Making History, 120-foot Motor Yacht Bayou Ties Up at Cruz Bay Creek

Bayou sits comfortably tyed up at the Cruz Bay Creek. Officials hope she is the first of many mega-yachts to call on St. John.

The rumor mill was working overtime last week with stories of just who was aboard the blue mega-yacht tied up at the Cruz Bay creek.

Despite the difference of opinion as to whose yacht it was, everyone agreed on one thing — it was the first mega-yacht in recent history seen at the Creek. Hopefully it won’t be the last.

Bayou, a 120-foot Breaux, tied up to the Creek on Sunday evening, February 11, and enjoyed a welcome reception, according to the captain of the vessel, Conrad Brown.



Captain Conrad Brown steers from the fly bridge aboard Bayou while controlling the four main engines.

Warm Welcome
“When we asked about tying up here, the Port Authority representative said ‘Please, hopefully you’ll tell others — we’d like to have more like you,’” said Brown. “We were welcomed with open arms. (V.I. Port Authority officials) Eldon Hen-dricks and Lee Christian both shook our hands and asked us to tell everyone.”

Although there is no electricity or water to tap into, water trucks can pull right up to the vessel at the Creek location and fuel tanks can easily be filled.

There aren’t many other options for mega-yachts to find shore accommodations in waters around St. John.

Boats the size of Bayou can’t use the moorings in the V.I. National Park and instead must anchor 200 feet behind the mooring field. And, boats over 125-feet long can’t anchor at all.

Untapped Market
Also the price is right — tying up at the Cruz Bay Creek is about half the cost of tying up to the Charlotte Amalie seawall, Brown explained.

The mega-yacht industry signifies an untapped economic windfall. Within just an hour of tying up, the crew spent more than $1,000 in Cruz Bay.

Today’s Flowers opened on Sunday afternoon just to accommodate the yacht. Mixology Warehouse and Chris Taxi and Tour Service of St. John also benefited from the visiting yacht.

Bayou was manufactured in Louisiana in 1989, and if it reminded anyone of the local ferries, it should have. Most ferry and cargo vessels around St. John are also Breauxs.

The 120-foot aluminum mega-yacht was originally constructed as a crew-boat, designed to ferry work crews and supplies to off-shore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Bayou was never commissioned for that purpose and instead, was purchased as a skeleton hull and then transformed into a luxury motor yacht.

Four Main Engines
The vessel has a 25-foot beam and draws only five-and-a-half-feet. There are four main Detroit Diesel 1271 engines and Perkins generators on board. Top speed for Bayou is 18 knots, with cruising speed usually around 15 knots. Cruising range is up to 2,500 nautical miles.

The motor yacht can hold up to 8,000 gallons of fuel and 2,300 gallons of water. Watermakers on board are capable of producing 3,600 gallons in 24 hours.

Rich cherry wood can be found throughout the interior as well as hardwood floors. A spiral staircase leads from the main dinning room up to the fly bridge where guests can lounge top-side, throw some fish on the barbeque or lower the 21-foot Yamaha AR-210 270-horse power Jet-Drive ski/wakeboard boat for some serious fun on the waves.

Traveling in Style
The spiral staircase also leads down to the master stateroom and two guest cabins. There is also a study that can convert into an extra cabin.

Cruising on Bayou is the way to travel.

Lovango resident David Brown would know. The man who hopes to bring an air taxi service to Love City piloted the vessel on its four-day voyage from Miami, helping out his brother, the vessel’s captain.

Other crew members were Michael Arthur, first mate; Keith Hogberg, second mate and second engineer; Jessica Bonnell, chief stewardess, and Maii Brown, chef. The vessel can accommodate up to seven crew members.

Bayou departed St. John on Tuesday, February 13, and headed to the British Virgin Islands before  returning to Miami.