First Impression: Kanaloa
Date toured: October 2008
2012 Editor's Note: Kanaloa is now part of the charter fleet at Ocean Independence.
Kanaloa is a 158-foot CRN motoryacht that launched in 1996 and is now with her second owner. She’s been popular in the charter market for quite some time and did nine weeks during the summer 2008 Mediterranean season alone. Her captain, Jeff Guymon, told me that nearly half the yacht’s clients are repeat customers—which tells you a whole lot more about high-quality service and standards than any brochure ever could.
What’s interesting about Kanaloa right now is that she was put up for sale at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October, and the owner decided not to accept any bookings for the winter 2008-09 Caribbean season until he knew whether the yacht would sell. As of this writing in early November, Kanaloa is still his and thus on the charter market—which means those would-be vacationers who are “in the know” are likely scrambling to sign contracts for all the open winter charter dates. There’s still time for you to get in on that opportunity.
My latest tour of Kanaloa—one of several I have done over the years—reminded me of just how well maintained this yacht typically is. She went through yet another “mini-refit” from February to April of this year, when she got all new teak decks and hull paint. Guymon told me the yacht will be in the yard once more this year to re-do all the interior blinds.
The sundeck on this yacht is one of the things that makes her popular for charter. It’s a sprawling, wide-open space full of guest seating, sunpads, and a hot tub. The chief stewardess told me that Kanaloa hosted a 100-person Super Bowl party last year, with a band, and that there was plenty of room for everyone to move around. That’s something you can’t say for every motoryacht out there.
Kanaloa also is noteworthy because it’s known as a good family charter boat, as opposed to one favored by party-hardy celebrities. There’s a nanny cabin onboard, near the sky lounge, for any families who care to bring young children. Older children are welcome on this yacht, too; one charter during summer 2008 apparently included eight teen-agers, without any problems.
The guest accommodations also suit families well. The master cabin is on the main deck with a double-bed cabin adjacent to it, which is a great setup for parents and their children. Belowdecks, there’s a full-beam VIP cabin for another adult couple, and then two cabins with twin-size beds plus bunk-style Pullman berths. Those cabins would work for adults or children, depending on the makeup of your group.
I also noted that the dining room, which is aft on the main deck, has a table that converts from a 12-seat, long, rectangular shape into two round tables that seat four to six people apiece. Again, if you’re adults traveling with kids, you might appreciate the separation option.