MY SPIRIT JOURNEY: 72DH OWNER INTERVIEW
Launched last year, the first Spirit 72DH Anima II will be at this year’s Palma Boat Show from 27th to 30th April. Now available for charter in the Mediterranean, Anima II was designed for bluewater cruising and occasional regatta racing.
Nearly a year into ownership of his new Spirit, we caught up with the owner of Anima II to find out why he chose a Spirit yacht, the inspiration behind a contemporary interior, and he shares his memories from the first season onboard.
What attracted you to Spirit Yachts?
I will start with the old saying “The path is the true destination”. I was on a 20 year journey to find Spirit Yachts. It was always a dream of mine to buy a sailing yacht and circumnavigate the world. Yes, of course you can do this with many mass production yachts, but why do you want to do something with an ordinary yacht, when you might be able to afford something special. So, the first book I bought was the Bruce Roberts-Goodson Complete Guide to Metal Boats. The book put me on a journey to visit sailing yachts and shipyards across the world. I visited shipyards such as Tayana or Hylas in Taiwan, yachts in Australia and Thailand, boatbuilders like Contest in the Netherlands or Wauquiez in France. The visits brought me to Ukraine, Turkey, the USA and the UK. I learned about all different boat building materials from steel, to aluminum, to fiberglass and carbon, sandwich compositions and even cement yachts. Of course, I knew the wonderful designs of Spirit Yachts before. Only when I understood during my journey that a wooden yacht might be even more stiff and would have the same maintenance challenges as other yachts, I truly started to consider wood. So what was the attraction? Well, I don’t know many people who don’t like wood. If you then take the Spirit craftsmanship and how they make out of wood a piece of art, then it becomes very difficult to resist. Honestly, you need to see, feel and smell the shipyard. We were sold when we set our first step into it. A new three year journey started from that moment.
Spirit 72DH Anima II’s contemporary interior
What was the inspiration for Anima II?
My wife and I have travelled the world and lived with our family for many years in Asia. We moved several times into different houses. Some of them we built and others we bought and made major renovations. All our homes had distinct characters; they all had a lot of open space and light in common. Space to live and space to breathe – room to allow the inner self of us and our children to unfold. We created an environment with a lot of soul. We wanted a sailing yacht which also would provide this and so it became our inspiration when we started the project. We worked with the Spirit Yachts team and used the deckhouse concept for the outside but opened the inside to create space. The galley is not a galley – it’s a meeting point like in all our houses. We love wood, especially the beautifully varnished mahogany and we wanted to use wood as a feature, not just as a material. Life is full of contrasts with shadow and lots of light, so Spirit added hull windows and large fan windows to invite the sun into our yacht. We chose a white finish and light blue fabrics to contrast with the wood. Harmony of materials was important to us to echo what Anima stands for: soul and a little bit of air to breathe.
Anima II cruising in Mallorca
You and your family and friends did the delivery sail from the UK to the Mediterranean, how was this experience for you all?
As you can imagine, this first trip on Anima was a very unique trip for my wife and I. Our daughter, Kira Karina, who I have sailed with since she was 10, joined us on the first leg. For me, it was very special and very emotional. We first sailed non stop from Guernsey to Gibraltar (1,100 NM) and then from Gibraltar to Malta (another 1,100 NM). For both legs we needed about six days. We had quite a few days where Anima did more than 200 NM in 24 hours. As on many long passages, we had it all: snow, rain, heavy seas, cold, warm, sun, lots of wind, no wind… you name it. Put simply, it was a wonderful trip and a wonderful experience with wonderful people. Anima is a new home for us and a wonderful yacht, which proved to be a great sailing yacht on her first 2,500 NM.
Anima II is a Spirit Deckhouse design
Where did you sail on Anima II in your first season? Do you have any particular happy memories that stand out?
When we arrived in Malta, Anima II was registered as a Small Commercial Vessel under the Maltese flag. We stayed there for about two weeks before leaving for Palma, Mallorca. We decided to use the rest of 2022 to test and prepare her for the 2023 season. We enjoyed the trip from Malta to Palma with stops in Sicily, South Sardinia, and Menorca before arriving in Palma. During this time we did a birthday charter for our son Marco who turned 26. On one day, he and I got up early, grabbed our scuba equipment, took the dinghy and drove into the sunrise for our first dive of the day. What a memory!
After Palma, our youngest daughter Sanja Maria joined us for four weeks during her uni break. This trip took us from Palma to Menorca to west Sardinia (Stintino and Olbia), where Sanja left us feeling recharged and happy. We had probably our most wonderful time when we sailed the Maddalena islands in crystal clear turquoise waters.
We then continued to Ponza (largest of the Italian Pontine Islands) and sailed right into the biggest unpredicted storm of the Med in 2022. I wouldn’t consider this trip a happy memory, but it was one I won’t forget with Anima II as our safe haven. We continued to Ischia and Naples and met up with family. We sailed to Procida (Italian cultural capital 2022), Capri, Positano, Amalfi, and then down the Italian south coast, stopping in Tropea, then to Sicily in Taormina, and Syracuse before heading back to Malta. With that, we finished the 2022 season having sailed about 5,000 NM.
Anima II’s bright, light, open plan interior was inspired by her owners’ previous homes all over the world
What do you enjoy most about spending time on Anima II?
Many years ago, I had a scuba diving accident and blew my eardrum. Since then I have had tinnitus. Sometimes it’s stronger and sometimes it’s less. Whenever I am on Anima II, it’s gone and I am at peace. I love the cabins and especially our master cabin. We have a true king size bed and our mattresses on Anima are better than at home. It is magical to be in the cabin, seeing the blue water through the hull window, feeling the slight up and down pressure when lying on the bed while sailing. My soul can breathe when onboard and I feel happy. I love the smell of coffee going through the yacht in the morning or the first step outside into the cockpit. Every time I touch the wood, see the composition of colours or I look at the galley, it puts a smile into my face.
Sailing Anima II is fantastic. She is quick, agile and so easy on the helm. Every day is a blessing and makes me a happy person.
Anima II is available for charter, can you give guests an insight into what they might enjoy whilst onboard? Where can the yacht be chartered?
You will find a luxury yacht which is fast, agile and very easy to sail. We believe the Spirit 72DH line is very special and we are proud that we had the opportunity to create Anima II together with Spirit Yachts. Spirit decided to replace part of the stainless steel beams and put carbon in place, which made her 800kg lighter. We decided on sophisticated hydraulic systems for best sailing performance and electric winches to make dual-handed sailing easy.
For us, building Anima II has been a journey of emotions, life experiences, dreams and fulfilment to create a magnificent yacht, which we are delighted to be able to share with guests, our family, and friends. Anima II is about life, joy, and the quickening of the pulse. We have hired some wonderful people as skipper and chef/stewardess who are committed to providing the best of experiences for our guests.
In 2023, we are focusing on Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Italy for our charters. In 2024, we will start the season in Barcelona and we will engage her at the America’s Cup event.