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Destination Fox Harb’r Too in Nova Scotia

Destination Fox Harb'r TooWant to combine yacht charter with an outstanding golfing vacation? The 161-foot Trinity motoryacht Destination Fox Harb’r Too has the same owner as Fox Harb’r Resort in the Canadian Maritimes.


The 161-foot Trinity motoryacht Destination Fox Harb’r Too offers spectacular itineraries for golfers from the unusual charter base of Nova Scotia

By Kim Kavin

I half expect to see Frances McDormand weeding a flowerbed as I turn the corner on the freshly swept sidewalk. It’s 8 a.m. in Charlottetown, on Atlantic Canada’s Prince Edward Island, and the few voices I hear have a distinctly Fargo-esque accent. A couple of priests await the opening of the church door. A grocery worker unloads blueberries into a bin. The corner coffee shop is called Linda’s.  I’ll bet she’s inside grinding fresh beans right now.

All had been quiet at Charlottetown Yacht Club when I left, but now, a crowd surrounds the 161-foot Destination Fox Harb’r Too. The Trinity trideck is taller than any nearby building. Folks seem as though they’re at an air show, staring up with open moNova Scotia scenicuths.

Then I see what’s really happening: They’re not so much looking at the yacht as at the boat show-style placard the crew have affixed to it, itemizing the builder, speed, and specs—all the things that people who have never seen a boat of this size might wonder about.

Oddly, the sign does not seem pretentious. It’s just the yacht’s owner, Ron Joyce, telling fellow locals about this amazing feat of engineering he’s had the good fortune to buy and bring home. If he were here, he’d probably put his arm around the mayor’s shoulder and say, “Can you believe a boat could weigh so much?”

Joyce, you see, is a local legend. He is well-known as a single mother’s son who fought in Korea in the 1950s before partnering with Canadian hockey player Tim Horton to expand Horton’s doughnut business into a franchise with twice as many Canadian storefronts as McDonald’s. Ever since Wendy’s bought the franchise and made Joyce wealthy beyond most people’s dreams, he’s been quoted as saying he sees giving back as an obligation—and he put his millions where his mouth is by founding the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation. Every year, it helps about 15,000 disadvantaged kids forget their worries. Joyce also recently gave $10 million to McMaster University in Ontario, to launch a new campus.

It never occurred to him to buy a megayacht—he’d always had sailboats—until he chartered a Feadship for the St. Barth’s Bucket a few years ago. Not long after, he took ownership of Destination Fox Harb’r Too when it was about 80 percent complete at the Trinity shipyard. He made few changes to the stunning Patrick Knowles interior; the master’s nanny cabin is now a study, and there’s no longer an aquarium in the main saloon. Other than that, the yacht is just as it was intended from the start.

Except that instead of being one of the most talked-about motoryachts in the Mediterranean each summer,charter yacht Destination Fox Harb'r Too it’s north of Maine in a place where large-yacht charter otherwise does not exist.

The reason for the unusual location is Fox Harb’r Resort, a 27-hole, Graham Cook-designed golf course with spa, sporting clays, restaurant, boutique hotel, and luxury residences set on about 1,100 acres that Joyce bought in the 1980s as undeveloped land.

“He wasn’t even a golfer at that time,” his son, Steve Joyce, told me over lunch at the clubhouse restaurant. “He was about 55 years old, and he was looking for something to do.”

Today, that something is entertaining guests aboard Destination Fox Harb’r Too as it sits at anchor overlooking the 15th tee, and cruising to places like nearby Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton to play the best courses there, too.

Thus, when you charter Destination Fox Harb’r Too in Nova Scotia, you’re not buying a week’s immersion into a yachting culture like the one in St. Tropez. Instead, you’re buying into the vision of a rollicking good time as seen through the eyes of a local-boy-made-good: a bar on every deck, a birdie on every green, and the ability to literally stop traffic with your megayacht and various other toys.

“We have a 5,000-foot runway,” Steve Joyce explained. “Any corporate plane can get in. Tiger Woods brought his G-5 when he came to play Fox Harb’r Resort this past summer. Even he said he was surprised at how beautiful everything was, how well organized. I think there’s a general misconception of this region, that it’s all blustery and cold. That’s not the case at all. It’s a remarkable place.”

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