*** The essence of Essence ***

At some point in their history most successful custom builders are able hit a sweet spot in the design and execution of a truly special yacht. So special, in fact,  that it becomes their flagship. For Vicem Yachts, that flagship was their 2006 Vicem 85 Classic – Essence. 

Essence is the largest and most elegant downeast-styled yacht that Vicem (or any other builder on the planet) ever splashed. Certainly she is the largest express-style lobster boat anywhere. It is hard to overstate the grandeur she presents on the water:


Her interior views are no less stately:


A truly amazing yacht! I can unequivocally say  that everyone who has ever boarded Essence has come away speechless. And that includes numerous A-list celebrities who have returned many times to enjoy her in charter ( I can’t publicly name them, but buy me a drink or two at the Fort Lauderdale show, and let’s see what slips…).

As you may have guessed by now, I am both excited and honored to announce today that Essence is now for sale. She and I are now actively in search of her next owner. It should be you…

This head-turner makes a powerful statement in every harbor she enters. Here she is in the Bahamas, and like all great designs she appears to move, even when at rest:

As impressive as her lines are, to me the true soul of Essence come from her two large, beautifully furnished salons. Down below a formal salon of 360 square feet (and how many yachts do you know where you can talk about square footage?) provides seperate seating and dining areas for eight pampered guests, adjacent to the chef’s galley:

Add to her a second salon of 280 square feet on the pilothouse deck (with seating and dining for eight, adjacent to the outdoor grill) –

– and you get palatial accommodations without any sacrifice to intimacy.

And I haven’t even gotten to her huge cockpit area yet. With her upper salon and cockpit on the same level, there area almost 45 running feet of indoor/outdoor living space:

I have run Essence in Europe and in the States with as few as two, and as many as forty-five guests. Everything and everyone just fits in a state of pure elegance. I’ve been aboard more than a few megayachts that fall short when measured against Essence’s aesthetic.

The owner has decided to make a move back to sailing, his first love. So Essence is now being offered seriously for sale at $1,950,000 ($1,500,000 less than when she was last on the market). The full listing can be seen here:


Essence resides in Palm Beach. I am pleased to say that special arrangements have been made to chauffeur my clients (by the owner’s Bentley) to and from the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show so that they can spend some quality time aboard this one of a kind yacht.  Please call me for an appointment.

It is, I’ll repeat, an honor to be associated with this work of art.


Big Wave Dave


PS: Some history – I watched Essence getting built, stick by stick as they say, in 2005 and 2006. I was commuting to Istanbul on a monthly basis back then, and that gave me a sort of “fast forward” perspective on how a flagship like this gets built. She took up at least a quarter of the factory, and in fact was so big that it was hard for me to get a handle on her grandeur until she went in the water.

I watched her first sea trial from my favorite wine bar on the Asian side of Istanbul (want a great wine? Oküzgözü, meaning bull’s eye, is a really good red). She passed under the Bosporus’ Ataturk Bridge at sunset, where she was lit up by the city’s  nightly summer fireworks display. It was a moving experience. A line from Steinbeck’s Sea of Cortez  kept pulling at me – something about a “boat-shaped mind.” I looked it up later, and today it is my [small] gift to you:

And a boat, above all other inanimate things, is personified in man’s mind. Some have said they have felt a boat shudder before she struck a rock, or cry when she beached and the surf poured into her. This is not mysticism, but identification. Man, building this greatest and most personal of all tools, has in turn received a boat-shaped mind, and the boat, a man-shaped soul.

For me that is the essence of Essence. I look forward to sharing her with you during the Fort Lauderdale show.

*** Crunch of the Week ***

I. Crunch of the Week:

As far as I’ve been able to determine, The Fog Warning is the most widely read blog in this (rather small) industry. On average,  anywhere from 2,500 to 3,500 people around the world are regular readers (not counting shares and forwards, which I can’t track).  So a huge thank you to all my loyal readers for your continued support and engagement. And don’t be shy about sending these on to your friends and family. I do appreciate it.

I’m very happy to report that last week’s posting (that scary shipboard docking explosion) was the most widely read posting in the ten years I’ve been doing this. It had over 4,000 readers!

This could be a random activity blip, a lucky outlier, or maybe it just means people like maritime disasters. I don’t want to fall into the TV news practice of “If it bleeds, it leads,” but in biz you have to listen to your clients. So I’ll be sprinkling this kind of coverage around here and there, starting this week.

So here’s your crash of the week (literally), in one of my favorite harbors in the world:

The boat biz takes me to Portofino fairly often, but not so often that I lose my amazement over how many yachts cram themselves into that tiny harbor. Sometimes it seems you can almost skip from the cliffs on the west to the docks on the east by walking from boat to boat. But that doesn’t excuse this crash!

Last week’s posting attributed that explosion to the boat, and largely absolved the Captain. But this one? Sorry Captain, but this one is user error,  beginning to end. Even if his back up cameras weren’t functioning, boats of this size always have crew hanging off the transom with portable radios, keeping closely in touch with the bridge. A friend from La Spezia told me that the official explanation was “gear failure.” I don’t buy that for a second. What do you think?

II. Time to go…

A client called me last week to say this about his brokerage listing:

“It’s time for this boat to go away.”

Mind you, it wasn’t a sad statement, as he’s going to build a new boat. We had a long talk about how to make this happen, and when we hung up, the song Hello, I Must Be Going  popped into my head. Even if you know the song well (and who knew Groucho had a range of  one and a half octaves?) stick with it for his inspired dance at minute 1:45. Such amazing, physical humor:


So yes,  its time for our Reliant 40 Commuter brokerage boat to go away! Here’s her plans:


The owner has just dropped the asking price by $55,000! He is now asking $595,000, and the full listing can be found here:

Our Yachtworld Listing

She is in Florida at the moment and will be coming north in the next few weeks. Which means you will have at least two opportunities to see (and sea trial) her this summer!

  • First, you are invited to come to Reliant Yachts’ dockside event in Sag Harbor, NY on July 22nd and 23rd! You can spend as much time as you like aboard the Commuter 40, and sea trials are available by appointment (if you let me know quickly). She will be located exactly here:


  • Then she comes to Maine in August. We will be displaying her at the Maine Boats and Harbors Show in Rockland from August 11th through the 13th. If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending this show before, let me say that it is a wonderful, intimate show in a quintessential downeast town. With no more than 3,000 or so attendees, there is plenty of time and space to take a leisurely look at boats you will love (at least two of my clients bought their Vicems here). Full details about the show can be found at The Maine Boats and Harbors Show, and sea trials can be had by appointment.

III. On The Subject of Brokerage

You will see some of our latest brokerage listings popping up here in the coming weeks. And that calls for another classic clip:

Why post this now (not that anyone needs a reason to laugh hysterically)? Because you have many choices in listing your boat for sale. I estimate that there are between six and nine thousand brokers on just the east coast who would be happy to list your boat. But if this video proves anything, it is that real talent is a rare thing. You can try to copy it, but nothing succeeds like the real deal.

At Reliant Yachts, between Dave McFarlane, Jim Ewing and myself, we’ve sold in excess of $50 million in fine yachts in our time. Our Rolodex (to use a word from a bygone era) is the deepest in the industry. There is virtually no one we don’t know, or can’t access, in the service of selling your boat for you.

What’s my point?  If you’re thinking about selling your boat, call me to work out an effective marketing strategy. As readers of this blog probably recognize, I love creative marketing.

IV. A Closing Note

If you’re lucky enough to spend your time playing in, on, and under the ocean, you probably have no shortage of passions. I certainly have more than my share. But if I have to choose one above the rest, it’s salt water fly fishing:

Captain Dave at Montauk

Last week I was on my flats boat at one of my secret spots in Peconic Bay. It’s a place where, when the stars align and the universe wants to smile upon you,  some very large bass can come into water as shallow as 24 inches.  Just as I was quitting for the day, out of the corner of my eye I saw a fish-as-submarine ghost her way up onto the flat (at +45 inches and +40 pounds, most probably it was a “she”). But while she was seen only from the corner of my eye, I was clearly front and center in hers. So she quickly ghosted back into deeper water before I could cast. She was the largest bass I’ve ever seen on the flats. She left me shaking.

I’ve been thinking about this fish, and the life she’s lived, all week. She’s probably thirty years old, or half my age. Which means that for thirty springs she has slowly made her way up from her Chesapeake Bay winter grounds, to feed or spawn in Long Island waters. Or perhaps she leaves Montauk to starboard and makes her way north to Nantucket, or downeast Maine.  She’s probably seen hundreds of flies and lures swim by her in her time, but wisdom born of age and experience has kept her safe. I’m sure she is far more worried about a Mako shark or a large seal than this middle-aged Jewish guy with a five ounce fly rod. But she was concerned enough to drift off my flat, and out of my life. I wish her well.

Writing this today I realize that it wasn’t the fish’s size that moved me. No, it was the size of her life. I’m humbled by the waters she’s travelled, the things she’s seen, and the lessons she’s learned. I add that special feelings to the many that have come from my time on the water. So I sign off now with this “message in a bottle for you,” my 4,000 loyal readers:

Get yourselves out on the water this week, my friends, and live large.


The stuff that dreams are made of…


Dreams indeed!

Sixty-five years after Bogart starred in The Maltese Falcon, famed Italian builder Perini Navi stunned the yachting world with this namesake:

Perini Navi’s Maltese Falcon

Movie night, Cannes

Turkish craftsmanship

Unparalleled Craftsmanship

With a budget of almost $200 million, owner Tom Perkins could have chosen to have this yacht built by anyone, anywhere in the world. He chose Perini Navi because they had the know-how to build a sailboat of this size and technology.

And where, pray tell, did Perini Navi choose to build her?

In Turkey!

Specifically, in my Turkish home-away-from-home: Tuzla

The Shipyards of Tuzla, Turkey

Located a couple of hours east of Istanbul, Tuzla’s concentration of skilled craftsmen is a prime reason why we build our Reliant Yachts there. I’m pleased to announce that you’ll be able to see one of those yachts –our 40′ Commuter– at the Palm Beach Boat Show next month.

To tide you over until then, I offer for your viewing pleasure this review of her:

Power & Motoryacht Review – Reliant 40

Speaking of Tuzla’s finest,  I can now share with you the details of our latest sale:

Reliant X40

This rocket splashes in early 2018, and she will be a luxury yacht for a luxury yacht. This exciting mega yacht tender will be of carbon fiber composite construction, have 40 knot plus speed under joystick control, and be balanced by a Seakeeper stabilizer. Homeport will be in Italy.

You can find the full press release here:

X40 Press Release

And of course feel free to track me down for pricing and full specifications.

Now, you may ask what else was built in Tuzla? Howzabout this, our latest brokerage listing:

 Mahogany Rose – 2007 Vicem 67 Flybridge

I am proud to say that I helped design this fine yacht for her knowledgable owner. He is now looking to move down in size, making Mahogany Rose the perfect yacht for someone looking for a ship expressly designed for extended cruising. Anything from a long trip to Maine, a month in the Bahamas, or  the entire Great Loop would be safely and comfortably in reach.

I’ve come across very few yachts built with the kind of foresight and intelligence that went into this V67.  For example:

  • She has a fully rotating radar mast. In her “upside-down” position her “vertical draft” is 19′. You may have come across that critical number in your travels and readings because that is the height of the Chicago Bridge that connects Lake Michigan to the Illinois River. No boat can do the Great Loop unless it can get under this bridge. Mahogany Rose clears it every time.
  • She has a massive twin windlass anchor system, one more commonly found on hundred-foot yachts.
  • Her bow and stern thrusters are those spec’d for an 85′ yacht.
  • A unique Murphy-bed type design converts her guest cabin’s queen-size berth into a full size executive desk.

Desk down

Bed down

I could go on and on (trust me, I will) but you get the idea. I will have updated pix shortly. But of course you can see the full listing at:

Our Yachtworld Listing

So, loyal readers, please stand by for a flood of news in the next few weeks, including details about:

  • Our display at the the Palm Beach Boat Show.
  • A brokerage Reliant opportunity
  • Some exciting sailboat news.

But for now, you know the drill – Any questions or comments, just launch a flare.

And remember, as always, the only line I’m famous for in this industry:

You Snooze, You Lose!

Thanks for listening.