First Impression: Marae
Date toured: May 2013
Here’s the long and the short of it: The 108-foot Alloy sailing yacht Marae is a stunner.
I toured the 2004 build at the 2013 Newport International Charter Yacht Show in New England, where she was far and away the most beautiful sailing yacht on the docks. The word I wrote in my notebook was “pristine,” thanks in part to refit work that had been done during the previous four years. She originally launched as Paraiso, and her brand-new owner has bought a beautiful classic, to be sure, one that looks as good today as she did when the shipyard launched her nearly a decade ago. Her traditional walnut wood interior décor is as lush as they come, and all of the carpeting and soft goods around it were spotless.
The only thing that was missing during my tour of Marae was her permanent charter crew, who had yet to arrive. They have since been announced as Capt. Frank Ficken, a U.S. native who previously worked aboard the 160-foot Alloy sailing yacht Georgia; chef Sue Ficken, who trained at the International Culinary School in Fort Lauderdale and also has experience aboard Georgia; first mate and engineer Dylan Row-Clark, who was raised on Sint Maarten before studying at Stanford University; and stewardess Renee Boudria, whose fine-service experience includes work at the New York Yacht Club Harbor Court house in Newport.
That combination of experience should be a winner aboard this yacht, which accommodates six guests in three staterooms. One has a queen bed, one has a double, and one has a single twin bed plus a bunk-style Pullman berth, making Marae a great choice for families with kids.
Also family-friendly is the on-deck layout, with a shaded seating and dining area that is forward of the crew area and two steering wheels, as well as a smaller owner’s cockpit aft that connects to the master stateroom below. (That's the master and stairs leading up to the cockpit in the photograph above.)
There’s good fun to be had during a charter aboard Marae, with a 16-foot Williams jet tender for water skiing and other tow-toy fun, a pair of Laser sailing dinghies for your own mini-regattas, a kayak, a couple of standup paddleboards, fishing gear, snorkeling equipment, and even mountain bikes if you want to get off the boat for a bit. Onboard, guests will find high-definition LED televisions, Bose DVD players, satellite television, iPod docking stations, and Wi-Fi supported by satellite (extra charges apply for that last one).
Also worth noting is the meaning of Marae: It’s from the native Maori tribe in New Zealand, translating as a special meeting place for family and friends.