Cork proving a super berth for super yachts

One of the world’s largest private yachts is due to slip in to a Cork marina today, further cementing the south coast’s reputation as a ‘must-see stop-off’ for the super-rich cruise set.

Cork proving a super berth for super yachts

But mystery surrounds the identity of the guests on board the sleek €45m Fortunate Sun.

The 54-metre (177-foot) motor yacht, which was built for a wealthy US-based pharmaceutical boss 10 years ago, is due to arrive at the Kinsale marina this morning.

Flagged in the Cayman Islands, it is registered to a New York-based owner, and has travelled all over the world, including to the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and around Spain and Portugal.

It was en route last night from Portugal but little is known about who is on board.

Pic: The sumptuous interior of the ‘Fortunate Sun’

Her crew have to sign confidentiality agreements and are sworn to secrecy about the identity of the vessel’s owners, or who is travelling on board.

The four-deck steel-hulled vessel, crewed by 12, sleeps 10 passengers in seven suites. They can spend their time reading some of the hundreds of books in the vessel’s library, or soaking in its jacuzzi.

Powered by twin-screw 2,330hp diesel engines, she can reach a top speed of almost 18 knots, and has a range of 5,000 nautical miles. She also comes equipped with two wave-runners, snorkel gear, water skis and several small boats for travelling to and from shore.

Pic: The sumptuous interior of the ‘Fortunate Sun’

The vessel, designed by Tim Heywood and built in Australia by Oceanfast, is ranked in the top 100 of American-owned super- yachts.

Industry sources estimate the boat can be chartered for as much as $275,000 (€210,000) a week. Among those who have hired the luxurious vessel is American Idol host, Ryan Seacrest, and his girlfriend Julianne Hough, who spent some time on board last January in the Caribbean and St Bart’s.

The Fortunate Sun follows in the wake of several other superyachts which have called to Irish shores in recent months.

Yacht broker, John McDonald of MGM Boats, with an office in Kinsale, said visits by such vessels is great for Ireland’s growing marine leisure sector.

“They are becoming more and more common in Irish ports and marinas,” he said. “The word is out there in the superyacht community that Cork, and Kinsale in particular, are places worth visiting. Their presence here draws attention to the locality and adds prestige.”

Pic: The sumptuous interior of the ‘Fortunate Sun’

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