In early October 2016, two Category 5 storms — one in East Asia, the other in the North Atlantic Basin — and each packing winds of more than 160 mph at peak, left a vast swath of destruction in their wakes.
Yet a combination of luck, prudent seamanship, and the advantage of steel construction allowed Serge and Namaste, two rugged Bering 65 expedition yachts, to emerge from the intense battering with only cosmetic damage.
Typhoon Chaba battered parts of South Korea with violent wind and heavy rain on October 5, killing at least three people and flooding Pusan (Busan), the country’s largest port, as well as industrial sites. Bering 65 Serge was anchored in the main harbor of Pusan, on the southeast tip of the Korean peninsula, and suffered minor damage.
The integrity of Serge’s hull remained completely intact, and the yacht’s owner and builder credit the toughness and resistance of steel for the ability to withstand brutal typhoon-strength force and abrasion.
Bering 65 Namaste encountered similar conditions from Hurricane Matthew around October 7. Moored in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Namaste’s owners prepared the vessel for the storm with 11 lines, chafing gear, and 2 anchors down. Matthew, which inflicted death and damage estimated at a minimum $10 billion from the Caribbean up through the United States East Coast, didn’t leave a single scratch on the boat.