Date toured: June 2008
When the owner of a prominent sailing yacht company decides to build a boat for himself, you’d better expect that what gets delivered to his dock is a special vessel indeed. Such is the case with the 76-foot Alden sailing yacht Amneris, which was built in 1978 to serve as the personal yacht of the shipyard’s boss.
Her current owner bought Amneris in 1999 and kept her private until 2006, when he bought himself a second sailing yacht, the 123-foot Palmer Johnson Axia. Soon after, the owner decided to use the larger Axia for himself and his family, and to refit Amneris for charter. From August 2007 until March 2008, she was, as Capt. Alex Frew told me, “stripped to a steel shell. Every nut, bolt, piece of decking, everything was removed. Everything on the exterior, including the teak, is brand-new.”
One of the most important changes during the refit, at least for charter, was a refit of the master cabin (see photo above). It used to be a proper sailing cabin, with two three-quarter-size berths. Now, it has a queen-size bed, much like other charter yachts in this size range. The other two cabins onboard have upper-lower bunk-style berths that are large enough for adults.
Not that guests will be spending much time in their cabins, as one of the best things about Amneris is her cockpit seating. It’s all beneath a huge blue bimini (see photo at right), so you’re protected from sun, wind, and rain from virtually every angle. And though the yacht takes just six guests, a dozen or more could easily fit in this cockpit, so throwing on-deck cocktail parties with friends is a definite option.
Capt. Frew told me that the yacht is based in New England this summer, but that it’s fully booked except for the end of August, when it will be cruising between Maine and Rhode Island. This winter, the yacht will be based in Antigua, “but we’re willing to sail anywhere in the Caribbean,” he added. The weekly base rate, he told me, is $14,900 for two guests, $15,900 for four guests, and $16,900 for six guests. The management company is Nicholson Yachts.
One last note: The captain also let slip that Amneris’ owner listed her for sale the very day of my tour. Sailing yachts tend to take a good while to move from one owner to the next, but even still, work with a reputable charter broker on your booking to ensure that you are covered in case the yacht sells between the time you sign your contract and the date when you’re supposed to get onboard.—Kim Kavin