Tag Archives: luxury yacht

Azimut Grande 35 Metri: New flagship 35-metre superyacht from the ‘Grande’ collection

With a sleek, streamlined body and sophisticated interior design, the Azimut Grande 35 Metri superyacht is making waves in the yachting scene. The Grande 35 Metri is the new flagship fleet in Azimut Yacht’s luxurious Grande lineup. Stefano Righini designed the exterior of the ship, while world-renowned architect Achille Salvagni crafted its lush interiors.

The 35 metre superyacht is the biggest boat in Azimut’s high-end Grande collection. Drawing on Azimut’s superior carbon fibre technology, the ship manages to attain less vibration and reduced noise, at the same time increasing comfort levels and living space on the ship. On the Grande 35 Metri maximum beam length is 7.5 metres, its wide body able to accommodate all features of a superyacht, including a side garage and a 3.25 metre jet ski. Powered by two engines that able to generate up to 2,400hp each, this baby has an approximate cruising speed of 21 knots and a top speed of 25.5 knots.

The interiors are dressed in hues of creams and whites, blending with the wood and steel finish to give off a comforting ambience. The yacht holds up to 10 guests in its five luxurious cabins, along with six crew members. Of course, the highlight is the master suite, which features an extendable carbon fibre full-length window that opens to a panoramic view. Folding out from the window is the balcony, its floor extending from under the cabin to transform into an intimate private lounge area with a magnificent view to boot.

A spiral staircase connects all decks, allowing for easy access to all parts of the ship. Specially constructed are the onyx steps, which boast two different finishings—white lacquer and mother of pearl—on their inner and outer sides. Sitting at both the stern and bow of the ship are spacious beach clubs. The bow deck is fitted with a hydro massage tub and sofas for lounging, perfect for some family relaxation time.

The Azimuth Grande 35 Metri is part of Azimut’s consistent efforts to produce the best vessels for their customers. With the continuos evolution of their nautical technology and design, Azimuth proves their efficiency in the yachting industry.

For more information, do visit Azimut.

 

 

Ferretti Group’s CRN Yachts delivers the M/Y Cloud 9 to the Mediterranean

M/Y Cloud 9

Now cruising in the Mediterranean, the 74-metre M/Y Cloud 9 was recently successfully delivered by CRN yachts — part of the Ferretti group — to the Ancona-based shipyard’s marina. A bespoke custom steel and aluminium vessel, the M/Y Cloud 9 is a collaboration between CRN Shipyard, Zuccon International Project and Winch Designs. The yacht is the shipyard’s second largest to date, after the 80-metre Chopi-Chopi, and has a maximum speed of 16.5 knots.

Launched on January 21, the CRN’s 74-metre length is impressive to the eye. More that 10,000 square feet of living space awaits passengers, spread out over five decks. A spacious alfresco area sits just in front of the master suite as a perfect intimate lounge area. This megayacht will surely make guests feel like they are on cloud nine: a beach club with an extendable platform, gym and barbecue are just a handful of the amenities onboard.

On charter, the yacht sleeps up to 12 guests in eight rooms, including the master suite, one VIP stateroom, four double cabins and two twin cabins. It can hold up to 16 guests on a private cruise. The Cloud 9 can carry up to 22 crew members on board to ensure a comfortable luxury yacht experience for all guests.

Boasting clean, sleek lines, this expansive yacht proves the strong design prowess of all firms involved. Providing only the top quality results, Italian shipbuilder CRN is continuously dedicated to the construction of fully custom, steel and aluminium yachts.

Burgess Yachts will represent the 74-metre Cloud 9 for charter in the Mediterranean this summer as worldwide central agents.

For more information, do visit CRN and Ferretti.

Environmentally friendly yacht: Benetti Meamina for charter in Maldives and Seychelles

Chartering in the Maldives and Seychelles this year, the 59 metre Benetti Meamina is an elegant, contemporary yacht. A fully equipped, action-packed vessel, she is a popular choice for families too, and is using Yacht Carbon Offsets to counter the greenhouse gas impact of fuel used.

Former Captain Steve Barker explains that this involves matching the greenhouse gas emissions from her engines and generators, ton for ton, with equivalent reductions from verified green energy projects. “Meamina is now operating in a more environmentally responsible way”, he says of the owners’ 2014 decision.

“Without compromising our very high standards, we have also re-evaluated many areas of daily operations, behind the scenes, and worked out ways to provide greener choices to guests on board. “Though we always seek to be fuel efficient, the fuel demands of a powerful, luxurious yacht like Meamina are vast. So it is great that we can respond effectively and economically to her greenhouse gas impact with Yacht Carbon Offset Limited”.

This company, based in London’s Mayfair, provides a fully- documented service for superyacht owners, and has Lloyds Register Quality Assurance Certification. Says their Mark Robinson: “We were delighted to welcome Meamina, and to help counteract her carbon footprint. This is increasingly important to many owners and charterers, especially those that are high profile, or who are concerned about the impact that their lifestyle may have on the climate.

“Meamina used a Gold Standard renewable energy project in Turkey for her initial carbon offset program. This venture was dependent on carbon funding, so Meamina’s action made a real difference. It is lovely to work with this beautiful yacht, and we thank all on board for their decision to proceed. More information can be found at yachtcarbonoffset.com.

Launched in 2009, Meamina is a full displacement motor yacht with a steel hull and aluminum topsides. Naval architecture is by Benetti, exterior lines by their Stefano Natucci, and Studio Massari took care of the interior design. The layout sleeps 12 guests in an immaculate master suite, an upper deck VIP stateroom, two double cabins and two twins. Up to 15 crew can be carried, including two world-class chefs and a qualified masseuse.

Powered by twin MTU V12 4000 turbo-charged engines, she has a top speed of 16 kts and range of 5,000 nm at 12 kts, a capability that has seen her in the Med, Caribbean, Pacific, Indian Ocean and Asia’s exotic seas and straits during a very fully-occupied eight years. Naiad stabilised when under way and at anchor, Meamina is classified by the American Bureau of Shipping.

Principal tenders are two 7.4m and 6m Pascoe jet drives. She carries two Yamaha wave runners, a stand-up wave runner, jet surf, wake boards, two stand-up paddle boards, two Eddyline kayaks, three bicycles, adult and child waterskis, snorkelling gear, inflatable towable toys, water slide, scuba gear, and there are both indoor and outdoor gymnasiums.

A Benetti spokesman says that apart from the classical purity of her white hull and superstructure, and exemplary Studio Massari interiors and decor, special attention was given to the owners’ private quarters. “Meamina is a true family yacht, designed for relaxing and comfortable cruising. The owner asked us to create different areas in the salons, and formal and informal social gathering places for the guests. The aim was to build a prestigious and impressive yacht with sophisticated decor and elegant furnishings. Interiors are pleasantly cosy”.

Of particular interest is the master suite, which has his and hers studies. Entrance is via her study, then there is a lounge and relaxation area beside starboard windows, with a sofa flanked by a pair of coffee tables and a bookcase on the wall.

A large double bed is centred. Here a flat screen TV drops down from an overhead recess, and beyond is a short hallway off which are dressing rooms. On the port side is a spacious bathroom with twin basins, tall cabinets, a tub and separate shower. Steps lead to a forward upper level within the master suite, where his study is located, complete with sweeping bow views, and a door giving access to the foredeck. Possibly the most prominent study we’ve ever seen on a superyacht.

Guests staying in the VIP suite are also wonderfully located on the upper deck, sharing space with the sky lounge. The decks are variously arranged for wining and dining or sunbathing and swimming or relaxing in the jacuzzi, while within, off the principal salon, there is a formal dining table for 12 in a wood- panelled setting bathed in gentle ambient lighting. Even a small impromptu cinema can be set up. Definitely a lovely layout, and thoughtful use of all available spaces.

This vessel is available for charter via Burgess Yachts.

This article was first published in Yacht Style 38.

Luxury yacht Numarine 32XP Explorer making a debut at Cannes Yachting Festival 2017

Numarine, an internationally renowned shipyard and most extensive boatyards on the southern shores of Istanbul, has been steadily selling stylish motor yachts from 55 feet to 130 feet for the past decade and is about to debut its latest Numarine 32XP Explorer at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival and Monaco Yacht Show.

Represented in Asia by Eric Noyel of AsiaMarine, the vessel is 32.5 metres which makes her LOA quite close to the 33-metre Numarine 105XL Dolce Vita reviewed in Yacht Style issue 37. But that is where the similarities end. The new explorer line has a steel hull and GRP superstructure. Currently, in fit-out stages, she is expected to be delivered in late June or July.

The 32XP Explorer is a three-deck displacement vessel with an 8-metre beam, which allows extraordinary interior volume at just under 300 GT. The first one has been ordered by an experienced Numarine owner searching for a versatile and voluminous yacht custom created to cater to long cruises with his growing family. The design is by Numarine’s renowned Can Yalman, who styles all the yard’s boats, with naval architecture by Umberto Tagliavini.

Powered by twin Cats, the efficient hull is expected to give the vessel a top speed of 14 knots, cruising at 12 knots, and a range of 3,000nm at an economical 9 knots.

For more information, visit Numarine and Asia Marine.

Zeelander Z44 by Dutch manufacturer Zeelander Yachts boasts unique shape

The Netherlands is home to many of the world’s premier yacht builders and the latest offering from the land of clogs and windmills is the Zeelander Z44. Now many of our readers might not be too familiar with the brand. The prestigious shipyard was founded in 2002 with the aspiration to create a “pocket super yacht.” They have brought their latest model, the Z44, to our shores, after making its Asian debut at the Singapore RendezVous recently.

As its name suggests, this Zeelander is 44 ft long and offers exceptional space on board. It’s designed by Cor D. Rover and Zeelander Yachts, while the naval architecture was undertaken by Frank Mulder. What you end up with is a yacht that is second to none and features an abundance of high-quality leather and woods, adding to its exclusive appeal. And there is no need to worry about maintaining her exterior, as faux materials mean no real teak and varnish.

Designing and building any Zeelanderis an engineering feat and this model takes 42 different moulds to create its unique shape. You will not be able to find a single straight line anywhere on the Z44. Even the windows are double curved, blending in with the curved lines of the hull which is made of GRP Core Infusion Vinylester Glass fibre. This yacht is not a style over function machine though. For instance, the high bow prevents slamming into waves, creating a more stable ride in high seas and the double chines deflect waves, keeping everything a little bit drier.

On the main deck, everyone has a 360-degree panoramic view of their surroundings, regardless of whether you’re inside or outside the yacht. You’ll also be nice and cool during those hot summer days, due to the exceptional air-conditioning system. The main deck also features plenty of seating both inside and out, as well as a swimming platform that emerges from the stern. As you head below deck you’ll find two spacious cabins, a restroom and the galley. Everything is beautifully crafted and maintains the curvaceous design of the exterior.

When it’s time to get a move on, she slices through the water with pinpoint accuracy. The 2 x Volvo Penta 375 hp engines produce a top speed of up to 36 kts depending on if you have the IPS 500 or IPS 600 model. With the 600, you also achieve a cruising range of around 300 to 400 Nm. That will easily get you from Phuket to Langkawi and back on a single tank.

It’s curvaceous, it’s sexy and it’s fun, but most importantly it has quality in spades. Whether you’re island hopping or berthed at your favourite yacht club, the Zeelander gets all the right looks. It’s like an Aston Martin for the waters, beautiful without being too ostentatious. If you’re looking for something truly unique, then you should definitely look Zeelander’s way.

This article was first published in Yacht Style 37.

Luxury motor yachts: China’s Heysea starts global sales network in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and more

China’s number one large motor yacht builder, Heysea, is starting a sales assault in Europe, the States, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Talks are in progress with dealers to create a truly global network.

So far, Florida-based Doug Hoogs has been appointed in the States, Yachting Partners International in Europe, and Tony Ross and Jason Chipp of Ensign Brokers in Australia and New Zealand. Nearby Hong Kong sales are handled directly, and Singapore and Middle East dealers are in the pipeline.

Heysea Chairman Allen Leng feels that having delivered more than 100 vessels over 55 feet since the yard was launched in 2007, the timing is right to move into the international market. Brands at first ranged from the Heysea 60, 70, 78 and 82 series to the Asteria 95 and 108. A sixth Asteria 108 was presented to her Hong Kong owner in early January. Over 15 Heysea 78s have been sold, and more than 20 Heysea 82s.

Now, the thoroughly modern Zoom 58 to 76 series is also proving popular, with seven orders so far. In Heysea’s emerging superyacht sector, a 42m cat is being built for the 100 entry plus China Cup International Regatta, held annually in Daya Bay near Hong Kong, and the Sealink 45m and Vista 50m are on the drawing boards, as is a 35m for the Americas.

The yard is ranked in the world’s Top 30 Builders in Boat International’s most recent 2016 Global Order Book, for the third straight year, and it is the only Chinese mainland yard to appear. Taiwan’s Ocean Alexander and Horizon are higher up in the same list, but Allen Leng makes the point that most Chinese-based yards are Taiwan or foreign-owned, building OEMs for well-known American and European brands, so they have little sales and individual brand marketing experience, whereas Heysea is genuinely Chinese in
all departments.

Making its debut as the Global Financial Crisis broke in 2008 was not exactly ideal, but Heysea hunkered down and through hard work combined with creative flair and technical expertise, soon began to achieve steady Chinese sales. By the 2016 Shenzhen International Boat Show, it had picked up 20 awards including Best China Yacht Builder, Best Brand Presence in China, and Personality of the Year in the China Yachting Industry.

George Mei, previously with Kingship and Nisi Yachts, has taken over as Head of Production at Heysea. Like Allen Leng and fellow Heysea Vice Presidents Ma Xiaodong and Guan Liangzhi, Mei is a graduate of the prestigious Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, Hubei, which could be likened to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

All four majored in Naval Architecture, and combined with CEO Ms Fang Yuan, who has an Engineering Masters Degree from Vrije Universiteit in Belgium, a country where she worked in sales and management for a decade, this is the “think tank” from which Heysea’s unique philosophy has emerged. Heysea literally means Hello Sea.

The 66,700 sqm facility is located in Jiangmen City, on the border between Jiangmen and Zhuhai, which is adjacent to Macau and across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Kong. It has a deep draft frontage suitable for superyachts, and is about half an hour from the boat building zone where other Chinese and foreign ventures have been established in the past decade.

“We are determined to change the stereotype image of Chinese boat building yards,” says Chairman Leng. “For us, quality comes first, and the finished product is our future calling card.” As he and his cohorts tour shows in Cannes, Monaco, Ft Lauderdale, Sydney and elsewhere, they are clearly setting themselves high standards.

There are other close connections. Doug Hoogs in Ft. Lauderdale has previously represented Kingship and IAG, introducing Chinese- built superyachts to American clients. George Mei is ex-Kingship, Nisi Yachts and IAG, overseeing the 43m King Baby, which was a finalist in the World Superyacht Awards and Showboats Design Awards in 2015. The inimitable Ms. Trouble Huang, now Overseas Sales Chief at Heysea, is also ex-IAG. When the yards used by IAG and Nisi were taken over recently by another Chinese builder, Sunbird, it seems this group decided their stars were better aligned with Heysea.

Tony Ross of Ensign Brokers in Australia had earlier sold an IAG 104 to a client based in Langkawi, but he too has migrated to Heysea, convinced that Allen Leng’s vision will soon become reality.

Leng lists four principal reasons why Heysea has a competitive advantage. The first is that every Heysea yacht has different interior designs and cabin layouts. This high degree of customisation is well regarded by Chinese buyers, some of whom have non-Western tastes, but equally the yard’s comprehensive one-stop services can be applied to any potential clients, the more so as orders progress into superyacht sizes.

Strong Research and Development abilities come next. A new model is introduced every year, and the yard claims its naval architecture pedigree results in Heysea yachts cruising 1 to 2 kts faster than other comparable regionally built brands. Design and styling is largely in-house, except for the Asteria 95 by Sydney-based naval architect David Bentley.

Quality control is the third pillar. “Heysea believes in encouraging the very spirit of craftsmanship,” says Chairman Leng. “We pay painstaking attention to every detail of the production process. Each foreman and supervisor has more than 20 years experience in their particular field.” And finally, price. “Why would you pay double the price for a European yacht that uses the same equipment and materials as Heysea?” he asks. “Heysea ensures owners do not pay a brand premium, or for unreasonably high labour costs.”

These assertions will doubtlessly be disputed by other brands, but they are clearly how Heysea positions itself in the market, and the yard has certainly come a long way since the founders met in a small Zhuhai coffee shop back in 2007.

“There is an old Chinese proverb that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” says Chairman Leng. “Heysea’s goal is to take every step firmly, and to create world-class yachts of which every Heysea owner will be proud. We believe that one day, our overall vision will come true.”

For more information, visit HeySea

Luxury sailing catamaran: Leopard 45 boasts top speed and new exterior look

The guys over at Robertson and Caine in Cape Town have designed a stunning new addition to the Leopard range: the 45. Working with Simonis & Voogd Yacht Design, they have managed to integrate all the best aspects of other Leopard models into a newly-styled exterior. What you end up with is a multihull sailing catamaran that is one of the best looking and fastest on the market.

From the outside, compared to its predecessor, the 44, onlookers will notice the redesign of the wrap-around deck. Gone are the curvaceous walking areas and in are sharper lines and angles. You’ll also find a stylish new rooftop covering the saloon. It’s large too, and reaches from the forward cockpit all the way to the aft cockpit. The new styling makes the Leopard look like it’s going fast, even when you’re moored at your home marina.

Owners will have the option of a three or four cabin layout, which revolves around entertaining guests. The aft area has increased in size and the open plan layout with L-shaped forward facing seating is perfect for lounging around or having that important business lunch. Meanwhile, the wrap-around windows are larger and let in a lot of light, while providing unparalleled visibility. There’s even a glass roof over the dining area and large sliding glass doors that open to the stern. When it’s dark out, hidden lights add a subtle illumination to the living space. Little touches like these make all the difference and adds to the quality we’ve come to expect from Leopard.

The interior is styled with wooden panels throughout and are lightly coloured with grey accents, lending the entire space an airy and modern feel. You’ll also find a large and well-equipped galley on the main deck. Thanks to the design, communication throughout is effortless and when you’re ready to make your way to the foredeck and trampoline, a weather-tight door allows for easy access.

As you head downstairs, you will not only find the spacious cabins, a small galley and several heads, but also a rest area for the crew. If you choose the three-cabin three-head layout, then the starboard-side hull is designed exclusively for the owner. There’s your main suite with a king-sized bed, a workstation and a large and well-appointed washroom with a nicely sized shower. The port-side features the other two cabins and washrooms. The four-cabin four-head layout has two washrooms on each side of the stairs on both hulls, while the cabins are located at the bow and aft of each hull. Perfect for taking family and friends on a memorable cruise. The three-cabin layout should definitely be the choice for private use, while the four-cabin layout is better for those wishing to charter out their yacht.

Like other catamarans from Leopard, the 45 is a tough, go- anywhere yacht that is as comfortable sailing around the Cape of Good Hope, where these cats are tested, as she is cruising in the calm waters of the Andaman Sea. On board, you get the utmost in luxury and strategically designed ergonomics, making this one of the most competent and comfortable catamarans available today.

This article was first published in Yacht Style 37.

Architectural boating design: Interview with designer Vittorio Garroni of the Beneteau Group

Designers Vittorio Garroni and his son Camillo

After visiting Southampton University, Garroni decided that Genoa, with its rich maritime history, should also be a centre of excellence for the boating industry. He went on to become one of the founding fathers for the first Italian School for Pleasure Craft Design, set up in conjunction with the Faculties of Engineering and Architecture at Genoa University. In 2000, the School of La Spezia offered its first degree-course in Naval Architecture for Pleasure Craft, and this was expanded to become a Masters programme in 2005.

Vittorio believes that you need good knowledge of the past in order to be able to forecast future trends. “In the field of architectural design you need to look carefully back to the past, and analyse the evolution of trends over a sufficiently long period. Only then will you confidently be able to draw your line to the future. This is what I try to make clear to my naval architecture students when I feel their anxiety to perform a good design without previously having spent a sufficient time studying the history of design.”

Besides teaching, it was Vittorio’s love affair with boating and France that led him to work with the Jeanneau shipyard. The collaboration between Vittorio Garroni and Jeanneau started with the Prestige 41 in the 1980s, and continues to this day. Since 1988, he has been the principal designer for Jeanneau, part of the Bénéteau Group, for sail and motor boats from 5m to 20m.

Besides the Prestige line of motor yachts, Vittorio was also responsible for some of the best sellers in the history of Jeanneau, such the Cap Camarat 755 (of which some 1,000 boats were sold), the Merry Fisher, the Runabout, and all the current models in the NC and Leader lines. Garroni believes it is this partnership of Italian design with French ship building that has resulted in a line of yachts that are stylish as well as seaworthy.

Garroni has produced no less than 70 different models for Prestige since he started designing for them 30 years ago, and he says that, “customer satisfaction is the primary goal. We are always seeking to find ways of delivering more to boat owners, and this puts us ahead of our competitors.” Some of the most popular boats over the years have included the Prestige 500, 620, 750 and more recently, the Prestige 680. Garroni’s more recent designs have featured large expanses of glazing, which draws natural light into the main deck and afford guests 360-degree views.

The Jeanneau 57

Garroni Design was founded in 1971, and today Vittorio and his son Camillo continue to run the family business. “We handle numerous design projects for businesses in various industries including the marine, automobile, real estate, and even the industrial sector,” says Vittorio. “Essentially we are an Italian design team, which is composed of designers, architects, engineers, and consultants. It is a multinational team with associates from Europe to the Middle and Far East, but our cultural basis always remains typically Italian. The key to this is a shared appreciation of the Renaissance heritage; our five themes are Style, Refinement, Culture, Environment and Technology.”

“Working for a production craft yard demands a very high standard of skill and versatility,” explains Vittorio. “It is not just about the creative input. The team also needs to take into consideration the production process, with each new model that is designed.” The work doesn’t stop at the waterline. It also involves 3D modelling, engineering, and optimising the assembly of every single component of the boat. The studio’s designs, however, all begin life in the traditional way: as pencil strokes on a blank sheet of paper.

But Vittorio’s skills are not restricted to pleasure craft. 25 years ago he was invited by Mitsubishi Shipyards and NYK Line to participate in the Crystal Harmony project. “She was to be the first large Japanese built and owned cruise liner, conceived for international operations. She established new parameters for luxury and comfort, and is still now considered a reference model in the industry. I designed more than half of the passenger accommodations, and all the staterooms were conceived in my office.” Right now the company is working on two cruise ships, one at 100m and the other 300m, for a new Chinese company looking to test the domestic cruise market, and both will feature eco-technologies. The studio also designs bespoke superyachts and one of their recent projects, Margot, a 45m sailing motor yacht won the Interior Design category of the 2016 International Yacht & Aviation Awards.

Garroni says that design trends are influenced by the market that is being targeted, the social position of the customers, and their cultural roots. Generally speaking, European, American and Japanese cultures move from simplicity (minimalism) towards a more “structured peaceful refinement.” The Arabs and Chinese, who never met with minimalism, remain with locally inspired decorative trends. His approach is to respect and appreciate cultural diversity.

“I have spent 40 years sharing my life between university teaching in Europe, and working in the world, mainly in the Far East. It keeps me young! Now my son and his studio partners are experiencing the same, and it is a wonderful life!”

Last year, Garroni was named “Designer of the Year” at the 2016 World Yacht Trophy Awards at the Cannes Yachting Festival. The Award specifically recognised Garroni’s Prestige Yachts line, of which there were 13 models on display ranging from 42 ft to 75 ft.

Sailing, however, remains Garroni’s first love! Vittorio Garroni has a particular soft spot for the Sun Odyssey 54 DS, which led a revolution in the early 2000s. It was an enormous success, and over 365 units have been produced. “I had one, and she was called Bambouk. She was my great love. It was with regret that I had to separate from her, and I passed her on to a friend, who has since crossed the Atlantic with her, twice, and who continues to pamper her like a baby.”

Retiring is not on Garroni’s agenda, but he now leaves the day-to- day office duties to his son. “I will continue on with my exciting work while I go sailing with my wife in the wonderful Mediterranean Sea. The ‘new office environment’ will give me a new lease of energy, but these days I do need to factor in a bit more relaxation time. The best place for that is on the water, accompanied by my wife and our dogs… and some pasta, pizza and vino rosso!”

This article was first published in Yacht Style 37.

Aman Yachts offers two luxury yachts to explore Indonesia’s Raja Ampat, Komodo Island and more

Many boutique vessels ply Asia’s exotic seas and straits, including custom-outfitted Indonesian phinisis, but it was Aman Cruises and Amanpuri in Phuket, the first resort that Singapore-based Indonesian octogenarian Adrian Zecha established in 1988, which set new standards for sumptuous sailing in the region.

30 worldwide Aman resorts later, control has passed to other international investors, but Zecha’s strong Indonesian influence lives on with Amanjiwo, beside the amazing ninth century Buddhist temple Borobudur in central Java; Amandari; Amanusa and Amankila in Bali; and the super-tent residences at Amanwana on Moro Island off Sumbawa in the Flores Sea.

Here are based two Indonesian-built vessels, the Aman Yachts 32-metre Amanikan, and the 52-metre Amandira, launched in 2015, which can take six and ten passengers respectively in ultra comfort. Short expeditions are made to see the dragons on Komodo Island 150 nm away, or in season, the yachts locate much further east at Raja Ampat, whose diving waters are legendary and near the famed Banda spice islands. Itineraries are suggested, although well-heeled repeat Aman guests, known as “Amanjunkies”, often choose their own.

Why Indonesia? It is home to some of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. Cruise director Glenn Wappet said, “Indonesia’s size, tropical climate, and archipelagic geography of over 14,000 islands support one of the world’s most bio-diverse ecosystems. East Indonesia alone has more than 1,650 species of coral reef fish. The Raja Ampat and Komodo national parks boast wildlife found nowhere else on the globe, such as the Komodo Dragon and Birds of Paradise, not to mention the multitude of endemic marine species.”

Despite Indonesia’s proximity to Singapore, its remote regions have never felt more untouched and far-flung. Just a domestic flight connecting international passengers from Jakarta to Sorong in West Papua, where the yachts launch for Raja Ampat, takes 3 hrs 40 min. Alternatively, to get aboard the boat for Komodo, a 1 hr 30 min flight to Sumbawa, followed by a car ride and then a boat crossing to Moyo Island, are required.

Anyone who has ever been an Aman resort guest can imagine how a voyage run by this group must be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. My journey last November was a five-day sojourn across the north of Raja Ampat aboard both the Amanikan and Amandira, which were sailing in tandem and hosting two groups of passengers who swapped boats halfway through the journey.

After we boarded Amanikan and settled into a long glide across the Dampier Strait in a flat calm, Glenn introduced us to the 10-member crew and gave us a tour of the wooden phinisi-hull motor yacht, which has been sailing under the Aman flag since 2009.

The main deck features an expansive dining area in front of the bar, and a splendid canvas-sheltered daybed at the bow. Wraparound passageways lead aft to the two above-deck deluxe cabins. The upper deck houses the bridge, the master cabin and sun-lounge areas both fore and aft.

The large master cabin features a king-sized bed, a writing desk, double wardrobes and vanities, separate shower and lavatory chambers en-suite. Its vaulted ceilings give the room an airy spaciousness, and windows on three sides offer panoramic 270-degree views. The deluxe cabins are slightly smaller, but outfitted similarly. The interiors’ caramel-grained wood panels and vanilla rattan accent evoke a sense of both colonial romance and laid-back luxury.

Meals aboard the Aman Yachts are equally bespoke, with menus presented to guests and confirmed beforehand to allow for menu change requests. At our first stop, against a backdrop of the verdant Cape Kri and surrounded by azure waters, we enjoyed our first lunch that seemed to have been carefully planned to complement the sensational scenery.

We were roused from our post-prandial meditation by Glenn, who said there would be an evening itinerary briefing, but with the sun still overhead, we should seize the light and do a first dive or snorkel in the early afternoon. The crew had already assembled our dive gear, and within minutes, we boarded the tender and sped across the glassy sea to a nearby dive- site. As we neared the shallows of the fringing reef, cerulean waters turned brighter to a crystal aquamarine, with fish and coral outcrops beneath clearly in sight.

Below the surface, the underwater seascape was a heaving kaleidoscope of colours and movement. Around every turn, a different species of fish, crab, shrimp and mollusc came into view, and with every glance, diverse growths of coral, sponge and tunicate filled our vision. As we ventured deeper, larger creatures emerged: turtles were napping or feeding, white and black-tip sharks patrolled through the bommies, and sleeping nurse sharks and tasselled wobbegongs were found nestled in coral hollows. What Glenn had said about the marine biodiversity was all true.

The adventure continued the next day, when a 5 am knock on my door signalled the start to our search for the rare and endemic Red Bird-of-paradise. After a quick coffee, we were whisked off to Gam Island to pick up Pak Jimmy, a local village elder who built the path to a makeshift tent where the birds could be observed. After a brief uphill climb through brush and thicket from the mangrove beach, we reached a clearing where we waited as Jimmy made the distinctive call of our quarry. As if on cue, a bird with a green feathered head and brown body appeared out of nowhere high in the thick canopy.

“A female,” Jimmy whispered. In just a few moments, his calls were replaced by the female’s, and we were absolutely enthralled when two more birds joined in. Zooming in with our cameras, the first snapshots confirmed them to be males, which were larger than the females, bearing crimson plumes and long, spiralling tail feathers. The quiet encounter quickly erupted into a vigorous mating ritual, with the fluttering males flaunting their bold colours in a scintillating courtship display, and replacing their chirrups with a crescendo of fever-pitched screams. This thrilling episode was made even more magical when Glenn mentioned that he had never witnessed such a spectacle despite having guided other guests through the same tour.

This article was written by Ken Chia and was first published in Yacht Style 37.

MCY 80 by the Beneteau Group offers the best of the Monte Carlo Yachts

Monte Carlo Yachts was founded in 2008, in the depths of the global financial crisis. Introducing a  new line of motor yachts to the market at such a time was a bold move made by French parent company Beneteau Group, but not without logic. Monte Carlo was created by combining the very best of the Made in Italy brand (we’ll just call it “style”) with the industrial know-how, financial muscle, and production capacity of the Beneteau Group.

Under any circumstances, that would be a hard act to beat, but it also involved the business acumen of Carla Demaria in the CEO seat of MCY, and the inspired design partnership of Nuvolari Lenard, the creators of Alfa Nero (82m, Oceanco) and Quattroelle (88m, Lürssen) among others. “Starting an all-new line of yachts for an all-new company was a breath of fresh air,” says Dan Lenard. “We started from scratch, with a blank sheet of paper. We had no traditions to follow, only expectations to live up to.”

Carla Demaria adds, “At the time of the financial crisis, many companies were trying to revive flagging business by producing new models, but they were always ‘developments’ of existing models. Monte Carlo Yachts was in the luxurious position of being able to create an entirely new product that nobody else had. It had to be good, and it had to be different. It had to be what the market (limited it was) wanted, rather than what the builders wanted to offer the market.”

Not only did Monte Carlo Yachts open their doors with absolutely no limits to their initial creativity, and no preconceptions (Demaria calls it “no hangovers”, which we rather like), but they also started with a brand new production process which has since been patented. Obviously, not too many details are on offer, but we do know that, up to a certain point, MCY production takes place in a modular fashion, with component units being assembled on-site. “You don’t see someone in a car factory wiring in a speedometer as they did 30 years ago,” says Lenard. “No, the dashboard arrives and is installed. The tolerances to which we are obliged to work in order for this to be successful are extremely small.

In an MCY 80, there will only be1-2 mm tolerance of fit from bow to stern. In a more traditionally- built boat of the same size, that “tolerance” could be 10 cm or more. The units that make up the interior of a Monte Carlo Yacht are all bonded into place, and constitute part of the engineering structure of the whole boat. “An MCY doesn’t squeak,” points out Demaria. At this point of our trip around the south side of Hong Kong, the captain pours on the power and steers into a tight turn. We cross our own wake… and it’s true, there are no squeaks.

So let’s look specifically at the latest model in the MCY line-up. First there was the 76 (2010), followed by the 70 (2012), 65 (2013), 86 (2014) and the imperious 105 (2015). “The 80 fills the gap in the line of our first generation”, says Lenard. “We have taken all the best- received features from all the other boats, and combined them. All the things that I liked, and everything I learned by listening to our clients. This may well be my favourite MCY.” If that sounds like a sort of aquatic potpourri, think again: this is not a collection of disparate ideas, it is a distillation of refinements. It is a reduction of the sauce that it is MCY, a sort of concentration of marine DNA (designers love to talk about “brand DNA”).

“The MCY 80 was designed specifically to be less imposing than the MCY 105, but more sporty than the MCY 86 by virtue of its visual proportions, one of the many things that makes an MCY unique.” Certainly the balance between the substantial (and entirely practical) foredeck, the slightly rakish superstructure and the neatly curtailed aft area give the boat a go-getter sort of appearance. The distinctive MCY high bow lends an appearance of purposefulness (and allows for lots and lots of luxurious headroom below; no dark cubbies in a Monte Carlo). The design visuals, including the black bimini top to the flybridge and the black glass “fashion plates” that effectively wrap the superstructure into the lines of the cockpit, all conspire happily to give an 80-footer a profile that is halfway to a sport fisherman. It’s a look that works.

Indoors, the MCY 80 is a model of fit-out perfection. “When a boat is a little smaller, like an 80-footer, as compared to an 80m boat, the emphasis has to be on finishing and detailing rather than exotic materials.” You can peer as close as you like; you won’t see the join. This boat has two particular distinguishing features that set it apart: first, the wheelhouse/galley/crew access area is all integral, meaning that the crew can come and go, attend to all the guests, and melt away invisibly at a moment’s notice. And second, Nuvolari Lenard shared the day head (halfway down the accommodation companionway) as the ensuite for one of the guest cabins. If that sounds too simple to be worth mentioning, take a look. It works.

The Owner and VIP suites, plus two guest doubles, all ensuite, and a galley on the lower deck, all bear testament to the fine standard that we have come to expect from Monte Carlo Yachts. A full length saloon on the main deck, with an expansive aft cockpit and seemingly acres of space forward, is perfect for al fresco dining, sun lounging or just making whoopee, and the flybridge offers room and then some to spare.

To make it go, two MAN 1650 V12 diesels will push this boat along at 31 kts. Quite honestly, if you need to go any faster, you are reading the wrong magazine.

Now stand back and take a look at this boat in its entirety. It’s the end product of a whole bunch of fresh ideas, none of which came with preconceptions. It’s the result of a whole lot of listening, and of a superior production technology that can build a 105 ft motor yacht in just five months. It comes with the full weight of Groupe Beneteau behind it, meaning that that the man who installed the saloon sliding doors will know where to find the drawings (and probably have a spare door handle in stock, just in case), ten years from now. “Production boats are engineered to be repeatable. With custom-built boats, every single one is a prototype.”

So what do you want? An artfully designed, properly built, thoroughly reliable motor yacht… or an experiment?

For more information, visit Monte Carlo Yachts or Simpson Marine.

This article was first published in Yacht Style 37.

Stateroom Four onboard SS Joie de Vivre. Image courtesy of Uniworld

Luxury superyacht cruises in France: SS Joie de Vivre sails from Paris boasting onboard cinema and spa lifts

Stateroom Four onboard SS Joie de Vivre. Image courtesy of Uniworld

Stateroom Four onboard SS Joie de Vivre. Image courtesy of Uniworld

A luxury superyacht designed as an opulent floating hotel has launched on the Seine in Paris, as the rich person’s version of the ubiquitous sightseeing cruise.

Aboard the SS Joie de Vivre which translates to “Joy of Living”  there is no queueing like herd animals or jockeying for the best seat against selfie stick-toting tourists on the open-air deck.

Instead, guests board a luxury yacht equipped with a spa and wellness centre, onboard cinema, gourmet restaurant and opulent rooms decorated with handcrafted furniture, antiques and original artwork.

The vessel, which accommodates 128 guests, was christened in Paris this week by actress Joan Collins.

After sailing past Parisian landmarks alongside sightseeing cruises on the Seine, the SS Joie de Vivre continues its journey outside the city, to regions like Normandy, Bordeaux and Avignon in eight to 15-day cruise itineraries.

Guests slumber in sumptuous cabins that feature custom-designed Savoir of England beds, tufted velvet headboards, heavy drapes, Egyptian cotton sheets and marble-lined bathrooms stocked with luxury Hermès and L’Occitane bath and body products.

The Normandy cruise is pitched as the dream holiday for history buffs, as the itinerary takes guests through the medieval capital of Rouen, Monet’s postcard-perfect home in Giverny, Versailles and the famed Normandy beaches.

The 15-day Paris-to-Bordeaux cruise is pitched for oenophiles and gastronomes, with an itinerary that includes wine tastings and gourmet epicurean experiences.

The top 10 most expensive yachts in the world owned by Russian billionaires, royalty and more

 

If you’ve been paying attention, you would have noticed our healthy obsession with yachts. From small fleets to mega and explorer yachts, we’ve covered them all. These luxury fleets are the epitome of sophistication and extravagance, proving to be the ultimate symbol of what luxury lifestyle stands fro. Fitted with cinemas, concert halls and even onboard beaches these yachts show us how to live the life of luxury, we bring to you the top 10 most expensive luxury yachts in the world.

1. Eclipse ($ 1.5 billion/ $485 million)

Owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abromavich, Eclipse is the most expensive yacht on our list. Eclipse is a monstrous 528 foot stunner and is the second largest private yacht in the world. Built by Blohm + Voss Hamburg Shipyard, this yacht does not hold back on its features. On top of two helicopter pads as well as a mini-submarine, Eclipse is equipped with a missile detection system and bulletproof windows as part of its defence mechanism. Rumour has it that it even has lasers to deter the paparazzi!

2. Azzam ($600 million)

With the title of the largest private yacht in the world, Azzam is a ship to marvel at. With a length of 590 feet, it edges out Eclipse to grab the crown. This monster was manufactured by Lürssen Yachts, and owned by Sheikh Khgalifa bin Zayed al-Nayan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi. Boasting a timeless and innovative design that doesn’t curb the ferocity of this yacht, Azzam is able to reach an impressive top speed of nearly 30 knots.

3. Superyacht ‘A’ ($400 million)

Named after the initials of its Russian billionaire owner Andrey Melnichenko, ‘A’ is an A class yacht. This 394-foot superyacht is designed by Philippe Starck and has an original contemporary design. Housing a 2500 square foot master bedroom as well as six guest suites, the interiors are made versatile with moving walls. Crystal, yacht glass and mirrors drip all over the interior, with a prevalence in both the interior and furniture. All things exotic seem to be in style, with white stingray hides adorning the walls while crocodile skin furniture litter the yacht.

4. Dubai ($400 million)

At 524 feet, Dubai is the yachting equivalent of its namesake. The third largest private yacht in the world is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Emirate of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. The yacht comes with seven gorgeous decks, perfect for relaxing, along with a small submarine to view the marine life that live below.

5. Al Said ($300 million)

Fashioned from an aluminium base, Al Said is another superyacht stunner. Its interiors are designed by Redman Whitely Dixon, with more than enough facilities to accommodate up to 70 people — on top of a crew of 154. Perhaps the most opulent part of this yacht is its concert hall, large enough to host a 50-piece orchestra.

6. Serene ($330 million)

Billionaire Yuri Scheffler sure knows his vodka — and his yachts. Entrusting Fincantieri to create his private yacht, the firm presented to him, “Serene”. The yacht has a combined 48,000 square feet of covered space across seven decks, featuring a fully equipped spa, cinema and even a wood fire pizza oven. Its amazing leisure and entertainment facilities will ensure that you never want to step foot off the yacht.

7.  Pelorus Yacht ($300 million)

This yacht is so extensive it is home to a collection of smaller boats on the tender deck. The Pelorus is owned by Roman Abramovich and has a length of 377 feet. Cabins in the Pelorus see distressed planking as floorboards, to create an earthy atmosphere. One of the guest suites features a movable wall, which when lowered can transform into a private veranda. It looks to be like Pelorus aims for a more informal form of luxury — a testament to true relaxation in style.

8. The Rising Sun ($300 million)

Members of the glitterati that have been seen lounging on this ship include Leonardo DiCaprio. The Rising Sun boasts 8000 square metres of living space, with 82 rooms spread out across five levels. It even has on-board basketball courts that double as helipads should the need arise.

9. Dilbar ($263 million)

A vision dressed in bronze and ivory accents, Dilbar is elegance on water. Don’t be fooled by this yacht’s graceful exterior though. Powered by a 30,000kw Diesel electric power plant, she is able to sail at speeds of 22.5 knots. Despite being surrounded by ocean, Dilbar doesn’t skimp on its indoor pool. Her 180 cubic metre pool is stated to be the largest on any yacht. In addition to her magnificent pool, Dilbar is able to carry 20 guests and 47 crew members.

10. Lady Moura ($210 million)

Get ready; this yacht has some seriously luxurious facilities. Besides having its name and escutcheon made from 24-karat gold, Lady Moura also comes with a pool with a retractable roof. But the highlight of the entire yacht is undoubtedly its extendable beach. The sand bar slides out from beneath the boat’s hull and can be adjusted to sit just at the waterline. If that doesn’t awe you enough, the onboard beach comes with palm trees to create the perfect oasis.

New motor yachts from the Ferretti Group: Pershing 70 boasts slim design and spacious interiors

Pershing, a member of the Ferretti Group, was founded in 1985 and has established itself as a premier builder of elegant and superbly engineered fast motor yachts. A combination of imaginative design and the ingenious application of available technology sets the marque apart from the pretenders and delivers high-performance boats that are just as suitable for a family cruise for a week or two, as they are for an exhilarating adrenalin-fuelled run to a nearby destination. Making a fast boat comfortable, and making a comfortable cruiser fast is a subtle skill that Pershing has honed to perfection. “Revolutionary” is a substantially over-used word when it comes to motor yachts, but please believe that the Pershing 70 really is, well, revolutionary.

The Pershing 70 is a relatively slender boat that seems to have more space inside than it really ought to. Designer Fulvio di Simoni has excelled in this regard, drawing together a combination of generous headroom throughout, huge hull windows on the lower deck, acres of glazing on the main deck, a powered sunroof over the saloon and a vanishing aft saloon wall (which is glass anyway). Together, these features contrive to achieve that which all designers are trying to do today: bring the outdoors, in. Few have done so as successfully as di Simoni.

An elegant and stylish interior created in-house by the Ferretti Group is nothing but good taste from bow to stern. Light wood panelling, exquisite fabrics and leather, and discreetly coloured fine wool carpets below make this easy on the eye, with visual accents supplied by polished metallic highlights. A yacht is above all, a place to relax, so busyness is not called for. Rather, this should be a place from which to appreciate the surrounding maritime scenery, and to retreat to at the end of a day on the water. It’s all of that. There’s also plenty of “tech” installed of course. All environmental controls, from the sun blinds to the onboard entertainment system, can be controlled from a tablet or an iPhone.

The Pershing 70 comes in two or three cabin versions: it just depends on how many friends you want on board for that weekend getaway. In the two-cabin version, and if you like to cook for your guests, you’ll enjoy the well-appointed galley opposite the saloon which allows for sociability whilst whipping up the hors d’oeuvres.

On the main deck, the saloon features more luxurious seating than you can imagine and, with the sunroof open and the aft “wall” lowered, becomes as much an outdoor space as an indoor area. The effect is expansive, to say the least.

The Pershing 70’s real party piece, however, are the “wings” that swoop from the cabin top to the side decks, enfolding and protecting the cockpit and even giving heightened security to guests moving forward on the side decks. They are not merely ornamental: the wings streamline the flow of air past the cockpit and the stern, preventing exhaust and spray returning to the cockpit, and provide an acoustic barrier at the same time. Visual elegance and perfect function, combined.

So much for luxury and styling, what does this silver beauty do when she’s fired up? This hull is a development of the feisty Pershing 64, featuring a deep-V 23-degree deadrise amidships running out to 17 degrees at the stern. Armed with two MTU V10 engines, the Pershing 70 will plane at just 21.4 kts at 1,550 rpm, and delivers 46 kts with the throttles wide open. Most importantly, the Top System automatic trim software keeps the engines operating at a constant 80 per cent load, lowering and raising the surface drives to deliver more or less power as required. In hard turns the drives are aligned asymmetrically (outboard, lower; inboard, higher), quickly, and perfectly accurately. This is close to genius stuff, allowing any owner or captain to easily extract from this glorious boat the sort of performance previously achieved only by Pershing’s own test crews. And to cap it off, the Naviop trim display tells you, all the time, the precise angling, elevation and load on the engines. When everything is perfectly “in the zone,” you get two green lights. Welcome to a video game that travels at 46 kts. I’ve just found the “Ultimate Silver Machine.”

“I just took a ride
In a Silver Machine
And I’m still feeling mean… Do you wanna ride,
See yourself going by,
The other side of the sky?”

“Silver Machine”, Hawkwind (1972).

For more information, do visit Pershing Yachts and Starship Yachts.

This article was first published in Yacht Style 37.

Luxury yachting events in Hong Kong: ASIAMARINE unveiled the Galeon 500 Fly with invited guests

March 17 to 18 marked the highly anticipated viewing of the first widely acclaimed Galeon 500 Fly unit to arrive in Hong Kong.

Selected guests of ASIAMARINE showed great interest in the highly innovative and customisable 500 Fly, which boasted an expansive interior space on all of its three decks. No matter which option is chosen, one will be able to take full advantage of the yacht’s unique beach mode feature that extends the width of the cockpit to almost 5.8m.

A breeze greeted entertained guests as they savoured the 500 Fly’s ideal boating experience, touring its outdoor bar, bright relaxing saloon, and viewing the three cabins that cater up to six people on board.

Where to rent a superyacht: Burgess yachts launches 7 Central Agency superyachts for charter

Superyacht holidays just got even more luxurious with Burgess’ recently launched range of charters. With seven of its finest Central Agency superyachts available for charter in the Indian Ocean and South East Asia, guests are given the opportunity to explore the Maldives, the Seychelles, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Palau. If seeking out exotic locates and adventurous experiences is on the agenda, charterers can anticipate Robinson Crusoe beaches, ancient temples, soaring karsts, golden pagodas, exclusive resorts and not to mention, a wonderful underwater world waiting to be explored.

Some of Burgess’ top selections include: the 77 meter Australian-built SILVER FAST by SILVERYACHTS, perfect for navigating the atolls of the Maldives or the islands of the Andaman Sea and accommodating up to 12 guests in eight cabins and a 19-member crew; the 70meter Joy by Feadship, which cruises in the Maldives or the Andaman Sea and features full spa and gym amenities as well as a professional on board therapist; the impressive 73 meter Titania by Lurssen-Werft that charters in the Maldives and South East Asia region with an extensive water park and water toys on board; and the 69 meter Saluzi by Austal, boasting accommodation for 32 people in 16 cabins, a shallow draft that allows for cruising into small coves and anchorages, as well as a license to legally charter in Palau (a top-rated diving destination) and Indonesia.

Smaller, though no less exceptional charter options include: the 59.3 meter Meamina by the stylish Italian Benetti brand, which offers spectacular views as it tours around the Maldives, Seychelles and Thailand; the 50.9 meter Northern Sun from Narasaki Shipyard, based in Thai waters and available for charter throughout the Andaman Sea and in Myanmar; and finally, the 44.2 meter Hemisphere from Pendennis Shipyard, currently the largest sailing catamaran in the world. Suitable for off-the-beaten-track cruising in Thailand and the Maldives, Hemisphere is also a certified PADI dive-training centre offering guests the opportunity to attain PADI certification while on board.

For more information, visit Burgess Yachts.

This article was first published in Yacht Style 37. 

Yacht industry in Indonesia: Paul Wheelan explores the growing luxury market and its future

Raja Ampat Expedition, © Aman Photos

“Wonderful Indonesia”, “I AM in Bali”, “Land of Water”, “15,000 Islands to Explore”, “The 3rd Great Cruising Ground….”

These are just some of the catch phrases uses by the Indonesian Tourism Board and many others when describing Indonesia. It was only a matter of time before Indonesia moved on from a country that yachtsmen only dreamt of cruising to, but more often than not steered clear due to unclear regulations and some online horror story written by a hapless yachtsman many years ago.

Fortunately, the Indonesian government has recognised the benefits that yachting can bring to the country, and has made huge improvements to make it easier and faster for visiting yachts to clear into and cruise Indonesia. In fact, the new online clearance system is working remarkably well, and the old CAIT system is (almost) a thing of the past. This new system allows a visiting yacht to enter Indonesia and cruise for up to three years before needing to clear out of the country. This is fantastic news for visiting foreign yachts, and the number of cruising yachts visiting Indonesia has increased dramatically since the system’s implementation last year.

Great environmental progress has also been made with the creation of more than 100 Marine Reserves, including the largest in South East Asia located in the Savu Sea. This has created world class diving and cruising grounds in areas such as Raja Ampat among others.

Visiting yachts (both large and small), are certainly a great help in raising yachting awareness, and bring the economy much-needed funds. However, these visiting yachts are not enough to drive the yachting industry to a level where it will make a large and meaningful impact on the lives of Indonesians throughout the Archipelago.

So, what is needed to allow Indonesia to move to the next stage of yachting maturity and really live up to its name of one of the world’s great cruising destinations?A big step in the right direction will be the development of reliable infrastructure in the form of professionally built and

A big step in the right direction will be the development of reliable infrastructure in the form of professionally built and managed marinas, boat yards with the expertise and safety standards to work on today’s modern yachts, local technicians and crew with the required training and knowledge to operate and repair complicated onboard systems, along with service mentality, availability of spare parts and companies that are willing to stock them, and of course the co-operation of the government. There are no shortages of locals and foreigners willing to commit time and resources to make all of these things a reality, and that has certainly been happening in various parts of Indonesia. However, it’s a long and very winding road to achieve these lofty goals.

Most importantly, we need strong support from the government, and the various departments must work together to recognise the benefits of developing the yachting industry for both domestic and foreign-owned yachts.

Indonesia has a large and increasingly wealthy middle-class population that has the potential to drive large sales in the entry-level boating market, which will fuel generational growth into larger yachts and help develop a true boating culture.

Another proven way of introducing yachting to the local population and increasing marine tourism is through charter for both domestic and inbound guests. At present, the Indonesian charter fleet consists of locally built Phinisis ranging from luxurious to basic, and a mish-mash of older imported or locally built boats. The demand for high-quality charter boats is not being met, and Indonesia is losing customers to the more charter-friendly markets of Thailand, Malaysia and Australia. The local Indonesian boat building industry does not have the capacity to meet the demand for high-quality boats, and this leads to the prohibitive 75% luxury tax on importing boats for commercial use. Whilst this tax is in place, the gap between supply and demand will only grow, and a true yachting industry will struggle to emerge.

Fortunately, these issues are on the government’s radar, and it’s an area where the large pool of foreign yachting experience that is present in Indonesia can contribute and add immense value to ensuring the industry is developed in a way that is sustainable, protects the environment, and creates employment and investment opportunities for all parties.

At a recent meeting with the Marine, Customs, and Tourism Departments, these issues were discussed, and the need to improve the current system or risk falling behind our more progressive neighbours in SEA was clearly understood. Thankfully, many of these high-ranking officials are open to assistance from the industry and are willing to learn. However, to make a real difference, we need that same willingness to penetrate all layers of government throughout the archipelago. That will take time and a steady hand.

However large the obstacles may be, the future looks extremely bright. Indonesia is blessed with natural beauty and a patriotic population who is keen to see its country prosper. Furthermore, working together with the many dedicated foreigners who now call Indonesia home, will surely result in great things for this “Wonderful Indonesia.”

Paul Whelan

Australian born, Paul brings nearly 30 years of marine industry experience to Simpson Marine. He has hands-on experience in virtually all aspects of the industry, including boat building working on superyachts, management of marine businesses and sales.

A qualified Master Class IV Captain, Paul has logged extensive sea miles with multiple Transatlantic and Indian Ocean crossings, Mediterranean and Caribbean cruising and lengthy periods in Asia on board 60m+ yachts. Paul currently resides in Indonesia.

This article was written by Paul Whelan, and was first published in Issue 36 of Yacht Style

New motor yachts in Asia: Ferretti Yachts 450 boasts small size but more space

 

Ferretti has added a new boat to their Ferretti Yachts range; an entry-level motor yacht, and a return to the sub-50ft range. They have sold their first in Asia, and it is already in Hong Kong.

Meant to be sporty, and it is certainly quick enough, it is also lavishly styled. Ferretti prides themselves on the excellent quality and workmanship they put into all their yachts; the boat’s smaller size doesn’t mean that its finishes have been compromised. As beautiful as the interiors are, you’d have to live on the outside of this one to really get to enjoy it. I’m not saying you can’t live in a 46ft with a beam of 14ft (I’ve lived in smaller boats), its just that you are going to enjoy being outside more. It is fast, powerful, and can turn sharply at speed. So what are you going to do? That’s right: take it out and cut some fast powerful turns at high speed.

Ferretti’s new baby has some surprises in store, not least of which is an over-sized flybridge that extends half the length of the yacht. This should look odd and unbalanced, but I have to say it does not; it looks quite well, even with passengers congregating upstairs, as they will. The flybridge doesn’t consist of much more other than seating for 6 to 8, a minibar, and some sunbathing pads near the portside helm. But then, what more do you want from a flybridge? The surprise is that it is there at all on a yacht this size. The whole foreslope beyond the flybridge is a gigantic sunpad, helping the helm keep his or her eyes forward, and could easily sun 4 to 6 little ‘uns.

The Saloon seats around 6 comfortably, and the lounge/dining area sits between the galley and the starboard helm position. Right for’ard is the companionway down to the two or three cabins below. Both cabin-versions have large full-beam double cabins at bow and midships, and if you want a third cabin, it’s a twin bunk starboard berth which necessitates a redesign of the heads.

Space, always at a premium, no matter how big your yacht, is made to appear larger by glazing as many surfaces as possible using a variety of polished “woods, lacquered surfaces, finishes and fabrics that fuse a contemporary living style with a traditional marine design”. Ferretti rightly flatters themselves that this is a hallmark of their Ferretti Yachts brand. The cockpit has an aft sofa and a dining table and leads down to the submersible stern swim platform which doubles as a boat-lift for a tender up to 2.8m long.

There are two engine options, both Cummins QSB 6.7 diesels. The owner can choose from two versions, one 480hp, the other 550hp. This translates into two speed ranges. The more powerful engines give a cruising speed of 27kts and she can scoot at 31kts. The weaker engine still slams her along at 29kts, and will cruise at 25kts, all depending on how much fuel you’ve put in the 1,400L tanks and how much water you’ve put in the 600L water tanks. The cruising range of 230nm is enough for a weekend of cruising with enough fuel to get back at speed if required. Sporty enough?

The yacht comes with multi-directional Z-Drives, so you can get one of those cool joystick things to make precision mooring in tight coves and narrow marina berths as easy as driving the tender.

For more information, visit Ferretti Yachts.

This article was first published in Yacht Style Issue 36.

Yacht Industry in Asia: Interview with Pen Marine’s Oh Kean Shen on the yachting business in Penang

Oh Kean Shen is one of the stalwarts of the leisure boating industry in South East Asia, passionate about boating and a dynamic personality. Shen always has a ready smile and a cheery greeting for anyone, not just his customers. Spending all his life in Penang, but having studied and obtained a degree in mechanical engineering in Australia and having travelled a lot in Asia and Europe, Shen has a vast knowledge and understanding of boating in Asia. He has been one of the key personalities behind the growth of the industry, not only on his home ground of Malaysia, but across other South East Asian countries where he is well respected.

The brainchild of Shen and his friend Pheh Hoe Huat, Pen Marine is a leading player in the pleasure boat industry in the region, representing leading international shipyards as well as manufacturing its own boats to meet the specific needs of its clients. Born out of a common love for the sea and for the potential of the pleasure boat industry in the region, Pen Marine today continues to marry clients with the perfect boat and promote education and boating knowledge.

What is your first recollection of being on the water?

I don’t swim, but I don’t seem to have any fear of the water even though I had a bad experience when I was young. Our family was having a beach party and I went swimming along the shallows, backstroking and occasionally floating, but soon got out of my depth. I then realised that the non-swimming members of my family were shouting from the shore because they saw I was in danger. The realisation that I was in deep water forced me to hastily improvise a swimming style stroke to return to the safety of the beach!

How did you get into the leisure boating business and what were your first memories?

My father had a new shipyard in Penang that was started in 1982. Two years after I graduated from university in Adelaide (1980) I was working at a steel factory in Penang. In 1984 my father asked me to manage the shipyard at Batu Maung in Penang Malaysia, this involved the repair of military boats. When I arrived at the shipyard,I remember one Royal Marine Police patrol boat, and a 40 ft wooden hull motor yacht on the slipway. My first impression was that I should expand from military craft to the pleasure and commercial market. While repairing military boats I began to research pleasure boats and eventually advertised to sell small outboard motor boats, Yamaha hulls from Japan. I was joined by Pheh Hoe Huat, an automobile engineer and keen angler to promote pleasure boating, and so in 1988 Pen Marine was formed.

What was your first leisure boat experience?

I wanted to tender for a government order to build a 17 ft outboard motor boat for the Customs and Excise. I bought a boat from Gordon Robinson of Marlborough Fibreglass in New Zealand and took the boat out to a nearby island. On the way back to Penang, a storm kicked up and we couldn’t see land. Friends who came along on the trip were white-faced, yet I was comfortable in the knowledge that I had bought a good seaworthy boat and should not worry. We got back to Penang safely, but it was a rapid learning curve for me. Remember, during that time, there was no GPS and we only had a compass. I had never had any navigational training or idea of navigational rules!

When did you make your first leisure boat sale?

We started a boatel for storage of small boats and bought a 14 ft Yamaha outboard motor boat which we sold within a week to a dam operator. In 1989, I sold my first Grand Banks 49 motor yacht to a banker in Penang, I’m still the dealer in Malaysia for Grand Banks today, and am proud to be one of the longest serving Grand Banks dealers.

How has the business side grown for you?

I have been involved in an advisory role with the banking and yachting industry to remove the import duty on boats and help the industry grow, and it has. I was also involved in the formation of AMIM (Association of Marine Industry Malaysia) and was Honorary Treasurer for eight years. I assisted the Malaysian Government in the formation of Langkawi International Yacht Registry and was an advisor to the EPU (Economic Planning Unit) on the development of marinas in Malaysia. A big move for Pen Marine was when we went into the superyacht business as an area representative for the Dutch builders Heesen. I sold the first yacht in South East Asia for them in 1996, with an additional four more since. I have always felt that being a direct representative for a shipyard presents a better picture to a prospective customer than being a broker with no strong ties to any shipyard.

Your daughter Shi is now involved in the business and you have been developing the Princess brand now for some four years. How is that working out?

Shi is a mechanical engineer, having graduated from Imperial College in London four years ago. She has fitted into the yachting industry like a pea in a pod, which I suppose is not surprising as she has grown up with boating! When she joined the business three years ago, I immediately placed her as the Princess Yachts manager for Pen Marine and she handles most aspects of the business including dealing with customers. She is at home on a boat and is well liked in the industry and by our clients.

Where do you see the industry and Pen Marine going in the future?

35 years ago, Pen Marine set a goal for five years, then another five years and another five years. We may not have been completely accurate with our forecasting, but the yachting industry has grown and we will continue to grow. I am confident that our range of products and our outreach across the region will continue to be our focus at Pen Marine. There are several challenges to overcome and the next generation will need to work on them. In the near future, there is a need to develop yacht financing for the middle class market, provide professional captains and crews to satisfy the yacht owners, and develop a world class infrastructure for yacht repair, skills and knowledge.

The world is becoming smaller and more global and many people in Asia are looking for new activities that have an element of challenge and adventure. A prime example is the growth of scuba diving. I see leisure boating following this trend, but we need to make it easier to participate, this is the challenge that we in the industry must face.

What are your memorable experiences in the industry?

I shall start with the bad and get that out of the way first! I ordered a stock boat and it was on a trip to Penang from Singapore with a delivery skipper (I was not on board) just before Chinese New Year in the early 1990s. Unfortunately the boat caught fire due to a fault in the engine room and sank some 40 nm from Kuala Lumpur. But the gods shone down as everyone on board was rescued by a US Navy ship passing by the Malacca Straits.

Moving on to the good things, everything else in my career in the industry has been wonderful. Meeting interesting people, visiting the best yacht builders in the world, sailing in a mega yacht in Mediterranean waters, spending quality time with clients who are all wonderful and successful people and most of all having the ability to go yachting, snorkelling and diving.

I have owned my own yacht, sailed as far north to the Similan Islands in Phuket and as far east as the Anambas Islands. All these experiences are mild in comparison to many others in this industry, but what counts is the enrichment to my yachting lifestyle. This couldn’t have been achieved without some of my yachting friends, some of whom were with me when we went through the Tsunami in Phuket and we now refer to ourselves as the Tsunami brothers. I have also had the opportunity to travel all over the world to visit boat shows and meet manufacturers, designers and yachting personalities. I can say that all the experiences have been really valuable and have helped me develop my business. Travel certainly broadens the mind far more than books, films or the internet.

In the 25 years that we have known each other, you always have a ready smile and I know you are passionate about the leisure boating industry. Do the two go together?

I’m always grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the fascinating boating industry where you meet such interesting people. I heard a saying once, “find a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life!” And that’s exactly how my life has worked out. I am fortunate to have been and still am, the owner of a shipyard at the right period when pleasure boating was born in Malaysia and is still developing.

This article was first published in Yacht Style 37.

Nautical inspired accessories: Louis Vuitton America’s Cup collection celebrates the America’s Cup in Bermuda

The 35th America’s Cup is set to take place in Bermuda this June. As the yachting equivalent of the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the America’s Cup is setting sail with the top yacht teams, each competing for the title. In line with the event and the coming of spring, partner Louis Vuitton has unveiled a luxury lifestyle collection for men. Chock full of leather goods, eyewear, shoes and accessories— all inspired by and featuring nautical elements — the collection brings forth stellar options that fit like a glove for a day of boating.

1. Accessories

These charms are delightfully nautical themed, with designs ranging from cute to chic. Choose from either a swimming sea turtle as a companion or a more practical torchlight. The charms double as a key holder suitable for those who do not want the hassle of carrying a bag.

2. Dockside Bracelet

Dockside Bracelet

The collection also boasts a few wrist candy choices that continue to be influenced by nautical motifs. Reminiscent of boating ropes, the bracelet is helmed by a thick band in the ever elegant colour of white and navy. The bracelet is enamelled with V Gaston logos well as a Louis Vuitton signature on the clasp.  Closed with a brass clasp, the playful and easy to wear bracelet is sure to be a hit with sailing enthusiasts.

3. Leather Bags

A collection cannot be complete without Louis Vuitton’s signature leather goods. Sporty and sleek, the leather goods in this collection come in a variety of sizes. The bags sport a Damier Cobalt coated canvas along with cowhide leather trim. Not to mention, these pieces also come stamped with the iconic “V Gaston” Logo, a Louis Vuitton signature since 1901. Alongside the haversacks, there is also Keepall 45 Bandoulière. This collectible edition of the Keepall 45 is designed specially for the America’s Cup 2017, making it surely a must-have piece for collectors.

The collection will be available in selected Louis Vuitton stores worldwide from March 2017 onwards. In Singapore, the collection will be stocked at Louis Vuitton Island Maison at Marina Bay Sands, Ngee Ann City and ION Orchard.

For more information, do visit americascup.com and louisvuitton.com

Luxury yacht designs: Sanlorenzo adds updates to current yacht designs for functionality

Sanlorenzo has decided to update their entire fibreglass planing hull fleet and have begun with their two “compact” yachts, the SL78 and the SL 86. The first SL78 has already been sold to a buyer in Hong Kong.

The innovations and optimisations introduced will be applied across the entire range as designers Officina Italiana Design work through their task of carrying this range into the future. In particular, attention has been paid to developing the bow from a couple of slanted sunpads (notoriously wasted space on many motor yachts) to a proper living space that anyone can use. It has sofas, a table, some sunbathing cushions and a foldable sun hood. At last a turn towards functionality rather than form.

Sanlorenzo fundamentals are preserved: the interiors are made to measure and to the owner’s taste and are top quality, elegant and reflect the balanced lines of the yacht as a whole.

From the flybridge down, there’s plenty of room for the 8 passengers. The flybridge has a hard-top bimini covering the dining area and upper helm position, while the remaining half, sternwards, has room for 3 or 4 loungers.

Access, uniquely, is from within the saloon amidships dining area, the bottom of the gangway being right outside the galley door. Diners upstairs are thus assured of hot food as are the diners below. Both these dining areas, and a third in the cockpit, comfortably seat 8, so rain or shine, or something in between are all covered.

The 8 ft extra in length from the former entry-level boat, the SL72, translates into quite a bit more space as the beam increases a little too. The saloon, forward of the substantial cockpit is accessed through foldaway rear doors and begins with the lounge, then the dining area and access to the flybridge. Lighting is improved by the use of cutaway bulwarks to allow more light to reach the windows. Forward of this is the galley, which can be open-plan or closed and then the inside helm position, centred. To port of this is the access to the crew cabins. Passenger access to the cabins is below the flybridge access gangway.

Master Cabin design comes in two flavours: full width cabin including an ensuite bathroom, or full width cabin plus an ensuite bathroom to the side. The big bed moves from off-centre to centred in the larger version but most of the extra space is given over to walk-in closets.

The larger master cabin version is achieved by eliminating the port twin cabin. The starboard twin and the for’ard double are both en-suite in both versions. There is a crew twin-bunk berth in the port bow with its own head.

Right behind the main cabin is the engine room and its twin MTU 1,523hp diesels and sternmost of all is the garage, so the tender goes below the cockpit rather than on the stern of the flybridge as is common in this class. Overall, Sanlorenzo has added a lot more usable space for a very little increase in size. The first boat is already due in Asia, and three more are on the stocks in their Ameglia yard.

For more information: www.sanlorenzoyacht.com / www.simpsonmarine.com

This article was first published in Yacht Style issue 36.