Luxury Boat of the Week: The World’s Largest Sailing Ketch Doubles as a Luxury Home on the Water

Dated: March 15, 2021
Category: News

Luxury boat of the week: The 283-foot vessel just happened to set a record for its size. The owner was more interested in seeing the world from a bespoke lap of luxury.

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The 282-foot Aquijo might be the largest high-performance sailing ketch in the world, but that wasn’t the primary goal of its design. The owner’s intention was to build a fast world cruiser that could sail to the ends of the earth, but just as importantly, have huge amounts of interior space that would make the sailing superyacht feel like home anywhere.

Aquijo is a boat built for escapism. “The owner wanted to go and see the world on his yacht,” Gerhard Veldsman, her captain, told Robb Report.  “We’ve been around the world once already, and returned to Holland in early 2020 to complete the boat’s five-year survey. After Covid hit, everything changed.”

The plan had been to make a refit pit stop in the Netherlands before heading through the Northwest Passage to the Pacific, and then embarking on a second world circumnavigation. That voyage has been postponed until travel restrictions ease, or at least until a time when fragile countries are less vulnerable to the pandemic. “I doubt the vaccine will be available in the small island nations as quickly as everywhere else” says Veldsman. “So we’re just sitting tight.”

Built in 2016, Aquijo was an unusually complex sailing yacht, a collaboration between Oceanco and Vitters. Her owner is a seasoned sailor who first chartered every large, iconic sailing vessel out there, from the 289-foot Maltese Falcon and Enigma (when named Phocea) to Mirabella V, before embarking on a design and build of his own yacht.

“His aim was to take the best design pieces out of each of those yachts to construct Aquijo,” says Veldsman. “That included matching Maltese Falcon in size, but adopting a large bar on the aft deck with a beer tap.”

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