by Lee Marine
Phuket-based Lee Marine, one of Asia’s leading dealership and yacht brokerages, today announced it has been appointed the exclusive agent for prestigious Italian ship builder Cantiere delle Marche [CdM], maker of customised, steel hulled expedition megayachts in China, South-East Asia and Australia.
Cantiere delle Marche’s Sales and Marketing Director Vasco Buonpensiere, left, and Lee Marine’s Managing Director Josh Lee shake hands in Phuket on the new relationship.
Lee Marine will be agents for the new concept Darwin and Nauta Air range of ocean going, long range vessels capable of remaining at sea for months at a time and with ranges up to 7000nm. The Darwin and Nauta Air are considered 'niche within a niche' boats as they combine the luxury specifications of a super yacht with the size of a steel hulled mini-ship designed for long range use, in this case at an average speed of 10 knots. The agency is for three years.
Said Vasco Buonpensiere, CdM Sales and Marketing Director, of the new partnership: 'Lee Marine has a specific dealer's DNA, which means they share 100 percent of the mission, vision and values of the brand they represent, with no exception.' Mr Buonpensiere said that CdM yachts should have great success in Asia/Pacific with their long range capacities, incredible seaworthiness and stability, solid build and specifications normally seen on superyachts, huge enclosed spaces and 'impeccable' Italian design and engineering.
Said Lee Marine Managing Director, Josh Lee: 'Lee Marine shares the vision and philosophy of CdM regarding customer focused attention and absolute quality in terms of design and construction. We believe the Darwin and Nauta Air ranges will appeal to those looking to cruise Asia/Pacific wide, or beyond. Anywhere!'
CdM was only formed in 2010 but is long on experience, the result of a partnership between Mr Buonpensiere, with an extensive background both in European luxury boat brokerage and as Brand Manager of the Custom Line and CRN brands of Ferretti group; and CEO, Ennio Cecchini from a famous, decades old, large shipbuilding family in Italy. Together, 130 years experience. CdM is located in Ancona, Italy.
The Sergio Cutolo [Hydro Tec] designed Darwin Class [named in the context of Charles Darwin: a 'new marine species'] comes in 86, 95, 105 and 115-foot models and the Mario Pedol [Nauta yachts] designed Nauta Air in 80, 96 and 115-ft versions. The 'air' in Nauta Air represents the enormous space available on the yachts, whose tugboat-like, wider steel-hulled beam appearance gives the yacht extraordinary strength while the interior features classic Italian styling customised to the owner’s taste. The aluminium superstructure still gives the Darwin and Nauta Air the look of a superyacht, but the difference that it is robust enough to stay at sea, fully provisioned, for months if necessary, cruising at a steady 10 knots powered by heavy duty rated Caterpillar or MTU engines which reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Asia/Pacific, in this regard, is ideal for such boats, six of which have been sold in Europe and South America. They could, for example, travel from Hong Kong to Sydney, to more isolated places like the Maldives and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, or cruise within Asia in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan without having to dock for maintenance or provisions. Lee Marine considers them ideal for the Australian environment with its long coastline and big seas, which the boats are designed to handle with ease.
Says Mr Lee: 'This is a yacht for an experienced owner. Someone who has already owned a yacht over 100 feet who realises that speed is not everything. What they really need is comfort, stability and space. These boats will last forever. We see them as better value in the long term.' Mr Buonpensiere added: 'There is no doubt Asia/Pacific is going to grow at a much faster pace than the saturated and heavily hit Western markets [ie the US and Europe]. We strongly believe that that the yachting culture and lifestyle in Asia/Pacific will grow and with it more and more people will have a desire to experience CdM type yachts.'