On Water: Interview with Nigel Plaskett, Owner of Superyacht Ocean Emerald
The stunning Ocean Emerald is a distinctive presence at the Singapore Yacht Show. On the sidelines of the Show, we sit for a chat with Nigel Plaskett, owner of the cutting-edge 41m superyacht.
How did you fall in love with sailing?
My parents had a boat when I was six years old so I have always been around boats all my life. I started sailing in the English Channel and then the Mediterranean. Following that I moved to Asia. The weather here is really hot, so being out on the water is a pleasant environment to spend your time
What made you decide to purchase Ocean Emerald?
Like most yacht owners, the yachts I owned grew larger and larger over the years. What I particularly liked about Ocean Emerald is that it looks very different from other boats. The superstructure is very unique.
Let’s talk about the interiors.
When Norman Foster designed the yacht, the interiors were completely white. There was no colour in the boat at all. It was very futuristic and modern, but not necessarily comfortable. When I purchased the yacht, I softened the interiors and made it more homey
What is your favourite spot on the yacht?
The skylounge. It’s a private space for me to retreat to for reading and relaxing. It’s more comfortable as compared to the main saloon. That’s a bigger and more impersonal space used for entertaining guests.
Ocean Emerald is available for charter. Who are Ocean Emerald’s clients?
Mostly families. We have an average of six to eight people for each charter. The yacht has many toys on board like jetskis, kayaks, jet bikes, all sorts that kids really enjoy. It becomes a playground for them. We usually charter the yacht out a few times a year. The rest of the time it’s for personal use.
What made you decide to base your yacht in Asia?
Firstly, Asia is my home. Secondly, basing the yacht in the Mediterranean doesn’t appeal to me because it’s too crowded. In Asia, you have the opportunity to sail out and discover some quiet corners you can have to yourself. For example, Phuket has lots of popular and busy islands but if you sail a hundred miles out you’ll find some secluded coves. You won’t get that in the Med, there’s too many boats.
Any there any memorable trips you’ve been on with Ocean Emerald?
Every trip is memorable in its own way. Sometimes you get caught in rough weather and that’s quite an adventure. Other times you stumble upon some really beautiful places. Burma is always an interesting destination. You can go there for a week and not see any other yachts around. There must be other spots we have yet to uncover. This summer, we are going to cruise around Vietnam for the first time.
There’s been a lot of talk on Asia rising as a yachting destination. What are your thoughts on this?
I’m actually quite surprised it didn’t get popular sooner! There are many nice places to go here, but not many people are inspired to explore. It seems quite strange to me. But, slowly, I think Asia will rise up.