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Global Fishing

Michael Verdon

The first of two luxury expedition vessels launched by McMullen & Wing in New Zealand, the 45-meter (147 feet) Big Fish promises to redefine the explorer yacht category while setting some new records. Richard Beattie, its Hong Kong-based owner, wanted Big Fish to transit the most distant corners of the earth, so designer Gregory C. Marshall created a 495-ton steel-hulled vessel that will deliver a range of 9,200 nautical miles at eight knots.

But Big Fish is also loaded with more comfort-inducing features than traditional expedition yachts that explore all seven seas—perhaps even more than glitzy superyachts that just meander from port to port in the Mediterranean. Quantum Zero Speed stabilizers keep roll to a minimum, while the full-height windows, sea terraces, and “transformer” swim platforms offer full access to the elements. The yacht even has the world’s first granite decks, an eco-tailored material that is quite a departure from the traditional teak or fiberglass decks.

The five-stateroom interior is defined by the banks of windows that infuse it with natural light, and simple but elegant decor. Marshall also added space-smart features like in-deck storage for the custom tender, fold-down bulkheads at the transom (creating an immense patio-like effect across the swim platform), and open terraces on each level so that owner and guests can enjoy private ocean views.

Big Fish began a one-year odyssey in July that includes Tahiti, the Antarctic, Upper Amazon basin, and the Arctic Circle, among other equally remote destinations. Next summer, Big Fish will attempt to be the first pleasure boat to cross the Northeast Passage above Russia. That feat, among the thousands of miles Big Fish will put on its hull during this year’s circumnavigation, will rightfully stamp the name “explorer” into the heart of this expedition yacht. (www.aquosyachts.com)

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