Superyacht for Sale…and you can pay with crypto or NFTs

Superyacht for Sale…and you can pay with crypto or NFTs

The day has come. The first superyacht has gone on sale whereby you can pay for it using cryptos or NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).

Built by the Benetti company, the 52m (170 ft) superyacht Vianne comes with a helipad and sky deck jacuzzi. And that’s not even the most unusual thing about it. What’s really unusual (for now) is that the owner has confirmed that the super yacht is for sale. And, that fiat currency is not the only way you can pay (fiat is normal money of a country, like Australian Dollars, Vietnamese Dong, or Thai Baht, for example). The owner wants 10% of the price paid to them in fiat currency. But they will accept the rest of the payment in any cryptocurrency. They will also accept any top tier NFT including: Cryptopunks, BAYC Apes.

SUPERYACHT: PRICE

On sale for €8.9m, Vianne is a steel-hulled superyacht with transatlantic range. She recently underwent a full technical and cosmetic refit in 2021 at the Italian shipyard Arpeca. She has new Ralph-Lauren-branded furniture inside and out, with a refresh of her water toys, including a new waterslide and floating water deck with pool. Vianna can accommodate 12 guests in 5 staterooms Vianna can accommodate 12 guests in 5 staterooms and is crewed by 12 staff.

Vianna is also on the charter market this winter, available at US$196,000 per week in the Caribbean. Whilst cryptocurrency payments are increasing in the yachting industry, this would make Vianne the largest ever yacht to be purchased with NFTs.

Superyacht

SUPERYACHT: WHAT IS AN NFT?

“Non-fungible” means the digital object is unique and can’t be replaced with something else. For example, a bitcoin is fungible — trade one for another bitcoin, and you’ll have exactly the same thing. A one- of-a-kind trading card, however, is non- fungible. If you traded it for a different card, you’d have something completely different. So now, you can “stamp” a digital artwork, or “trading card” online… And it will always be the original, no matter how many times it is copied. Artists and musicians are making their original songs or artworks into NFTs… and these NFTs are becoming very very valuable. So valuable, in fact, that they can be used INSTEAD OF money. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, made the very first Tweet – his own- into an NFT and then sold it for charity.

Cruise Retirement: Living The Retirement Dream

Cruise Retirement: Living The Retirement Dream

Are you looking for a retirement life that offers travel, adventure, and meeting people from all over the world? Follow Geoff and Leanne on their round-the-world cruise retirement.

Ever dreamt of selling up, seeing the world, and cruising the waterways of Europe? Well retirees, Geoff, and Leanne, are doing just that. They are a very ordinary Australian couple who have stepped up to a “life less ordinary”. Here Geoff describes how it all came about and how anyone can enjoy a similar cruise retirement lifestyle.

How it Began

Our friends all say that we’re ‘living the dream’ but I can tell you that’s just not true. Our wonderful lifestyle is way better than anything we could have dreamed up. In a nutshell, we’re an Australian couple who retired early at the end of 2016. We bought a motorboat in England and now spend about five months each year cruising the rivers, canals, and coastlines of Europe.

The end to another fantastic cruise retirement day
The end to another fantastic cruise retirement day!

The balance of the year we spend exploring the world aboard luxury cruise ships for free, by giving speaking presentations to fellow passengers, as well as doing pet and housesitting assignments. So how did it all come about? We lived on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland enjoying a wonderful lifestyle and way back in 2009 we had the opportunity to spend two weeks cruising the rivers and canals in Burgundy, France.

“Why Return To Australia?”

Whilst there, we met many Brits, Aussies and Kiwis who have retired and spend time each year cruising around the canals aboard their boats. They usually return home when the thermometer drops. Now this was a lifestyle we wanted for ourselves. Australia, like the UK, is an expensive place to live. When we did the sums, it became clear that we couldn’t afford to maintain a home in Australia resigned to the fact that this lifestyle would remain out of our financial reach. That is, until one day when a friend casually said, “So why return to Australia? There are much cheaper places to live abroad!”

The seed was planted. We certainly didn’t expect anything to happen until we turned 60 at the earliest, but in mid-2016, (while we were in our mid 50’s), events conspired that led us to review our current circumstances. When we did, there was the realisation that if we were careful financially, we could bring our plans forward. In fact, we could, and we really should do this now while we were still healthy and active enough to enjoy the lifestyle. 

Boat Shopping

We started looking for the perfect boat to suit our needs. We wanted a boat that was versatile enough that we could take it through the rivers and canals of Europe but also something that would be suitable if/when we wanted to venture out into open water and cruise around the coastlines of the Mediterranean countries.

After a lot of research, we soon came across Broom Boats. They are a well-known English manufacturer with a reputation for quality. We were immediately drawn to this boat due to its versatility. The radar arch folds down to reduce the air draft or height of the boat to fit under low bridges in Europe. And we loved the large aft owners’ cabin with its own ensuite and shower.

We viewed several boats online before choosing a Broom 39, from James Dickens Marine in Southampton. I flew to England in November 2016 to obtain a survey report and to conduct a sea trial for the boat, and when everything went very well, our purchase decision had been made.  

Retirement

Christmas Eve 2016 was our first day of retirement. Leanne and I made plans to sell or give away all of our possessions (nothing went into storage). After that, we rented the house that had been our home for the previous 20 years. We said farewell to family and a large group of wonderful friends, and left with only one suitcase each to travel to the far side of the world.

The cruise retirement life is a fantastic side-mission!
The cruise retirement life is a fantastic side-mission!

The End Goal

The end goal was to have no fixed address for an indeterminate period of time. Just before I finished up at work, I attended a cruise ship conference in Sydney. I was asked to replace a speaker who was ill and make an impromptu presentation. Afterwards I was approached by a woman who explained her role within the cruise ship industry. She was tasked with finding interesting speakers to entertain passengers. She asked whether I would be interested in being a speaker.

We didn’t really expect anything to come of it, but just before we flew out of the country, she contacted me. She asked if I would be available to present six talks aboard a ship leaving Singapore for a 14-day Far East Asian cruise. When I submitted my six topics the cruise line came back and asked if I would be available to do an additional 14-day cruise. Of course, part of the deal is that my wife Leanne gets to accompany me on these cruises.

Cruise Retirement Life

Leanne and I left Australia in early February 2017 and as well as the cruises spent some time in Penang, Malaysia which is an expat retirement haven. We had visited several places in Asia looking for somewhere that felt comfortable and was affordable.

We found that Penang ticked all the boxes. Accommodation is cheap, the food is incredible and affordable. Penang has the benefit of being very central, and culturally diverse. Penang is an ex-British colony, which means that most people speak some English.

Boat Pick Up

Leanne and I arrived in Southampton, England to pick up our boat in May 2017. We renamed it Sunshine Coast in honour of our former home and started to get used to our new home. We had never operated a boat of this size before and it took a few voyages to get confident with handling her.

This is the cruise retirement life!
This is the life! Geoff and Leanne on their vessel

Sights to See on our Cruise Retirement!

We took our time cruising along the English Channel, stopping to explore places like Portsmouth, Brighton and Ramsgate. We passed the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, before heading towards the big one, London. It was such a thrill to cruise up the Thames, under London Bridge, Tower Bridge and all the other bridges. We cruised past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and into our berth for the next month at Chelsea Harbour Marina.

Cruising past the Big Ben on the River Thames, London
Cruising past the Big Ben on the River Thames, London

We had a magnificent time in London. We ended up being guests of the All England Lawn Tennis Club for the two weeks of Wimbledon where we got to enjoy some wonderful matches including the men’s semi-finals. Then, just again by fluke, we met the Director of Les Misérables, who invited us for a backstage tour.

Finally, we met a gentleman at Wimbledon who invited us to be his dinner guests at the Royal Thames Yacht Club. Our experience is that the more you put yourselves out there, the more opportunities come up for you.

Continental Europe

It was now time to start the retirement plan though, and cruise across to Europe. We had heard all the horror stories about the English Channel and Lea was extremely nervous about the crossing. Once again, we were lucky though, because early one morning in July while stuck in a dreary Ramsgate, the weather gods opened a window for us.

We decided to stick our nose out for a peek and found the conditions were good enough. We put the throttle down, arriving in Dunkirk two hours later, much to Lea’s relief. Our original plan had been to turn south at Dunkirk and head further into France. However, we befriended a Belgium couple on another boat at the Dunkirk Marina who said Belgium was very nice, so we changed plans and headed north. Our new friends were right.

We had a wonderful first season exploring the Belgium countryside visiting stunning cities like Kortrijk, Ghent, Brugge and Ypres. While in Belgium we took a side trip to Scotland. Before retiring I had assisted the Scottish Commonwealth Games team set up a pre-Gold Coast Commonwealth games training and acclimatisation camp.

The final night of the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo
Geoff and Leanne enjoying the final night of the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo

The team then invited Lea and I to be their guests at the last night of the Royal Military Tattoo in Edinburgh in August 2017. Lea and I are both ex-military, so this was a huge highlight for us.

Winter Comes!

At the end of September, it started to get a bit chilly for us. So we put Sunshine Coast into hibernation at a marina in Antwerp. We had heard about people doing house and pet-sitting for people heading away on their own holidays, and decided to risk an investment of $200 on the site TrustedHousesitters.com.

We thought that if we were able to secure one week of petsitting and not have to pay for accommodation, it would have paid for itself. Within two weeks we had secured 23 weeks of pet-sitting in the UK and Cyprus. This is a win-win for everyone. Instead of the owners having to put their beloved pets into a home while they are away, we come in and care for the pets in their own environment. For us it’s great because we get to stay in some fantastic locations, at no cost.

We care for fur and feather families and getting our fix of unconditional love that only pets can provide. The only downside of our travels is not being able to have pets of our own, so we love the opportunity to pet-sit. Once we built up a reputation through references on Trusted Housesitters, we found that offers came in from all over the world.

We’ve been fortunate enough to pet-sit all over the UK, in Cyprus, Germany and Australia while on our cruise retirement journey. We’ve also had offers that unfortunately we couldn’t do, in places like St Kitts in the Caribbean, Whistler in Canada, the South of France and several places in the US. We have made some wonderful lifetime friends along the way.

Taking time off their cruise retirement in winter to pet sit
Geoff and Leanne taking time off their cruise retirement in winter to pet sit

The Cruise Retirement Life

We have been enjoying this wonderful retirement lifestyle now for three and a half years. During that time, we’ve cruised our boat in England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. Most of the rivers in Europe are connected and then interconnected by man-made canals. This was the way commerce used to be transported aboard barges before the introduction of trucks and trains.

The infrastructure is still there and usually free to use. Once again, we’ve made some wonderful friends and can’t get over how affordable it is to operate a boat in Europe compared to Australia. We simply can’t understand why more people aren’t doing this. Last season we spent most of our cruising season in Germany where the average marina cost for our 12 metre boat is about $18‑$26 moorings that we spent over 50% of our nights not paying anything. This included a berth right in the centre of Berlin.

Free mooring at Belgium for our cruise retirement
Free mooring at Belgium – must be time for a drink!

People ask us if this cruising is similar to driving an RV or towing a caravan around. I suppose cruise retirement is in a way because you are travelling and visiting new places. However, while cruising the canals at 6 knots (the speed limit), you tend to take in everything around you and really appreciate your environment. You’re forced to truly relax. There is no worry of a road train hurtling towards you at 100kph or what will happen if a tyre blows.

Challenges in the Cruise Retirement

There are certainly some challenges with this lifestyle. We had to work out how to stay in the EU longer than just the three-month tourist visa would allow. Luckily, Australia has reciprocal agreements in place with several EU countries. We had to work out travel and health insurance, navigate language barriers and other issues. Yet, the enjoyment far outweighs the obstacles. In the end it is these challenges that build your experience and confidence and enhances the adventures.

Lecturing aboard cruise ships has been another wonderful experience. I didn’t have any public speaking or lecturing experience prior to retirement. I literally fell onto the speaking circuit because I had an interest in maritime explorers and adventurers. Last year Lea and I spent four and a half months circumnavigating the world aboard luxury cruise ships at no cost. Once again we met and befriended some incredible people and enjoying some sensational experiences along our the journey.

Proudly flying our flag in Germany
Proudly flying our flag in Germany!

In the beginning, Lea was very hesitant, first about retiring early, and then about leaving the Sunshine Coast. We had to name our boat Sunshine Coast so she could still live on the Sunshine Coast! She was very nervous about travelling to the far side of the world to live on a boat for the first time.

Everything we’ve done though, has led us to another wonderful experience or adventure which has, in turn led to another. Lea would now be the first person to say, that retirement was the best decision we have ever made.

Pet Sitting Opportunity

If you would like to try pet-sitting, then join Trusted Housesitters with the code RAF155789 to enjoy discounted membership. If you would like further information about the lifestyle contact Geoff or Leanne at Retiredafloat@gmail.com or their Facebook page Retired Afloat.

Do you love to travel, but would rather something a little more close to home? Check our this interesting article following Peter and Jan on their trout fishing journey in their caravan!

Aqua – The Most Beautiful Vessel on the Sea

Aqua – The Most Beautiful Vessel on the Sea

Aqua. Remember that word if you are thinking about a boating holiday… Check out  what the 1% are hitting the high seas in!

This boat is not so much a boat – but a bucket list on water. Named ‘Aqua,’ this is amazing concept superyacht comes with an eye-watering price tag of $645 million.

And here’s the fascinating bit – it has been designed to run on liquid hydrogen. The only emission that will come out of it is water.

Recently, Bill Gates was rumoured to have commissioned one to be built for his family’s seafaring life. However, the company who designed this incredible seafaring vessel – Sinot – have been forced to release press information saying that there is currently no connection with Gates.

The yacht debuted at the Monaco Yacht Show at the tail-end of 2019. This silver beast has room for 14 guests and 32 crew. While on board, passengers can use the gym, a yoga studio, beauty room and massage parlour.

Says Sinot, “In the design and development of Aqua, our team derived inspiration from owners’ lifestyles, the fluid versatility of water and cutting-edge technology, combining all of this in a 112m superyacht with truly innovative features.”

AQUA PROPULSION

Many new seafaring vessels have been highly optimised over the past few years. Diesel-electric combinations have grown in popularity. But Sinot want to take the discussion into an entirely new realm. They are doing this with their hydrogen-electric system, which is capable of providing all onboard energy needs.

Using hydrogen, Aqua can hit 17 knots and travel 6035kms before the need to refuel. That’s about the distance from England to the USA. There is a second back-up diesel engine, just in case there isn’t a hydrogen refuel point on the way.

As for the tanks, they are huge. Each tank weighs 28 tons, is vacuum sealed and cooled to -253C in order to hold the hydrogen fuel. In fact, the two massive liquified hydrogen tanks have been made into onboard art. On the lowest level, the hexagonal-textured surface structure of the tanks sits behind a giant façade of strengthened glass.

THE DECKS

Aqua is configured with a with a five-deck set up. The aft deck features a unique and innovative series of platforms cascading down towards the sea. A large swim platform allows all Aqua passengers to enjoy the ocean at sea level.

WELLNESS

The indoor health and wellness centre is a water-world of serenity. To get to the wellness area, passengers pass through a sensational circular tunnel. Moon-shaped portals surrounding the central lobby lead to the gymnasium and massage room.

The hydro massage room offers massages administered by pressurised water jets. Invented by the Romans, hydro massage remains one of the most popular, wellbeing-enhancing massage techniques.

The gymnasium has a gym-wide hatch, which opens to reveal the ocean’s surface at water level. This creates the perception of exercising on an island paradise. A yoga space and workout floor is positioned so that all gym users to enjoy the magnificent views and close proximity to the water. All the while, they are protected by the strengthened panoramic glass window.

OTHER INTERIOR AREAS

Situated at Aqua’s core, the spectacular circular staircase is one of the yacht’s defining features. It winds from the top deck, down to the lower deck. It floats naturally in place around a cylindrical void.

The spectacular owner’s pavilion occupies the front half of the upper deck. It is the ultimate private apartment – arranged in a vast open-plan area of interlinked spaces. It is divided by finely-crafted wooden screens providing intimacy and subdued lighting. Floor-to-ceiling windows supply an incredible impression of openness and freedom.

Aqua’s large master bathroom is accessed directly from the bedroom section in the owner’s pavilion. The use of premium surface finishes, such as the pitchblack, and highly reflective precious marble floor, accentuates the timelessness of the interior.

With amazing views over the ocean, the scenery can be enjoyed from both the showers and the free-standing bathtub.

ROOMS

Located on Aqua’s beach deck, close to the waterline, the spacious VIP state rooms have perfect ocean views. Features include textured silk carpets, fully customised furniture pieces in sustainable woods and the use of multiple textures in wall and ceiling panelling.

SOCIAL AREAS

Aqua’s beach deck lounge is a constellation of interlocking spaces. Its inner section has a secluded fine dining setting, for 14 guests. Towards the aft deck, there’s a custom-designed circular couch. It is ideal for hosting informal chats while enjoying the seascape view through the floor-to-ceiling glass façades.

The circular setting can also be rotated to transform it into a home cinema.

To the aft deck, where the infinity pool cascades to sea level, there are sets of lounge chairs with the best views of the ocean. Gel-fuelled fire bowls allow guests to stay warm without having to burn wood or coals.

The inside and outside of this vast space can be connected by opening the curved, sliding, floor-to-ceiling glass doors. It has been designed for intimate alfresco dining or extensive sunbathing in absolute privacy.

THE BRIDGE

Aqua’s wheelhouse is located under the bubble hood-shaped roof on the bridge deck. It is designed as a cockpit with a 360° view all around. It creates both a great working environment. And, a spectacular space in which the owner and guests can enjoy the operation of the yacht.

Want to buy this beast? The vessel is not expected to be ready to take to the open seas until 2024. So you may have to wait. It looks like it will be worth all the suspense, though!

For further reading, click here

If you are looking for other environmentally-friendly seafaring vessels, check out the Black Pearl. 

Driverless Yachts Are On Their Way!

Driverless Yachts Are On Their Way!

Driverless yachts are finally here! Drink-boating is just around the corner! (Just kidding that’s terrible advice).

There is now a yacht that pilots itself. A robotics start-up founded by three engineering students is making headlines. They have been developing technology to create boats similar to Google’s driverless cars. And we can’t wait!

For quite some time, scientists have been working on driverless solutions for maritime shipping, search-and-rescue operations and security work. But driverless tech has been absent from recreational boating until now. Since forming a few years ago, the Buffalo Automation Group has successfully tested its technology on a 16-foot catamaran.

Dance instead of drive!

Dance instead of drive!

Driverless Yachts – Patents Pending

The company has filed two provisional patent applications and secured thousands of dollars in funding. “The success we’ve had illustrates there is a market for safe, highly-effective and easy-to-use marine autopilot systems. They can provide recreational boat owners with well-deserved peace of mind,” says Thiru Vikram, the company’s CEO. Fellow co-founders Shane Nolan, and Alex Zhitelzeyf agree.

Each year, recreational boating accidents cause hundreds of fatalities and thousands of injuries. Buffalo Automation Group wants to reduce those numbers through use of its technology. The company is targeting small yachts and inboard boats up to 40 feet long. Driverless yachts could save lives.

The yacht will drive itself while you hide from weird pirates

The yacht will drive itself while you hide from weird pirates

Nolan says, “These are vessels that are big enough for a family to spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks on the water. But they’re often too small to hire a crew, or even a junior captain, so the captain must keep constant vigil over the boat.”

Autopilot

Like aeroplanes, many of these boats have an autopilot option. The problem, Zhitelzeyf says, is that these systems are reactive. They only respond after the boat senses a change in tide, wind or other conditions. The technology that Buffalo Automation Group is developing uses a combination of sensors, cameras and wireless communication systems. It is predictive, meaning it fuses real-time data, such as weather conditions and obstacles in the water (boats, swimmers, logs, etc.), with nautical charts and other static information. This preempts any threats to the boat and its course of direction.

Just think of all the stupid things you can do if you don't have to drive your boat

Just think of all the stupid things you can do if you don’t have to drive your boat

Designed for new and used vessels, the system would dock the boat and allow the captain, at any time, to easily regain control over the boat. It also has the potential to reduce insurance costs. Zhitelzeyf says, “You will connect your smartphone or laptop to the system. From there, you use your device to tell the system where you’d like to go. It then guides the boat, from port to port, using the safest, most efficient route possible.”

The co-founders plan to continue to refine the technology while meeting with potential investors, boat manufacturers and retailers that sell marine electronics.

We here at GCLife are all about the robot yachts. Who wants to pilot a boat when you could be jumping off the back and catching a live marlin with your bare hands? And yes, we can do that, stop doubting us. ■

 

Boat Garages are Happening! Local Builders, Take Note!

Boat Garages are Happening! Local Builders, Take Note!

OVER THE Pacific Ocean in America, construction companies are getting serious about catering to boat owners. And what they have come up with is a stroke of genius.

Boat garages are now being built into houses in Florida. Nice!

Boat garages are now being built into houses in Florida. Nice!

Richmond American Homes of Florida are offering a new type of home design that includes attached garages that house marine vessels. So if you are a seafarer, you won’t have to build an unwieldy detached shed on your property. Your beautiful vessel will have its own toasty little place to be in the world.

Inside the boat garage. Think of all of the useless crap you could store in here!

Inside the boat garage. Think of all of the useless crap you could store in here!

Boat House Varieties

There are four different types of homes that offer the boat garage option. The garages are also tall enough to house a maxi-sized RV as well. Or you could just pile up your motorcycle collection, you know you want to! And of course, you would have space for 407 types of fishing rods too. DO IT!

The boat garage is also big enough to house an RV.

The boat garage is also big enough to house an RV.

Richmond Homes say they are responding to demand in Florida, which has a very similar climate to the Gold Coast. Additional highlights of the house designs include a mudroom with bathroom, so you don’t walk your salty and sandy self through the house. Overall this house promises neatness. Your boat is tucked neatly away, you don’t walk your dirty self through the house.. it’s a neatfreak’s dream!

The houses are selling from around US$250,000, and are 3 to 5 bedrooms. House builders on the Gold Coast, take note! This could totally be a thing here in the Goldie. Let’s steal their ideas and go forth, because dammit, we all want a boat garage! ■

 

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