Motoring

Luxury yachts for charter in Phuket: Hire the Lagoon 450, 440 and 400 by Simpson Marine for trips to Phang Nga Bay and more

Simpson Marine Charters offers the Lagoon 450, Lagoon 440 and Lagoon 400 in Phuket, an ideal way to get the hang of multihull sailing and try out the Lagoon brand at the same time

Apr 07, 2017 | By Robbie Wilson

Their offices are located at Ao Po Grand Marina on the northern Phang Nga Bay eastern side of Phuket Island, gateway to some of Thailand’s most beautiful cruising waters, and only a short drive from the airport. Visit the so-called James Bond island if you like, a legacy of the decades-old Man With The Golden Gun, which was largely set in Hong Kong, Macau and Phuket, but it is usually packed with tourists, and the Lagoon cat will enable voyaging far from the madding crowd.

The largest Lagoon 450 is 13.96 metres long, but has a relatively huge beam of 7.84 metres and a draft of only 1.3 metres, enabling her to nose into very shallow waters. The vessel is licensed to carry 10 guests in four cabins, and rates per week range from US$4,977 in the low season to US$11,431 in the high season.

Says Simpson Charters of this vessel: “Lagoon has succeeded in designing and building one great catamaran. Steering station on the flybridge is accessible from both sides of the cockpit. There’s a forward cockpit, impressive performance under sail, and incomparable comfort in the salon and cabins.

“The Lagoon 450 is offered in a 4 + 2 cabin version. It is the only catamaran of this size that can offer four independent living sections – the salon, rear cockpit, forward cockpit and the flybridge. This fully air-conditioned yacht is self-sufficient for water, with a production of 100 litres an hour, and energy thanks to her 11 V generator”.

It may be tempting to try the low season, and we have certainly lucked out in the past, but the wet sou’west monsoon can sometimes put a dampener on things. There are also shoulder seasons, perhaps best after the December-March high rather than before when it can still be a bit stormy, but why not book the high season anyway? US$11,431 divided by ten people is US$1,143 for a week cruising on a big cat. Not bad.

Looking at the amenities list we notice that there are four heads, an important feature if the Lagoon 450 is carrying its full complement, and then there is a fridge and deck fridge, biminis for extra shade fore and aft, autopilot, charts, hand-bearing compass, GPS, cruising guide, binoculars, dinghy with outboard, deck shower and all the usual safety gear.

In a week there are plenty of things to do in and around Phang Nga Bay, and calls can be made at Phi Phi and Krabi on the peninsula. Some sailors like to head off further south, where there are lots more interesting islands, in fact, all the way to Ko Terutau and Langkawi, which is about 100 nm distant.

Another option is to head north to the Similan Islands and beyond to the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar, formerly Burma Sergio Loiacono is the Thailand Manager for Simpson Marine. He joined the team in 2008 and has considerable experience in sail yacht charters in Egypt, Maldives, Panama, Portugal, Spain, Colombia, New Zealand, Fiji and Indonesia. He is a RYA Yachtmaster and speaks English, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and a smattering of Kiswahili and modern Standard Arabic. But no Tagalog, apparently.

Geraldine Bernard Berry has been managing the charters. She has over ten years experience and worked aboard superyachts as a chef and chief stewardess in the Caribbean, Med, Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Asia, and for another company as a charter broker before Simpson Marine. “She takes care of each and every detail”, they say.

An option offered in Phuket is the Charter Yacht Ownership Program, developed by Simpson Yacht Charter (SYC) “to cater to owners who want to enjoy yachting holidays without any of the hassles of daily yacht management, and who want to turn their purchase into a long-term investment, with an attractive return”.

This isn’t going to pay for the cost of the boat, but it does offset that cost, and if the vessel is carefully managed, can lead to a quite reasonable resale price. “Your journey with all the benefits starts immediately, once you place your yacht in our Phuket charter fleet for at least 60 weeks”, says Simpson. There is an option to withdraw after the second year.

“Your yacht will be your second home in Asia’s most beautiful holiday destination, Thailand. You will enjoy up to 12 weeks of yachting holiday aboard your own floating villa, exploring exotic archipelagos of the South-east Asian region. The share of charter booking profit is 65 percent to the owner and 35 percent to SYC, which equals an annual return of investment of 9-14 percent based on the charter booking agenda and yacht type. We offer you absolute transparency of all costings, and the accounts book will confirm your flexible return on investment”.

The proposal goes on to talk about high resale values, butler services and flexible programs. If interested, there is another paper offered online headed Almost Convinced? Let Us Tell You How It Works, which is more detailed and well worth reading.

This article was first published in Yacht Style.