First Impression: Matira
Date toured: November 2008
The 58-foot Matira is one of five yachts that have the same owner. Four of the five are sailing catamarans available for charter: the Privilege 585s Matira, Tahuata, and Tiputa, and the 61-foot Privilege 615 Motu.
Matira was built in 2004 and has been in charter ever since. About two weeks before I stepped onboard in November 2008, she had gotten a new crew: Capt. Gaultier de Susbielle and chef Caroline Griffiths, a couple who previously worked onboard the Privilege 65 sailing catamaran Bonaventure. They had been based in St. Maarten and sailed all over the Caribbean, which is a good indication that they know the waters well in terms of scheduling charter itineraries. I was also happy to learn that de Susbielle’s father was a skipper, and that the two once won the Heineken Regatta as a team. That tells me de Susbielle should know how to handle Matira well, even in rough weather.
Between them, de Susbielle and Griffiths speak five languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Creole. Griffiths also is internationally minded about her cooking, telling me that her specialty cuisines include Creole, continental, European, sushi, Thai, Italian, traditional French, and homemade breads.
“I really do change my menu every week to suit the guests’ tastes,” she said. “And I have relationships with all the butchers and provisioners throughout the Caribbean islands, since I pride myself on having the finest ingredients.”
The boat has no home base, but instead is available for charters anywhere in the Caribbean, from the Virgin Islands to Grenada—with no delivery fee charged in addition to the weekly base rate for charters of a week or longer, according to management company Blue Latitude Yachting.
There are four guest cabins onboard, each with a king-size bed and spa shower. That makes Matira perfectly suited for four couples who want to split the weekly rate. It’s inclusive of food, ship’s bar, fuel, and taxes. During the lowest-priced months, the weekly rate ranges from $17,000 for two guests to $21,500 for eight guests. (With eight guests onboard, that’s less than $2,700 per person.)
Any reputable charter broker can help you book a week onboard. At the time of my visit in November 2008, Matira already had 10 upcoming charters scheduled between Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, and Grenada, in the southern Caribbean.—Kim Kavin