all. Not one bit. You brush away a layer of rotting leaves left on the deck since autumn, bravely disregard the mould in the cockpit and the grim rat-grey teak and go below to the chilly cavern with the headtorch you wisely brought – ‘Domestic battery’s flat I’m afraid, but apparently the lights were definitely working’. You make your way to the chilly forecabin where a limp sailbag lies forlorn on a lumpy berth stinking of old anchor chain.
‘I think there’s some kit in the shed,’ says the broker, or sometimes the runaway owner’s irritated ex-wife. ‘It’s certainly in the inventory.’ Pause to check that you fit behind the table, and take one more tour for’ard, tripping over a single deck shoe with a dead mouse in it.
Then you return to the outside world in failing autumn light to enthuse, ‘She’s perfect! A bit of TLC and she’s ideal, how much shall we offer?’ It was all about the vision, the imagination, the dream of how she would feel out at sea. Oh, and the price.
That, at least, is the way it used to be in the days when family yachting was not even remotely chic. But recently when I reminisced with a couple of friends preparing a boat for a sale (one of them a professional in this now-aspirational modern trade), they were shocked at this insouciantly tolerant approach.
I am told that now, if you want to sell a boat at all and certainly if you want to list her with a self-respecting broker, you must gussy her up no end. Polish the brass, touch up the varnish, coil the lines as if the Duke of Edinburgh was about to turn up for the Spithead review. Leave a temptingly romantic chart out on the nav table, dress up the double berths with smart duvet covers, and pop a mug-full of dried flowers on the saloon table so that domestic bliss may be imagined, as per the Boat Show.
So far I have not heard of anyone marketing exotic scents to mask the mouldy winter chill, but no doubt it will come. Already, if you want to sell a plastic gaffer, you pop a hank of tarred twine in the cabin to spur romantic longings. But for the rest it should be fresh-brewed coffee, warming croissants, a faint suggestion of Mediterranean frangipani. As for sounds, all you can hear is an angle-grinder and swearing, we need surround-sound of plashing gentle waves, gulls, Greek cafe sounds, a distant Irish pennywhistle or a strumming mandolin. I might market it as a kit: Be Your Own Boat Show.
We all takes risks sailing downwind without a preventer, but if it goes wrong, what will the coroner say? asks Tom Cunliffe
When anyone starts a story with ‘There I was…’, the next phrase usually goes along the lines of ‘…and the waves were forty feet high.’ If it’s sensation you’re after, flip the page now. This is softer stuff.
My crew and I were bound up the Finnish Gulf towards Leningrad in the grim last days of the Evil Empire. We were tooled up with visas purchased behind a bus shelter in Helsinki from a dodgy looking character hiding behind the turned-up collar of a trench coat. This honest gangster had relieved me of $400US and made off with our passports, which asked much of my faith in humanity.
My hopes of seeing him again were dim, but he told me to come back in four days. I did, and there he was, complete with stamped-up documents and a horny handshake. A week later we found ourselves hove to off the military island of Kronstadt to bring aboard the obligatory Soviet pilot.
Our relations with this worthy began badly. His heavy steel motor cutter smashed into the counter of my Edwardian gaffer and took out the oak taffrail. We waved him off and launched our own punt to bring him across. He clambered aboard in Cuban heels and a slouch hat, dragging at one of those Russian cigarettes that kill at ten paces. He’d obviously never been in a sailing boat and seemed unwilling to lose face by admitting it, but he was affable enough and was soon showing photos of his family. We were running in on a fresh breeze with the sails squared right out. The boom was 30 feet long and weighed 600 pounds, plus a further 100 pounds of gaff and 250 of flax canvas mainsail. Mercifully, the topsail was not set, because what happened next was bad enough as it was.
The pilot spoke little English beyond ‘port’ and ‘starboard’, so any finesse of communication was out of the question. When he told me to turn to starboard, it was immediately clear that this would put us well by the lee. A glance at the up-to-date chart I’d been given by the mate of a Russian timber ship somewhere down the Baltic indicated that we’d loads of room ahead. At full stretch the mainsheet was the best part of 150 feet long. Heaving it in was heavy work and took some time. I tried to point this out, knowing the boat was in safe water, but our man must have felt the need to show he was in charge, so he spun the wheel decisively. His first-ever all-standing gybe was spectacular. As the whole shooting match crashed across, it missed his head by an inch but it whipped his hat overboard in fine style. He’d no idea about applying a little opposite helm as the wind came across the stern, so the boat rounded up and lay there, headsails aback and main shaking like a drunk after a heavy night until the rest of us sorted her out. We made it in without further incident and what took place under the Red Flag is another story. It’s the involuntary gybe I want to talk about.
We all take chances from time to time when we’re running. If we aren’t by the lee, we’re too close to it for comfort, but we don’t want to make a controlled gybe for any one of a number of sensible enough reasons. Instead, we sail on without a preventer, hoping for the best. Mostly we get away with it. Occasionally we don’t and the boat gybes. Hands up who’s never been there? Nobody? I thought not.
Well, here’s the scoop: we can carry on like this for a lifetime and most of us won’t be badly caught, but every year some poor masher runs out of luck and his crew is injured, or worse. Next stop it’s the law courts and bad luck doesn’t cut it with a high-court judge. When sailing near the edge, an old colleague back in my days as an instructor used to ask himself, ‘What’s the coroner going to say?’ Thinking about our Leningrad pilot and the looming gulag, I’m still grateful he lost nothing worse than his hat.
Chris Tibbs offers a few different ways to get past a cut-off low pressure system.
How many times do skippers – racers and cruisers – report that some of the worst Atlantic conditions are to be found between mainland Europe and the Canary Islands? Many of these reports are from those caught out by a cut-off low – often an insignificant-looking weather system that can pack quite a punch.
Once past Finisterre, race skippers in the Vendée Globe, or those attempting the Jules Verne Trophy, should soon pick up the Portuguese Trades and start their long, fast run to the Doldrums, usually passing to the west of the Canary and Cape Verde Islands. Cruisers heading south to the Canaries prior to an Atlantic crossing also enjoy these typically strong, favourable winds as they leave Spain, Portugal or join the route having passed through the Straits of Gibraltar.
Routeing charts show the wind as being predominantly from the north-east, but it does vary as depressions pass close to the north, temporarily displacing the Azores High. However, when the Azores High is north of its ‘normal’ position it is possible to get a small low trapped, or cut off, south of the high, somewhere between the latitude of Lisbon and the Canary Islands. These cut-off lows, detached from the steering force of the jet stream, can then linger for days following a track that is erratic and difficult to forecast. Indeed they sometimes even track to the west.
It is easy to underestimate cut-off lows due to the fact that, for a given pressure gradient, the further south we are (in the northern hemisphere) the stronger the wind. For example, isobar spacing that would indicate 20 knots at 50° latitude, will, for the same spacing, give 30 knots at 30°.
Whether racing or cruising, these lows create a dilemma: the shortest route will most likely be between the low and Africa, but this will give strong headwinds and an uncomfortable sea state. However, to pass north of the low by heading out into the Atlantic will add a considerable number of miles and there is still the uncertainty as to where the low will track. It may stay in place or track east, but if it does go west, skippers could find themselves heading in the same direction as the weather system they are trying to avoid.
For racing skippers with a long-term strategy, a fast westerly route may look more appealing: get north of the low in favourable winds then head south. However apart from the fact that the low may drift west, if it does drift east, there is often a hole in the wind as the low moves away before the Trades are re-established, delaying the moment when the skipper can get back on track. Passing to the east, the beat may not be very appealing and with such a long way to go, any damage or breakage could be expensive later in the race. Sometimes the Trades will stay as a band of light wind close to the African coast, and if the low fills or drifts west, the Trades will fill in on the east side first. However should the low track east, the door shuts, leaving the skipper facing an increasing then veering south-westerly along with a lee shore.
There are no easy answers. For the racing yachts the decision may well determine the overall results months down the line, and regularly provides excitement for the audience following along at home. For yachts heading to the Canaries ahead of a transatlantic passage, passing to the west of a cut-off low is usually not an option as it adds too many miles and may make landfall in the Canaries difficult. The key advantage for cruisers, of course, is that they can choose their departure time. A five-day forecast will indicate a cut-off low so the best option is to delay and avoid it.
A new Dutch enterprise, started by a pair of passionate boat owners, aims to produce a boat that can take it to the likes of Riva, Chris-Craft and VanDutch in the style stakes
This new Dutch enterprise, started by a pair of passionate boat owners, aims to produce a boat that can take it to the likes of Riva, Chris-Craft and VanDutch in the style stakes but at a much more attractive price point.
It’s no half-hearted side project either, as the yard has employed Dutch naval architecture gurus Vripack to handle the design and engineering, and has outsourced production to German boat-building giant Bavaria.
There is room for a full-beam twin guest or double master cabin tucked beneath the cockpit
Although the 42 will be built at Bavaria’s state-of-the-art factory in Giebelstadt, Keizer says that the look and feel of its new boat will bear no relation to Bavaria’s own range; all the finishes and materials will be unique to Keizer. The benefit to the consumer is price, because the 42 starts from €240,000 before VAT. The equivalent Riva or Chris-Craft would be several times that amount.
Though the expansive open cockpit is designed for long, lazy hours in the sun, one of the 42’s major plus points is its accommodation.
There is room for a full-beam twin guest or double master cabin tucked beneath the cockpit with an unusual glass bulkhead (with drop-down blinds) enhancing the feeling of light space. Forward is a cleverly combined lounging and sleeping area with a pair of sofas aft of a double bed.
A spacious bathroom completes the lower deck and, like the saloon, it has over 6ft 2in of headroom, according to the yard.
A deep-vee hull design and twin 300hp/400hp diesels or 320hp petrols should be good for 40 knots depending on engine choice and rounds off a compelling package that we look forward to seeing in the flesh at the German show.
If you are looking for a smaller, faster craft to get you from island to island in the Caribbean this Winter, open yacht Double D (ex.ARGO, DEMOLITION and STRAIGHT TO VOICEMAIL) is ready to make your dreams come true from the 7th of January.
DOUBLE D – Main
Built by Sunseeker in 2007, this 33m/182ft modern yach is capable of cruising speeds of 30 knots and top speeds of up to 45 knots per hour. Based in the British Virgin Islands, her impeccable interior is packed full of toys and features for all guests to enjoy.
DOUBLE D – Salon
Her main salon provides plush furnishings and a light, airy atmosphere great for socialising. The nearby formal dining area will become a focus on the trip with the impressive meals on offer – which includes pork tenderloin with shaved fennel and coconut sorbet with Tuille biscuits – from chef Emma Ericksson.
DOUBLE D – Formal dining detail
The swim platform grants easy access to the water for hours of entertainment with her generous water toys selection, which contains: 1 Seadoo, 1 wakeboard, 1 kneeboard, 2 paddleboards, 1 inflatable trampoline and snorkelling equipment.
Accommodation includes 1 Master suite, 1 VIP stateroom and two twin cabins. A crew of 4 will provide fine dining from a mouth-watering menu and provide for guests throughout the voyage.
Start your 2017 adventure aboard 30m/99ft sailing yacht DALLINGHOO: This beautiful gaff rigged schooner was built by Dudley Dix of Rhode Island New York in 1990, updated in 2014/2016 and is ready for charter in Indonesia and Thailand with immediate availability.
Dallinghoo – Main
The update to the main salon has created a bright and airy space while maintaining the teak beams which are an essential part of a sailing yacht’s charm. Diners are given the choice of an air conditioned U-shaped interior for relaxed and intimate dining, or alfresco dining surrounded by the lush jungles and characteristic seaside towns of South-east Asia.
Dallinghoo – Salon dining
Dallinghoo – Alfresco dining
Make the most of the warm waters of Thailand and Indonesia with the toy chest, which includes 1 sailing dinghy, 2 kayaks and diving equipment. Inside, the main salon has a DVD library of over 2,000 films and wi-fi throughout.
Accommodation for up to 8 guests includes 1 Master suite, 1 VIP stateroom 1 double cabin and 1 twin cabin. A crew of 6 will provide excellent service for all guests throughout the journey.
Dallinghoo – Master Cabin
Discover the wonders of the Andaman Sea or the Gulf of Thailand – two areas with developed marina facilities and treasures both modern and ancient covering the coastline.
Sailing yacht DALLINGHOO is available for charter in Thailand and Indonesia from only $24,360 USD per week plus expenses. To find out more about current yacht charter availability and advice on getting the best out of your charter vacation, contact CharterWorld.
If you are looking for a venue for that once-in-a-lifetime special occasion or to leave a lasting impact as a corporate charter, 64m/208ft luxury yacht LIONESS V from Benetti matches timeless Eastern design with an abundance of exotic flora across all her decks. Now with 20% off her winter charter price, she is more tempting than ever.
LIONESS V – Profile
Arguably one of the most impressive interiors from Stefano Natucci and Argent Design, the flow between indoor and outdoor spaces is effortless. The main salon is light and spacious, using its fittings to emphasise the length of the room. Wide sliding doors open out onto a sheltered aft deck where more comfortable seating and a bar awaits – a perfect place to wind down after a busy day or to start an adventure with a morning coffee.
LIONESS V – Main deck
On the other side of the Main salon, a media room will keep the adults and children alike entertained on quiet evenings with the latest films and a comprehensive selection of music. The nearby dining table will seat 12 guests for fine dining from an expert chef. The main hallway beyond features floor-to-ceiling mirrors and a striking pale staircase that connects all of the decks for quick and convenient access.
LIONESS V – Jacuzzi
The bridge deck is an exquisite environment in which to enjoy alfresco dining for up to 14 guests and the raised pool area provides panoramic views of the Caribbean.
LIONESS V – Sundeck
Luxury yacht LIONESS V has plenty of water toys to entertain in the sparkling waters of the Caribbean, including 2 jet skis, 2 seabobs, a waterslide and inflatable and towable toys for the whole group to enjoy.
Featuring a comprehensive gym, a hammam and a golf tee-it machine on the sun deck aft, superyacht LIONESS V has plenty to entertain guests throughout her voyage and the combined seating areas and facilities throughout luxury yacht LIONESS V make her an excellent option for dockside parties.
Motor yacht LIONESS V can accommodate up to 12 guests in her 1 Master suite, 3 double cabins and 2 twin cabins. A crew of 19 will provide everything you need for an amazing start to 2017.
LIONESS V – Master Suite
Superyacht LIONESS V is available from the 10th of January in the Caribbean. During the low season, her price will drop to the special charter rate of 340,000 USD per week (plus expenses) – a saving of 20%. For more information and to make a booking, contact CharterWorld now.