Family reunions on the water
Sabina Nasser explains why superyacht Bina is the perfect meeting place for her family.
Sabina Nasser’s family might be scattered across the globe – but there is one thing that brings them all together. Their superyacht, Bina, berthed in the Mediterranean. Every year, they make a concerted effort to meet on board; Sabina flying in from her adopted home of New York, and the rest of the family travelling from their native Brazil. Turn the clock back a few decades, and these sorts of jetset rendez-vouz were mere pipe dreams.
“My father’s dream was always to have a boat,” says Nasser. “Apparently, even when he was setting up his company, literally from our dining room table in Brazil, he’d look up at my Mum and say, ‘when I make it, I’m going to buy a boat.’” It might have seemed an absurd idea at the time, as the young couple were just trying to put food on the table, but when the dream became a reality a few years down the line, the sailing life seemed a natural fit.
Bina is enjoyed by the whole family
Bina is enjoyed by the whole family
Sabina was in her early teens when the family invested in their first boat – and she looks back on those experiences fondly. “It was very different from what we were used to,” she remembers. “We grew up in Sao Paolo – which is a big, hectic city and the boat gave us the chance to get away for a couple of hours and be beachside with friends.” Since those early days, the family experimented with other yachts of varying sizes – finally landing on the 43m Bina – purchased to enable the family to travel further in greater comfort.
Before the adventures began, however, an eight-month refit was on the cards. “The refit was a project that we undertook as a family,” says Nasser, now 36. “My mother and I were responsible for the entire interior update and design. And my brother and father headed up anything mechanical and technology–related. That’s their bread and butter and what they love to do.” The result of their combined efforts is a cool, contemporary superyacht with room for up to 12 guests who can lounge on the oversized sundeck, or soak up the Hamptons-style interiors within.
“We wanted the yacht to be welcoming and homey. Like you could stretch on the couch, take a nap, that sort of thing.”
Of course, the journey to such a beautiful boat wasn’t always smooth sailing – and inevitable differences of opinion meant that there were bumps along the way, but usually they were resolved without too much of a headache. “I think at the end of the day, my father and brother will usually defer to my mother and myself if it concerns Bina’s looks or interiors. If it’s something more technologically-related, we’ll defer to them.” Given that the family work together on various business ventures, their ability to resolve issues quickly was perhaps unsurprising.
“I think the previous owners were a group of three or four male friends and they had very much built it as a gentleman’s lounge” explains Nasser. “Our vision was very different. We wanted it to be welcoming and homey. Like you could stretch on the couch, take a nap, that sort of thing.” A nap might be called for, given the well-stocked toy garage, which offers all the appropriate gear for hours of energetic fun. On board, there’s an enormous inflatable slide, paddle boards, two jet skis, a donut, fishing gear and everything in between. “There is also a toy that my brother became obsessed with and even took a course for,” adds Nasser. “It’s a kind of aquatic flyboard – you attach it to the jet ski and basically fly over the water. It sounds extremely scary to me but everybody loves it.”
The yacht, with all its enticing bells and whistles is, unsurprisingly, a big hit on the charter circuit, so much so that many summers, including this one, the family only have a slot for one ten-day trip. The South of France is a joint favourite. “It’s a bit of a cliché – but I love St Tropez,” says Nasser. “When you’re on the port, you can just get off the boat and be in town. I’m a bit lazy that way! I love wandering the little streets of the Old Town and seeing the old ladies sitting on their balconies embroidering and all the gorgeous buildings with bougainvillea crawling up the walls. It’s just a beautiful spot.”
The family have favourite restaurants across the Med, including Auberge Des Maures in St Tropez, but for Sabina, much of the best food they eat is on board. “We’re very spoiled because we have a fantastic chef, Nico. A lot of the time, we’ll buy the local produce and fish and he will prepare it for us. Usually it’s better than anything we’d get in a restaurant, so we become very spoilt and gain a lot of weight on our trips! He makes a pasta that he prepares in a wheel of parmesan, which is one of my favourites,” she adds.
As winter approaches though, Sabina has plenty on her mind, besides St Tropez strolling and on board feasting, namely her wedding day which is set for December. The question is, will Bina be a part of the honeymoon? “Perhaps! To be very honest, we haven’t planned it yet. It’s a little embarrassing, we really should,” says Nasser. And with charter guests scrabbling to book up those last free places, she has a point.