Established in 1873, Benetti went a long way from building wooden boats to posting a €1 billion turnover in 2008. Stronger than ever, the Italian group is now on its way to expanding its reach into the 100-meter plus market, tightening its grasp on yachting.
Benetti's story starts with its foundation by Lorenzo Benetti in 1873 to manufacture local wooden boats. After WW2, the need for wooden boats had disappeared and the company started building steel, pleasure crafts. By the 1960s, it was creating some of the world's first superyachts.
Its strongest push came with the acquisition of the yard by Azimut in 1985, resulting in the Azimut Benetti group, which still exists to this day. Propelled by commercial successes and a cooperation with then unknown designer Stefano Righini, the group went on a buying spree.
Amongst its purchases, the Gobbi shipyard, which manufactures its Atlantis range today, Fraser Yachts, the brokerage house, as well as Marina di Varazze and the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow. By 2008, the group built its way to a €1 billion turnover.
As the subprime crisis hit yachting, leaving many shipyards to shut down, the whole market, including Benetti, which was able to push through strongly nevertheless. Amongst yachts built in that period were Staluppi's 61-meter Diamonds are Forever and Nick Candy's 63-meter 11-11 amongst others.
By 2016, Azimut-Benetti's turnover had risen again to near €700 million, marking 3 years of consecutive growth. Throughout this time, Benetti's most visible products, 30 to 60-meter yachts remained highly attractive to charter clients, some of which started buying them again as the market picked up.
Whilst most visible through Benetti yachts in the mid-size range, the group's influence on yachting spread deeply throughout the market in different spaces. Azimut, a leader in the construction of yachts of up to 30 meters, has become a reference in the space, acting as a gateway drug to the group's yachts.
Through its full ownership of Fraser Yachts since October 2017, the group controls Fraser Yachts, a brokerage firm also active in yacht management and crewing. By extension this provides the group with first-party data on client behaviour as well as deeper insights into yachting, knowing first hand how other competing shipyards perform.
"This recent acquisition is part of the strategic plan of our group to offer superyacht owners not only the most beautiful yachts, but also the utmost service" commented Azimut-Benetti's president, Paolo Vitelli, when the group bought out V.Ships' minority stake in Fraser in 2017.
Skewing towards small to mid-size yachts of up to 60-meters, the Azimut-Benetti group had grown its position in the sector to the point of building the most meters out of any shipyards for 19 consecutive years. Its impact on the megayacht market, however, remained immaterial leaving Northern European shipyards like Lurssen, Feadship and Oceanco to dominate the space.
Benetti's first attempt to enter the space came in the 1980s. At the time, the yard had secured the build of the 86-meter Nabila for Saudi businessman and arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi, the 8th largest yacht in the world. The yacht was later purchased for $29 million in 1987 by Donald Trump and renamed to Trump Princess.
For decades after, Benetti stayed away from new builds of this size, leaving the market to other shipyards. Recently, however, yachting changed and the megayacht space entered into an upswing, leading to Benetti coming back into the size range. This first took the form of the 90-meter Lionheart, delivered to British businessman Philip Green in 2016.
The yard's current flagship, however, is about to be eclipsed by a 107-meter yacht launched in December 2018. More significantly, this will be the first yacht out of 3 over 100 meters to be delivered by Benetti over the coming months. Amongst customers for one of these new hulls is Australian billionaire and serial yacht owner James Packer.
Benetti's ambition to takeover one of the remaining parts of the market is not unfamiliar to other shipyards. Dutch shipyard Heesen Yachts, backed by Russian billionaire Vagit Alekperov, has also built a new dry dock capable of building yachts of up to 85 meters back in 2016.
Meanwhile yards known for megayachts such as LVMH's Feadship have started expanding their influence downward with projects such as Feadship's Lagoon Cruisers of 34 meters in length. Results of these strategies remain to be seen in coming quarters, however, even now over half of yacht gross tonnage is built by just 10 shipyards.
An exceptionally spacious 61 m luxury motor yacht, Lady Kathryn V was built by famous German shipyard Lurssen and delivered in 2011. The yacht with a defining racing-red stripe along her hull has the exterior design by the renowned Espen Øino. Her classical and elegant interiors were created by Adam Lay Studio to a unique nautical theme: stripes in blue and whites, complemented by rich woods, give her a classic look and feel.Most impressive areas on Lady Kathryn V include the sunbathing area, enabling views far out to the sea from the sunpads. There’s even a private golf driving range. Additionally, she features a full gym and a water toy box. Lady Kathryn V has two sea kayaks, two stand up paddleboards, two jet ski’s, two seabobs, inflatable tubes, water skis, wakeboards, and two 23′ tenders.With a beam of 11.4 m and a draft of 3.6 m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. She is powered by Caterpillar engines of 1980 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 15.5 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots. Lady Kathryn V's maximum range is estimated at 7000 nautical miles.The motor yacht can accommodate 12 guests in 6 cabins including a forward owner's suite complete with a sea terrace, with a crew of 14 members.
July 8, 2020
Aquila is a 85.6 m luxury motor yacht. Launched by Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 2010, she has recently undergone an extensive 12-month refit program. Aquila is designed by Tim Heywood with the traditional interior by Elizabeth Dalton of Dalton Designs. Now her original interiors were replaced by a new design courtesy of Redman Whitely Dixon. Tony Dixon, director at Redman Whitely Dixon, commented: We selected a mix of dark wood finishes, pale leather panels with nickel trim and many new special surface materials all interplaying together to offer subtle style variations throughout the interior.The interior was remodeled to ensure a smooth flow between each area, the installation has been carried out by German interior specialists Metrica.She is currently the largest private yacht ever constructed in the United States by volume and in 2016 she became the largest yacht ever refitted in the UK. The refit consisted of a complete revitalization of all five deck levels. Aquila was definitely reborn after such massive recondition at Falmouth-based shipyard Pendennis. The project team refurbished all of the social spaces, overhauling the technical systems, and renewing the interior of over 750 square metres.The yacht, owned by Charles and Diane Gallagher, has a beam of 14.3 m and a draft of 4.2 m. has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 2998 tons. She is powered by MTU engines of 3306 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 18 knots and a cruising speed of 15 knots. During the refit, her four generators were completely rebuilt and other upgrades included new radar equipment, AV and IT systems, air conditioning, fresh air handling systems.The motor yacht, which can accommodate 14 guests in 7 cabins, how has got a brand new glass chandelier by Susan Young. With more than 850 pieces of hand-blown glass, this masterpiece centerpieces cascades 11.2 metres through four of Aquila’s five decks.Other improvements include a reconfiguration of the owner's suite together with a 60m2 private deck area and repositioning of the Jacuzzi to the forward deck. Their guests can also enjoy a movie on a 98-inch widescreen cinema store into a floating box to prevent sound and vibration emissions.For this expensive refit, Aquila has already won the Neptune for Best Refit at the World Superyacht Awards in 2017.
July 8, 2020
Cosmos I is a 33.5 m luxury motor yacht, built by Italian shipyard Overmarine in 2004 and refitted in 2018. She has been just recently sold by Parsifal Yachting with the buyer, represented by Ocean Independence.With a beam of 7.12 m and a draft of 1.3 m, she has a GRP hull and GRP superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 181 tons. She is powered by MTU engines of 2775 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 38 knots and a cruising speed of 32 knots. Cosmos I's maximum range is estimated at 400 nautical miles. The motor yacht offers flexible accommodation for 11 guests in 4 cabins, including a full-beam master suite, VIP suite, twin with a Pullman berth, and a four-berth cabin. The vessel’s interior design was created by Ruth Copsey and her exterior design was made by Stefano Righini.Cosmos I has many outstanding features, including a cockpit sunbed that transforms into a Jacuzzi and an opening hardtop sunroof. There is also a games room on the lower deck, which makes the superyacht perfect for kids.Cosmos I was asking €2,050,000 with VAT paid.
July 8, 2020
Italian shipyard Cantiere delle Marche an Ancona has launched its newest semi-custom yacht design named EXP42 concept. This is already the second launch of the Ancona-based shipyard during the summer, after the recent one of its latest 42-metre full-custom motor yacht Crowbridge in the middle of June.With the goal of providing a balance between comfort and reliability in mind, the EXP42 is able to venture through roughest weather to remote locations. The new concept perfectly summarizes all features and characteristics of the series she belongs to.Vasco Buonpensiere, CdM’s Sales and Marketing Director said:An explorer yacht isn’t about its shape, it’s about its reliability, its range, its storage capacity, and its ability to face any weather condition in comfort and safety. We build cool explorer yachts, period. With an explorer yacht and a contemporary design, you have the best of the two worlds: you can cruise around the world comfortably/safely and in style. On the contrary, with a white yacht dressed like an explorer yacht (like many we see, lately), you just have a white yacht and your cruising lifestyle doesn’t change at all...The yacht was designed by Francesco Paszkowski and will feature a steel hull and light aluminium superstructure. The interior layout can be highly customized according to the owner’s needs. There ate a few options including a six guest cabins version (GA_1), including four VIP cabins on the main deck and two guest suites from the lower deck.There is a tender and Jet Skis garage on the main deck, which can be converted into a gym.
July 7, 2020
Tankoa Yachts has revealed the smallest superyacht in the fleet, but the boat still appears mighty. The 45m yacht can hold up with other mega yachts coming with incredible interiors to match.The cruiser under the name T450 was designed by Rome-based Giorgio M.Cassetta and has a steel hull with aluminum superstructure. The near-vertical bow and sleek exterior lines give her an elegant look, however, her most impressive features are on board.Giuseppe Mazza, Tankoa sales manager commented:Building on the extraordinary success of our 50-metre platform with Bintador and Vertige already delivered and two more in build, the T450 confirms Tankoa’s drive to build yachts below 500GT that are designed with a big boat mentality and quality.This new 45-metre model has been designed to provide maximum flexibility, and in terms of interior and exterior space, it feels like a much larger vessel.T450 offers accommodation for a total of 12 guests, which is unusual for a vessel of her size, in six staterooms, including a VIP suite on the main deck, an owner’s stateroom, and four ensuite cabins on the lower deck.Owners can decide to place a pool on the sundeck with its sunbeds and its shaded dining area, forward bar, and sofas with a day head. The bridge decks on the other side offer al fresco dining and an impressive outside sky lounge, with another outside social area on the foredeck.Cassetta said in a press release:The yacht packs some amazing real estate and amenities while presenting an elegant styling that is intentionally free of any useless decoration. The interior design enjoys ample uninterrupted spaces, warmed by the usage of marine materials and earthy hues. The construction criteria and rich specification will make the T450 a truly unique offer in this size range.
July 7, 2020