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Explorer Yachts: The New Trend?

Simon Billington 140

Wandering around a busy marina, or Googling the latest trends in yachting, you can’t fail to notice the seismic shift currently taking place in the motor yacht market.

Manufacturers traditionally known for their fast planning sports cruisers are quickly turning their hand to a new style of vessel, as the “Explorer” yacht becomes de rigueur.

In the aftermath of the worst recession in living memory, tastes have changed; the vessel of choice these days is more Range Rover than Lamborghini and offers a number of significant advantages over the more ostentatious vessels that epitomised the pre-recession era.

Explorer yachts are long-range displacement vessels that offer excellent sea-keeping and spacious accommodation, suitable for ocean crossing and long periods of living onboard.

Whether you want to reduce fuel bills or do your bit to save the planet, burning less fuel invariably means going slower, but switching to a displacement hull also provides increased volume and a more comfortable ride. If you can come to terms with a slower pace of cruising and the idea of owning a “proper little ship” appeals to you, an explorer yacht could be the answer.

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Ranging in size from 40ft production boats to vast custom-built mega yachts, there is a suitable model to fit most budgets, however, it’s important to appreciate the difference between a vessel that simply “looks the part” and one with real globe-trotting credentials.

Popular amongst long distance cruisers, the Nordhavn range offers GRP production yachts from 40 to 120ft. A number of them have completed circumnavigations and the Nordhavn brand has, for some time, been leading the way in long-range motor yacht cruising.

If you’re looking for the added safety of a steel hull and the flexibility of a semi-custom build, the new range from Cape Scott are the safest motor yachts in the world, with armoured steel Ice Class hulls and a very impressive array of safety features.

You may not be planning a trip to Antarctica, but it’s still nice to know you have the toughest hull in the industry underneath you! You won’t need to compromise on comfort either, with Cape Scotts 58 to 137ft range featuring beautifully crafted custom interiors, zero-speed stabilizers and a very sea-kindly hull.

Not surprisingly, many yachts capable of circling the globe and battling arctic seas may never leave the warm waters of the Mediterranean or Caribbean. However, a well designed explorer yacht is still an excellent choice for the less adventurous owner, providing more accommodation than an equivalent sized planning vessel, with lower running costs and better resale value.

As financial, ecological and safety considerations become increasingly important, the current trend is likely to continue, with long range displacement yachts providing an ideal platform for modern hybrid propulsion systems and the latest safety technology.


Simon Billington is the Managing Director of Tendacentre, a specialist supplier of superyacht tenders and chase boats. Simon and his colleagues work with a wide range of market leading manufacturers to develop new products and improve existing ones, ensuring that the needs of their customers are catered for. Highly experienced in both custom and production vessels, Tendacentre can also offer maintenance and charter from their service centre on the Gulf of St Tropez and regularly ship tenders all over the world. Operating from offices in the UK and France, Tendacentre is part of the Private Yacht Group.

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