Owner's Circle: The 5 Year Circumnavigation Of Exuma

By Paul Joseph

The relative merits of sailing yachts and motoryachts have been debated for decades, with most yachting enthusiasts falling into one camp or the other. After a five year circumnavigation, we caught up with the owner of Exuma to discuss the balance of luxury and exploration.

The Perini Navi Cup, which brings together some of the world’s finest sailing yachts, is an unlikely location to find a man who favours motoryachts, but this is what we discovered when we sat down with the owner of the 50-metre Exuma during the prestigious regatta in Sardinia.

“I am convinced, and I’m sorry to say for all my good friends who are sailing, that a sailing yacht is not the best vehicle to have for exploration,” he began. “And that’s mostly due to the problem of draft. The draft of a sailing yacht, even with a moveable keel is still always very important and if you want to enter a lagoon you must have the kind of draft we have.

“On this boat, which is 50 metres long, we have less than 8 feet in draft, so that is clearly an asset. That’s why we built an explorer which is not the image of what you usually think for an explorer. You think of a sturdy, wide hulled boat made of steel – no, this is the contrary. It’s lightweight aluminium and even the railings and bathing ladders are made of titanium, all to keep the weight as light as possible.

“Nevertheless, it has all the seakeeping qualities you want because it’s not top-heavy. You notice that this boat looks more like a sail boat without a mast than a motoryacht, so we are happy with the result.

“My concern was that I wanted to visit really far out places in the Pacific and Indian Ocean mostly, which is where we spent four years, and to have access in any island. If you’re on a sailboat, you’re outside of the reef, and you can just look at the beach and you have no access. This boat can go inside the lagoon.”

You can watch the full video interview with the owner of Exuma above this article.

By Paul Joseph
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