Owners of the 164-foot (50m) luxury superyacht AMARULA SUN, Shon & Sharyn Craig purchased the 2007 Trinity just over two years ago, but their first foray into the world of yachts larger than 82 feet was a well-equipped 2011 130-foot (40m) Westport, which they purchased four years ago. They traded in the newly-built 2011 80 Hatteras for the Westport only eight months after delivery, realizing it was too big for use as a coastal boat. They then found themselves in a go-big-or-go-small predicament.
So, Shon and Sharyn decided to go big…and they haven’t looked back. They had always wanted to visit the coastal cities of the Mediterranean. They also decided to take on their first venture in the charter market. The Westport was a huge risk, but that risk paid off. They were able to, in only the first year, charter the yacht for 10 weeks and spend more than 60 days aboard, visiting ports in Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Sardinia, Corsica and Greece.
The Craigs continued to use, and charter, their Westport in the Caribbean and The Bahamas for several seasons after. They weren’t exactly looking to move on from their Westport, but when the Trinity yacht, formerly MINE GAMES, went on the market, it came with an offer the Craigs couldn’t refuse. Since 2003, there have been 12 boats named AMARULA SUN, four of which — including the Trinity, a 41-foot Bahama, a 68-foot Princess and a 70-foot Viking — the Craigs currently own.
Shon is capable of and insured to operate boats of 82-feet and smaller. He and Sharyn routinely operate the 68-foot Princess and the Bahama 41 on their own for extended cruises or just out to anchor. Annually, they compete in half a dozen fishing tournaments around the Gulf Coast, East Coast and The Bahamas. This past season, they caught the largest blue marlin (605lbs) in the Bermuda Triple Crown.
Shon and Sharyn are probably on the Trinity at least 10 weeks a year, in between charters, and have cruised much of the Caribbean, The Bahamas and the East Coast of the US. You could definitely classify these owners as “very determined boaters.” They love the water and are at home on the ocean. It’s not uncommon to find them out on the hook in a cove on the leeside of the Anclote Key island, which is located less than three miles from, and within sight of, their house — and they may stay out there for two or three days.
The Trinity AMARULA SUN has a special appeal to the Craigs. Although Shon and Sharyn love to cook for themselves, having a world-class chef on board provides for a pleasant surprise at every meal. After a great day of touring, watersports, exploring, socializing or just plain “hanging out,” Shon and Sharyn relish their options: to dress up for an elegant dinner at the artistically designed and decorated salon table, to have an intimate candlelight meal at the settee on the skydeck or to just throw on some pajamas and have dinner on the couch and watch a great movie in the skylounge. They turn in to the soothing sounds of the water lapping against the hull. After, in the night or early morning, the captain has pulled anchor and motored to the next destination, they wake up to the sights and sounds of a new port, or a new island, and their amazing vacation continues.
In addition to visiting many countries in Europe, the Craigs have traveled to St. Vincent and the Grenadine islands, Mexico, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico and many other beautiful destinations. But their favorites are the BVIs and the Greek islands. They prefer spending the majority of their nights on anchor rather than staying in port; however, they have thoroughly enjoyed amazing and unique ports all over the world.
The 164-foot AMARULA SUN is the second yacht that the Craigs have put in a charter program and they have had great success, first in the Caribbean and then in the Med. Chartering has given them the opportunity to have the boat in desired destinations, semi-funded by the charterer.
The Craigs have a flexible schedule and usually are in a position to pick up and travel to the yacht when she doesn’t have a charter on board. They also enjoy the fact that a few charters a year keep the yacht from sitting in port for too long. This allows the yacht’s systems to remain active and the crew to keep well trained and sharp. Shon says, “I guess you could say that I think the boat and crew are better off active and in use than sitting dormant at a slip in a marina. For those that can only use their boats 10 to 12 weeks a year, chartering 10 to 12 weeks a year is a perfect solution to whatever ails you.”