TC Wong, the founder of Ximula, is an adventure seeker, and nothing quench his thirst for adventure like sailing.
He believes in eco-friendly, loves nature and most of the all, the vast sea. While there are many methods of transportation on the sea, he prefers the environmentally friendly, peaceful and pure medium of sailing.
TC Wong was featured on “Sea Breeze”, where he shared his passion and experience on sailing.
1. What boat do you currently own?
I currently own two yachts: XIMULA, a Lagoon 400S2, and XIMULA II, a Beneteau Oceanis 43.
2. What made you decide to buy these models?
I had a small powerboat 20 years ago, which I used to take my family and friends out to Batam for weekend trips, but had to sell her. Owning a sailboat has always been at the back of my mind, and I’m fortunate to be able to revisit this dream 20 years later.
I wanted to buy a sailing catamaran – sailing because I enjoy the thrill of experimenting with the sails; catamaran for comfort due to the space available on board, which was a huge bonus for when I am joined by family and friends.
After extensive research I chose the Lagoon 400S2 for its practical, thoughtful design and reliable quality. I contacted Simpson Marine in Singapore and, as my English was not good, I appreciated the help and guidance from one of Simpson Marine’s Mandarin-speaking brokers.
Once we began chartering out XIMULA, it became difficult to plan overseas expeditions for ourselves, but there were still many destinations that I wanted to explore and I also became interested in regattas. Hence, I bought XIMULA II, the Oceanis 43, from a good friend.
3. Where are the boats based?
XIMULA is based at ONE 15 Marina Club, Singapore. XIMULA II is currently based in Phuket for a year, so that I can explore all the breathtaking islands around Phuket at my own pace.
XIMULA停靠在新加坡的ONE 15游艇会，XIMULA II目前已经在普吉岛停靠了一年，这样我也可以在有空的时候，去普吉岛和周边那些漂亮的海域玩玩了。
4. How do you use your yachts?
When I first took delivery of XIMULA in 2013, I took her out almost every day with my family, friends, staff and business associates to explore the Southern Islands of Singapore. I also sailed together with my family to many beautiful neighboring destinations, such as Pulau Tioman and Sibu, the Anambas Islands, Koh Lipe and the other islands in Phang Nga Bay.
Later, we realized that there was significant opportunity to rent out XIMULA for charters around Singapore. Despite our country being surrounded by water, many locals are unaware of the boating lifestyle here and charters became a great way for us to share our passion for sailing. XIMULA is now being used for charters around Singapore, under the brand XIMULA Sail which is helmed by my daughter, Minqi.
By contrast, when I first bought XIMULA II, my staff and I spent most of our time on board practicing and participating in local regattas and although we never won, these friendly races were always a great experience for all of us, and we got to meet many sailors from all over the world.
Now, XIMULA II is based in Phuket, and I fly over at least once a month, whenever my work schedule permits. My staff also take turns to take time off work and fly over to join me and go sailing around the islands over there.
后来，我们发现要是把XIMULA租出去在新加坡及周边地区会有很大的市场。我们的国家被海水环绕，但还有很多当地人没有意识到这里是享受游艇生活方式的很好的目的地，而游艇租赁能让我们一起分享我们对航海的热爱。XIMULA现在 在XIMULA 航海公司的名义下，用于新加坡附近的租赁，而我的女儿Minqi为她进行掌舵。
与此同时，当我买下 XIMULA II，然后，我和同事们用了很多时间在船上练习帆船操作技术，参加了很多本地的帆船赛，即时我们从来没有赢过。但那些氛围很好的帆船赛对我们而言始终是很好的经历，而我们也得以和来自全世界各地的水手们一起交流。
现在， XIMULA II位于普吉岛，不管我的工作是怎样安排的，我每个月都至少会飞过去一次，我的同事也会轮流飞过去和我一起在附近的岛屿玩船。
5. What is your favourite moment from time on your yachts?
Definitely the moment when we have hoisted all our sails to harness the power of the wind and have switched off our engines, and all we can hear is the sound of the waves as we sail. This is such a serene moment, one I believe every sailor lives for.
6. What has been your most memorable trip/experience and why?
There are too many memorable experiences! I could talk about them all day and never finish. But if I were to choose one to share, it would be enduring a 60-hour journey from Pulau Redang, Malaysia to our destination, Koh Samui, Thailand, plagued by endless thunderstorms of 70-knots wind and 4-metre waves. It was a long and terrifying encounter and I’m glad we survived it as it showed me that it was possible to sail through such challenging conditions. It also made me realise there is still a lot to learn about utilising our sails to stabilise the boat in the midst of pounding waves, and taught me to be better equipped.
有太多难忘的经历！ 我可以聊上一整天，永远都说不完。 但如果我选择一个来分享，那么应该是从马来西亚的红礁岛，到目的地泰国苏梅岛。在这个将持续60小时的航程中，70节的风和四米高的浪，以及无尽雷暴一直在困扰着我们。 这是一个漫长而可怕的遭遇，我很高兴我们完成了下来，因为它告诉我，我们也有可能在这样极具挑战性的条件下航行。它也让我意识到，还有很多事要做，比如要了解如何利用我们的帆来稳定在汹涌的浪潮中的船只，并教会我要使用更好的装备。
7. What is your favorite place on board?
When we’re under way, my favorite place is definitely at the helm. Once we’re anchored, I love sitting on either of the little chairs at the bow corners of XIMULA, just enjoying the breeze and scenery.
8. Which Asian cruising destination do you recommend to your fellow yachtsmen to visit?
It’s difficult to choose one particular destination, so I’d recommend the journey from Langkawi through Phang Nga Bay to Phuket, where there are so many gorgeous islands, such as Koh Lipe, Koh Rok Nok, the Emerald Cave of Koh Muk, the many Hong’s at Koh Phanak, and more.
很难选择单纯的哪一个目的地，所以我推荐从兰卡威穿过攀牙湾到普吉岛的航线，那条线上有很多壮观漂亮的岛屿，比如丽贝岛、外洛克岛(Koh Rok Nok)、穆岛的翡翠洞，还有在蝙蝠岛(Koh Phanak)的许多景点，等等等等。
9. What are your sailing plans for the coming years?
I still have many places I’d love to explore. Having covered most of Malaysia and Thailand, I’m planning to spend more time exploring Indonesia over the next few years. We recently joined two convoys organized by Nongsa Point Marina to the Tambelan Islands and Lingga Islands in Indonesia, and hope to do more of these. After familiarising myself with navigating in Indonesia, I hope to sail further to Bali and Lombok.
10. Why did you join the yachting community, what attracted you to this lifestyle?
I am an adventurer at heart and my friends know that I have unlimited energy when it comes to exploring new places and untouched islands. Sailing enables me to travel to beautiful destinations that I cannot reach by plane. The freedom and serenity out at sea is a feeling that cannot be experienced elsewhere.
我的朋友都知道，我的内心里住着一个冒险家，当探索新的地方和还没有被大量人群踏足的岛屿时，我有无限的精力。 航行使我能够到达我乘坐飞机无法到达的美丽的目的地。 在海上有种其它地方无法体验的自由。
11. If you could change your boat for another one day, what would be your next one and why?
I love catamarans for the luxury of space they provide so I would consider a slightly bigger catamaran, so that I can bring along more friends during my longer expeditions!
12. And how about your experience of working with Simpson Marine?
My experience with Simpson Marine has been great and smooth, from comparing the various models to the purchase to the after-sales service. Simpson Marine also has offices in many parts of Asia, which provided prompt technical support from across the region.