The Arabella may be New York City’s best maritime secret. Wherever the Arabella goes, it’s guaranteed to be the most spectacular yacht in the harbor, but very few New Yorkers realize it’s accessible to the public. Owned by the Manhattan Yacht Club since 2013, the three-masted 157-foot mega yacht (technically a staysail schooner) can now be found anchored in New York harbor during the summer months. Untapped Cities recently experienced the Arabella as it went on a five-day sail around the East End of Long Island, and was very impressed by the beauty of the boat and the very professional crew aboard.

On August 29th, we will be hosting Untapped Cities readers on the Arabella for an evening in New York Harbor, with a special 50% off the launch price using code “untapped”. The boat will be anchored for great views of the New York City skyline in front of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Once on board, there will be a cash bar. The Untapped Cities team will be taking the 6:45 PM launch, but you are welcome to select any other time as well.

The Arabella, originally known as The Centurion, was built by Top Gun actress Kelly McGillis, who took the yacht across the Atlantic Ocean to great fanfare. It was built in 1983 by Palmer Johnson and was 110 feet long. Following a marina fire, she was purchased by hoteliers in Newport and underwent a significant makeover. The yacht was cut in two and literally extended 47 feet, then served for over a decade as a small cruise ship. It is one of the few yachts with a United States Coast Guard Certification. It has a canon that fires at each destination to mark the yacht’s arrival.

In 2013, The Manhattan Yacht Club purchased the Arabella and has spent the last five years performing integral and external upgrades. The boat first served as the clubhouse for the Yacht Club, docked at North Cove Marina, at what was the World Financial Center in Manhattan. With the changeover to Brookfield Place, the Yacht Club lost its location and moved to Jersey City where the Arabella is in the midst of a reinvention.

Captain John LaGrassa of The Arabella

Two weeks ago, the Arabella hosted members of the Yacht Club for short stays as the boat went from yacht club to yacht club along Long Island Sound. The club raced its two historic 12-metre sailboats, both named America II, that competed in the 1987 America’s Cup in Australia. On the Hamptons sail a week later, the boat made stops at Shelter Island’s Sunset Beach, Montauk’s Navy Beach, Sag Harbor, and Noyack Bay. Guests were welcome to take one of several Pico sailboats out for a spin (or as in our case, get a lesson from the crew) or take kayaks out. The sailboats and kayaks are stored topside on the Arabella, and travel from stop to stop with the guests. The topside also doubles as a dance floor or a dinner during events, which can easily fit 50 people standing.

The ship has twenty guest cabins and is run by a crew of six, four of whom are full-time staff. A wraparound wooden deck, surrounds a wood-paneled interior salon with a fully-stocked bar. Two bottles of Louis XIII, Remy Martin’s top of the line cognac which ages for 100 years, are displayed in wooden cases. A gold star-patterned navy blue wool carpet is a recent upgrade.

On the aft of the yacht, there is a wind and sun-protected canopy and horseshoe shaped seating area, with blue cushions custom-made by Hinkley. There’s also a hot tub, which when desired, is filled with fresh water for the guests. At the bow of the yacht is an elevated lounge area with cushions.

The cabins are spacious and luxurious, with air conditioning, private shower and bathrooms. 12 rooms offer queen size beds, along with cabins with bunk beds and double beds.

Join us on August 29th for an evening aboard the Arabella at 50% off the regular launch price ($20 instead of $40) using code “untapped”. Once on board, a cash bar will be available. The tender to the Arabella will leave from Manhattan (Battery Park City Ferry Terminal) or Jersey City.

Get your tickets for the 8/29 event here, and use code “untapped” for 50% off.

The Manhattan Yacht Club also runs the William Wall floating club house, another great secret in New York Harbor.