Family fun: The Evans family
Michael Evans, retired from a family-run real estate development company, and his wife Helga are patriarch and matriarch of four generations. When they custom built their 65m yacht White Rose of Drachs in 2004, they did it with their expanding family in mind.
MICHAEL EVANS (80)
We have five children, 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren spread between England and Monaco. White Rose of Drachs keeps us all together – we built it 12 years ago with the express purpose of maintaining family time.
Aboard, there is something for every age group. We are particularly fond of Christmas – not all 27 of us can sleep on the boat, but we all hang together. We use our boat as a true home away from home. The children come in two week shifts. Everyone loves it, no-one complains and the younger generation are thrilled to spend time with their cousins. On a yacht, there aren’t the usual distractions – well, everyone has an iPhone, but apart from that we can all relax. We have lots of toys, which are a big hit. Some yacht owners only use their yacht for two to three weeks a year, but we manage at least three months. Every summer we have a full programme. Next summer we are looking into Sicily, Croatia and the Dalmatian coast.
ANDREAS EVANS (53), SON
Spending time aboard White Rose is very different from other vacations. Somehow the privacy, convenience, range of activities, dining, familiar technology and mobility (while not having to pack and unpack every time you move) all go to make yachting an experience that’s particularly well suited to families spending quality time together.
We have a fantastic team with the captain and crew, who work tirelessly to make sure we have the best possible time together. I think they quite enjoy it, too, as we don’t take things too seriously. Family meal times are always special, but never more so than onboard White Rose, as the quality, variety and sometimes novelty of the food our chef prepares is a wonder to behold. Plus, unlike a restaurant, the menu changes daily. Given the range of ages in a family like ours, the conversation is never dull and I know my children love to listen to their grandparents’ stories.
Best of all are the water toys. Everyone is enthusiastic about enjoying all that the sea has to offer. I remember once we had eight of us water-skiing simultaneously!
The Evans family having fun in the air
The Evans family having fun in the air
CHARLOTTE ELIZABETH EVANS (26), GRANDDAUGHTER
My childhood memories are filled with summers boating. It was, and still very much is, so exciting to go to sleep in one place and wake up in another – I think that’s the magic of being on a boat. It’s the freedom to go anywhere. We have always tried to mix culture with sheer yachting fun, and my passion for history, art and different ways of life has certainly developed from family excursions where we toured antiquities, found quaint art galleries or interesting restaurants in various ports ashore. Still, there is nothing like White Rose for food – our chef is phenomenal, which makes our meal times scrumptious and relaxed.
My grandparents are exceptional people: they are incredibly generous and their love of yachting has been passed down to us and become a passion we share. Each year, my grandfather surprises the grandchildren with a new toy for the summer. A few years ago, we woke up to find an enormous slide that goes from the top deck into the sea. We even added a fender underneath to give extra height on the way down. Last year, we were fortunate enough to get a flyboard, which was tremendous fun and we all spent hours and hours trying to master the dolphin dive. It’s a great bonding experience for everyone because, as soon as we arrive on the boat, we all want to go and test the new toys together.
Another aspect of White Rose that is so special is just being able to unwind – me and my brother from London and work, and my sister from university. We are often in such remote locations that we can totally switch off and relax together and have family time, which is very important to us. Every year we cannot wait until we get on board White Rose.