By Kim Kavin
The Yacht Insider: A Homecoming, of Sorts, for Mea Culpa
A chance to check out a McMullen and Wing motoryacht in person attracts both suppliers and potential charterers.
Until the recent Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, I had seen only one McMullen and Wing motoryacht in person. That was the 115-foot Surprise, launched from the New Zealand shipyard in 2001. She was everything her reputation had promised—strong construction standards, lovely interior woodwork, and comfortable under way—but I had to fly nearly 24 hours straight from New York to the South Pacific to make that assessment. For most boaters, the only way to see a McMullen and Wing is in photographs.
That’s also true for the suppliers of the components that go into such a motoryacht. In Fort Lauderdale, those suppliers filed, like ants still on the job, aboard the 138-foot motoryacht Mea Culpa.
Mea Culpa launched from McMullen and Wing in 2003, and she has since cruised nearly 70,000 miles around New Zealand, Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Western Samoa, greater French Polynesia, Hawaii, the U.S. West Coast from Panama to Alaska, and the U.S. East Coast as far north as Nova Scotia. Much discussed and serviced, she had yet to make her formal, domestic debut.
“This boat show is the first time many of our suppliers are actually seeing the boat they helped to build years ago,” Capt. Mike Hein told me as we sat in the sky lounge, which, like the rest of Mea Culpa, had been so well maintained that it looked practically brand-new. I specifically looked to the edges and corners of the rich woodwork and plush carpeting, scanning for the kinds of nicks and tears that seem to scar a yacht through the sheer force of ticking time. I found not a one.
Camper & Nicholsons International will manage Mea Culpa for charter, which means anyone willing to pay a weekly base rate of $120,000 for eight guests will have a chance to enjoy this beauty over the winter, in the Caribbean.
Come summertime, though, Mea Culpa will be on the move again. “We plan to go back to the places the owner liked the best,” Hein said. “We will keep traveling the world.”
No doubt Mea Culpa will take a good number of Fort Lauderdale hearts and souls along for the ride.
Editor’s Note: Kim Kavin is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who specializes in marine travel. She is the author of six books including Dream Cruises: The Insider’s Guide to Private Yacht Vacations, is editor of the online yacht vacation magazine www.CharterWave.com, and writes the blog at www.BrokerageBoss.com.
- Kim Kavin is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who specializes in marine travel. She is the author of six books including Dream Cruises: The Insider’s Guide to Private Yacht Vacations, and is editor of the online yacht vacation magazine www.CharterWave.com.