MCY 96 Owner Jantana Selby: From Venice to Jomtien
Jantana Selby talks about cruising around the Gulf of Thailand on Jantana, the first MCY 96 in Asia and her second superyacht from Italy’s Monte Carlo Yachts.
What are your earliest memories of boating?
My first experience, when I was very young (laughs), is in the 1980s when my father was Director General in the Ministry of Education, promoting vocational activities for children in Ayutthaya. We built our own motor boat, less than 20ft, with the assistance of local skills and shipyard facilities, and unfortunately it sank rather quickly!
My father loved to entertain so we experienced river cruising around Ayutthaya on the Chao Praya river and on the other canals around metro Bangkok, the ‘Venice of the East’. We also did a lot of cruising from Jomtien, just south of Pattaya, an area my family is very attached to.
I really discovered yachting at a young age during many day trips, including on an Azimut belonging to the Pattanodom family. From that time as well, I developed a passion for Italian design, whether it’s fashion or furniture. It’s my style, my lifestyle.
Apart from the MCY 96, what boats have you and your family owned in recent years?
We first owned a second-hand Monte Fino 62 about 15 years ago, followed by a Sunseeker for close to nine year. Our first boat by Monte Carlo Yachts was the MCY 86. A few years ago, we did a trip to Koh Tao and were caught in a typhoon that caused a terrible storm and sea conditions in the Gulf of Thailand.
I was sitting next to the Captain while he was steering and I was mesmerised to watch the yacht sliding on the waves like a sailing boat. While other passengers were seasick, I enjoyed it and was truly impressed by the resistance, safety and capability of the yacht. This trip convinced us about the quality of Monte Carlo Yachts, so when we were proposed an upgrade with the MCY 96, we jumped on it.
Why else did you choose an MCY 96? What do you think makes Monte Carlo Yachts a good brand for Asia-based buyers?
We fell in love with its sporty look and design. It’s an optimal size, as well. We feel like we’re living in a 130ft superyacht and the fact that we don’t need too many crew is an added advantage for us. My husband and I usually have three or four onboard.
We love the optimal volume and refreshing breezy air that goes through the flybridge. We are also very impressed with the attention to details, finishing and materials selection. We find that Monte Carlo Yachts has been historically very reactive in case of any maintenance issue or replacements needed.
Did you visit the shipyard in Monfalcone and the Nuvolari Lenard design office in Venice?
Yes, I did visit both, including during my trip with family and friends for the official launch in 2017 of the MCY 96 (hull one) in Venice, which was a magical event.
I was fortunate enough to liaise very closely with the Nuvolari Lenard design office, who also flew specialists to Thailand a few times for the materials selection and finishing. Therefore, I can really say that I took part in the design and customisation of the yacht. Thanks to this special relationship built, I know that whenever I have a need for a major interior change or further customisation, the Nuvolari Lenard design office will be there for me.
What customisations and options did you choose for your MCY 96?
We decided with my husband to change the original design from five bedrooms to four, by combining the two lower-deck guest bedrooms into our room and transforming the original owner’s suite into a VIP suite. We also widened the kitchen around a welcoming bar that I designed personally.
When you received the MCY 96 in Thailand, what special events did you attend with the yacht?
We received our yacht in August 2018. My husband named the yacht after me, Jantana, and we had a Buddhist monk blessing ceremony. Jantana was first showcased at the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show later that year and was the star of the show, during which we organised a Venetian masquerade event onboard.
How often do you go boating on your MCY 96 and where do you travel?
We use Jomtien, Pattaya, as a starting point, as it’s easily accessible by highway, with many trendy restaurants and stylish hotels around. Typically, we would go around the islands near Pattaya for a day trip. We have many friends, family members and at least two dogs, so usually have around 15 people on each trip.
The Gulf of Thailand has many beautiful islands and anchorage spots to explore like Koh Chang, Koh Mak and Koh Kut (Kood) to the east, near the border with Cambodia. We especially like Koh Samet (in Rayong), where there are many cool hotels and restaurants, and perfect beaches for shelters overnights. We love to go there around New Year’s. There are many trendy bars and cool clubs, and off course big fireworks!
Earlier this year, we did an amazing trip – with eight of us onboard – from Pattaya to a private island that belongs to a friend off Sihanoukville in Cambodia. It was a memorable, fun trip in a pristine environment that we plan to repeat again soon. What we are mostly missing is more stopovers like lively lifestyle marinas in Koh Chang and Koh Samui, in the west of the Gulf.
Our aim is to use the yacht at least once a month, which is not too difficult during this Covid-19 period when people are looking for a perfect hideaway and a safe experience at sea.
Occasionally, I take part in relief operations, such as in Monkey Island off Pattaya, and conservation projects. Going forward, I would like to get more involved in maritime projects including school and training for young Thais to become skilled captains, which is lacking today with new technologies and computerised navigation systems.
What advice would you give to any potential owners considering buying an MCY yacht?
I am a very happy and proud owner, so I would be more than happy to share my personal experience and useful tips to anyone contemplating buying an MCY yacht.