Lady Isabel’s forward deck features a cozy seating area which is great for enjoying the sights during a leisurely cruise. The open bow design is quite a different experience, with no real barrier between you and the sea. The Lady Isabel is also very efficient in the water, cutting through most of the waves with relative ease thanks to her slender hull shape, and cruising at around ten knots. Van Waay gleefully notes that a single tank of diesel – about 2,000 gallons – is usually enough to last half the year. That cruise speed puts all sorts of destinations in Hong Kong within reach of Lady Isabel’s home at the Gold Coast Marina, and makes for a delightful ride to places like Sai Kung and Repulse Bay.
Lady Isabel was originally built for just one family, but she can comfortably serve up to ten guests. Below decks in the bow there is a food prep area, with modern kitchen appliances (here, Van Waay opted for modern comfort, though these measures are hardly noticed and cleverly camouflaged). From here, servers can offer drinks and meals to guests, who may choose to lounge in the main cabin or, more likely, opt for a relaxing time on Lady Isabel’s top deck. For the comfort of all guests, a number of refrigerators have been discreetly installed within easy reaching distance. A handy music system can also direct tunes to any place on the boat, or to the whole boat all at once.
But the really cool thing about Lady Isabel is what she offers a couple looking for a weekend getaway. There is just one main stateroom, which has a large and comfortable bed. In a slightly funky touch, dark-red varnished walls grace the spacious shower area – a tribute to traditional Asian lacquer techniques that are found in Vietnamese and Chinese architecture – giving the bathroom a retro feel that really makes it stand out.
The main stateroom is nicely arranged at the aft portion of the yacht, letting guests enjoy their room. Aft, there is private access to a small aft deck area to enjoy a morning cup of coffee at the transom, and a swim platform. This is accessed by a private door that enters into the cabin.
Lady Isabel is now available for charter in Hong Kong through Saffron Cruises, which has developed a set of more luxurious and unique charter options for Hong Kong residents wanting to enjoy the cool coastline of Sai Kung or Stanley, with a bit more style than the usual junk party.
To charter: www.saffron-cruises.com
Restoration work: www.fancyocean.com