The Great Southern Route : 2013 - 2014
GSR|17 vessels of this type now represent a much larger percentage of new motor yacht output from yards around the world. If you want to sail across the Pacific in comfort, you can do so in anything from a big ketch from Alloy Yachts to a smaller sloop from Swan. And of course you can follow in Captain Slocum's wake and embark in a modest 37-footer, the modern version of which will offer much more tolerable accommodation than Spray ever could. In a motor yacht, range is the thing whether you're on board a Benetti or a Feadship, a Delta or a Schweers, along with dependable machinery and structural integrity, particularly if you're going to encounter ice. Jack Setton wanted to do it all, which was entirely in character for the man who had led the field in the burgeoning hi-fi and audio market of the 1970s and 1980s and who would continue to invest time and money in some of the most avant-garde communications and electronics inventions and technologies of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. He owned a De Vries built, 57.30 metre Feadship named Belle France, which he took round the world, partly to escape the overcrowding he had witnessed in some of his favourite European cruising grounds and partly to plan his ideal expedition yacht. He recalled the reasons for the voyage during an interview he gave in 2005. "I realized that, in a civilized country, the sea is less private than a house is; you cannot be alone on the sea any more than you can in a bay, so that took away quite a lot of my passion for boats." One of the many interesting things he would discover in the Pacific was that Belle France was too large for some of the most out-of-the-way places but her tenders (of which the longest was eight metres) were not big enough for the owner's party to enjoy the surroundings either. "That was the whole idea of going around the world on Belle France, which was a magnificent vessel; you realize that the yacht has advantages and disadvantages. The conclusion was that I had so much time at sea to devote to the creation of something more appropriate. For me, the big boat is really the wrong way: you need a mother ship for the big tenders." As was his wont, Jack Setton was about to establish a trend, this time toward larger expedition yachts, which could carry bigger tenders and have the range, seaworthiness and self-sufficiency to take the more adventurous to new destinations as the converted Smit tug Itasca had begun to do for her owner Bill Simon and her captain Allan Jouning. And, typically, he looked In the early 1900's Nahlin cruised as far south as New Zealand. Itasca rammed her way through solid ice, pushing aside chunks the size of football fields.
2010 - 2011