Jimmy Buffett’s New Surfari 50 Sail Boat

From Boat US: “Jimmy Buffett: A Pirate Looks at 71” by Mark Corke

‘Gulf-and-western’ musician, singer, songwriter, and author, Jimmy Buffet, has a new sailboat. Here’s a look inside the Ted Fontaine designed Drifter.

For boaters of a certain age, there’s a good chance they’ll have a few Jimmy Buffett songs on their playlists. And while you may know him for his songs about his laid-back lifestyle, this celebrity “Son of Son of a Sailor” has long been a “real boater.”

An experienced sailor, Buffett was seeking out his next boat when he ended up at the door of designer Ted Fontaine. The result of their meeting is the Surfari 50, a stylish yet understated, high-tech vessel, constructed by Pacific Seacraft in North Carolina.

Unlike cruising boats of old where the widest part of the boat was somewhere around the midpoint, the widest part of Drifter, as Buffett has named the vessel, is almost all the way aft. With the beam farther back toward the transom, the cockpit has the space of a much larger boat and is a perfect spot for entertaining. The unique single-level, open-cockpit layout features a fully functional galley equipped with a gas grill, two-burner cook top, two-drawer refrigerator, and an under-counter freezer. An oversized sink, a pullout trash can, and icemaker complete the exterior galley-up concept. A fold-down transom is an ideal place to jump off the boat for a swim or to launch water toys.

Down below you’ll find room for four bunks, some stowage, and a generous head. But this is a semicustom boat, so future versions are likely to feature different layouts, and the designer notes that “almost anything” is possible within the overall confines of the hull.

Our best estimate of the sailaway price : $2.8 million

Margaritaville at Lanier Islands party yachts

Update: Book your cruise online at Lanierislands.com

From Curbed.com: “Lake Lanier’s massive Margaritaville welcomes two new party yachts

Before this week, the Jimmy Buffett-inspired makeover of the 1,500-acre Lanier Islands resort compound was missing just one thing: a small fleet of party yachts.

Luckily, Margaritaville Holdings and Safe Harbor Development, a joint venture plotting a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the Lake Lanier property, announced Monday that the project will come complete with two “excursion yachts,” which will fittingly hit the water on Cinco de Mayo, according to a press release.

The transformation slated for Buford’s hotel complex and water park will take years to complete, but Margaritaville at Lanier Islands is expected to get the party started this month, boasting a nautically-themed roster of restaurants and rides, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Aptly named “The Margaritaville” and “The LandShark” (also the name of a lager brewed by Buffett’s company), these two boats will accommodate up to 70 and 80 people, respectively, and be stocked to keep their passengers well-liquored.

“Designed to reflect Margaritaville’s ‘no worries’ tropical vibe and let guests kick their feet up, enjoying a day in paradise, the boats will host wine and margarita cruises each Saturday and Sunday this summer,” per the release.

The cover charge will cost up to $80, and a ticket for The Margaritaville will come with two drink vouchers.

Each yacht will offer indoor seating in its “luxury enclosed cabin,” as well as a rooftop deck to “set the Margaritaville mood” (i.e. a nice rum drunk).

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.