Image copyright of Ayrton Orio pour Mwafritec S.A.

A former Scottish fisheries vessel, Enigma XK (ex Norna) has been reborn as a world-tackling charter yacht with Philippe Briand design. An engineer by trade, her owner is fond of building and making things, having had an early business converting used military trucks into luxury expedition vehicles for use in Africa. His purchase of Norna took it to the next level.

Going to inhospitable places was part of the original allure of ownership for the owner and one of his express desires was to have a vessel that could tackle the worst condition at sea and  And so, Enigma XK was born.

“So much of the world has been explored, and so I’m keen to get into places that other yacht owners have not been able to travel,” explains Enigma XK’s owner, who asked to remain anonymous. “I really want to explore the world’s large tropical rivers and remote locations that are not otherwise accessible unless you have a yacht built and designed like we have with Enigma XK.”

“So much of the world has been explored, and so I’m keen to get into places that other yacht owners have not been able to travel" - owner of Enigma XK

The owner and his team found a vessel for sale that had been used in the North Sea by the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency and their surveyor quickly told them that her hull was really built for the worst conditions. "She’d be able to go anywhere,” he tells us. “For us, it was the best hull in the world.”

The refit was completed at the Atlantic Refit Centre in La Rochelle, France, in September this year after two years of extensive, exhaustive work. Following a six-month shakedown tour with the owner, Enigma XK will take on paying charter clients in spring 2014.

Image copyright of Ayrton Orio pour Mwafritec S.A.

“I’ll be aboard during our tour of the west coast of Africa, the east coast of South America and when we’re in Australia,” the owner says. “We’re going to go up all the major rivers: the Congo, the Amazon, and later, when we go to Canada, we’ll go up the Saint Lawrence.”

Being from the Congo, the owner is especially keen to develop a yachting experience up this great river and as a result she is set to reach the foot of the river cataracts at Matadi, further inland than the owner believes any superyacht has ventured. “It’s very wild up there,” he says. “It’s true exploration. There are areas up the river where only the locals have been. Our charter guests have the opportunity to be some of the first people to enter into these parts of Africa. It’s virgin territory. We’ll be bringing two off-road vehicles with us that we can drop ashore with the on-board crane and begin to explore these new territories.”

For more on Enigma XK and her owner's plans for her future, see the full article in Issue 9 of The Superyacht Owner, which members can read online here.