At first, they enjoyed the security and social side of flotilla sailing over 14 holidays. But as their nautical miles and confidence grew, so did their sense of adventure and their desire for freedom and independence. How could they buy their own yacht and sail it around the world? And how could they ensure they would still be making money while off on this great adventure? The answer was, of course, to find the right yacht ownership program.
As owners, the Richardson’s now spend around 8-10 weeks a year sailing by themselves, meeting people all over the world. They have covered nearly 3,500 miles at sea and visited Gocek and Bodrum in Turkey, Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia, the British Virgin Islands (four times), St Vincent and the Grenadines (twice), Thailand, the Seychelles and throughout Greece, the Ionian, the Peloponnese, the Aegean and the islands of the Cyclades. What a list!
They describe yacht ownership as having a “hotel room with a boom”.
Q&A with the Richardsons
What’s your favorite sailing destination and why?
The Ionian, especially Cephalonia for the island touring. We love sailing and The Ionian is beautiful but this particular island is a favorite. We go ashore and hire a car to explore the lakes and mountains.
What makes an ideal owner?
Someone who is self-employed or retired – the more free time, the more sailing. It helps to be physically fit.
It helps to be child-free, maybe to have older or grown up kids, no dependents, no dependent parents. There are plenty of sailors out there with young families too though and they all enjoy the holidays.
Why did you choose Dream?
For us, it was a lifestyle choice, a case of ‘Do we buy a place in Spain or buy a boat?’. We made the right choice becoming owners. The mathematics of the Dream deals stack up, the money down and money back. You pay your airfare, a turnaround fee and a charge for linen and cleaning. You can sail your own yacht or choose another, even upgrade and try new styles, catamarans, monohulls. Any problems at all are dealt with. The base support is fantastic. The personnel just couldn’t do enough to help us. The choice is what we liked a lot – so many destinations! The Dream personality is relaxed and friendly, not like other charter companies who have turned the experience into less appealing large scale yachting.
What yacht do you have now?
For the next 6.5 years, until our Dream partnership comes to a close in Oct 2020, we have a Dream Jeanneau 439 at Lefkas Marina in the Ionian. We want to explore the northern Ionian. Jacqui is particularly taken with Anti Paxos and Paxos.
Where to next?
We’re looking forward to an adventure around Cuba on board a 42ft monohull. The longer, more challenging passages are appealing to us and the thrill of anchoring up in secluded bays with few marinas.
This article was adapted from our Dream Yacht UK office.