The Sea's Sanctuary

Escape to the open seas in the latest luxury yachts.

Above: 2012 Manhattan 63 Exterior

Henry David Thoreau went to the woods “to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” But Thoreau lived in Massachusetts, not Southern California, and given the option, we’re pretty sure he would head to the open seas to “put to rout all that was not life.” Because as every San Diegan knows, the vast expanse of the Pacific has a lot to offer in reflection and living.

Thankfully, yachting season is upon us, and the big names are all releasing their newest models to cruise the waves. And judging by their good looks, it looks like this will be a year to remember.

For those seeking the ultimate in luxury, look no further than the Sunseeker Manhattan 63. This spacious 69-foot boat boasts two bedroom suites, two smaller bedrooms, three washrooms, a couple of lounge areas and a galley. There is no shortage of interior room and plenty of deck space. Maximum cruise speed for this vessel is around 23 knots, but guests on the Manhattan 63 will be far too relaxed from the boat’s amenities to worry about going anywhere particularly fast. It’s the ideal purchase for those who have dreamed of taking their luxury condo out on the sea.

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2012 Manhattan 63 Captains Seat.

For those seeking the ultimate in luxury, look no further than the Sunseeker Manhattan 63.

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The dining area in the 2012 Manhattan 63 is beautiful and elegant.

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The 2012 Manhattan 63 lounge is spacious and comfortable.

Those looking for a social vessel will find that Fraser is still the go-to brand. With a selection of more than 20 yachts covering a broad spectrum of styles, shapes and sizes, there is sure to be something in this leading yachting company’s repertoire that fits the every need of its clients. Complete with helicopter pads, hot tubs, verandas, bars, pools and even dancing platforms, it seems these ships can do everything except fly—and some of them get pretty good speed on the water. Fraser also offers full-service yacht maintenance and a support crew for every voyage, so owners need not tax themselves with the many unwelcome contingencies that can accompany ownership of a large and complex machine.

Those looking for a more intimate vessel might be drawn to the new Silverton 40 West Coast Edition. According to its designer Chris Boz, the Silverton 40 WCE is “designed to give the customer all the comforts of a 50-foot boat in a 40-foot boat—for half the price.”

This new version of the Silverton comes with a few substantial improvements over the old. The canvas top has been replaced with a fiberglass hardtop, which allows for better temperature control, prevents erosion and offers more protection from inclement weather. Stateroom windows were expanded to offer better views, stern thrusters were added to facilitate vessel docking for new pilots, and an additional 90 gallons were added to the fuel tank. Cruise on it for a small day-party excursion, or take it down to Baja over the weekend.

The next step up is the Marquis 500, a highly refined 50-foot vessel designed by Nuvolari Lenard of Venice, the much-celebrated yacht design studio. Known for its obsessive attention to detail and careful craftsmanship, Nuvolari Lenard lives up to Italy’s incredibly high standards for luxury goods.

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The 2012 Marquis 500 has a sleek bullet shape.

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The Marquis 500's hard body lines and arched windows give it's interior an amazing presentation.

From the outside, the Marquis resembles a sleek bullet, made to run through the sea at an alarming rate (37.7 knots). Fitted with hardwood floors, a small galley, several bedchambers and a shower, the yacht’s interior serves as a comfortable suite on the sea. All this had Mike Werling—renowned industry professional and yacht expert—calling it a “head turner” and the perfect boat for those who wish simply to “eat, drink and be merry.”

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Wood accents add to the contemporary feel of the 2012 Marquis 500.

Within the rush of life, it can be difficult to find that strong personal space to enjoy the pleasure of being alone with your thoughts or a few good friends. Heading out to the open seas is one of the last few refuges—a chance to reconnect and enjoy the wildness of nature in the most civilized way.