Aquila Power Cats Plans New Models
In Miami, Aquila power catamarans said several new models will be introduced over the next three years. Yacht Style talked to Lex Raas, President of Aquila International, and to Asia-based Commercial Director Yvan Eymieu.
Aquila Power Cats Plans New Models
YACHT STYLE: What else can you say about the new models?
LEX: First will be the Aquila 30, a smaller sister of the very successful Aquila 36, with one cabin, one head, patented aft platform, and standard 2 x 225 HP engines with up to 2 x 300 HP available. Then comes the Aquila 36C, our entry into the commuter boat market. Think fuel efficient, comfortable and fast.
YVAN: We are developing new technology on our current outboard models which should significantly reduce fuel consumption. Also we are studying several larger cabin cruiser models. which will be announced at the end of year.
YACHT STYLE: The initial 36, 44 and 48 foot Aquilas were regarded as a “real revolution” in multihull design. Why is that?
LEX: Well, revolution is maybe too strong a word. What we did was combine important elements like quality, comfort, reliability and balanced performance. The Aquila 36 and 30 are probably the biggest breakthroughs by creating a product that is not offered by any other brand in the world today. Customers have voted very strongly that we hit the mark, and sales are strongly outpacing production capacity. Inclusion of modern outboards has made the boats significantly sportier, and married to great hulls, they offer fantastic handling characteristics. Revolution, not really, but a great evolution, absolutely.
YACHT STYLE: What are the production figures since these vessels were first launched?
Lex: We should reach 200 Aquila Power Catamarans this year.
YACHT STYLE: They are built in China. What is the background of the yard?
LEX: Sino Eagle Yachts is a subsidiary of Sino Eagle Group of Hangzhou. Over 30 years they established a world class reputation by supplying Olympic rowing boats. Their wholly owned brands are Wintech and Wudi boats. More recently they added the Stellar Kayak range. This yard is a world leader in high-tech marine composite structures. In 1995, I started Leopard cats with Robertson and Cain. Then in 2011 with Bill McGill, CEO of MarineMax, the world’s largest power boat retailer, we approached Frank Xiong, the CEO of Sino Eagle, to consider developing a pure power catamaran brand. Thus Aquila was born, and is now successfully established.
YACHT STYLE: How have sales been going in Asia-Pacific waters?
LEX: Australia is a very strong market for us. We’ve had a great presence there for several years now. This year we are launching sales operations in Southeast Asia and China, and the first results are very encouraging.
YACHT STYLE: Where are models being shown in the 2018 boat show season?
LEX: We are present with all our models at most of the American and Australian boat shows. In Asia we exhibited the 44 and 36 at Pattaya, Phuket RendezVous and now Singapore, and in Europe we will have displays at Cannes, Genoa, Barcelona and Biograd.
YACHT STYLE: Yvan, you now work closely with Lex. When did you meet?
YVAN: We met in probably 2009 or 2010 when Lex was CEO of The Moorings and Sunsail, and handling global distribution of Leopard Catamarans. I headed up Leopard Marketing and Sales in Asia, quite successfully.
YACHT STYLE: How long have you been in Asia-Pacific yourself?
YVAN: I moved to Asia in 2008, originally working in a Chinese shipyard in Zhuhai, then moved to Hong Kong to join the Moorings, Sunsail and Leopard Catamarans. Now I am located between Phuket and Hong Kong, looking after the distribution of Aquila Catamarans
YACHT STYLE: Why did you choose the name Aquila?
LEX: Owners of the Aquila brand are Sino Eagle. Aquila is a constellation on the celestial equator, important to many different cultures around the world, and in folklore. The name is Latin for Eagle, and it represents the bird that carried Zeus-Jupiter’s thunderbolts in Greco-Roman mythology.
YACHT STYLE: Looking ahead, how do you see development over the next 5-10 years?
LEX: Aquila will continue to focus on bringing pure power cat products to the international market. We have no doubt that Aquila will soon be considered the #1 global power catamaran brand. Stay tuned.