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Making Waves

Cannes 2011


The 2011 Cannes International Boat & Yacht Show, being the season’s first show in Europe, serves as a sort of testing ground for many shipyards.

Despite the lingering recession, 425 exhibitors and 583 boats gathered in the heart of Cannes this year. Among them, 173 debut models (up from 2010’s 139 new models). A slight drop in the number of people walking through the gates belied a high quality of visitors, with increased attendance from Russia, the Middle East and Asia—particularly China, India and Singapore—but also South America, with a strong Brazilian presence. European builders also take this opportunity to hold press conferences. Here are a few highlights from Contributing Editor Maria Roberta Morso.

Azimut-Benetti Group

Founder Paolo Vitelli’s motto is “full speed ahead” for the Azimut-Benetti Group, which arrived in Cannes with four new models: the attractive Azimut 40 and Azimut 45 (also showcased a month later at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show) in its flybridge series, the Atlantis 58 and the Azimut Grande 120SL, the largest boat built by Azimut to date. Its three 16V 2000 MTU engines, paired with two Rolls-Royce waterjets—two side waterjets and a central booster—deliver cruising speeds from 32 to 40 knots. One of the key features is a high ceiling with large glass enclosure that floods the salon with light. The Atlantis 58, with its muscular and sleek line, stems from the shipyard’s technical department and NeoDesign’s Filippo Salvetti and Marco Biaggi. The boat’s performance confirms its sporty nature. With two 1,200-hp MAN engines, it reaches a remarkable 38-knot top speed.

While the new Benetti Crystal 140 was not in Cannes (it made its debut in Genoa a few later weeks later instead), Benetti also is going strong. The builder delivered 14 yachts in 2011 and, as we went to print, had received 17 new orders for yachts (including nine custom vessels ranging in size from 164 feet to 213 feet). Benetti increased the capacity of its semi-custom production (or Class) range in Viareggio, while in Livorno, the company is building the first of its new FB 800 series, a fiberglass hull with aluminum superstructure that unites design flexibility and space customization. The attractive new 164-foot four-decker is designed to be less than 500 tons. Aside from its boat offerings, the group, which currently operates in 68 countries, is reaching out to new markets. It recently opened offices in Hong Kong and has strengthened its presence in the Americas, including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela and Brazil. The Azimut-Benetti Group followed suit in Fort Lauderdale with a strong presence and several models new to the American market.


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Ferretti Group

Founder Norberto Ferretti, CEO Giancarlo Galeone and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Lamberto Tacoli outlined the group’s current strategy in Cannes. Since the 2009 restructuring of the group’s equity, the company has refocused its efforts on its core activity and identified new areas of strength. In 2010, the group sold various assets, including 60 percent of the shares it held in Spanish megayacht painting specialist Pinmar, the Apreamare brand and a marine complex near Naples. In Brazil, a strong market for Ferretti, the group inaugurated Ferretti Group Brasil, struck an agreement with its long-time dealer Marcio Latorre Christiansen and in June 2011 opened a new production facility in São Paulo. Meanwhile, the group has renewed its commitment to innovation and research with the goal of improving quality and enhancing the appeal of its varied offering across its eight brands (Ferretti Yachts, Custom Line, CRN, Mochi Craft, Pershing, Riva, Itama and Bertram). Debuting in Cannes were the Custom Line Navetta 33 Crescendo and the Custom Line 124 (the Custom Line 100 debuted at the 2011 FLIBS), the Riva Iseo 27, the Pershing 108 and Lady Trudy, hull No. 7 of CRN’s successful Navetta 43, built in composite in Ancona. As we went to press, news came of new investment into the multi-faced boatbuilder, which had good results at the fall shows.

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The Galeon range includes a new flagship, the 780 Crystal. This good-looking motoryacht perfectly showcases the privately held Polish company’s capabilities in terms of design, technology and engineering. With its three decks, large indoor and open-air social areas and four ensuite lower-deck cabins, the Galeon 780 Crystal can be considered a semi-custom model. The shipyard offers flexibility in layout configuration and interior décor. The finely crafted contemporary interior of the model we visited in Cannes compares favorably with that of the best international production builders, both in design and building quality. Exquisite veneers and upholstery give the yachts a touch of luxury without clashing with this yacht’s genuinely sporty spirit. A long-lasting collaboration with Tony Castro Yacht Design ensures a strong family look throughout the range. The yachts are built at a huge facility that handles everything from hull lamination to aluminum and steel work, to joinery and upholstery, all in-house. In addition to an active representative network, Galeon has new dealers in North America, China, South Korea and Switzerland.

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Koot Yachts International

Koot Yachts International’s Koot 54 is an attractive day cruiser. A group of Kuwaiti investors entrusted designer Francesco Maria Giulini and naval architect Sergio Cutolo of Hydro Tec to help develop this first model, built in Tunisia. The Koot 54 displayed in Cannes was custom-built for a Kuwaiti owner. It has large synchronized sliding doors separating the aft-deck salon from the interior, where a pilot seat and a small dinette open up to a huge salon, a few steps below the deck level. The owner requested a comfortable and private area furnished with plush sofas to share with friends. A 13-foot-long oval window on each side provides natural light as well as close sea views. The transom opens fully onto the water, and three steps above is an outdoor salon with its sofas overlooking a large swim platform. The open foredeck, finished in teak, is a great sun deck. And while this custom Koot 54 has no cabins, Koot offers the 54 with the same salon plus a cabin. The shipyard’s design team created the exterior lines, while Giulini designed the interior. From Sergio Cutolo comes a V-shaped planing hull with variable deadrise angle. Twin MAN R6-800 engines allow it to reach a 34-knot top speed and a cruising speed of 30.

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Monte Carlo Yachts

While introducing the new MCY 65, Monte Carlo Yachts’ spirited CEO Carla Demaria offered a detailed analysis of the global market’s situation and the shipyard’s strategy, which includes development and commitment to quality. Based on the great reception the newly introduced shipyard received at last year’s Hainan Rendez-Vous and the Rio Boat Show, it will continue to pay close attention to emerging markets, in South America and Asia, particularly. As part of the Beneteau Group, Monte Carlo Yachts has access to substantial financial, technical and commercial resources, which allow the shipyard to develop its production site (in Monfalcone, Italy) and its international commercial structure. In order to gain a foothold in the most distant markets, Monte Carlo Yachts can bank on Beneteau’s international network, which includes offices in the United States, Brazil and China. As far as the product line is concerned, with just two models in the market, MCY has already established a strong brand and a very distinct family look. The new 65-footer—like the MCY 76 (see Yachts International December 2010) and more models yet to come—features the work of renowned designers Carlo Nuvolari and Dan Lenard. The new MCY 65 boasts the same elegance and functionality demonstrated by her bigger sister. An innovative design goes hand in hand with a rational layout and state-of-the-art technology.

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Wally Yachts

Since visionary entrepreneur Luca Bassani Antivari created Wally—a name synonymous with sporty motorboats, legendary racers and wondrous “blue ocean” sailing yachts—the company has followed its own fiercely independent path. A few months ago, however, Wally announced the arrival of a new investor, Archimedia BVI, a company specializing in innovative and high-quality consumer technology and real estate brands. “This investment provides us with an enhanced ability to develop new models and new markets over the coming years,” Bassani said. Among a few well-known models, Wally introduced its newest born, the Wally One, 42 feet of edgy design and performance—the successor of the renowned Wally Tender. Featuring multi-functional Yanmar instruments, hydraulic steering and trim systems, the new Wally One is easy to use and maneuver. Slightly shorter and narrower than the Wally Tender, Wally One’s design allows the hull to pierce the wave. The vertical bow is engineered to optimize speed, and its Yanmar V8 twin turbo engines allow Wally One to reach a top speed of 47 knots.

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Overmarine Group announced the new Mangusta 110 and displayed four models, including the Mangusta 72, one of the best-selling open-style yachts in the Mediterranean. Thanks to its excellent performance, two MTU 10V 2000 M93 engines and Arneson surface drives, the Mangusta 72 reaches a top speed of 39 knots. Performance is a hallmark of the brand, with models that stretch currently to 165 feet (a 205-footer to be built in aluminum was also recently developed). Another Overmarine hallmark is a strong family look, which appeals to a group of enthusiasts around the world. Stefano Righini has designed the entire line, including the newest model, which features a small flybridge and is immediately recognizable as a Mangusta. Equipped with two 16V 2000 M94 MTU engines, it also will deliver the kind of performance Mangusta lovers everywhere are looking for: a top speed of about 33 knots. Since taking back the marketing of its brand, builder Overmarine has been busy developing a network of commercial partners, such as MarineMax in the United States, Burevestnik in Russia, Infinite Yachts in France, La Mar Aqua in Turkey and most recently Le’Mon Group in Brazil. At the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the company announced the sale of a Mangusta 165 to an American client.

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La Belle Classe: Style, Elegance and Etiquette

The 10th edition of Monaco Classic Week (September 14 to 18) featured a merry mix of motor and sailing vintage yachts. Among them was the restored 1909 Hispania, which joined in Monaco three other surviving 15-M IR yachts designed by William Fife between 1908 and 1912. It was the first time that the four sisterships Tuiga, Lady Anne, Mariska and Hispania (four out of a series of 20) raced together. They were a sight to behold: a sea of sleek, pencil-thin hulls, varnished mahogany, gleaming brass and cream-colored canvas. Racing a vintage yacht takes a lot of teamwork—no push buttons or electric winches here. In all, there were nearly 100 yachts in attendance—everything from classic Rivas, Chris-Crafts and Hacker-Crafts, to gaff-rigged sailing yachts and the 213-foot three-masted Adix, plus the J-Class Shamrock—in other words, a yacht to please every palate.

Moët Hennessy Chairman Christian Navarre awarded the La Belle Classe Restoration prize to the 125-foot (38-meter) gaff cutter Mariquita. The 100-year-old Mariquita also won the Monaco Classic Week trophy and a Hublot watch, designed specifically for the regatta.

Classic Week had plenty to recommend it this year. Along with racing, there was a display of vintage cars, as well as an award for a concours d’elegance, an Alain Ducasse Concours de Chef and a Personality of the Sea award, which went to French actor, director and producer Jacques Perrin. The next Monaco Classic Week will be held September 11 to 15, 2013. The biennial Classic Week, headquartered at the Monaco Yacht Club, was created in 1994 to mark the centenary of Prince Albert I’s 1904 international powerboat competition. — Jill Bobrow

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Fincantieri Wows with Winch and Freivokh

Italian gigayacht builder Fincantieri Yachts—whose first yacht, the 440-foot (134-meter) Serene lay at anchor outside the Monaco Yacht Show—held at the Yacht Club of Monaco a press conference that featured new-project presentations by renowned designers Andrew Winch and Ken Freivokh. Winch began his address by holding up a rock and an egg to underline the beauty and balance of being in harmony with nature and the sea. The project name for his design is Virage 88, with the number 8 referring to infinity. The design is all about waves and nature; Virage 88 has flowing, curvaceous lines with a classic bow and stern.

Freivokh’s 459-foot (140-meter) Fortissimo project—also unveiled at the conference—was conceived, seemingly, without constraints or limitations. True to its name, it reflects strength through an aggressive design, which, Freivokh said, is intended, in part, to communicate that a yacht is transportation on the water. The yacht’s functional staircases have been designed to make connections with the sky, the exterior and the interior. Freivokh’s underlying theme is that there will be an element of excitement throughout when you are aboard the Fortissimo, and you shouldn’t feel like you are simply in another house.

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CXL: The World’s Largest Trimaran

Folding Hulls

The 205-foot yacht Lady Lola was the venue for the announcement of an exciting new project. Prince Albert II and other distinguished guests were on hand to hear about the UltraLuxum CXL project, the world’s largest sailing trimaran. The CXL is a 157-foot (48-meter) three-decked and sloop-rigged ultra-efficient composite yacht with a radical new design. It is the first yacht of its size to feature folding hull beams to obviate space issues with marina dockage. From a 75-foot overall beam in its sailing configuration, the yacht “folds” to a 36-foot beam in harbor configuration. Jean-François Ruchonnet of Monaco-based UltraLuxum and naval architect Jean-Jacques Coste of Coste Design & Partners collaborated on the concept. The yacht will be built at Tamsen Yachts in Germany. Eric Althaus of Althaus Yachting is the project manager, and Fraser Yachts will be the worldwide agent. Jessica Sbaraglia of UltraLuxum designed the aerodynamic, ergonomic and ultra-modern interior, which will incorporate lighting products by Swarovski.

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Hodgdon covers the details

Following its 2008 announcement that it was moving into the yacht interior arena—with subsequent work with Florida-based Newcastle Marine—the Maine-based classic sailing yachtbuilder Hodgdon has now partnered with Michael Peters Yacht Design for a line of custom yacht tenders. With the idea that the tender should reflect the craftsmanship and finish of the yacht to which it caters, the team has released a trio of customizable tenders that will fit any superyacht’s needs and personas: The 33-foot Sport Tender covers the fun and sexy sector; the 30-foot Center Console Tender carries the adventure-loving crowd and the 34-foot Limo Tender pampers the private-aircraft and chauffeured-car population. The 282-foot (86-meter) Oceanco Seven Seas boasts two custom 12-seater Hodgdon Limo Tenders.

The collaboration between Hodgdon and Michael Peters continues with a larger project. At the 2011 Monaco Yacht Show, the team unveiled plans for a 131-foot (40-meter) raised-pilothouse motoryacht (141 feet with swim platform) that will accommodate eight guests in five staterooms.

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CNI’s new CEO

A familiar face

Eric de Saintdo is the new chairman and CEO of Camper & Nicholsons International (CNI). When long-time company executive Jillian Montgomery retired in May 2011 after six years at the helm, De Saintdo was appointed interim CEO. He already had an important role in the company, as president of the Rodriguez Group since October 2010. He now holds both roles.

After a decade as the manager of the Cannes International Boat Show, De Saintdo had his sights set on a new boat-show venture, but a conversation with the Rodriguez Group’s top management changed all that.

A powerhouse as a marketer and trendsetter, Rodriguez was a publicly traded company with one of the hottest marine stocks. The group, based on the French Riviera, sold, maintained and chartered luxurious Mangusta and Leopard yachts, which it made ubiquitous around the Mediterranean. But, after years of amazing growth, the company was burdened by increasing debt and a growing fleet of brokerage yachts, which became harder to resell as the financial crisis became tangible. As new-build orders took a tumble worldwide, the Rodriguez Group’s long-term exclusive contracts with the two shipyards that built the Leopard and Mangusta brands came to an end. CNI, an established and reputed brokerage firm, which the Rodriguez Group acquired in 2001, was faring better. Yet, it faced increased competition in new-build, management and charter markets as the overall market shrank.

Such were the challenges that faced the new president. De Saintdo rolled up his sleeves and wasted no time. He came to the 2010 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show with a newly rebranded Rodriguez Group and new products. Rodriguez acquired several of Italian builder’s Sanlorenzo’s aluminum yachts–including the alluring 40 Alloy, and now helps market and sell Sanlorenzo yachts on the European market. Another close tie is with Italyachts, builder of a stylish composite yacht very closely related to the open-style boats Rodriguez previously sold.

Yet, under De Saintdo’s leadership, the company is also clearly forging into new directions. At the 2011 Monaco Yacht Show, De Saintdo stood alongside Tilli Antonelli, as the former Pershing executive and founder of Wider Yachts unveiled an exciting new project. The new Wider 150, an innovative megayacht designed by Fulvio de Simoni, is being marketed closely with CNI. In Monaco, CNI also unveiled a revamped Web site, more functional and user friendly, which also presents a new image of the brokerage firm. A closer affiliation with Camper & Nicholsons Marinas provides Rodriguez clients with easier access to berths in marinas around the world. In spite of the name, the two companies were not closely related in the past, and this opens new avenues to better answer a demanding clientele’s needs.

A slew of new appointments were also recently announced, including Laurent Perignon (who returns to CNI after a hiatus) as COO, and Michael Payne as CCO. DJ Kiernan, formerly charter manager for Feadship Americas, joined CNI a year ago and was recently appointed as director of charter marketing worldwide.

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Blohm + Voss Unveils an 88m in Monaco

The 2011 Monaco show, as every year, proved the perfect opportunity for the announcement by German builder Blohm + Voss of a new 289-foot (88-meter) motoryacht concept developed in conjunction with UK-based Michael Leach Design. This same team in 2010 delivered the award-winning 315-foot (96-meter) Palladium (the most recent award to grace the remarkable new vessel is an International Superyacht Society Design Award.) The new 88-meter design sticks to MCA regulations and will be built to remain below the 3,000-gross-ton mark.

Designed to Lloyd’s class, the yacht will accommodate a total of 12 guests and provide space for 30 crew. Its 51-foot beam should have no problem housing everyone. The plans call for two 2,895-hp engines that should give the yacht a top speed of 17 knots and a cruise speed of 16. Range is 5,000 nautical miles at 15 knots.

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A Princess (Yacht) in Monaco

A Natural Fit For Luxury

Princess Yachts, part of luxury group LVMH, had its largest yacht to date on display at the Monaco Yacht Show this year. Her spacious interior with four staterooms and Fendi interior were well received, and the yacht looked at home among other megayachts. An 131-foot (40-meter) yacht is under construction and slated for launch in a few months. Please visit our online edition for a full article on Princess Yachts and its recent and successful foray into the megayacht segment.

Boaters in buying mood

A waterjet-powered device, carrying a passenger James Bond-style a few feet above water, got lots of attention at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, even making the front page of the hometown newspaper, the Sun Sentinel. The newly launched JetLev, with a price tag of nearly $100,000, found several buyers at the show. This soaring device apparently was symbolic of something else, a rise in inquiries and contracts for both brokerage and new boats.

Early reports coming out of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show were optimistic, possibly confirming a positive momentum. According to a sales manager from a major shipyard, wealthy people in the United States seem to be adjusting to a “new normal” and if they have the liquidities, they are now willing to move forward with plans they had put on hold. “The consensus opinion of manufacturers and dealers alike was that the boating public was showing renewed interest in buying a boat, and that was true with both new boats and pre-owned boats,” Hargrave’s Michael DiCondina and Peter Colagiovianni said. So, despite torrential rains and bad economic news from Europe, buyers helped put a smile on many of the exhibitors’ faces. Early reports were uneven, but several dealers and builders announced they had signed contracts at the show. Visitors had a wide choice of vessels, from superyachts to express cruisers. Among the newcomers on the market were Cheoy Lee’s Alpha 76 Express; the Custom Line 100, a very attractive mid-range cruiser, the utterly stylish Riva Domino 86 and a full new range of flybridge yachts from Azimut and Azimut Grande, including the brand-new and smartly designed Azimut 45, introduced a few weeks earlier in Genoa, and the Azimut 105 and 116 (in the Grande line). Azimut-Benetti Chairman Paolo Vitelli was one of the featured guest speakers at a Boat Show breakfast, and he expressed his optimism as emerging markets and the number of ultra wealthy continue to grow. His confidence was rewarded with the sale of several boats at FLIBS.

A Shimmering Success

Yachts International created a nice momentum building up to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show’s busy event week with a special yacht hop at Fisher Island. The Fisher Island Marina offers an exceptional private setting in full view of the modern Miami metropolis shimmering in the distance. More than 10 exceptional yachts responded favorably to the invitation-only event, organized in partnership with Show Management and Opulence magazine, a lifestyle publication produced by CSI (managers of luxury residential properties on Fisher Island, Ocean Reef and more). In addition to the yacht showcase, featuring yachts from 80 to 150 feet, guests enjoyed fine food and spirits (with signature cocktails by Grey Goose vodka and Corzo tequila, wines from The Organic Cellar and Prosecco from Syltbar); a display of fine fashion by Neiman Marcus of Bal Harbour, jewelry from King Jewelers, Harry Winston and Hublot of Bal Harbour; luxurious cars from The Collection, plus live entertainment, courtesy of Steinway piano, DJ Randy Paige, DJ Ross Gassman and Static Beats, Jose Kaouno (classical guitar) and Terry Cooper on the saxophone. The 125-foot Shooting Star, a brand-new yacht from Danish Yachts, made her very first appearance in the United States at this exclusive and well-attended event. Other fine yachts included a brand new Mangusta 92 (available through MarineMax), a Ferretti 881 (Allied Marine), a Lazzara 80 (Buddy Haack brokerage) and a 90-foot Ocean Alexander (offered by Ocean Alexander brokerage). Among the largest yachts on display were the 150-foot Trinity Claire (presented by Merle Wood & Associates), the 143-foot Van Mill Starship (Chamberlain Yachts) and the 147-foot Trident Easy (IYC). Enticing the crowd to move down the docks were food and dessert stations by Divine Delicacies, Romanicos Chocolate, Cookie Bandits and Donut Divas. Fine outdoor furniture by Kettal, Broward Design Center and Burlini Studio provided just the right amount of rest areas along the docks and under a tent that proved a popular spot when the skies opened up for a fall storm. A silent auction benefited the Miami-based Marli Ovarian Cancer Awareness Foundation.

Busy fall leads to exciting new initiatives

Our partners at the The International ­SeaKeepers Society (ISKS) kicked off the busy boat show season with the 2011 edition of Le Bal de La Mer in Monaco. The event began with a cocktail reception aboard one the latest Trinity Yachts, Carpe Diem, our September issue’s cover yacht. In Fort Lauderdale, Yachts International co-sponsored an event with the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) and ISKS. The preview night gave a select group of VIPs and yacht owners an opportunity to take a first look at the superyachts on display at the show. The ISKS’ annual Founders’ Dinner, an elegant sit-down affair held in a private Fort Lauderdale waterfront villa, topped the evening in style. SeaKeepers, of course, is about more than pomp and circumstance. Behind the fun and lavish parties are the primordial goals of raising funds to further the cause of ocean preservation. Among the big names added to the roster was Kelly Slater, the 2011 recipient of the SeaKeeper Award. But the sociey is also expanding its Scientific Advisory Council. World-renowned oceanographer and author Sylvia Earle was one of the featured speakers during ISKS’ lecture series at FLIBS. Earle and ocean activist Fabien Cousteau endorsed exciting new SeaKeeper initiatives to take advantage of technology, which can turn private yachts into scientific vessels supporting much-needed research. The greatest danger to the oceans, the scientific panel agreed, is ignorance. ISKS is depending on volunteers and donations to help gather the information the scientists so critically need. Stay tuned to learn more about the organization’s exciting new initiatives in the coming months.

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