Buffett Decides on a New Sailboat

Jimmy Buffett’s delightfully famous lifestyle, infused with copious amounts of “island escapism,” pairs perfectly with the personality of the Surfari 44 that Friendship Yacht Company is presenting in a scaled-back version of its Surfari 58 announced last November. Buffett, who will take delivery next November of Hull number one of the new Surfari 44 designed by naval architect Edward “Ted” Fontaine and built by Pacific Seacraft in North Carolina, anticipates that the new design’s more compact length and personally approved adaptations – including those for short-handed handling – will “simplify” his life on the water as he uses the yacht for a home away from home.

“It’s the perfect extension for living the life he enjoys, whether it’s in Sag Harbor for the summer or the Keys and the Caribbean in the winter,” said Fontaine about Buffett enjoying the Surfari 44’s most intriguing features. “A high performance auxiliary powered sailing yacht, it has as strong an emphasis on speed under sail as it does speed under power, which means…it goes places. And once it’s where it needs to be, it becomes a luxury indoor/outdoor living platform that allows its user to enjoy the destination as much as the journey.”

“Buffett epitomizes the demographic that would get the most out of the Surfari 44,” said Fontaine, adding that target markets include experienced performance racing yacht owners who have exhausted their appetites for competition and the extensive demands of their campaigns. “Having honed their sailing skills to near-professional levels, these potential owners associate high performance with high technology. They want to go fast and get there in style, and now that they are approaching their retirement years their need for speed is being seasoned with a newly appreciated desire for comfort and versatility afloat.”

Learn more about the Surfari 44 at the Friendship Yacht Company exhibit (Old Port Dock S) during the Newport International Boat Show, September 17-20 or, visit the Friendship Yacht website.

Buffett Lands First International Flight into new Jamaica Airport

Update: More photos are available in an article at Jamaica Information Service: “Jimmy Buffet, Boscobel Aerodrome’s First Passenger

The Jamaica Gleaner has a story on Jimmy Buffett’s inaugural flight into the new Boscobel Aerodrome airport in Jamaica: “Boscobel welcomes first flight

The Boscobel Aerodrome, on course to becoming the island’s third international airport, welcomed its first international flight on Friday when Jimmy Buffett of Margaritaville fame touched down in his single-engine aircraft around 10:30 a.m.

A welcoming party headed by Sports Minister Olivia Grange and including Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) chairman Mark Hart, and Chris Blackwell, was on hand to mark the occasion.

The flight came ahead of the July deadline when the facility, which is still in its expansion phase, commences full operation, and an official opening planned for December to coincide with the start of the 2010-2011 winter tourist season.

Buffett, who flew in from The Bahamas, gave a thumbs-up to the facility, saying it saved time.

“I just got to say what a thrill it is to come directly into Boscobel; this just makes things so much easier,” Buffett said.

He also commended the processing by immigration officials who were brought in just for the occasion, saying the experience was “lovely”.

But Buffett might have inadvertently disclosed that the expanded facility would be named Ian Fleming Airport – in memory of the creator of the famed James Bond series – who lived and penned several of the James Bond stories just a few miles away at Golden Eye in Oracabessa, now owned by Blackwell.

Buffett Considers New Goose Seaplane

An article at BusinessNC.com mentions Jimmy Buffett has interest in the new Goose Seaplane that will be built by Antilles Seaplanes.

To expedite production, the first planes will hew to the original design, though later models might incorporate carbon fiber and other advanced materials. Buyers can customize cockpits and instruments, sticking with the original layouts or opting for such high-tech gear as global positioning systems and radar. Their choices might hold some surprises. When Jimmy Buffett visited the plant, Manuel assumed he would order one with turbines. The original engines were known for being smoky, cranky — though reliable — and loud, with an unmistakable guttural roar. “Jimmy shook his head,” Manuel says. “He said, ‘Naw, man. I want to hear that thing go grrrrrrrrrrrr.’”

More from Antillesseaplanes.com: With the purchase of the McKinnon lot, Antilles now essentially had FAA approval for all its Goose designs -a major score, given that cost of FAA type certificates for new planes cost from $20 million to $320 million. (He has reserved the possibility ofbuilding special-order Gooses for those customers, such as Jimmy Buffett, who have insisted on a radial.)