The 86-foot CaryAli is one of the only Nordhavn-built boats available for crewed yacht charter worldwide.
First Impression: CaryAli
Date toured: December 2010
CaryAli was built in 2007 as the first-ever Nordhavn 86. While another eight or nine have been constructed since that time, CaryAli became the only one available for charter when she entered the market just before the winter 2010-11 Caribbean season.
“We still have our original owner, and he kept us quite busy during our first few years,” Capt. Adam Steel told me as we sat in the yacht’s main salon. “We did the entire West Coast of America up to Alaska, then Mexico, Costa Rica, the Sea of Cortez, then the Panama Canal and San Blas Islands, then the Northern Caribbean, British Virgin Islands, and Bahamas, then the Western Mediterranean, Croatia, Montenegro, Spain, France, and both coasts of Italy, including Venice.
“We really enjoyed that,” Steel added, “but now we are looking forward to spending the winter in the Caribbean and the summer in New England, where we can share the boat with charter guests for the first time.”
Steel said the owner regularly had his children onboard, beginning when they were 3 years old. The owner also sometimes cruised with other adult couples, Steel said, giving the crew the ability to cater to different types of charter guests.
CaryAli herself, too, is designed to accommodate various groups. The master cabin has a king-size bed, and one of the guest cabins has twin-size beds that are ideal for children. The other two cabins have larger twin-size beds that can convert to king-size beds, making the rooms flexible depending on the needs of the guests.
“I would say that we can sleep and dine with six guests inside comfortably, but eight guests are possible,” Steel said.
The owner is a serious fisherman, so CaryAli is well-outfitted for the task. The main deck has a live well, and the nearby aft dining table can be removed to make room for a full-size fighting chair. CaryAli also has an Edgewater fishing boat with outriggers and all the necessary gear for fighting marlin, which are the owner’s favorite prey. Other water sports equipment includes a pair of paddleboards, a pair of kayaks, and a three-person Jet Ski. Inside the yacht, guests can use the small gymnasium in the sky lounge or have fun while exercising with Wii Fit.
CaryAli has luxurious creature comforts, too. The flame mahogany interior by Dee Robinson is rich and elegant, and the yacht boasts VSAT-enabled WiFi as well as zero-speed stabilizers—features not often found aboard charter yachts in this size range. A Bose sound system offers iPod inputs, including in the guest cabins.
While Nordhavn yachts, with their go-anywhere exterior styling, may be unusual in the charter market, they tend to be favorites among people who enjoy cruising beyond typical beaches, always in comfort. As more and more charter guests get to know CarAli, my guess is that they will join the group of Nordhavn fans that Steel so aptly described.
“Nordhavn is like a cult,” he said. “They have a massive following among people who like to explore. What could be more fun for a charter vacation?”