The Hamptons in the high summer season is a definite state of mind destination. Quite frankly any town or village near an ocean in the summer with amazing beaches is a great place to be on a hot summer’s day. However, we all have our modes of transportation to get to those destinations. There is the car if you or your companion owns one. Then there are the Hampton Luxury Liner, Hampton Jitney, or LIRR trains. For a few there are limos, sea planes, private jets and helicopters. AND above that…there are the Super Yachts.
Now retired, I sail a modest 22′ Catalina out of Three Mile Harbor, East Hampton into Gardiner’s Bay from May to November. I see amazing sunsets, wonderful Gardiner’s Bay unspoiled beach vistas of Cedar Point, Shelter Island, Orient Point, Plum Island, Gardiner’s Island and of course East Hampton. In the last two weeks two “Super Yachts” have parked off Sammy’s Beach just outside Three Mile Harbor.
First, for a few days after the 4th of July, there was the 371 Le Grand Bleu, a floating fortress with toys galore. Toys like a 73 ft. Dubois sailboat mounted on the starboard side deck, along with a 68 ft. Sunseeker motor yacht that was also mounted on the port side deck. Nice right? Hello, there’s more: there were also two 36′ power boats that go over 60 knots (30mph) along with a landing craft to carry a 4×4 Land Rover to shore, as well as two heliports for the helicopters for that quick getaway. That is why I call the Le Grand Bleu, a Super Yacht.
So who owns this incredible vessel? Le Grand Bleu was reportedly owned by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich who “passed on the yacht” to his business associate and friend Eugene Shvidler as Abramovich had the delivery of his new Yacht Eclipse (571Ft,) built for a reportedly $1.9B. The Le Grand Bleu is powered by two 4,570 bhp (boiler horse power) each. The crew can vary from 35 to 65, depending on what it is being used for.
There I was with my 40-year-old 22′ Catalina sailing by Le Grand Bleu doing my classic nautical wave to the folks on board who waved back. This was also the yacht that was parked in front of the Statue of Liberty around July 4, before heading to the Hamptons. The value of the Le Grand Bleu is roughly estimated around $275M and upward to $750M, it is a guarded secret, thus the “gifted” status.
On July 20, outside Three Mile Harbor, the sailboat super yacht Ghost was anchored. Now this $32M sailboat (launched 2006) that is 122′ long wins those maxi yacht races around the world in its class. Ghost was floating majestically while some of its occupants where waterskiing on the calm waters off Sammy’s Beach, East Hampton right outside Three Mile Harbor.
Ghost is technically a lightweight performance ocean runner yacht with a lightweight carbon hull. Its 145 ft. mainsail automatically unfurls from within the mast. The sleek lines were designed by Luca Brenta & Co. Yacht Designs. Piero Lissoni designed the interior also using a minimalist concept. Ghost has a unique “extended skylight panel,” and looking at it as I did from say 60 ft. away it seems to cover the extended length of the superstructure. Truly a graceful, pleasing to eye work of art sailboat. It is reported leased out by superyachts.com. Need some fun call them but bring your credit card they don’t take cash.
The 315′ Vava II, owned by Swiss pharmaceutical genius Ernesto Bartarelli who reportedly had the toy built for over $170M for his U.K. Beauty Queen Wife, the former Miss U.K. Kristi Bartarelli, was also parked in Gardiner’s Bay. As I sailed around her the helicopter came in!
If you walk down to Sag Harbor during the summer you can gaze at about an estimated $1B to $3B worth of floating yachts depending on the week. As for me, I am keeping my 22′ Catalina, it cost me $1,800 but it has given me and my wife Cindi a billion dollars worth of happiness and joy.