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Author Articles

by Alan Harper

Rough Road, Smooth Ride

By Alan Harper | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

My notebook was almost full. Cannes does that. Not being in films, I hardly ever visit the town except at boat-show time, in September. In the last few years, the show has gotten bigger, more international, and more important than ever. Boatyards from all over Europe are increasingly seeing it as the crucial launch platform for new models. For a photojournalist like me, that means bouts of

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Master Class

By Alan Harper | Posted January 2008 | Add a Comment

Peter de Savary is a larger-than-life entrepreneur with a cigar to match. Well-known in his native UK, even after all these years, as the man behind his 1983 America's Cup challenge—the plucky Brits lost but put up a good fight, which to the British psyche is better than winning—he is a yachtsman through and through.Globe

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S Is for Spectacular

By Alan Harper | Posted October 2007 | Add a Comment

When you pack your bag for a trip to Dubai, it's just as well to include, along with your sunglasses, passport, and gold credit card, some suspension of disbelief. Nothing quite prepares you for the place that a generation ago was little more than a few mud-brick dwellings and some concrete warehouses lining the now-famous dhow-packed creek.Today it is one

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Slippery When Wet

By Alan Harperphotos by Tom Benn | Posted July 2007 | Add a Comment

If you've ever seen anything like this before, you've probably been doing something you shouldn't: either snooping round a couple of select UK shipyards or attracting the attention of British special forces.But this one isn't secret. It's the first motoryacht built using "very slender vessel" (hence her VSV designation) wave-piercing principles and a patented hull shape drawn by naval

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Big Shot

By Alan Harper | Posted May 2007 | Add a Comment

It had been one of the most eagerly anticipated launches of recent years, the subject of more rumor and speculation than a Hollywood scandal. But when the London Boat Show opened in January, there she was. Finally, large as life and twice as opulent: Sunseeker's latest, the 37M Trideck Yacht, all 121 feet and 180 tons of her. Immediately the company's previous flagship, the 105-foot flying-bridge

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Modern Classic

By Alan Harper | Posted October 2006 | Add a Comment

I was down in the eerie silence of the guest accommodation, taking notes, when a slight tapping noise broke my concentration. It was the chain of the window blind gently making contact with the woodwork, and now that my attention was drawn to it, there did indeed appear to be the faintest hint of a roll.Up on deck the motion was more noticeable, and in the cockpit the full effect of the

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Beautiful Lady, Gray Day

By Alan Harper | Posted June 2006 | Add a Comment

The Thames Estuary in winter is not necessarily a place you'd choose for a cruise. For many yachtsmen, even in summer it's a necessary evil: the strangely blank, slightly foreboding link between the river and the sea. Thousands of boats pass through every year. Local motoryachts based in the scenic upper reaches of the river make an annual pilgrimage downstream—from bucolic Henley,

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