Saturday, February 23, 2008

Florida Style Fantasy Yacht

Growing up in Fort Lauderdale, you're surrounded by yachts. It is the yacht capital of the world after all. When you live there, you tend to fantasize about owning one too. After all, they're so common! I have a friend, Larry Hendry, who is living that fantasy, and he's doing it aboard a Fantasy yacht.

He purchased his Fantasy in 2005. He picked it up at the factory in Monticello, Kentucky with his wife and son and they took a "trip of a lifetime"cruising down the Mississippi to the West Coast of Florida. He is still planning a "Great Loop" trip some day. He enjoyed it so much that he established a Fantasy dealership in Hudson called Fantasy South. What got me thinking about it is that he sent me a video that features one of his yachts at the St. Petersburg Boat Show. Here it is ---

The Fantasy is actually built for how most people use their yachts. It is a houseboat. One of the things you notice when you pass the same yachts every day is that most of them spend 48 of every 52 weeks tied at the dock. When they do move, they're usually the backdrop for a cocktail party as they cruise down the Intracoastal looking stately. You don't see lots of yachts cruising offshore. Your guests are less likely to get seasick and barf all over your yacht inshore. It is also more scenic. You can admire the mansions you pass and the constant parade of other boats.

Although most yachts are used as floating condominiums close to shore, they have pretensions of being ocean spanning globetrotters. Consequently, they're powered by huge, thirsty twelve cylinder diesels, have cramped staterooms, narrow hallways, and require a crew. In contrast, a Fantasy is a floating condominium. It has a huge sundeck for parties and wide open spaces. It is built for what most people do -- cruising close to shore and having parties. An 85 foot Fantasy Coastal is powered by twin four cylinder diesels which is enough to push the yacht along at a good clip, but much more economical than huge multi-thousand horsepower diesels.

A Fantasy costs about the same as a waterfront condominium, but it can do something that no waterfront condo can do. It can move. St. Augustine in the winter too cold for you? No problem just cruise to the Keys. Keys too crowded for you? Head up the west coast through the Everglades National Park and the 10,000 islands area. I haven't found what their draft is but I'll bet they're shoal draft compared to most vessels the same size. The Coastal series protects the propellers in tunnels, which keeps the draft shallow and makes them perfect for cruising coastal Florida and the Keys.

I'll bet Larry will sell you whatever you want, but he specializes in the Coastals and they're perfect for Florida. They can be equipped with a saltwater corrosion protection package, come equipped with a higher pointed bow for cutting through waves offshore, and have reinforced hull sections. They have diesel v-drives in tunnels and marine air conditioning.

Imagine visiting Steinhatchee in scallop season. In the morning you take your dinghy scalloping, and that evening your eating fresh scallops pulled from the Gulf and just cooked in the fully equipped kitchen of your Fantasy. Wow! Now that's a dream not a fantasy! Enough fantasizing though, does anyone know where I can get an interest free 100 year loan for $700,000.00?

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