While sectors such hospitality, aviation, tourism and automotive, have taken a severe pounding in 2020, others have managed to survive - perhaps even thrive. One such sector is yachting. Anecdotally, a number of yacht brokers have told me that they’ve achieved very good sales this season. Conversely, charter businesses and private charter yachts have had a stinker, but that’s a different story.
So why are new yachts seemingly flying off the shelves? Boating captures the mood of social-distancing and escapism rather nicely. After all, you can’t get much further from the madding crowd than in the middle of the ocean. Also, while air traffic remains restricted, sea traffic does not - it’s a ‘staycation’, without too much ‘staying’ in the same spot. Another squirt of market stimulation has been some keen discounting - even high-net-worth individuals will be swayed by a deal.
Whether you’re into speed, sport, nature or opulent luxury, here are four fresh yachts currently on the market.
The Arcadia A85 is not a new model - far from it. It first splashed onto the yachting scene a decade ago and was an immediate hit for its all-out-luxury loft-style interior and leading-edge solar technology. The Italian boat builder has recently launched the 18th hull in the series and, while the hull remains the same, the interior has had a complete revamp courtesy of Milan design studio Hot Lab.
Hot Lab’s Head of Design, Enrico Lumini, said: “When renewing the decor of the interiors, we focused on small style changes to create a fresh, modern mood that was suitable for the ARCADIA A85. The wood essences, the marble in the bathrooms and the leather and fabrics are new. We then opted for a selection of desaturated colours, choosing classic marine shades but making them more modern at the same time.”
Thanks to the large expanses of glass and the vertical line of the bow, the Arcadia A85 boasts 100m² or so of living space on the main deck, and as such guests are kept in close contact with the sea, sky and scenery, engaging all five senses. There are four cabins below, including a 35m² master suite amidships, and accommodation for four crew in the bow, with direct access to the bridge and galley to avoid compromising owner and guest privacy.
And now for something completely different, the sleek and powerful Vanquish VQ40. Adopting the slogan ‘not for everyone’ - never a truer word(s) spoken, especially with the VQ40 starting at well over 300,000 euros - Vanquish Yachts was established back in 2012 by a Dutchman with a love for smart tech. A master welder by trade, Tom Steentjes launched his first Vanquish, the VQ32 in 2013, and followed it up with a string of no-two-boats-the-same models that prove nothing is impossible. His team have built a VQ32 for the Dutch lakes, a VQ43 tailored to a client in Ibiza, a VQ50 for a customer in Mexico, and even a superyacht Vanquish, the VQ90. Tom listens, learns, adapts and builds.
Fast becoming one of the Netherlands-based manufacturer’s most popular boats is the VQ40. With a record 17 ordered in the first year, the VQ40 offers what many of its competitors do not: choice. There are striking personalised colour schemes from all-round Dutch design legend Osiris Hertman, outboard and inboard versions with top speeds of 62 knots, and endless upholstery schemes to choose from.
While most of America was knee-deep in the US presidential election campaign, Fort Lauderdale was quietly hosting its 61st Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. With pretty much every other yacht show cancelled (Palma, Southampton, Cannes, Monaco…), Genoa flew the flag for Europe in early October and Fort Lauderdale the flag for the USA at the tail-end of the month. Pearl Yachts seized the opportunity to showcase its flagship Pearl 95 in a North American debut - alongside her not-so little sister Pearl 80. Designed on the outside by Southampton’s Dixon Yacht Design, and on the inside by Kelly Hoppen CBE, the Pearl 95 is the largest in the Pearl fleet and accommodates ten guests in five en-suite cabins, including an impressive master with a walk-in wardrobe and huge forward-facing windows, and a crew of five who reach their quarters via a discreet side access.
She features twin 1,925hp Caterpillar engines and has a top speed of 28 knots with a cruising speed of 18. While most boat manufacturers offer a two-year warranty, the Pearl Yachts’ team is obviously highly confident in its product and offers a comprehensive five-year version.
Beneteau Grand Trawler 62
An upgrade to Beneteau’s iconic Swift Trawler line, the Grand Trawler is a modern, practical, safe boat with a long-distance cruising range. From one of the oldest boat-builders in the world (established 1884!) to still be majority family-run, the Grand Trawler 62 is billed as ‘the perfect embodiment of slow living’. Made in Italy, she is robust, quiet, reassuring and exceptionally spacious, ensuring that guests feel perfectly at home.
The Grand Trawler 62 has a mighty 31m² of flybridge space with seating for eight around the dining table, a huge sunpad on the foredeck, and a transom that opens fully onto the sea, seamlessly connecting the deck lounge and the swim platform. Buyers can choose between a three- or four-cabin layout, with an average two-metre headroom below. There is crew accommodation for two. With top quality cabinetwork, supple leather, and luxurious cream-coloured textiles, the choice of trims marries French luxury and Italian design.
Fitted with two MAN i6 730hp engines, the Grand Trawler 62 is designed for far-flung adventure and has an exceptional cruising range of 900 nautical miles at a speed of 8 knots, with 10% fuel reserve. She has power to reach 20 knots when required.
The first Grand Trawler 62 will hit the water in 2021.