It was around Christmas time when Anil Thadani, a Singaporean businessman, took ownership of Latitude and got together with his Captain, Sean Meagher, to plot their first adventure on the new yacht. Thadani, a seasoned yacht owner, had had enough of cocktails on white sandy beaches and sedate cruises in gentle waters. Been there, done that.
What he craved now was a challenge, and the chance to photograph wildlife in far-flung places. Seated in Latitude’s main salon, the two men pored over a map of the world. They were berthed in Florida at the time, and after some consideration, Thadani suggested Alaska. Captain Sean proffered the options: they could sail south and pass through the Panama Canal; or go north, but that would involve navigating the infamous Northwest Passage.
Thadani, whose craving for adventure was very real, didn’t hesitate for a second. They would be taking on The Northwest Passage.
‘The extent to which we fulfilled this desire for adventure went far beyond what I had expected.’
ANIL THADANI – OWNER OF LATITUDE
Having more conquerors of The Northwest Passage to their name than any other yacht designer in the world, Vripack knows that an expedition yacht needn’t necessarily look like one. In other words, as long as her heart pounds with the strength and rhythm of an explorer’s.
The trick in Latitude’s case was to render the dozens of smart solutions and capabilities almost invisible to the untrained eye. They include a cruising focussed hull design that comes fitted with an ice belt; engineering provisions that deliver exceptional steering performance, particularly when cruising in reverse; access to all the necessary back-up systems essential for cruising long distances; and a smart layout that offers a host of benefits to both owner and crew.
Vripack takes great pride in its yachts, and are always delighted to see the fruit of their designs pushed to the limit. Thus, as though to indulge the design team, and with one successful Passage crossing already under his belt, courtesy of Latitude – only the 216th ever made since 1905 – Thadani did it again the following year. And there have been further adventures since Thadani became the first person in recorded history to celebrate his 70th birthday at latitude 81° 25 14.9 North, on an ice floe just 400 miles from the North Pole, a feast facilitated by the ideal combination of resources for extreme adventure: an expedition yacht fit for purpose, a top-flight Captain and crew and most importantly, an adventurous heart.
‘The icebergs come in as many shapes as the clouds. We saw one almost roll over today. Picture the Sydney Opera House doing cartwheels.’
SEAN MEAGHER – CAPTAIN OF LATITUDE
|Interior Design||Bannenberg & Rowell Design|
|Interior Engineering||Timmerman Yachts|
|Year of built||2008|
|Type of vessel||Longe Range Motoryacht|
|Material||Steel / Aluminum|
|Classification||Det Norske Veritas, 1A1LC RO Yacht|
|Engine||2x Caterpillar 3412E DI-TA|
|Speed (cruising/max)||12 / 13 knots|
|Fuel capacity||70,650 liters|
|Freshwater capacity||13,600 liters|
|Grey / black water capacity||8,340 liters|
|Owner & Guest||12 persons|
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