Story and photos by Dorie Cox
Chief Stew Paulina Costa is careful with her money, but fairly risk-tolerant. She likes to buy houses and hotels for each of her properties – in the game Monopoly, that is.
“Not too much out, but not too much in the bank,” Costa said from onboard M/Y Pepper XIII, a 125-foot Westport, during opening day of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. She plans to use the same strategy when the crew plays Yacht-opoly.
The new board game is the idea of former first officer Tony Ryan Stout and his team at YachtNeeds, a crew connection app company. He produced the yacht-themed version of the popular game using his experience and connections on yachts including M/Y Ecureuil, an 82-foot (25m) Princess; M/Y DB9, a 197-foot (60m) Palmer Johnson,and M/Y Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, a 60m Trinity.
Longtime players of the original game may remember the battleship, boot, cannon, thimble, and top hat metal playing pieces. As a kid, Stout always chose the car. The yacht version features a tiny metal vacuum cleaner, an anchor, a captain’s cap, a fire extinguisher, a monkey’s fist and a lobster.
“There it is, a metal part for each department. But we probably should have added a wrench,” Stout said at the company’s booth in the American Pavilion in the show.
On the bills are photos of Lürssen motor yachts Oasis, Aurora, Areti, Lady Lara, Radiant, Dilbar, and Azzam. When the roll of the dice moves a player, they now land on marinas and businesses from around the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and the United States.
The board’s first square begins with “You pick up a new charter, collect $200 as you pass. Start your engines.” And the corner where players’ pieces were held in jail is now labeled “Dismasted, drift to marooned.”
The rules include yacht-centered themes such as: “Select a crew member who you actually trust to be a banker,” “The last sailor left in the game wins,” and “The richest sailor wins.”
Stout said the “Chance” cards are the most fun and many ideas were submitted by yacht crew. The cards include such scenarios as: “The boss’s son raids the galley after a night out with his friend. He finds the stew’s sweet cupboard and smashes down a peanut slab. Unfortunately, he has a severe nut allergy. Administer an adrenalin (epinephrine) injection straight away, update existing medical kids on board. Pay $100.”
And one of the YachtNeeds team’s favorites: “Owner’s wife falls off the passerelle while posing with her chihuahua. … And instantly demands he buy a new and improved one.”
Instead of buying houses and upgrading to hotels, crew playing Yacht-opoly buy small yachts and trade up to megayachts, each stage costing more.
The boxed game launched in mid-October on social media and copies are being hand-delivered to yachts and crew in the Med and during the Fort Lauderdale show. The entire project is paid for by the featured advertisers, Stout said.
Citing that the average shelf life of a Monopoly game is 16 years, he considers the project an investment and is already planning next year’s deluxe edition.
Back on board M/Y Pepper XIII, Costa said she buys properties on each side of the game board and owns a variety of properties for better coverage so opponents pay rent. Her Monopoly strategies reflect how she handles real life finances.
“I like to switch it up and stay diversified,” she said. “I like to keep it balanced. Don’t put your eggs all in one basket. That is what I do now.”
First Mate Jorge Sanchez said his entire family used to play the original game, but it has been years. He’s not sure which is his favorite playing piece, but remembers picking the car often. His game board theories translate to his life, also.
“I like investing a lot,” Sanchez said. “I do try to do that today.”
When the rules are followed, it can be a long game, Costa said. So the short version of Yacht-opoly is a good idea for yacht crew, especially during the busy yachting season.
Costa and her crew mates were happy to receive the game opening day, and look forward to playing and – hopefully – coming out as the most successful megayacht owner.
Dorie Cox is editor of Triton Today. Comments are welcome below.