Stepping aboard Yacht Kelpie, based in Sag Harbor, New York, is like stepping back in time to an era of civility and glamour that typically comes with the idea of sailing. The boat’s owner and captain, Shannon Carleton, and her crew, are aboard to greet you with a crystal champagne flute overflowing with your favorite bubbles, as your tender pulls-up to the side of what seems to be one of the most beautiful sailing yachts you’ve ever seen. Available for half-day, full-day or sunset charters – Yacht Kelpie really is the most esteemed of all the boats available in the Hamptons, and she has the history to back it up.
She’s called Kelpie, the Scots name given to the shape-shifting water spirit inhabiting the lochs and pools of Scotland. Many myths tell the story of beautiful and beguiling maidens or mermaids that are able to change form into water horses. Kelpies were most often friendly and benevolent, but fairytales about them also served a practical purpose in keeping children away from stretches of water, and warning young women to be wary of handsome strangers.
Designed by Francis Sweisguth and built at the Harvey Gamage Shipyard in 1928 in Maine, Kelpie is a nearly 79-foot traditional gaff-rigged schooner, once employed by the U.S. Coast Guard to hunt German U-Boats during WWII.
She was named Classic Refit of the Year by Classic Boat Magazine in 2014, after a full refit. Kelpie entered the Mediterranean regatta circuit and immediately took first place at the Pendennis Cup in Cornwall, England.
She went on to compete among the finest super-yachts in the world before catching the eye of Captain Shannon Carleton, a pioneer of the Hamptons charter fleet.
Kelpie has also seen the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman as guests aboard in her esteemed history.
What is lovely about the Kelpie experience as how effortlessly elegant it is. Captain Shannon is one of those people who pays extreme attention to detail, so much so that everything aboard is perfect.
From the chosen food vendors delivering freshly baked croissants in the morning, to the farmers who churn-up homemade preserves – nothing is overlooked.
The crystal, the décor and even a laminated sheet of emergency instructions lettered in 14K gold – everything glitters with perfection on this yacht.
As a guest, you can work with Captain Shannon to choose your routing for the day. Whether you drift through the waters of the Peconic Bay or sail further afield, there’s nothing like the privacy and attention you receive here.
The yacht can accommodate up to over two-dozen guests and the crew can organize a simple breakfast of freshly squeezed juice, yogurt parfaits and baked goods – or an extravagant multi-course dinner. It’s all up to you.
Chartering this boat is truly a fabulous experience and each and every one of the captain’s crew if lovely, kind and willing to make your experience wonderful. If you’re in the Hamptons, you simply can’t miss it.