For Colin, who started his own business while he was at university, having time off is a luxury. As such, getaways that are social and active are important for him and his family. “We started chartering about 10 years ago and found them great holidays,” explains Colin. “There is something about being on the sea that means you can absolutely relax; sailing has a great distractive capacity. Being on a boat is a transcending experience where you are able to escape all the pressures and tensions of life.”
The notion of owning a yacht came about when Colin reached the point where he wanted to stop working full-time. “But when you have always had a very active and busy life, how do you wind down?” he points out. “The only way is to substitute it with something else, which is when the idea of getting into sailing came about. It then took us about a year to decide on what kind of boat we wanted.”
After looking at a variety of different boats, the 39m Pendennis-build Tenaz was a suitable combination of sailing performance and generous living accommodation, meaning his family and friends could enjoy all the benefits of cruising while being able to participate in regattas. As the boat required some work done upon purchase, which Colin admits was a bit of a leap in the dark, McMaster Yachts helped the novice owners considerably.
Having such a support network has been crucial to Colin’s first year in the industry. While he had no prior knowledge of Pendennis, the yard that built Tenaz as Mamamouchi in 1996, Colin has been impressed by the backing and service the team provided. “Of course, it is a profit-making business, but there is more to their approach than making money,” he says. “Pendennis’ ethos and values are fantastic and it is a thoroughly admirable company.”
During the initial purchase process, however, Colin questions how well the industry is set-up for newcomers. “I don’t know how many first-time purchasers there are in my situation, as a lot of people move up in size with boats, but I wouldn’t say the industry caters well for them,” he ponders. “You see so many boats to choose from, but what is actually on the market and what is actually able to be bought are two completely different things.”
Because of this, Colin stresses the importance of being well advised. He was fortunate enough to have a friend with extensive knowledge of the sailing sector who helped guide him through his search, but he admits that if that hadn’t been the case, he may never have bought a boat. “I would not have had enough confidence in my own decision,” he explains.
“Buying and owning a boat inevitably involves partnerships – whether that is with the boat builder, designer, broker or crew – and partnerships depend upon trust and confidence. But as a new owner, how do you build trust and confidence with people you don’t know very well and who you don’t have any experience working with?”
In light of this, Colin suggests there is a market for a bespoke service for novice buyers, or charterers who want to make the leap to ownership. “Otherwise it can be a lottery,” he explains. “There have been people who I have met who are full of integrity, and I could imagine a service for clients who are prepared to pay for a process where you experience charters on different boats and are helped to navigate the market.”
Colin, however, acknowledges that he enjoyed the challenge of tackling something with which he was unfamiliar, and he has already reaped the rewards of Tenaz. He describes the family holidays as incomparable and the thrill of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua and St Barths Bucket.
One particularly memorable experience was doing his first Atlantic crossing on board. “Settling down to the slow pace of the crossing wasn’t easy, but by the third day I remember someone asking me what I was doing, and I replied, ‘I’m just contemplating shifting my weight from my left foot to my right foot!’” Colin laughs. “The whole journey has just been a total distraction full of inspiration, opportunity and new experiences – just about the pinnacle of personal privilege I can imagine.”
Read the full article in Issue 24 of The Superyacht Owner.
Image credit: Jeff Brown, Breed Media