Last December, Etoile d’Azur didn’t just accomplish something few 84-foot yachts achieve. It did something the six previous same-size yachts from its builder, Moonen Shipyards, haven’t. It crossed the Atlantic Ocean on its own bottom.
Most yachts, even ones upwards of 150 feet, use a transport service to get from, say, Europe to the Caribbean, especially to chase the warmth of the sun and comfortable sea temperatures when winter approaches. These transport services employ ships capable of carrying dozens of yachts at a time. While a yacht of Etoile d’Azur’s size is certainly capable of undertaking the trip on her own, most owners opt for the transport ships because there is less wear and tear on the crew and the yacht itself.
But Etoile d’Azur’s owner and crew weren’t concerned with this undertaking. They felt confident that Moonen built them a cruiser capable of tackling the distance efficiently and reliably.
And they were right. Etoile d’Azur departed Monaco, its homeport, at the end of October of last year, stopping 350 nautical miles later in Palma de Mallorca, Spain for some maintenance work to ensure it would be ready for the journey ahead. The yacht headed next to Gibraltar to take on fuel, including additional portable tanks to increase capacity and therefore range. Interesting enough, those tanks were never used, not even when encountering heavy-weather seas that sometimes rose as high as the bow during a 12-hour period en route to the Azores.
From the Azores, Etoile d’Azur cruised a thankfully smoother 2,350 nautical miles over the course of 10 days to Sint Maarten (the Dutch side of the island of St. Martin).
After getting settled in at the Caribbean island, the captain sent a report back to Moonen who is based in Holland: “Regarding the boat, she has very good sailing behavior.…I have done 17,000 nautical miles on Etoile d’Azur in less than two years, and I would like to congratulate you for the qualities of yachting, comfort, and layout of the Moonen 84.”