Following a major refit at her home yard last year, the Moonen 84 motor yacht Etoile d’Azur has since crossed the Atlantic for a new series of adventures. Captain Tristan le Brun sent Moonen Yachts a special report on superyacht Etoile d’Azur’s stately progress.
“Designed by René van der Velden, the 26.25-metre Etoile d’Azur was originally launched in 2007, and has been in the possession of the same owner ever since. The five-month refit at Moonen included a comprehensive paint job, upgrades to the stabilisation system and an ingenious expansion of the flybridge. The owner was delighted with the craftsmanship and professionalism at Moonen, as well as the price. The yard has exceptionally high quality standards and it would have been foolhardy for us to have Etoile d’Azur refitted anywhere else than her home yard.
Immediately after the relaunch we headed off to Scandinavia and Germany, where the owner enjoyed a season of cruises. After a final European tour of the Balearic Islands, we sailed for the Canary Islands, first making a pit stop in Gibraltar. The 700-nautical mile trip to Gran Canaria was an important moment for us as it allowed the post-refit fuel consumption tests to be confirmed.
Next, Etoile d’Azur left La Palma to head to St. Martin – a trip of some 2400 nautical miles. Although the forecast was not good as it should have been for an Atlantic Crossing, this was the only chance we had to get to the Caribbean on schedule. The passage plan was to first head south-west for four days, then steer straight for St. Martin. This meant we had to go 250 nm more in order to go around a deep low and avoid most of the bad weather.
After three days of perfect flat seas we were suddenly caught by the end of the warm front in the morning. The wind was rising to a steady 40 knots and above in gusts with heavy rain and no visibility. I therefore decided to maintain the boat with her bow into the wind and waves, reduce speed to seven knots and wait for the bad weather to go above us.
Sixteen hours and a typhoon later, the wind started to turn clockwise into our stern with 25 knots pushing us on to St. Martin. We arrived nine days later with two days’ supply of fuel remaining in our tanks, and a boat and crew in perfect shape. Etoile d’Azur averaged 9.4 knots over twelve days, covered 2,637 nautical miles, and consumed 15,000 litres (or 53 l/h), which translates into a range of 3,300 nautical miles. There were no technical issues at any point during the crossing and we are currently on stand-by in Florida, ready for new tropical adventures.
Over the last eight months Etoile d’Azur has covered some eleven thousand nautical miles. She has clocked more than 6,000 hours on her main engines and more than 9,500 hours on each generator… And she is ready for much more!”
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