|Ipharra: The Newest Large Cat|
Management company Sunreef Yachts is promoting what it calls the "long-awaited" Ipharra for charters this winter in the Caribbean. I haven't had a chance yet to get aboard myself, but this yacht--at 102 feet long--is the latest in a continuing trend of ever-larger catamarans becoming available for charter.
Catamarans are an interesting breed of boat, one that has taken longer to gain popularity in some parts of the world than others. If you book a crewed charter in the Virgin Islands, for instance, then sailing catamarans are about all you will see. Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean, the sight of a catamaran on the docks amid all the megayachts is about as rare as a chicken in a bear's den.
For some people, catamarans are too non-traditional in design to feel like "real yachts." For other people (including myself), cats offer the best of both worlds: the fun of sailing without the boat constantly heeling over, and the interior and exterior spaciousness of larger motoryachts.
There have been a few "mega cats" available for charter in the past decade or so, most notably the 138-foot sailing cat Douce France, which launched in 1998, and the 134-foot powercat Seafaris, which launched in 2006. And while Ipharra is not quite on the scale of those boats, Sunreef is known for its catamarans (the charter firm is a sister company to a catamaran builder), and Ipharra will certainly be one of the largest on the Caribbean charter scene--by far. In the Virgin Islands, for instance, the largest cats tend to be the sisterships Akasha, Zingara, and King's Ransom, each measuring 76 feet in length. That's a massive difference versus a 102-footer in terms of total volume for guest spaces.
Ipharra's weekly base rate will be €55,000 for 10 to 12 guests with four crew. I hope to get a look onboard with more details for you during my next trip to the Caribbean, in December. Until then, any reputable charter broker can provide more information or help you book a week aboard.