First Impression: African Cat
Date toured: May 2010
Expect serious personality aboard this yacht, whose décor includes alligator-skin accents in the main salon, mirrored ceilings above some of the beds, and entire guest cabins decorated in ultra black or lipstick red. During my tour, I felt almost as if I had stepped not onboard a yacht, but instead into a discotheque.
Interestingly, and perhaps contrary to the yacht’s décor, the owners of African Cat are seeking charter parties of families with children, or adult couples who want to relax. “The owners don’t like parties onboard,” chef Emmanuel Gastaud told me. That philosophy helps to explain why African Cat, though three years old at the time of my tour, looked practically brand new.
African Cat is a performance design with a top speed of 33 knots. That makes her ideal for charter itineraries that include zipping from port to port, though it’s worth noting that the yacht burns a whopping 1,200 liters of fuel per hour at her cruising speed of 28 knots. (Charter guests pay for all fuel usage during a vacation.)
Charter guests also should be aware that they will likely want the captain to dock African Cat in marina slips at night, instead of sleeping at anchor.
“She’s not really built for anchoring at sea,” Khouri says. “There are no stabilizers.”
African Cat takes 10 guests in five cabins, including one cabin that is ideal for children because it has one permanent bunk bed and one bunk-style Pullman berth. She is based year-round in the Western Mediterranean with an advertised weekly base rate of €150,000. Management company Primo Yacht says a three-day minimum is required for all charter bookings, as is a €10,000 security deposit above and beyond the industry’s standard charter provisioning fees.
Any reputable charter broker can tell you more or help you book a week onboard.—Kim Kavin