Highland Beauty is owned by James Humphrys and is currently berthed at Birdham Pool , Chichester.
Motor yacht, built in 1975 at Southampton, Build No: 752, Reg No: 365159
Rampart Flybridge, Flush Deck
Length 48 ft (15m)
Beam 12 ft (3.65m)
Draught 4ft3ins (1.3m)
Construction: Round bilged carvel, Iroko hull, Teak decks
Flybridge and lower steering positions
Engines: Twin Perkins 6.354 diesels
Speed: Cruise 11kts (max achieved 13kts)
Generator: Volvo Penta Perkins, 8.3 kVA
Air heating: Eberspacher
7 berths (2 twin cabins, 3 bunks in saloon/wheelhouse)
Two heads, shower, galley with mod cons, gas barbecue
Owner since 2012, James Humphrys
Previously: 1995 (approx) – 2012, Stanley Ross
Home port: Southampton registered, berthed at Birdham Pool, Chichester Harbour
This year (2018) is evolving as a typical one for Highland Beauty. Looking several months ahead, we draw up a schedule of guests to invite onboard, and we stick to those dates. Then, if weather and tides allow, we cruise. If weather is inclement or tide times do not fit, we stay in harbour and entertain our guests afloat nonetheless. This ensures that we have a predictable social programme (important for people with busy diaries), we avoid dependence on ephemeral conditions and we seize every opportunity to get underway: win all round!
Cruises vary of course:
A favourite short one (ideal for weekends between work commitments) is through Chichester Harbour to sea to feel a sense of ‘escape’ before returning to the shelter of one of many inlets, to anchor overnight and treat our guests (or just ourselves sometimes) to a relaxing evening, often with a barbecue (gas not charcoal!) on deck. Sunset is usually a delight, and I often find myself (alone!) on the foredeck just after dawn (woken through my cabin skylights) to check the anchor (even though it would be a bit late for me to notice a problem after a night safely riding the cable!)
A longer cruise might be to one of the many Solent ports – this year, to Royal Clarence marina at Gosport (where we had a splendid view of the new aircraft carrier and watched her sail one Sunday morning) and to Lymington for a ‘rally’ of classic wooden motor yachts. In previous years Highland Beauty has graced Littlehampton, Shoreham, Bembridge and Cowes.
Random thoughts from a motor yacht owner:
A few years ago I had a conversation with folks in the Helicopter Club of Great Britain, and we debated the respective ‘benefits’ of owning boats or aircraft, given similar costs! I pointed out that, once an aircraft is grounded for whatever reason (defect, weather etc) it has no further use, whereas when a boat is similarly ‘stuck in port’ she can still be enjoyed as a venue for accommodation and social activity, so I bought a boat! Of course that was not the only reason. However, I am reminded of that advantage of a boat as I write this, with Highland Beauty confined to harbour for several weeks with an engine problem, yet still available as a delightful ‘place to be’ before she is ready for sea again.
And another thing! Over the years I have challenged the ‘season’ mentality (which assumes that only in warmer months can boats be enjoyed, thereby reducing the proportion of time that ‘boat value’ applies). With a suitable heating system and homely furnishings, a motor yacht can be fun in winter, whether on the move or berthed, by enabling life with a maritime flavour. Moreover, not only yacht owners benefit from such winter embarkations, the yachts too of course, because regular use trumps neglect.