The sailing vessel (SV) Xplore is a British made, Panamanian registered and Australian owned yacht. It measures 20.47 meters or about 70 feet. It has been battle tested in the rugged Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean and it is really nice. I was privileged to be on it for a few days going to and from Pitcairn Island.
Captain Stephen Wilkins also owns the boat. He is a great guy who is incredibly knowledgeable about sailing and very professional. Safety is always first and everything is done on his boat as it should be.
The boat itself fits 8 passengers comfortably and up to 4 crew. The bunks are relatively spacious and even at 6’3”; I was able to stretch out fully in my bunk without hitting anything. Compared to other yachts I’ve ridden on, it was like heaven.
The bathrooms are spotless and very hygienic. They are cleaned throughout the day and you are given strict instructions on how to use and clean up after yourself. It also has a shower that is relatively easy to use.
The kitchen is stocked, spacious and even has a big eating and sitting area if it is raining on deck for meals. Luckily for me, it did rain a lot but we were always able to eat on deck. The fresh air helps a lot.
The cockpit area was large enough to have all hands on deck and have it not be annoying. There are a few cool little spaces that are super comfortable, especially when on the leeward side.
What else can you ask for from a chartered yacht? I couldn’t have been happier. In fact, I spent a good deal of time chatting with the skipper about doing some other trips in the Indian, South Atlantic and Antarctic seas. We are currently working out the details but hope to have some firm dates soon to work with for late this year.
My trip to Pitcairn, 51 hours there and 45 hours back to Mangareva, was certainly made hugely more manageable because of Stephen, his first mate Alexis and the fine yacht they operate. I even got to drive a little! I highly recommend the SV Xplore.
April 24, 2012 by 16 Comments