Few events have ever affected yachting as much as the sinking of the 60 meter Yogi. The largest yacht to ever sink, its wreck strongly hit the Turkish shipbuilding sector and made owners take a hard look at their insurances and dangers, even though no one was hurt. Despite the accident, Yogi was no less of an exceptional yacht.
Yogi was the largest yacht ever built by up and coming Turkish shipyard, Proteksan Turquoise at the time of her delivery in 2011. Reminiscent of an explorer style yacht through her design by Jean Guy Verges, Yogi featured oversized portholes in her hull that brought in tons of flight into the yacht's cabins.
Built for Stephane Courbit, a French media and TV millionaire valued at €450 million, Yogi was built to be operated as a charter yacht part of its hotel collection. Maximizing space, the yacht had many amenities for her size including a swimming pool, beach club, wellness center and media room.
Yet, on February 17th 2012, just as the yacht was days out of leaving the yard where it was undergoing warrantied maintenance work, it sank in the Aegean sea. The weather was particularly difficult during that day and yet it seems to be an engine failure that, tied to a number of circumstantial events, led to the 60-meter yacht sinking to the bottom of the Mediterranean.
The report did, however, clear Proteksan in the quality of its build, focusing on what was a mixture of human oversight and extreme conditions. A Turkish investigations arrived at similar conclusions. Manned by a skeleton crew of 8 during this voyage, it took an hour to evacuate by helicopter the yacht's crew as seas at their peek featured waves of up to 7 meters.
Virtually new, the sinking of the 60-meter Yogi send shockwaves throughout the yachting space. In addition to engine issues that were believed to have triggered the chain of events that led to Yogi sinking, misuse of watertight doors may have been an issue according to the report. A fact worth noting is that the yacht took over five hours to sink into the Aegean Sea.
The largest yacht to have ever cruised with the French flag, Yogi was part of Courbit's Lov Collection, a holding company that includes the Les Airelles palace in Courchevel as well as the Pan Dei hotel in St Tropez. Built with charter in mind to its existing and new clientele, the yacht commanded prices of up to €378,000 per week and featured 800 square meter of interior space in a particularly luxurious interior.
A key element in Yogi's design was her large pool with overflow that sat aft of the yacht's main deck, directly on top of its beach club. In the middle of the pool was a glass porthole that flooded the area underneath with light. All around the pool were lounging pads for Yogi's guest to take in the sun when the yacht was anchored off in a bay.
To complement the swimming pool aft of the main deck, a Jacuzzi was also placed aft of the sundeck, for guests that wanted to enjoy the sun in a hot tub. Also surrounded by sunpads, these feature a common beige design throughout the yacht with colored pillows. Same can be said for the customizable lounging area aft of the upper deck.
On the inside, Yogi was reminiscent of Courbit's luxurious hotels. Featuring a beige and creme tone throughout the yacht, the 60-meter was fitted with floor to ceiling windows that visually increased the size of its 800 square meters of interior space. Its main salon was structured into a lounging area and a TV sector with a wide screen built into the wall.
Stretching across the full beam of the yacht, Yogi's master bedroom was no less spectacular with both lots of light and space. A king sized bed throned in the middle of the suite with access through a central corridor to a dressing room and his and hers bathrooms.
The yacht's guest accommodation didn't also pale in comparison with the owner's stateroom. Finished in the same style, the double and twin guest cabins could be connected or separated through double sliding doors. In total, Yogi could accommodate a total of 12 guests across 6 cabins.
Tall windows could be found throughout the yacht and were a real differentiating factor from competition on the market for Yogi. 'The idea was to have a yacht that could be chartered and run just like a resort.' detailed its designer, Jean Guy Verges in a later interview. 'She has been designed to the specific request of her owner. I think this jewel offered more than you would expect of a yacht her size.'
Another interesting amenity of Yogi was her observational lounge up on the sun deck. Finished throughout in glass, the area boasted a 180 degree view into the yacht's surroundings through a climate controlled environment. Equipped with custom furniture from the likes of Hermes, this media lounge separated the sun deck into a Jacuzzi and a raised dinning area.
Down on the upper deck, which also featured a covered dinning room, guests would find an extensive lounging pad with tiles that could be raised or flattened to create lounging chairs or sun beds. Connected to iPods and iPhones, which in 2011 was still rare, Yogi featured an advanced system for her time with TVs that slid out even in front of lounging pads.
Viewed by many as a step forward for the Turkish yacht building sector and as an endorsement of their quality, when Yogi sank, the whole country took a hit. By 2011, yacht owners and charters had started outgrowing the stigma of building in Turkey and the market was picking up for local builders. In fact Yogi was the largest yacht ever built by Proteksan.
Yogi's delivery was followed weeks after by their newest flagship, a 70.5-meter reminiscent of a Dutch-build quality, Talisman C. Shortly after it followed the 72-meter Vicky and it looked like Turkey would emerge as a yacht building destination. This all ended when Yogi sank in February 2012 and owners' stigma towards Turkey developed once again.
Although some Turkish shipyards continued to prosper, many faded down their ambitions in a global recession. This ultimately culminated with the acquisition of Proteksan Turquoise by Dutch-based Oceanco. Backed by billionaire investor Mohammed Al Barwani, the Dutch superyacht builder since set out on a mission to make the yard competitive and got an order for a 77-meter yacht now under build.
Having initially started his career in television in the 1990s, Stephane Courbit where he built a reputation, eventually starting his own production company behind hits such as Miss France. Eventually acquired by Dutch holding Endemol, Courbit exited from the company in 2001.
His LOV Group currently includes companies in the audiovisual space with several production companies behind some of France's most popular game shows. Other investments include several betting sites, which he started in acquiring in 2007. One of his fastest growing divisions has now becomes the Airelles collection of hotels.
After investing nearly $200 million into the purchase and renovation of the five star Courchevel palace, Les Airelles, Courbit acquired the Pan Dei Palace in St Tropez. His hotel portfolio then grew with the Bastide de Gordes in 2014. Two more Airelles hotels are set to open in the next two years, one in Versailles and one in Val d'Isiere.
Celebrating its 150th anniversary, Benetti revealed groundbreaking designs and eco-friendly initiatives during the "Shaping the Future" press conference at Hotel Hermitage in Monaco.Veranda Deck™ Revolutionizes Main Deck LoungeBenetti introduced the innovative "Benetti Veranda Deck™," disrupting the conventional boundary between interior and exterior on the main deck. The Veranda Deck opens up space on three sides, creating a seamless blend between the lounge and the stern. This concept debuts on the Motopanfilo 45M, a steel project paying homage to the iconic yachts of the 1960s, with the exteriors designed by RWD and interiors envisioned by Lazzarini Pickering Architetti.B.Yond 55M – Igor Lobanov’s VisionCollaborating with Igor Lobanov for the first time, Benetti presents the B.Yond 55M. Born from Paolo Vitelli and Stefano Righini's innovative vision, this vessel caters to intrepid owners desiring global exploration without compromising luxury. Lobanov's design focuses on fluid shapes inspired by luxury automotive aesthetics, offering a visually compelling experience.Project LIFE 85M – Espen Oeino’s TouchWith Espen Oeino handling exteriors and Francois Zuretti crafting interiors, Project LIFE, the 85-meter megayacht, epitomizes Benetti's commitment to inventing new lifestyles. Offering large, reconfigurable meeting spaces on each deck, the yacht boasts a revolving lounge, embodying a new era of social entertainment. Equipped with cutting-edge technologies, including hybrid solar panels, Project LIFE is designed for reduced consumption.Project ORO 85M – Valentina Zannier’s EleganceValentina Zannier's collaboration with Benetti on Project ORO focuses on sophisticated purity, with soft lines and three-dimensional movements defining the exterior style. Zannier's interior work creates a harmonious interplay between contemporary surfaces and classic details, evoking a sense of timeless elegance.Green InitiativesBenetti reaffirms its commitment to environmental responsibility, offering hybrid or diesel-electric propulsion across most of its range. The company aims to optimize energy consumption through innovative solutions, such as a Power Management system and advanced air conditioning and heat recovery systems. Benetti has also signed an agreement with Eni Sustainable Mobility for the supply of HVOlution, a biofuel with over 80% reduced CO2 emissions compared to traditional fossil fuel.Giovanna Vitelli, Chair of Azimut|Benetti Group, expressed pride in these advancements, emphasizing Benetti's mission to provide cutting-edge yachts to the market. The company's partnerships with leading designers and focus on sustainability reflect its commitment to shaping the future of yachting.Founded in 1873, Benetti is the oldest Italian shipyard specializing in luxury yachts. They design, build and sell composite vessels from 29 to 44m and steel and aluminum boats from 37 to over 100m. Their fleet consists of five categories: Class, Oasis, B.Yond, B.Now and Custom, to meet all the needs of the market, and they belong to the Azimut|Benetti Group, the largest privately owned luxury yachting group in the world.Credits: Benetti
September 29, 2023
In an enlightening session at the Yacht Club de Monaco, Nautor Swan hosted the Swan Maxi Talk, showcasing the maritime craftsmanship behind their renowned Maxi yachts. The distinguished panel included Nautor Swan President Leonardo Ferragamo, CEO Giovanni Pomati, CTOO Michelangelo Casadei, and Head of Product Marketing Vanni Galgani, providing insights into the creation of these stunning vessels.President Ferragamo shared a unique perspective as both a shipyard President and a passionate sailor. He emphasized the role of technological innovation as the driving force behind the desire for new Maxi yachts, transcending considerations of dimensions and layouts.CEO Pomati delved into the meticulous process behind crafting Swan Maxis, offering news about the sold second hull in the Swan 128, equipped with hybrid propulsion. The event marked the introduction of the latest addition to the Swan Maxi Family: the Swan 100, a collaborative effort of Frers, Micheletti, and Poggi.Pomati highlighted Nautor Swan's comprehensive range of Maxi sailing yachts, featuring the 88, 108, 128, and now the 100. He described the Swan 100 as an evolution, not revolution, emphasizing the brand's commitment to continuity. Naval Architect Germán Frers spoke of Nautor Swan's evolution, maintaining the brand's heritage. Lucio Micheletti's design focused on a light, safe deck setup, and Misa Poggi's interiors showcased Swan's adaptive approach.The Swan Maxi Talk concluded with Pomati teasing a future flagship, the Swan 148, underscoring Nautor Swan's ongoing commitment to Maxi yacht evolution.Nautor Swan was founded in 1966 in Pietarsaari, Finland. The builder entered the superyacht market in 1999. Since then, the yard has continued building high-performance sailing yachts in three different lines; ClubSwan, Swan Yachts and Maxi Swan Yachts. Credits: Nautor Swan
September 29, 2023
Mazu Yachts presents its latest yacht, the Mazu 132 DS. This addition to the Mazu Yachts Displacement Series embodies the essence of uncompromising craftsmanship. Red Yacht Design, responsible for both the exterior and interior, has crafted every facet of the Mazu 132 DS, ensuring the utmost comfort and sophistication on board. Profjord, renowned for their expertise in designing hulls that seamlessly blend performance and stability, takes the credit for the yacht's naval architecture.One of the standout features of this model is the serene owner’s terrace, where guests can bask in unobstructed sea views within an exclusive and tranquil setting. Additionally, the Mazu 132 DS boasts an expansive flybridge exterior area, surpassing other yachts in its class. This generous space offers the perfect setting for grand gatherings and alfresco dining while soaking up the sun.Building upon the success of their previous models, the 92 DS and 112 DS, Mazu Yachts has partnered with Volvo Penta to infuse innovative technology into their yachts. The Mazu 132 DS proudly incorporates Volvo Penta’s cutting-edge IPS 40 technology, ensuring a relaxed and eco-conscious cruising experience. This advanced propulsion system not only enhances fuel efficiency but also reduces emissions.The introduction of the flagship model at the Monaco Yacht Show marks a significant milestone for Mazu Yachts. Currently in the engineering development phase, construction of the Mazu 132 DS is scheduled to commence in mid-2024. Turkish Mazu Yachts has been designing and producing Open and Hard-Top Motor Yachts and Superyacht Tenders since 2011. The state of the art facility of 3000 sq. m indoor and 1000 sq. m outdoor space also accommodates carpentry shops and paint booths for creating an anti-dust environment.Credits: Mazu Yachts
September 29, 2023
Heesen Yachts has pulled back the curtain on their latest masterpiece, Project Grace, a 49.9-meter steel superyacht poised to redefine timeless elegance. Presented at the Monaco Yacht Show, this vessel boasts a captivating blend of simplicity and sophistication in its exterior profile.With its engineering phase successfully completed and the hull thoroughly tested, construction is slated to commence next summer. Project Grace, encompassing 449 gross tons, features a Fast Displacement steel hull, promising unparalleled comfort in various sea conditions. The project's naval architecture is credited to Van Oossanen Naval Architects, while the exterior and interior aesthetics spring from the creative minds at Harrison Eidsgaard.Inspired by elements from the natural world, Heesen Yachts has incorporated its hybrid technology for intelligent power management and silent cruising capability. Additionally, modern luxury products like Rolex watches, Range Rovers, Beats Headphones, and cutting-edge technology have influenced various aspects of Project Grace's design.Designed to accommodate up to 12 guests across six staterooms, this superyacht also offers spacious quarters for a crew of up to nine members in five cabins.This superyacht project epitomizes Heesen Yachts' commitment to refined craftsmanship and functional simplicity. It will be powered by twin MAN engines, providing an impressive range of 3,800 nautical miles. Heesen Yachts is a Dutch ship building company that specializes in custom-built superyachts in aluminum and steel from 30m to 70m in size. Founded in 1978, it has launched more than 170 yachts since its inception.Credits: Heesen Yachts
September 29, 2023
Ares Shipyard is setting sail into the luxury yachting sector with the launch of its new brand, Ares Yachts, unveiled at the 2023 Monaco Yacht Show. Ares Shipyard is recognized for its commitment to quality, holding certifications to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001 standards, along with being the sole Turkish shipyard awarded the Zero Waste Blue Certificate.The newly launched Ares Yachts brand will benefit from the advanced facilities of its parent company, boasting carpentry, composite, metal, and electric workshops equipped with cutting-edge technology. This combination of state-of-the-art production sites and skilled craftsmanship positions the new yachting brand for success.SpitfireChairman Kerim Kalafatoğlu expressed the company's ambition: "We have already been recognized as being both Turkey’s fastest-growing company and its largest exporter of military and commercial vehicles. This makes it the perfect time for us to expand our offering and show the superyacht industry what we are capable of!"SimenaAres Yachts has already embarked on exciting projects, including the construction of the 61.61-meter steel-hulled cruising ketch Simena, designed by Taka Yacht Design and Design Unlimited. Simena, equipped with hybrid propulsion, is set for delivery in December 2024. The 50-meter motor yacht Spitfire, designed with Lateral Naval Architects and Bannenberg & Rowell Design, is another notable project. Ares Yachts also has Project Atlas, a 54-meter fast-displacement explorer motor yacht with Hot Lab, in the pipeline.In addition, Ares Yachts is developing a new range of vessels spanning 65 meters, 75 meters, and 85 meters, characterized by advanced diesel-electric systems integrated with pods. The brand is exploring alternative energy sources such as methanol during the engineering phase in collaboration with Lateral Naval Architects.SimenaAres Yachts is currently in the tender phase of selecting partners for exterior and interior designs for this innovative range. Going forward, the brand will focus on full custom projects above 500 GT and up to 90 meters in length. As Kalafatoğlu emphasizes, "Whether it’s a sleek and modern superyacht or a majestic ocean explorer, we aim to redefine what is possible on the big blue."Founded in 2006 by the Kalafatoğlu family, Ares Shipyard has established a stellar reputation for producing naval, utility, and support vessels, having delivered over 230 vessels to more than 15 countries. Their extensive facilities in Antalya, Turkey, include a 40,000 sq. m air-conditioned production area, four hangars, and a dedicated furniture factory, with the capability to construct vessels up to 90 meters in length.Credits: Ares Yachts
September 28, 2023