Jimmy Buffett was looking for a yacht he could disappear off by himself and chill out. He wanted a boat he could sail on, fish on and carry his toys; which includes surfboards, an outrigger canoe, and SUP fly fishing board. He paired up with world-renowned yacht designer Ted Fontaine of Fontaine Design Group who designed a yacht that can do it all, an innovative 50’ hi-performance sailing yacht with as strong an emphasis on speed under sail as speed under power - the new SURFARI 50. Jimmy Buffett has not only sailed the Drifter but has featured it in videos as a backdrop for his concerts that are all about celebrating the lifestyle he has not only lived but promoted and shared around the world. The Drifter has been featured in Sailing, Yachting, and multiple Lifestyle magazines.
Fontaine has applied his design expertise and market insight with the introduction of the SURFARI 50. The primary design goal of the SURFARI 50 is bringing to the next level the combination of racing yacht performance under sail and motor yacht performance under power. The most innovative design feature is the clever implementation and practicality of the single level cockpit designed specifically for an active outdoors water sports lifestyle.
The contemporary styling of the SURFARI 50 is unique for Friendship Design Group and has added to the design awards of the traditional and well-loved classic teak and wood yachts the brand is known for. The single-level outdoor living / recreational space is unique to the sailboat market. It is specifically designed for the men and women who, as they face retirement, are looking for a hybrid between a sailing yacht and a powerboat, with an emphasis on being fast, sporty, comfortable and low maintenance. This is for a group of people that live an active, athletic, water sports, family-oriented lifestyle. The SURFARI 50 has been created to provide a fast, fun and comfortable platform for family-oriented water sports activities.
The SURFARI 50 has been created for the yachtsman who values aesthetics, sailing performance and the quality of construction with the added value of protection from the sun and easy access to the water. There is an expectation of exciting speed under sail or power. A single level, indoor/outdoor lifestyle platform similar to many motor yachts of similar size. The SURFARI 50 is a boat that can get you to your favorite anchorages quickly, a boat from which you could enjoy water sports activities like swimming, diving, surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. The boat has a wide-open outdoor living space for dining and entertaining. One the entire family can enjoy for either a day, a week or a month of extended cruising. The SURFARI 50 was created to address these specific needs.
The SURFARI 50 is available to each new owner with complete customization of the interior and cockpit spaces in either contemporary or classic yacht style. The available options include a fixed or lifting keel, one, two or three stateroom layouts and multiple cockpit arrangements. The selections afford the opportunity of creating a full custom-designed yacht per each owner’s individual requirements. Each arrangement offered maintains the unique single level open cockpit plan complete with a fully functional galley equipped with gas grill, two-burner cooktop, two drawer 12V refrigerator and under counter freezer. A deep oversized sink, a pull-out trash bin, and ice maker complete the exterior galley-up concept, making this a true "home away from home" with all the comforts and style a luxury yacht offers.
Fontaine believes the SURFARI 50 addresses a market need not currently met. The yacht is differentiated from the semi-custom and/or production yachts in the same size range due to the following key features:
The SURFARI 50 is built utilizing the latest in lightweight “grand prix race boat” construction techniques utilizing infused composite materials and boat building techniques all aimed towards decreasing construction weight and improving performance under power and sail.
The “state of the art” lightweight carbon fiber mast with push-button controlled in-boom furling and push-button captive sheeting systems contribute to the yachts ease of handling and superior sailing performance.
The unique, single-level cockpit, from the lowered swim platform forward through the entire length of the cockpit, creates a unique outdoor living space designed specifically for the active sporting lifestyle enthusiast.
360-degree visibility is achieved from the center console helm station through the large tinted UV protected laminated safety glass side windows and full-width windshield.
The SURFARI 50 is outfit with twin 85 HP Yanmar electronically controlled auxiliary engines enabling speeds under power normally found on semi-displacement motor yachts.
Purpose-built storage space for assorted watercraft such as kayaks, surfboards, and paddleboards on the rooftop create a functional platform for the outdoor lifestyle and water sports activities.
At rest, the hydraulically operated drop-down transom door creates dockside living and easy access to and from the water.
The combination of exceptional visibility, sun protection, exciting sailing, and motoring speeds and the single level living space enables a “get there fast, have fun and get home fast” lifestyle that most families’ shrinking leisure time allows.
Push-button hydraulic and electric sail control systems are used for sheeting and furling the mainsail, genoa and bowsprit mounted code sails which effortlessly allow for single-handed operation.
The hydraulically operated lifting bulb keel provides a shallow 5'-6" draft with the keel up and a powerful 8'-6" draft when the keel is lowed.
The forward center console helm station features full navigational repeaters for the radar and chart plotter, electronic controls for the twin engines, push-button sail control panels, and autopilot. The unique center console control station is ideally positioned to promote a social operating atmosphere for the operator and guests.
The SURFARI 50’s overall styling and ergonomic design create a unique aesthetic with outstanding performance under sail or power, this new game-changing design has created an entirely new genre of yachting, setting her apart from the competition in the same manner that the Friendship 40 did so in the day sailor market when it was introduced years ago. This is a type of yacht which until now did not exist.
No wind, no problem. The SURFARI 50 is designed to get the owner to their favorite surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding or diving location quickly and comfortable. To do so in speed the SURFARI 50 is outfitted with twin Yanmar JH 85 HP Tier Three electronically controlled diesel engines, each with a geared folding 3 blade propeller which will propel the hull at 10 kts.
The unique advantage of the SURFARI 50 is that the design does not compromise sailing performance for powering performance. The SURFARI 50 does not sacrifice aesthetics for function. The SURFARI 50 is a unique design, according to its designer Ted Fontaine the SURFARI 50 “is a game-changer, this is a boat people do not even know they want. Spend an hour on board and it all makes sense. The boat sails fast, powers fast, keeps you out of the sun, provides easy access to the water, can easily carry paddleboards and kayaks and you only go below to use the head or to sleep for the night. It is a water-born floating home with a permanent dock".
If you are interested in learning more about the SURFARI 50 or the other award-winning luxury yachts (new or resale) please visit the website http://www.friendshipyachtcompany.com and/or call Ted at (401)-682-9101
Photos courtesy of Onne van der Wal Photography