Message from the owner
Gloria was a dream project for me. I have been a boat owner since 1967 when my father and I bought a share in a little Norfolk boat to use on the River Thames. I had been in the Sea Scouts on the Thames when I was 11 years old and enjoyed learning about the river’s tides and currents.
I have sailed and raced since 1976, but I always wanted a yacht that was large enough to cross the Atlantic and other big oceans. I wanted to be able to say those magic words: ‘……see you in Brazil……’ or ‘……see you on the Isle of Skye……’, and those are cruises I still look forward to. But I am not an adventurer. I enjoy the familiar waters of the Caribbean and the North-East coast of the USA. Gloria has also spent time in Cornwall in the UK where I learned to sail, and sometimes in the Mediterranean in Corsica, the Ligurian coast, the Balearic Islands and the Cote d’Azur.
A sailing boat – however large – can’t offer the same scale of accommodation as a motor yacht of the same length, but sailing along at 11 to 13 knots on Gloria, effortlessly cruising from place to place, is an experience that is hard to describe.
‘She is a strong, heavy steel yacht of over 160 tons, of traditional design with no gimmicks, but the easily managed sail area drives this massive yacht wonderfully, throwing the sea to one side – it never fails to uplift and excite me.’
I have also been amazed at how well Gloria has done racing against other superyachts. We’ve had our bad days of course, but my very first race the day I bought the yacht was in the Newport Bucket in 2010 where we came second in our class. More recently in 2014 we won our class in the Antigua Superyacht Challenge. Our competitors are starting to worry when we sail into port: we are attracting a vigorous and experienced young crew for racing that belie Gloria’s old fashioned appearance. She is a fast yacht when she needs to be, always steady and reassuring. I am not the best passenger, but I have never felt queasy on Gloria. (If in doubt I am not too proud to take a tablet! Sailing is supposed to be fun after all).
Gloria is also a yacht that is comfortable at anchor for extended periods, and is an extremely luxurious base when in a marina like English Harbour where she enjoys a special ‘home’ berth alongside with very easy access on a pontoon with overnight security. Sometimes I just sit on the dock and enjoy the fact that Gloria attracts so much appreciation from passers-by.
Our current crew provide the most amazing service and wonderful food. I know this is de rigeur on a charter yacht – for many years before I owned Gloria I used to charter large yachts myself, so I know what to expect and what to demand.
Gloria was built in 1986. I have tried not to ‘modernise’ her too much, and also to maintain the elegant patina that she has acquired in her long travels. But where it is important I have poured investment into this beautiful yacht – the duty of guardianship is one of my passions. That sounds pretentious or pompous, but after a few hours aboard Gloria you will understand what I mean. A good classic yacht is like a museum in some ways, but one that can leap across the ocean like a gazelle. The pride of ownership is like nothing else. A responsibility and a duty, but also a joy that can’t be compared with anything else for me.
I wish you safe travels, and that you get the most out of your time on this wonderful yacht. I feel honoured to share Gloria with you, and I wish I was there!