The Owners of highly sought-after charter yacht ALL INN on why she is the gift that keeps giving.


How many yacht Owners can say that the impetus that inspired them to finally buy a yacht was worrying about a recession? Ann and David Sutherland, Owners of 39.6M/130’ Westport yacht ALL INN, one of Fraser’s most successful charter yachts, are among them.


“In 2008-2009, when the economy was in the deepest part of recession, we had some friends invite us on their yacht in the Bahamas and it was quite an eye opener,” explains David. “I was getting up in my career and had been very concerned about what was going to happen. But after drinking rosé for three days in this beautiful destination, it dawned on me that our friends weren’t worried about the economy, so why should I be? It was quite a revelation to realise that money is like energy: it doesn’t go away, it just changes Owners.”


Their first ownership experience was as partners in a 100’ Westship. “When that sold, at about the same time we sold our vacation house in Santa Fe, I said to Ann: what if our next home floated?” explains David. “All our kids and grandkids had enjoyed the house over the years, but we always felt an obligation to go there, and while it was beautiful and we loved it, the fantasy of having different groups of people on the yacht in different places in the world was a very strong influence.”


Decision made, what drew them to ALL INN? “I loved the idea that it’s a Westport, which has a reputation for quality and longevity,” says David. “I also like that Westport is American made. When we began looking, it wasn’t so much the yacht’s interior or physical properties, but more about how mechanically sound it was. Plus, the Captain is so very important to the whole effort, so in the very first stages, I went to our previous one and said: ‘If you’re not going to be my Captain, I’m not going to buy a yacht.’ He asked me what I was looking at buying, I told him a 130 Westport, and he said that was exactly where he wanted to be. So everything came together and since then we’ve had wonderful experiences.”


There was one issue: the interior. “It was obvious to us that the Westport 130 we had found was in the best condition mechanically and physically, but it lacked a lot in terms of its appearance. It really looked very dowdy and old-fashioned inside. Ann was hesitant at the beginning. She walked on board and said: ‘Wow, have we got a lot of work to do!’” As Ann puts it: “I wasn’t going to take it the way it was, so that just sunk us a little deeper into the project. But it was fun to do.”


Approaching a refit can be daunting for Owners, but the Sutherlands took on the task with a distinct advantage: decades of experience in designing and manufacturing fabrics and furnishings for yachts and luxury properties, as founders of Perennials and Sutherland, LLC. David and Ann count top yachting names as friends and clients, including Bannenberg & Rowell, for whom they are introducing a collection of furniture and textiles next year, and Bonetti /Kozerski Architecture.


So what needed to change on ALL INN in order for it to be their perfect yacht? “It was very gold and yellow inside when we took it over,” explains Ann. “We moved everything more to the platinum range, and it’s just lighter and brighter now — it feels very comfortable. I don’t do a lot of pattern work, so it’s cohesive in the way it looks, and that tends to expand the space, but we did accent with navy and blues. And up on the flybridge, which we have dubbed the Blue Moon Bar, we used navy blue on the banquettes. We have been suppliers and favoured vendors to Westport for many years, and when we bought the yacht there were actually ten pieces of our furniture on board from the original Owner. We kept most of them but we did update a few others.”

Being both Owners and designers also means that ALL INN doubles as a working test space and vacation home on the water. “It’s really a lot of fun for me to use the yacht as an experimental lab in decorating and choosing fabrics from our own collections to see what works in different situations,” says Ann. “We show at Monaco every year and understanding more and more about what those designers are looking for is really a great asset for the company. Yachts are very specific, with needs that you don’t run into in a regular home. The choice of accessories and material, and to make it feel ‘of the water’, and of course comfortable to live in, was a challenge. The scale of the furniture, how it functions, all those things we learn more about every time we’re on the yacht.”

With the yacht updated with a fresh, modern look with huge appeal to Charterers, it was launched on to the charter market in 2019 — and today is one of the most requested yachts on the worldwide charter market. There are many things the Sutherlands love about their yacht, but what do they feel keeps Charterers coming back year after year?


“We get great reviews from everybody about the crew, and we’re getting repeat Charterers now because they like the way they get treated,” says David. “The chef is a vital part — we’ve been very fortunate to have had very creative chefs and that’s always been enjoyable. Our Captain’s great about changing and working up schedules and making reservations and getting everybody lined up to do what they want to do. The cabin size is commodious for a 130’, and of course all of the toys (ALL INN boasts waverunners, kayaks, paddle boards, a slide, inflatable jungle gym, fishing gear and more). And then the places we go: the Bahamas are perfect for our yacht and we have a smaller draft so can get in to places that other yachts can’t. I think ALL INN is a total experience.”


As for their own time on board, it’s all about active time on the water, fishing and whale watching, and most importantly, being with loved ones. “One of the reasons we called it ALL INN, with two Ns, is that we wanted it to be a sort of bed and breakfast or boutique hotel for our friends and family,” says Ann. A particularly memorable recent trip was to Key West, with only their grandchildren on board. “We can’t take the whole family because we have too big a family, and so we had all of the kids with us,” says Ann. “We were getting cousins together that hadn’t seen each other for eight months. It was wonderful to have them away from their parents where we could talk to them and get to know them better. One of the first things we said to them at one of our first meals was we were so happy to be with them without their parents! I think those were the best times, just sitting around the dinner table and having good conversation with everybody, hearing about their future plans. They didn’t feel intimidated and knew they could say anything.”


As well as being together, time on board is also a chance for the family to put down their screens and re-connect with nature. “It’s an incredibly active time,” says David. “There’s nothing more fun than watching these kids going through the daily paces. They love the jet-skis and the slide, they love the ability to get on the little rubber dinghy or the tender to go ashore, go up and down the beaches and explore. They’re busy all the time and that’s very valuable. They’re not sitting there over their phones and computers, they’re busy out being active and seeing nature and seeing a new place every time. Although during Covid, they attended classes on board and sent in their reports all online from the yacht.”


Now, with travel easing, adventure beckons for ALL INN as she ventures to waters most in her size range will never see: Alaska, where she will be available for charter throughout summer 2022. “We’re going to take off from St Thomas in March, head to the Panama Canal and bust up the left coast to get to Alaska. There are very few yachts our size up there, even though Westport is made in Seattle. We are looking forward to some fly fishing and sea fishing. It’s such a beautiful place in the world to be, isolated and very special.” With these and many more adventures ahead, surrounded by loved ones, these passionate Owners are embracing the true meaning of what yachting is all about.



“It’s been seamless and beautiful. We wouldn’t even think of having anybody else right now. It’s been such a nice experience. Our Charter Manager Kellie has just been delightful, she keeps us completely apprised of everything she’s working on, the Captain and Kellie work together well and plan how to negotiate with different clients that want certain things. We can’t see any reason that we would want anything different.”


This interview first appeared in the Autumn/Winter 2021 issue of FUSE. Secure your personal digital or printed copy here.

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