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Saboré – she lives up to her name!

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Saboré is a 58-ft Privilege catamaran; a luxury charter yacht operating exclusively in the British Virgin Islands. She lives up to her name, which means ‘to indulge in good taste.’ Privilege catamarans are the industry’s Rolls-Royce of production multi hulls and with all the custom detailing and optional extras, Saboré could justifiably be called ‘La crème de la crème.’

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In fact, this yacht was held in such high esteem that just after her launching in 2002, she was selected as the vessel to take the starring role on the rostrum at the Cannes Film Festival. Now, after a recent refit, Saboré is ready to entertain her guests in unmatched style and comfort.

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It was one of those crystal clear Caribbean days with a gentle 12 knot breeze when I, with wife Monique, boarded the sparkling Saboré on the dock at Village Cay Marina. She had just been launched after her annual haul out for maintenance, bottom painting, and refurbishing, ready for a busy season. We were to go on a short sail to Peter Island, while we learnt of Saboré’s many attributes. We were duly impressed.

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First though, we were given a tour of the interior, and its luxurious appointments could not be denied. Two king size double cabins aft, one in each pontoon, had been completely refurbished with new deck head linings, attractive art, and bedside lamps. The forward cabins have similar luxurious appointments and all the beds are now fitted with comfortable Tempur-Pedic mattresses.

There is also a new state of the art movie system where guests can access any one of 2,500 films from the extensive library and watch them on iPads provided in each cabin. Alternatively, there’s a projector that can show a movie on a 72” screen under the stars for viewing by the whole family.

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Brand new air conditioning systems have been installed with individual controllers, so cool comfort through specially designed vents is guaranteed. Each cabin comes with its own shower, equipped with a bank of multi directional jets for Jacuzzi-like pleasure.

Captain Richard and First Mate Lisa operate the boat like a well-oiled machine. As the engines were started and the lines cast off, hardly a word was spoken – everything was understood, intuitively. We motored out of the harbour and the sails were hoisted quickly, quietly, and efficiently. Cold drinks were offered and Captain Rich continued explaining the yacht’s recent upgrades. The list was long and impressive.

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Saboré has been fitted with two new generators; while one is enough to power the needs of the entire boat. There are two water makers, one in each pontoon and each unit makes 70 gallons an hour. Guests can have long showers and even the toilets are fresh water flush, keeping everything hygienic and smelling sweet,” explained Captain Rich. “During the refit, the mast was unstepped and both the boom and mast repainted. All new mast wiring was installed and the boat completely re-rigged. New sails were fitted as well. We sail with main and Genoa but sailing downwind, we deploy the Screecher. This is a fun boat to sail; we often achieve 12 knots on a reach.”

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As we cruised across the Sir Francis Drake Channel, I couldn’t help but notice the new navigational instruments. There was not one, not two, but three touch screen Raymarine chart plotters, one at each exterior helm and one in the main salon’s nav station. All the other instruments including the auto pilot were new as well. Hydraulic throttle and transmission controls are available at either starboard or port helm station, making for great visibility when docking in tight spaces.

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We arrived at Peter Island’s Great Harbour and tied to a mooring ball. Immediately, we were invited to snorkel the nearby reef and then to enjoy a pre-lunch cocktail. As I climbed out of the water, I was handed a towel and a Bloody Mary. Lunch was served on the freshly varnished cockpit table with sparkling silverware, linen napkins, and a chilled bottle of Chardonnay. Curtains for sun shade were rolled down but did not obscure the beautiful island view to the west; we felt like royalty.

First to arrive on the table was a warm freshly baked loaf of bread. Then a mixed green salad was served with a tangy sesame seed vinaigrette and was followed by grilled salmon on a bed of rice with a mélange of vegetable julienne. Between mouthfuls, I asked our hosts what brought their lives to this point.

“I owned and operated a restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island for 20 years whilst Lisa was a florist and worked as a party organiser and event planner. We both loved sailing but had so little time. One cold winter’s day, we decided it was time for a change… and here we are. We’ve been running charter yachts for more than 10 years. Saboré is absolutely our favourite – the owner is dedicated to keeping her in pristine condition at all times.

“We are lucky to be able to share the running of the yacht with our partners and good friends Colin and Penny. We have been doing the summer season while they do the winter. It keeps both teams fresh and enthused – we love to return after being away for a while.”

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On the sail back to Village Cay Marina, we discussed what else made Saboré one of the most successful charter yachts in the BVI. Lisa explained that it was being able to analyse the needs and desires of the guests to make their vacation the very best possible. “Some like beautiful, quiet anchorages to enjoy ‘Nature’s Little Secrets’; others like to visit music and dancing venues; happy hours, reggae etc. Some like to enjoy family time and water sports. We try and cater to their dreams.”

It was interesting to learn of all the toys and activities aboard Saboré; there’s something to please everyone. Underwater blue lights attract fish for viewing pleasure at night and during daylight hours, guests can opt for up to five scuba dives; snorkelling is available as well. There are Stand Up Paddleboards, a kayak, and floating mats. The 14-foot dinghy with a 70hp motor can either wiz you ashore or take you water skiing, tubing, or knee boarding. If fishing is your preference, it’s available on Saboré.

After we’d tied up back at the marina, I asked Captain Rich how the bookings were going for the upcoming season. “18 weeks,” he replied, “so far.”

Success is often measured in numbers and when bookings are that good, you know you’re doing something right.

Julian Putley

Julian Putley

Julian began his writing career while sailing the world in his small yacht, a Tayana 37, in the early 80s. He is known for his Caribbean bestsellers Sunfun Calypso, a satire on Caribbean island life and The Drinking Man’s Guide to the BVI.

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