Built in 1965 by the Jakobson Shipyard in Oyster Bay, New York, this steel-hulled yacht was 38m (125ft) overall and had a tonnage of 198 gross. She carried 16 guests and a crew of seven one of whom was a local area multilingual naturalist guide.
Described by her agents as one of the most expensive motoryachts operating in Galapagos, she was said to be fast and fitted with stabilisers for excellent cruising comfort. The yacht offered two types of cruises in the islands, the first described as a standard cruise and a second extended active itinerary where scuba diving was included.
Refitted in 1994 when she was lengthened by 2.5m (8ft), she carried safety equipment that included an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), two 10-person open sea life rafts, life jackets, flares and signals, and a fire extinguishing system. Safety equipment on board was said to meet SOLAS requirements.
At the time of the accident the yacht was carrying a full complement of passengers among whom were several British TV programme makers, including the presenter, writer and comedian Griff Rhys Jones. All passengers and crew were rescued without serious injury.