Rocinante is not a new superyacht, but it has incredible pedigree and a very interesting backstory if the Newell association isn't enough to recommend it. It's also very luxurious and quite expensive and always travels shadowed by another superyacht, the shadow vessel Dapple.
Rocinante made a surprise stop in Falmouth, Cornwall, in England, earlier this month while Dapple went into the Pendennis Shipyard for work. They arrived together, and Rocinante dropped anchor in the marina as soon as it was separated from Dapple.
Rocinante, much fancier and faster than any horseRocinante is named this way in honor of Don Quixote's horse. Unlike the fictional animal, there's nothing clumsy or malnourished about the superyacht. It's an older Lurssen build, so it carries the styling and the DNA of the prestigious yard, with an Espen Oino exterior and Alberto Pinto interiors, over Lurssen naval architecture.
The Rocinante name is relatively new. This vessel was delivered as Madsummer in 2008 to real estate billionaire Jeffrey Soffer as a private commission. As a side note, this is not the larger, newer Madsummer Soffer sold off earlier this year – obviously, he has a thing for naming all his boats Madsummer.
Soffer later sold it to Emilio Fernando Azcarraga, who renamed it TV and then sold it to Newell, who, in turn, changed its name to Rocinante. Exact figures of these transactions were never made public but estimates online put its worth at over $100 million.
Amenities include a sauna and wellness center, a fully-equipped gym, a beauty salon, an outstanding sun deck with a jacuzzi, and plenty of socializing and relaxation areas. Before Newell bought it, the broker holding its listing said the best descriptor for it would be "home" because it was designed to be cozy and elegant but also with multi-generational appeal.
Rocinante is also outstanding for its performance. Powered by twin diesel Caterpillar 3516 DITA engines delivering 2,717 hp each, it can reach top speeds of 18 knots (20.7 mph/33.3 kph). At cruising speed, range is more than 6,000 nautical miles (6,905 miles/11,112 km), which explains its popularity as a charter platform in its TV era.
Dapple, the elegant beastSome superyacht owners might decide they don't want to sacrifice space that would otherwise be used for guests' entertainment to carry a variety of water toys, so they get a second yacht to shadow this one. Shadow vessels could serve as superyachts on their own, given their luxurious appointments, large quarters, and leisure features – and might even pass for one if it weren't for the decidedly utilitarian styling.
Dapple is styled to match the mothership and carries all its toys, but it was initially designed as a superyacht explorer. Reports online claim that Newell converted it into a floating $30 million hospital during 2020, but it still retains its toy-hauling main function.
Internally named 6711GEO, Dapple is 67 meters (220 feet) in length and offers accommodation for 20 people, not including the captain. The interiors were penned by Mark Berryman, whose credits include some of the most famous superyachts out there, including the Flying Fox that was once – erroneously – linked to the same Bezos.
A large crane helps with lowering all these to water (and subsequent retrieval), and there's also a large helideck for incursions on land by air.
Dapple maxes out at 18 knots (20.7 mph/33.3 kph), much like the mothership, and offers comparable range at cruising speed. Which is just perfect, considering it's meant to shadow Rocinante wherever it might go.