Insider's guide into new build trends
Sales Broker David Seal shares insight into the new build market and offers his take on what top five trends to look out for in 2014.
Dan Lenard and Carlo Nuvolari made a huge impact on the yachting industry when they designed a range of “Sports Yachts” for Palmer Johnson. The 52.2m (170’) DB9, the 45.7m (150’) Blue Ice, and the 41.45m (135’) Griffin are just a few of these eye-catching vessels that offer super yacht sized cabins and generous deck space by reducing the superstructure and doing away with the traditional sky lounge. Other shipyards too have recognised the demand from clients for this kind of yacht. On a recent trip to the ISA shipyard in Ancona, Italy, Camper & Nicholsons brokers were treated to an inspection of an ISA Gran Turismo, a range stretching from 24m (79') to 66m (217'); the first example is a 43m (141') super yacht with the sleek and sexy styling of a sport cruiser, outstandingly generous deck space, and a 3,600nm range. CRN too have been quick to recognise this important trend, and now offer their clients Dislopen yachts of 46m (151'), 52m (171'), and 62m (203') in length. As the name indicates, these superyachts are designed to offer all of the advantages of a displacement vessel, but with the young and modern lines of an open. The GT styled yacht has plenty of advantages to the buyer, and looks like a trend that is here to stay.
Diesel Electric Propulsion
Diesel electric propulsion may sound like new and innovative technology, but actually it has been around for a long time. Military craft and commercial vessels have been using this drive system for many years due to it’s reliability and performance; and now it seems that the yachting industry has also seen the benefits. WIDER’s new 150’ is being built with a diesel electric propulsion system that allows them to position four generators in the bow, a small power management room midships, and freeing up lots of space in the transom for a large tender and swimming pool. Other shipyards too are offering diesel electric or hybrid propulsion, offering the possibility of a “greener” yacht, reduced consumption, and silent cruising. As more owners try this for themselves and experience the benefits, it could be that diesel electric propulsion changes from a trend to an evolution of yachting.
I was first alerted of the arrival of the straight line seven years ago during a meeting with a client and Lamberto Tacoli, the President of CRN and a director of Ferretti Group. Ferretti had long championed sumptuously curved yachts thanks to their alliance with the talented design house Zuccon International in Rome. Tacoli explained that the shipyard aimed to be a trend setter rather than a follower, and unveiled the designs of 58.2m (191') CRN build n.128, now launched and delivered with the name J’ade. Here was a yacht that looked totally different to anything that CRN had produced before; gone were the rounded lines and oval windows, and in their place were aggressive angles, bold edges, and yes… Straight lines. True to his prediction, many production shipyards are now launching yachts that use clever geometric shapes to marry into sleek and avant-garde profiles, giving the yachting industry a fresh new trend in styling that can be seen and admired in marinas throughout the world.
Enquiries for the 26.8m Blue Coast 88' catamaran that I have listed for sale have literally gone through the roof in the last six months, leading me to believe that the large cat market is alive and kicking. I called Rafal Lenartowski, the Sales Director at Sunreef yachts in Poland to discuss this a few weeks ago, and he confirmed that they too have seen a huge increase in the demand for large catamarans. Maybe this trend has been partly boosted by the delivery of Hemisphere, the world’s largest sailing catamaran at 44.2m (145’) in length, but something is happening somewhere to fuel this exciting new trend. Jean Jacques Coste, one of the world’s most successful catamaran designers, reports that two huge new build catamarans have been ordered to be built in the Latitude shipyard in Latvia, a dynamic shipyard that is building the 27m BC 88’ and has a wonderful pool of talented craftsmen at their disposal. Here is a trend that is developing behind the scenes today in shipyards around the world, but will soon be visible on the oceans as the big cats are launched into the wild.
Here is a trend that I have lived with at close quarters. I was working at Ferretti Group when they designed and launched their first little ship, and was party to the debate as to whether to call it a “little ship”, or the Italian equivalent… A “Navetta”. Today, Navettas are being built by numerous shipyards and in all shapes and sizes. Ferretti Group had little success with their first 27m (89') Navetta, producing just two units. They increased the size to 30m (98'), then 33m (108'), and now have great success with the 43m (141'), 33m (108'), and finally a 26m (85') model. It seems that the world just was not ready for a 27m (89') little ship when they first produced it almost 15 years ago, but now it is a popular trend as the 26m (85') Navetta is one of Ferretti Group’s most popular yachts. Ferretti are not the only shipyard to produce this kind of yacht though. Azimut’s Magellano line has been well received offering the public “ships” as little as 13m (43’) in length, and of course Benetti pick up where the Magellano stops, with the 28m (93’) Delfino and the 33m (108’) Tradition Supreme offering all of the attributes of an stylish Italian Navetta. A Navetta style yacht offers greater volume than a planing hull of a similar size, often more deck space, and always with more range and lower consumption. It’s easy to understand why this is a growing trend in yachting.