Superyacht Friend in Malaysia - Captain Nick Coombes”
Posted Oct. 15, 2012, 10:20 a.m.
The captain heading up Asia Pacific Superyachts Malaysia
By Linda Cartlidge
October 15, 2012--Superyacht owners and captains dreaming of a fantastic yachting journey in magnificent Malaysia have a friend in place with highly experienced sea captain, Nick Coombes, heading up Asia Pacific Superyachts Malaysia.
Nick talked about his road to becoming a sea captain beginning early in life: “I started small and learned to windsurf as a young boy. The next step was renting Hobie Cats from a beach in Florida USA, then slowly moving up to larger and larger vessels.”
Years passed as Nick Coombes, now a skipper, worked in Europe and eventually moved to run a new yacht for an Indonesian businessman. He then sold it in Malaysia and relocated to Langkawi, Malaysia – building a successful business with Asia Pacific Superyachts.
The company is at top of the line in providing of yacht support services throughout Malaysia, led by Captain Nick from the head office on the island of Langkawi, the premier yachting destination for the region: “Langkawi has a duty free port, no traffic, no pollution, very little crime, pristine waters, beaches, modern facilities, international airport, and three great golf courses. Why wouldn’t you want to live here??”
As to his favourite marina in Malaysia, he reports: “Telaga Harbour in Langkawi has the most spectacular scenic backdrop in Asia!” He added, “Kota Kinabalu in Borneo has incredible facilities for the owner and crew; including a great golf course and tennis, squash, gym facilities, etc. It’s another great marina.”
Recalling the many yachts, and Superyachts in particular, he’s skippered, Nick fondly recalls M.Y. Sinbad - a 38 Meter Delta Exploration Yacht: “We cruised 20,000 miles every year, all over the world.”
And he’s worked with some pretty outstanding Superyachts in Malaysia, including the magnificent 93 Meter M.Y. Mayan Queen IV. “Mayan Queen spent a few months in Malaysia last year and they all loved Langkawi. We also have MANY large yachts that return to South East Asia again and again.”
Yachting professionals Nick looks up to includes his favourite heroine, Ellen MacArthur, commenting: “I have always admired Ellen MacArthur for breaking into the male dominated world of single handed sailing – perhaps I am influenced because I have two daughters!”
Of his favourite yachting destination, “...without reservation it’s Malaysia (!!!) and I also very much enjoy Myanmar.” As to future journeys, Nick says, “I want to take a boat journey to Alaska and also a ‘River Barge’ through the French wine regions.”
Getting back to the current situation for visiting yachts to Malaysia, when asked about any government changes that could be made to help Malaysia improve marina business and attract more Superyachts, the skipper responded: “Malaysians are a very proud people, often fanatically so, to their detriment. They are not open enough to foreign suggestions on how best to attract visiting Superyachts. BUT, we still have more marina berths than we have Superyachts, so for the next few years conditions are acceptable.”
Nick points out that the unrivaled facilities and natural beauty of Langkawi make the surrounding ninety-nine islands of Malaysia the perfect cruising ground for yachts of any size. This is especially true for superyachts, with a location just south of the border of Thailand and only 98 NM from Phuket.
The island offers a wealth of cruising with natural protection from the elements year round and dotted around the islands are many pristine beaches, river systems, caves and hilltops to explore. There are plenty of 5 star hotels, internationally renowned golf courses, pristine rain forests, abundant wildlife and a town center with all the modern facilities of a small city, along with an international airport.
Within a day’s cruise of Langkawi the islands of Penang, Pangkor Laut, Butang Group, Phuket or the Similans all await yachting visitors, making Langkawi a perfect logistical center for the temperate Asian winter season, away from a cold European climate. He notes the best time for cruising Langkawi is the Easterly Monsoon season, stretching from October through April, when conditions provide a gentle 10-15 kt North Easterly breeze providing calm seas and blue skies.
Captain Nick comments, “With Caribbean marinas filling up so quickly, South East Asia is a breath of fresh air to Captains and owners.” He adds, “The abundant cruising grounds, modern marinas, cruise terminal and refit dock for berthing vessels up to 200M L.O.A., fresh supplies and repair facilities for any Sail or Motor Yacht, Mono or Multi hull, makes Malaysia is a wonderful home away from home during Europe’s cold winters.”
A final suggestion from Nick advises yachts to visit Sabah's cruising grounds of Borneo: “Sabah offers some of the most spectacular and beautiful waters, islands and mainland attractions in South East Asia. It is one of the most diverse cruising playgrounds in the world.
Captain Nick encourages visitors to combine the delights of crystal clear waters, tropical islands and mainland coastal bays with an extraordinarily diverse mainland beauty: “The highest mountain in South East Asia, virgin rainforest conservation areas, waterfalls, canyons, exotic wildlife, flora and fauna and a myriad of adventure and eco-tourism activities – are all accessible as a day or overnight excursion from your yacht in Malaysia.”
If Malaysia is among your dream destinations email [email protected]
and visit www.asia-pacific-superyachts.com.