World-class yachts discovering unique Brooklyn Marina
A spectacular sailing vessel docked at the marina in Brooklyn Bridge Park has been the talk of Brooklyn Heights this past week.
Dwarfing the other yachts in the marina at 185 feet in length (the typical boat at the marina is in the 30-45-foot range), the ship’s masts towered over observers standing on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which sits atop a tall bluff overlooking the harbor.
The superyacht is the fabulous Mandango 3, which typically sails in Mediterranean waters during the summer and Caribbean waters in the winter. Launched in 2014, she was the last yacht built at the former Alloy Yachts, the respected New Zealand-based builder of luxury yachts. She has a sleek exterior, room for 11 guests, a sunken Jacuzzi and luxurious interiors, along with water-skis, paddle boards kayaks and other recreational items.
Owned by Mondango Three Corp, a British Virgin Islands company, she is sailed by her private owners for part of the year and is available for charters through Burgess Yachts (www.burgessyachts.com) at other times. Mondango 3 made her rare visit to New York City to pick up supplies and equipment.
As much as Brooklyn is discovering superyachts, superyachts are now discovering Brooklyn, Estelle Lau, ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina’s CEO, told the Brooklyn Eagle.
“New York is finally being seen as a destination for recreational boating. And ONE°15 Brooklyn is a very different kind of marina compared to typical marinas, where people go for beaches and sun and a resort.” Here, visitors are in the middle of a city, but in a park atmosphere with spectacular views.
Lau’s predecessor Arthur Tay compared the view from the Promenade to the view of Hong Kong from Kowloon, she said.
“If you are in Manhattan at a marina, you’re looking at Jersey. That’s not a bad view, but to be able to sit here and look at the skyline of New York City, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, it’s unique,” she said. “And that’s why I think people are surprised when they pull into the marina and they go oh my goodness!”–>
Mondango’s captain: ‘We’ll be back’
The Mandango 3’s international crew of 10 includes the captain, first mate, two deckhands, one chief steward, 2 stewards, one chef and two engineers.
Captain Xavier Le Moel, who was born in Lorient-Brittany, the “city of sailing,” on the west coast of France, raved about his stay in Brooklyn.
“We usually go to Newport, but we wanted to experience NYC directly with the boat this time, arrive in the river and pass the Statue of Liberty,” Le Moel said. “ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina had the best view on Manhattan to offer, and they were very happy to welcome us. I have to say that arriving in NYC was very special, and a unique experience … We recommend any superyacht to come here.”
“We also really enjoyed spending time and explore Brooklyn, it is a very different atmosphere than Manhattan, great vibes,” he added. “I was here five years ago, and you really can see how fast Brooklyn is developing and changing.”
Too tall to fit under the Brooklyn Bridge, and a swinging keel
With a main mast 205 feet high, the crew had to remove the antenna to fit under the Verrazano Bridge. “We do prefer to get in/out with the low tide for safety reasons,” Le Moel said.
The yacht has a swinging keel, he explained. “We have it down when sailing or with some stronger seas, it goes down to 36 feet. Otherwise when in shallow waters or docking, we have the keel up, at 13 feet. In the Bahamas we sailed with only 3 feet under the keel as it was very shallow there.”
The keel swings on a front pivot axis and lays inside the 25-foot- long keel trunk when stowed away, he added.
We asked Le Moel what’s it like being the captain of a yacht like Mondango 3.
“Lots of responsibilities, high work, and commitment, but mainly lots of pride, passion and happiness,” Le Moel said. “She is one of the largest sailing yachts in the world (top 15), and surely one of the most beautiful and iconic yachts … We get to see the world, and every day is a different day, we never get bored.”
Mondango 3 is chartered by the week — alas, no brief overnight stays in the park. The price depends on high or low season. (According to various online sources, a week’s stay will likely cost more than $200,000.)
The ship’s interior design is striking, Le Moel said. “We do not have any sharp edge on board; everything is curved or circular, nothing catches your eyes apart from the continuous vision of the yacht towards the outside element. She is a very relaxing design, with soft material and colors. We also have strong and brute art which brings up power and force to the yacht.”
Le Moel said he was surprised that “not more yachts are taking the advantage of the marina facility, but I am sure it will come in the near future. Sam Barrett-Cotter, the marina dock-master and his team have really welcomed us well. We intend to come back in Spring 2022.”
Barrett-Cotter told the Eagle that the marina was proud to host Mondango 3. “Yachts like Mondango 3 select our marina for our state-of-the-art wave attenuation, shoreside superyacht amenities, and of course the iconic skyline views which we get to enjoy every day.”
“The crew … used this visit to renew certifications, purchase replacement parts, and execute repairs. On a personal level it’s great to be able to show the multinational crew, who hail from Europe, Asia, and elsewhere, one of the greatest cities in the world,” he said.
“It’s one of the biggest sailboats that we’ve had here in our history — people who have walked around and seen it know that it’s on another level,” said McCormac, assistant dock-master. “It’s a beautiful boat and we’re happy to have it here.
The smallest boats at the marina are around 25 feet, “But most are in the 30-45-foot range, all the way up to 65-70 feet,” McCormac said. “That’s a big sailboat to me — until you see this.”
Mandango 3 was set to leave Brooklyn Tuesday morning “for crossing back to Europe and get ready for our next adventures,” Le Moel said.