This week saw the first superyacht in our Caribbean line, the Moonen Matica Bijoux, reunited with her owners following her winter service at the yard. After her launch last summer, the 30-metre yacht spent several months cruising and also starred at the Cannes and Monaco boat shows. We asked the owners to reflect on their time on board so far and plans for the season ahead.
Tell us a little about your first season?
It was August before we went sailing in earnest. We started in Malta and came back through Sicily, the Aeolian Islands, Corsica and the south of France. The seakeeping performance of the boat was exemplary and she was very comfortable even when we encountered some fairly big seas. She’s also super-quiet: you never notice the engines being started and it’s always a surprise to find yourself on the move!
The interior works very well too. Our aim with Bijoux was not to have a breathtaking boat inside… We wanted her to be modern but not in a fashionable way that would be out of fashion next year. Designer Adam Lay and the Moonen team did a superb job on creating a welcoming, contemporary and comfortable ambience. The yacht is fresh, comfortable and a great place to live.
What are your favourite features?
There are so many as Bijoux is exactly how we wanted her. I’m really pleased with the grey-and-white colour scheme with key lines of black. The bathing deck and the way the transom folds out to create a huge space and a very neat & sleek stern is great. Our full-beam owners’ suite is really spacious and gives the impression and reality of a big space when you walk in. Bijoux is a real family boat too. The accommodations are just right for us: we have four teenagers and the layout allows us to have guests on board with the kids.
How does the Caribbean line’s ‘fun on the water’ concept work in practice?
The Matica design connects very well to the sea. She has huge windows all around and its fantastic to sit in the saloon with nearly 360-degree views. The way that the cockpit and bathing deck work really makes you feel close to the water. And Bijoux has a huge amount of space so that everyone can enjoy their idea of relaxation - the foredeck, the cockpit, the upper decks, the bathing platform, the saloon and the rooms: you never feel on top of each other. As a 100-footer she allows us to go wherever we want and we love going to secluded harbours and exploring the local area. We personally think that the Matica is the prettiest in the Caribbean line, but then we would say that, wouldn’t we!
How has the service been?
Moonen has done a really good job. It feels like a family business and you can tell with the warranty work. We set up what needed doing at the Monaco Yacht Show and, according to the captain, who’s been with the boat throughout the winter, the yard did even more than it originally agreed. That’s a typical example of Moonen’s generosity.
What are your plans for the new season?
We’re starting with the Scandinavian fjords, then going down to Brittany, Portugal, Mallorca, Montenegro and back to Antibes. We won’t be on the boat all the time as passengers, but we do have a full season ahead. The boat will be used by the family pretty much throughout the season and we are excited to see what else Bijoux has in store for us all.
An extended version of this interview will appear in the summer 2017 edition of Moonen Magazine.