The original objective of the visit was to represent Saturn Yachts, supporting our US-dealer colleagues– Las Olas Yacht Group (LOYG) who were due to display the brand new Saturn 48CC . Unfortunately, Hurricane Joaquin intervened and it was wisely deemed unsafe to bring the Saturn up from LOYG’s Fort Lauderdale base. Instead, our time was spent to exploring the delights of the Annapolis show and also lending support to LOYG who were displaying a stunning brokerage Hylas 54 (similar to our own UK-based 2005 example) in the impossibly picturesque Brokerage Cove.
Aside from our wonderful world of Saturn Yachts, we had a chance to have a good look at the some of the latest and greatest of the US-built yachting brands. Starting with just one hull, the artisans from Maine – Lyman-Morse were displaying their absolutely awesome water-ballasted, lift-keel LM Farr 63 ‘Kiwi Spirit’, a world-girdler hewn not from granite, alloy or steel, but from Kevlar, carbon and epoxy. Launched in 2012, her owners (both in their late 70’s!) have covered over 50,000 fast, safe and comfortable miles.
Shifting across to yachts with a spare hull (and foils), Gunboat from North Carolina were in attendance with their mind-boggling (and VERY orange) G4 foiling cruiser/racer catamaran and their sublime Gunboat 55 cruising catamaran. Gunboat have really cornered the market for designing and building catamarans that are every bit as stylish as their monohull counterparts and less like domestic white goods. With the rest of the market now playing catch-up, Gunboat continue to shift the goal-posts with models such as the G4.
As the Annapolis show was exclusively a sailing yacht show (the United States Powerboat Show takes place the following the week in the same location), there was no clockwork content to stare at in a confusing manner, however what was missing in Annapolis was more than compensated for in Fort Lauderdale.
Due to the hurricane forecast, we were not able to spend some quality time with the newly launched Saturn 48CC, we hopped on a plane from Washington and chased the sunshine down to rather ‘warm’ mid-October Fort Lauderdale. The 48CC did not disappoint. Boasting exactly the right mix of European styling, hull volume, performance and build quality, we really struggle to think of anything that comes close. Throw in a US$ sale price that sees a new yacht come in at broadly the same price as pre-owned Scandinavian, the 48CC is a sure-fire winner. Having spent two full days crawling through every single nook and cranny and getting rather sunburnt sailing along the Florida coast, we are not ashamed to admit that we are truly smitten. Due to the semi-custom nature of the Saturn Yachts build, owners are able to configure the yacht exactly how they want it, although there was very little that we could find that we would want to change.
Not wishing to disappoint, in keeping with tradition, here are a few photographs of some clockwork boats that stood out from the thousands that line every dock behind every house in this surreal place.
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