YACHT OF THE WEEK: Here's What It's Like On Australia's Biggest Charter Yacht

Southern CloudThe Southern Cloud by the Opera House.

So how big, exactly, is Australia’s biggest charter yacht?

It’s almost comically oversized.

The $6 million-plus Southern Cloud has had some recent restoration work after being bought by a consortium of three Sydney-based businesspeople.

It’s the largest charter yacht you can hire in Australia.

It’s a triple-masted schooner, 40m long and almost 8m wide. The masts are 35m high.

If you’re into your sailing, tacking is handled by motorised winches on the deck which are more than a foot in diameter, but it needs three people to tend the sails when it’s going about.

The captain is Ross Mattson, who lives on the boat. The Southern Cloud is a big change up in living conditions for him after his last job, skippering a replica of The Endeavour on a round-Australia trip.

Danish boat builders decided halfway through building the vessel to add the masts, after originally setting out to construct a motor yacht, which it why it’s so big.

It can take 49 people for a party and can sleep up to 12. The crew quarters are up front with the guest rooms aft. There are large deck areas fore and aft, a full-service kitchen to which you can bring your own chef.

We were asked along to check out the yacht last week for a cruise around Sydney Harbour. The weather really turned it on for the evening – it’s a great way to see Sydney but can also be rented for Whitsundays or Pacific islands trips.

There’s more information on the boat here, and bookings can be made through Bray Management.

Here’s what we saw on board.

Guests gathered on the main deck.

Once we were underway most people were keen to get up on the bow for an obvious photo-op.

Here's the bridge. The wheel is a great fixture but steering can also be controlled by electronic switches and a tiny joystick.

This cockpit is actually in the lounge room.

Here's the chef at work in the galley.

And here's the lounge room where you can hang out.

There's a dining area on the back deck.

The master bedroom has a king bed, large en suite and stacks of storage space if you're on board for an extended period.

The two queen rooms are pretty reasonable too.

Captain Ross Mattson at work. He lives on board and was previously skipper of a replica of The Endeavour on a round-Australia trip.

Here's a view looking back at the bridge, that gives great perspective on how long the boat is.

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