It’s safe to say we all get wrapped up in the “money” aspect of yacht ownership at one time or another: What can I afford? Should I upgrade or stand pat? But real boaters know these decisions are secondary, mere corollaries to the real question: What should I do with my boat? Boaters are by nature interesting people, and so they seem to have some inspiring ideas.
“I’ve run into several clients over the years who find the most fascinating ways to spend what little time we have on this blue ball,” says Jason Dunbar, a broker with Luke Brown Yachts. “They’ll take their yachts and then take their children or their grandchildren for one year—usually the kids’ eighth-grade year—and they’ll cruise up the Orinoco river or the Amazon.” They share their sense of adventure, and the voyage, with the next generation.
“The family goes to exotic places, and every single family member I’ve met that’s had this experience has had a life-changing experience where it’s happened,” Dunbar says. “It’s just something that affects your character and who you are the rest of your life.” The cruisers see indigenous populations, and take in the varied shoreline, from the darkest gunkhole to the brightest city skyline. And because they’re cruising they can move at their own pace, set their own agenda.
“One yachtsman has used his Westport as ground zero for family events,” Dunbar says. “You don’t have to rent the four- or five-bedroom condo in North Carolina or over in Tuscany, you can just go to your yacht. There will not be any surprises, and it’s always in a new location. The family knows the routine, they’re familiar with the galley they know how the heads work, and they can really just enjoy it.” And that enjoyment puts everyone in a receptive frame of mind.
“I think it’s impactful when you do stuff on the boat and you get closer to the world,” Dunbar continues. “You get closer to the environment, you have an appreciation for pollution and what it can do: What’s happening with runoff on the reefs, you’re not sitting there watching it on 20/20, you’re sitting there with a snorkel and a mask and a 16-year-old kid. And when that kid enters his working life, he or she is so in love with the ocean and what it provides them that in their business they want to make sure that it’s protected. And it’s a good thing.”
And so as you read this, on the cusp of another Memorial Day Weekend with the summer laid before you, think about the legacy your boating could create. And how much fun it could be to set it in motion.