Catamarans are more popular than traditional sailing yachts for crewed yacht charters today. That said, the next big trend in cats is new designs that offer more room for fun. A good example is Big Nauti, a 2021-launched Bali 5.4. This 54-foot new catamaran is a unique vessel with a remarkable crew to match and is available for Spring-Summer Caribbean charters.
“Like many Balis, Big Nauti has four queen-sized walk-around beds. Too, she has a stunning fold-away wall that brings the palms on the beach directly into the salon. This new catamaran is also equipped with a hard cushioned bow instead of a netted trampoline. This creates an amazing space for sunbathing,” says Captain Dillon Mowery. Mowery is an Albuquerque, NM native whose first nautical job was aboard a glass-bottom shipwreck tour boat for NOAA.
The 2021-launched Big Nauti is the perfect platform for a Caribbean charter. Its design was named Multihull of the Year in 2019 by Multihulls World magazine.
“Charter guests place a lot of rust in Dillon and me to give them a memorable trip,” says Amanda Mason. Mason, chef/mate, who hails from Orange County, CA, worked several years as a concierge for Hyatt in Hawaii. “The values instilled in me as a concierge has translated well to serving guests onboard the Big Nauti. Then, as now, I plan what for many guests is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. It’s important to listen to everyone’s vacation wants and needs, and then, to coordinate accordingly over the phone and through emails before they arrive. It’s something I find both challenging and rewarding.”
Amanda brings to present charters her experience in India working with the Himalayan Health Exchange.
“Watching the cooks prepare simple yet delicious daily meals gave me courage. I knew I could work with ease in the galley of any vessel. For instance, it was also inspiring to see how many different flavors, dishes, and curries they could make. And see them cook over Bunsen burners and without electricity. I don’t have a favorite dish. However, I did learn to make coconut, carrot, cashew, and curry soup. I serve this as an appetizer during charters. Its subtle hints of curry mixed with the sweetness from the carrots and coconut make for a well-balanced dish. This is true even for those that are timid of the curry flavor,” says Amanda.
Dillon is often at the helm of Big Nauti’s spacious flybridge, which offers a 360-degree view. After earning his captain’s license in Hawaii, he sailed the world. The Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans have all been his home. Thousands of sea miles come with tremendous stories. One he tells is of his days on the ‘When and If.’ This is an 80-foot John Alden schooner first owned by General George S. Patton.
Watersports are Dillon’s forte when not at the helm.
“Working on the shipwreck tour boat set me on my path. It led to my passion for exploring what lies beneath the waves. Diving shipwrecks and learning their history became addictive. I then took my knowledge back to Albuquerque and became the head of the shark tank. I’d dive with 20 sharks for hours a day. At the same time, teaching new employees how to safely be in the water with these magnificent creatures. This is what lead me on my path of ocean conservation. I continue to pursue this to this day and share this passion with our charter guests on Big Nauti.”
The coolest toy aboard Big Nauti is the sub wing. It enables riders to explore the reef and waters just as a dolphin would. The catamaran’s spacious size means the water toy box is big. There are also paddleboards, snorkel gear, wakeboards, tubes, water skis, kneeboards, fishing gear, and inflatable rafts. There is even a floating Island pad onboard.
Big Nauti charters out of the U.S. Virgin Islands through the end of July, before returning to the Caribbean in November.
“Spring-Summer Charters in the Virgin Islands makes an unbelievable time. The winds are light but reliable, which creates a comfortable sailing environment. Calm waters enable us to explore more bays as well. And the temperature of the water is perfect. It’s a great time for a big adventure on Big Nauti,” says Dillon.