Captain Jordan Gibson and his wife Nic have been running the Moonen 99 Pura Vida (previously Selene, originally launched as Phoebe) since early 2017, when she was acquired by owner Jim Shay. Now completely refitted with the latest technologies, the yacht is a dream come true for her skipper and a joy for the owner and his family.
We met Jim while working on a 130-foot Christensen motoryacht where he was a charter guest. We immediately hit it off, and when Jim acquired his first boat, an Azimut 66, in late 2016, he brought us over as captain and chief stewardess. The Shays have been chartering yachts for years and the Azimut was meant to be a foretaste of greater things to come. Little did we know how soon that would be – the Moonen Selene became available for purchase a month and a half later, and Jim jumped at the opportunity. During the following months, the yacht enjoyed a refit and was renamed Pura Vida.
When Jim mentioned Selene’s pedigree, and the special relationship he had with high-end yachts from Holland like a Moonen, I initially had to do some research. Once I saw her for myself, I instantly realised what all the fuss was about. The level of quality and attention to detail was simply astounding. We walked through the boat and there was something to marvel at behind every corner. I was most impressed by the wheelhouse and the bridge area. When I first saw them I think I did a double take: it seemed almost implausible that the space should be so large, and the layout was like something you would expect on a large ship, not a yacht. Needless to say, I quickly felt at home!
More than skin deep
The first time we took Pura Vida out in choppy seas, it was clear that she was as sturdy as she was beautiful: there was no creaking and everything felt incredibly solid. She’s been extremely comfortable for the crew on long-distance trips: going from the United States down to the Caribbean has been a smooth ride every time even in rougher seas, for instance. And we find that she’s equally great for guests – we can spend the night sailing and get to an anchorage in the morning, and they will barely know that we’d moved.
Pura Vida has a very smooth, friendly layout, with easy, flowing links between spaces. The quality of the accommodations is superb and the lounge and dining areas are fabulously arranged and proportioned. There’s a lot of volume overall and the orientation of the space is truly ingenious.
We always make sure our charter guests are completely satisfied in terms of both catering and adventure, whether that means finding an exciting new anchorage for snorkelling every day or ensuring the best backdrop for simply relaxing in the sun.
We’ve had several charter guests on board over the past few months, many of whom have previous charter background, and we can see that they are as enthralled as we are by Pura Vida’s quality, detailing and finishing. This inspires us to do our best to keep her at that same high standard at all times. It’s very clear to me now why people talk about Dutch boats so much: she turns heads everywhere we go.
Pura Vida is also available for charter in the Caribbean and Bahamas via LJ Houghting at Churchill Yacht Partners.