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Part 3: There, lying on my bed, I found the nightly dinner menu prepared for my review.
By Richard Thiel
Roberts bought Inspiration in 1999, three years after she launched, and took her on a three-month cruise before an extensive refit in which her entire top deck was basically removed and reconfigured, adding, among other things, the hot tub and a stylish new mast. At the same time, the interior received new fabrics and the aft guest staterooms received queen-size beds. These kinds of upgrades always sit well in the charter market, which Inspiration entered in 2000 (she’s in New England each summer, the Caribbean each winter). Her successful reputation is in part due to Roberts’ understanding of how wear and tear affects popular charter boats and his continual investment in Inspiration’s upkeep. As a matter of fact, Inspiration had just undergone a comparatively minor refit a few months before my visit that included, among other things, new vanities, marble countertops, and wallpaper for all heads.
But of course, with any charter, the boat is just the beginning. Service is just as important as amenities, and was just as good aboard this yacht. One afternoon at anchor, I decided it was time to cool off in the Caribbean Sea, so I returned to my cabin for bathing trunks. There, lying on my bed, I found the nightly dinner menu prepared for my review: medallions of duck over port-infused prunes, filet mignon, a sculpted potato, mushroom flan, and baby zucchini, topped off by crème brûlée. Dinner also included some superb pinot noir, port from the yacht’s wine room, and specially designed place settings (which changed each night).
Some of us wanted to work off the great food by doing a little power shopping on the island, but the crew shamed us into spending our last morning in a more active way: playing with Inspiration’s toys. At anchor on the south side near Gouverneur Beach, we availed ourselves of her two SeaDoos, boiling up some water and reveling in the refreshing spray, then touring the nearby beach in her 16-foot RIB.
Later, as we dried off, one of the crew asked if we’d yet tried out the weight room. Looking at each other in disbelief, we asked ourselves, how did we miss that? Everyone felt a little guilty but in the end agreed that Inspiration was just too comfortable a home away from home to double as a gym.
As a compromise, we all retired to the hot tub to talk about exercise.
This article originally appeared in the September 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.