It's a super yacht, even James Bond would agree

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 May, 2010, 12:00am

It's time to beat Bond, James Bond.

Sure, the fictional secret agent looked cool sailing a Superhawk 43 in his last flick, Quantum of Solace, but his boat is completely dwarfed next to the Jade 95 Explorer.

The almost 30-metre monster motor yacht, worth HK$77 million, opened its enormous decks to the public in the annual Hong Kong Gold Coast Boat Show this weekend at the Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club.

It is the biggest and most expensive yacht among about 70 on show at the event. A bar lounge is a must on any luxury yacht, and this one has two. There is a giant sofa for sunbathing on the top deck which converts into a golf practice pitch from which one can hit balls into the sea.

And if the three guest rooms and a master bedroom are not impressive enough, a look into washrooms reveals more luxury: heaters installed underneath marble floors, so no one gets cold feet.

Jade Yachts vice-president Memphis Han Tsung-lin said the boat could serve as a family hotel during a trip around the Caribbean.

Made with steel and aluminium, the yacht was well-fitted for long-distance trips, he said. One tank of fuel was enough to power the boat from Hong Kong to Guam.

The yacht, with a top speed of 12.5 knots, may be slower than others, with a trip to Taiwan expected to take about 44 hours. But many owners chose to fly to pick-up points after crews had sailed their boats there, he explained. Jade Yachts began production in 2004 and its yachts were 15 to 20 per cent cheaper than European ones, he said.

But if you're a dedicated James Bond fan, you can view yachts produced by Sunseeker, the manufacturer which built Superhawk. The boats are pretty easy to spot: they are the ones berthed beside an Aston Martin, Bond's vehicle of choice.

The Predator craft can move along at more than 40 knots, making it the speediest boat in the Gold Coast show. It is bigger than the Superhawk and can go as fast as turbojets heading to Macau, Sunseeker Asia managing director Gordon Hui Yip-wang said.

'A Predator is like a sports car,' he said. People usually choose them for personal enjoyment instead of business purposes.'

The 25.6 metre Predator at the show comes with a HK$47 million price tag.

Another James - the Liberal Party's former chairman James Tien Pei-chun owns a 35 metre one which cost him about HK$90 million.

Still, you don't have to spend squillions to buy a yacht. The cheapest one at the show is an open-top sailing yacht - without a toilet - priced at a mere HK$200,000.

A 16.75 metre yacht is a step up, at HK$4 million, plus about HK$400,000 annually for crew, fuel and miscellaneous costs, Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club general manager Albert Wu I-ming said.

James' plaything

James Tien Pei-chun, former Liberal Party chairman owns a 35 metre yacht which cost him, in HK dollars, about: $90m

Running costs

A 16.75 metre yacht will cost you HK$400,000 a year to run, once you've covered its price tag, in HK dollars, of: $4m