Are you up for an adventure? Many euro-built yacht owners and sailboat enthusiasts are now turning to expedition yachts to satisfy their need for long-distance cruising. Whether spending weeks exploring the Caribbean or cruising the countless islands of the Pacific Northwest, most expedition yacht builders focus on comfort and seaworthiness first and foremost. These are not boats that will exceed 30 knots, but rather are meant to cruise in the 8-12 knot range while burning very little fuel. Cutting-edge construction techniques like infusion with high-quality resin, have allowed these explorer boats to become lighter without losing durability. United Yacht Sales has expert brokers on staff that have sold many expedition yachts and would be happy to represent you in the purchase or sale of your next boat.
PRE-OWNED Expedition Yachts
122' Whangarei Engineering Fitzroy Yachts NZ 1979
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States
88' Torpoint Steel Boats Motor Yacht 1985
79' Custom Converted Royal Navy Fleet Tender 1972
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
76' Custom WJ Development 2006
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
74' Custom Robinson Modified Monk 1991
Poulsbo, Washington, United States
72' Offshore 2006
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
70' Custom Blue Sailor Shipyard 70' 2007
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Expedition Yachts vary in materials just like they do in design. Do you want full displacement or semi-displacement? Would you rather have a steel, composite, or aluminum hull? And most importantly, what type of range do you require for your anticipated cruising plans? These are all questions that a professional United Yacht broker can assist you with.
Below are some of the prominent expedition yacht brands available today:
- Cheoy Lee
- Hampton Yachts
- Hampton Endurance Yachts
- Lurssen Yachts
- Marlow Yachts
- Nordhavn Yachts
- President Yachts
While some explorer yacht builders use steel for their hull, some believe aluminum may be thebetter choice in the case of weight reduction, higher performance speed, better fuel consumption and seaworthiness.
The expedition yacht requires lots of crew space. Expert crew members are typically needed for long-range expeditions. An excellent example - the 26 meter Octopus, is well-known as the world’s largest explorer yacht and boasts an enormous crew of 50! However most owner/operators and couples wanting to cruise tend to buy a yacht that is easily managed. Now with many yachts having joystick controls and bow thrusters, the ease of handling has improved substantially.
The expedition will be taking its owners and guests to remote and exotic destinations so a full line-up of tenders and toys is a must. Look for seaplanes, helicopters, and sportfish yachts! The whole gamut. Ulysses, the 107.4 meter line-up is beyond awesome, with six motorbikes, a landing craft, an amphibious tender in its garage, not to mention a 21-metre, 50-knot catamaran support boat that can be hoisted off the foredeck by a pair of custom-designed cranes!!!
Many boating enthusiasts feel that explorer yachts are at their best measuring in at least at 40 meters long to carry all the essentials. Cantiere Delle Marche has been highly successful in building compact expeditions. This Italian builder has manufactured these ‘minis’ in the size range of 25 meters to its 33.4 meter Narvalo, created and born to cruise with the narwhals she was named after.
Want to test if a yacht is, indeed, an expedition yacht, then just zero in on the details of her maximum cruising range which translates to the distance it can travel without making a fuel stop. The majority of the yachts 40 meters and up usually have a transatlantic cruising range of around 3,000 nautical miles, but there are some exceptional expedition builds are set up to have an even longer range. And her long distance speed ranks in between 10 to 12 knots.”
Ice, the extraordinary 90 meter Lürssen yacht is a prime example being able to cruise up to 6,000 nautical miles at 15 knots and never needing to make a fuel stop!
The best shoppers will also want to consider the expeditions in questions emissions control, deep storage, and extreme maneuverability.
The mission profile for building an expedition yacht can be for any (or a combination) of the following…entire family reunion exploration, worldwide big game or fly fishing, remote dive expedition, the urge to check out unique and different cruising areas, a feeling of freedom while cruising, or several other reasons.
Since they were built to handle the roughest voyage conditions, safety and comfort of the owners, guests and crew must be the focus of the engineering and buying criteria . An expedition yacht needs possess an extremely efficient and sea-kindly hull. To meet this, the vessel should be a full displacement hull combined with excellent fuel capacity to reach at least a 4000nm range at 10 knots. Of course, the latest in high efficiency propulsion and energy systems, ensuring there are new batteries, chargers and converters, is necessary.
The entire exterior and interior of the vessel you decide on must be a piece of cake to maintain. This makes a key difference between many long range yachts and trawlers being built and one that you can call your own. Another idea when choosing the best expedition yacht is to know you can give it a new look, such as a white yacht, by replacing teak rails or decking with stainless or the latest in deck systems (i.e. Stone Decking). Since these yachts make thousands of miles a year, the up keep and standard of materials and systems is most important to help with all upkeep.
Finally, the engine room is another factor of crucial importance. Ensure that proven high wear equipment is used throughout and that it is a large, well laid out engine room designed to be easy for the crew to tend to. The goal is for any engineer hired will walk in and add a smile to his face!
Follow these tips and a smile will be eternally on yours too as the proud owner of a quality expedition yacht!