Three New Italian Explorer Yachts Are Ready for Global Adventure

  • Michael Verdon

Cantiere delle Marche (CDM), one of Italy’s most exciting new yacht builders, launched three new expedition yachts at the Cannes Yachting Festival: two additions to its Darwin Class and one to the contemporary Nauta Air line.

In the last five years, CDM has established itself as an unconventional shipyard that builds explorer yachts in series, but is willing to customize every new yacht to suit the owner’s tastes. On one of its earlier launches, CDM designed a climate-controlled, shockproof wine cellar that carried 800 bottles of wine from the owner’s winery in Tuscany. The owner put about 50,000 miles on his yacht during the first summer. Another early owner stayed aboard his yacht for about a year.

Storm, the Darwin Class 107 that launched this year at Cannes, is now the brand’s flagship. Built with a steel hull and aluminum superstructure, the 107 has evolved from earlier Darwin Class designs, with a longer, more longitudinal profile—as opposed to the boxier shape and super-long cockpit of earlier models. It also boasts more windows and a lower gunwale to put owners closer to the sea.

Storm’s designers paid particular attention to optimizing the interior space, ensuring the utmost comfort for the owner and his family, who plan to cruise aboard for more than six months a year. Thanks to the yacht’s 24-foot beam, the living areas prove palatial. Walnut floors and paneling, offset by leather accents and off-white fabrics, lend the interiors a warm and elegant look.

Storm’s owner and the shipyard collaborated on critical joint-use spaces including the galley (similar in size to a yacht in the 150- to 175-foot range) and the skylounge. They designed space in the wheelhouse for allowing the owners and guests to converse with the captain while he is navigating—and to provide plenty of opportunities for convivial interactions between the guests and crew, since both groups will be away at sea for months at a time.

The Nauta Air 90, christened Noga, was commissioned by an architect who wanted a rugged explorer hull, but with an interior that met his own design sensibilities. Conceived by Mario Pediol in collaboration with Massimo Gino of Nauta Design, Noga’s exterior depicts a much curvier, contemporary, and less ship-like appearance than the vessels in the Darwin Class while still designed for long-range cruising and extensive onboard stays. The new 90 is four feet longer than the Nauta 86 that CDM launched at Cannes last year, to create a longer cockpit and larger crew quarters.

The architect owner oversaw the interior design, combining Canaletto walnut and beige fabrics with freestanding furniture from some of Italy’s finest furniture makers. The contrast between colors is subtle and handsome. Large glass doors and windows in the main saloon emphasize the connection between the interior and cockpit. CDM says one of the owner’s goals was to bring the “outside in”—using glass, lighting, and the general ambience to minimize the barriers between interior and exterior—because enjoying the great outdoors was essential to the yachting experience.

The rear cockpit leads to a beach platform on the lower transom area, giving guests direct access to water sports and the sea.  The upper sundeck provides an especially spacious gathering point (measuring 42 feet in length, with a total area of 775 square feet) along with a large sunbathing station in the rear, plus dining and social areas in the forward sections.

CDM takes pride in Noga, as its contemporary design lets them wander outside the stereotypical parameters of an expedition yacht, while keeping the long-range heart and soul of an explorer intact. This Italian upstart also launched a new Darwin 102 for a Central American client just after Cannes. And the yard is currently building four more explorer yachts to be introduced this year. (cantieredellemarche.it)

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