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Mrs Happy beams into the yacht spotlight

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Cruising into our Yacht Spotlight this month, Mrs. Happy gleefully fulfils promotion of her positive name. The title of this luxury yacht immediately provokes joy and with such a transparent label, vacation guests will anticipate ample amusement on this boisterous vessel…and rightly so.

Captain Ken Hodgins, Mate Danny Del Valle, Chef Donna Arter, and Stewardess/Deckhand Megan Maggetti comprise Mrs. Happy’s crew.

Built at Johnson Yachts in Taiwan, the structure is a standard 105-foot mould with the owner’s additions forming a LOA of 108 feet.

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She is the third Johnson yacht for the owners, testifying to their pleasure with the yacht architects and is named Mrs. Happy simply because “she is,” said Captain Ken who has served on all three of the owners’ yachts.

Mrs. Happy is the perfect combination of service, design, amenities, and space for guests to maximise their vacation time; no expense was spared when outfitting the vessel with the latest technology.

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If one is a resident or frequent visitor of the Caribbean islands, chances are you’ve seen the ‘smiley’ flag of Mrs. Happy as she’s sailed all over the region; however, the BVI is the owners’ favourite location due to the proximity of the 60 isles and cays, abundance of calm anchorages, and easy access to aircraft handling services.

The boat’s conception emerged from a conversation at the first Taiwan International Boat Show in 2015, where Johnson Yachts is located.

Starting with a standard 105′ hull, the owners incorporated what they appreciated about their previous boats and spent countless hours with Johnson Yachts to modify existing equipment spaces, storage, and galley layout.

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“The main deck has the same floor level from the aft deck entrance and outdoor dining table through to the salon, the galley, and into the forward looking master stateroom,” said Captain Ken. “The 180-degree forward view of the master stateroom provides a panoramic vista of the islands and anchorages. Custom designed blackout window treatments, ensure a restful and quiet environment. One appeal of the 108 design is the additional cabin space available on the guest cabin deck.”

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With an on-deck master suite, three equal size queen guest cabins, and additional rooms with twin bed and Pullman style bunks—each with a child bed rail—this is a true family charter boat. Easily accommodating nine charter guests, this layout appeals to the variability of holidaymaking groups – whether adults alone or mixed with children.

The flybridge is the focal communal space while the yacht is underway or stationary – choice of ample shade or sun lounge chairs amplify the freedom of indulgent living. “The owners custom-designed a forward looking raised co-pilot seat that is a favourite underway view,” said the captain. “Seating at the tables for 10 make this a favourite outdoor dining location. The hot tub and exercise bike are also located on the flybridge.

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“Bill Dixon of Dixon Yacht Designs has created each of the Johnson models and was very helpful in customising the interior and hull spaces to accommodate the specifics of owner requested additions. In 2014…the 32′ tender really opened up the trip possibilities,” said Ken, diving into one of the more innovative additions to the yacht.

The 32ft Belzona tender—affectionately named Lil Hap—is captained by mate Danny Del Valle and is rigged for offshore fishing, scuba diving, and spearfishing. It has a unique side entry door that is 40″ wide, allowing deck level entry between the two boats and convenient access to docks, swimming, and diving.

Travelling at a top speed of 21 knots—18 knots cruising on twin 1825hp Cat V12 Engines—Mrs. Happy features both fin and gyro stabilisation.

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The special hydraulic platform stores the 18ft Nautica dinghy and does double duty as a swim deck that can be lowered for easy access to the water for aqua sport desires or casual social activity. The toy garage houses paddle boards, swim floats, snorkel gear, and beach equipment.

“Stewardess Megan Maggetti is also a licensed captain,” said Ken, expressing the pleasure of working with his crew. “Megan has a very versatile skill set from handling dock lines and fenders to mixing up a specialty cocktail. Chef Donna Arter is a long-time BVI resident, Rotarian, and villa manager. She excels in gluten free and vegan dishes, however her ability to add an extra flair to standard American dishes has made her the preferred chef for the owners of Mrs. Happy.”

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The owner maintains year-round dockage in the Virgin Islands so the yacht is available for both winter and summer trips. “The 108ft length and 8 ft draft still allows us to tuck into our favourite anchorages, med moorings, and marinas throughout the BVI,” said Ken.

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“A trip aboard Mrs. Happy is fully customisable,” continued the captain. “The owners enjoy a very active vacation where the focus is healthy eating, exercise, and rest. A typical day might start with a gluten free breakfast followed by a diving trip on the tender, lunch underway to the next destination, a hike, swim, snorkel, paddleboarding, appetisers, and/or sunset drinks, relaxing on the flybridge until a gourmet dinner is served on the aft deck. While we do hit the hot spots for night life throughout the BVI, the owners just as often enjoy their favourite TV programmes and an early night. Organising a trip aboard Mrs. Happy can include anything from sunrise yoga sessions on the flybridge, active itineraries, slow paced beach relaxing, offshore fishing trips, partying till the wee hours, or any combination.”

Erin Paviour-Smith

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