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Yacht Capital, 02.2012 08.02.2012


That is what this yard in the Marche region, specialised in explorer vessels, seals with its future owners, an agreement that is based on reciprocal trust and responsibility.

Seven boats sold in 15 months. Holland, Turkey, the United States, Argentina and, more recently, China taking the lion’s share of its production. That, in a nutshell, sums up the story so far of a yard founded only in mid-2010 yet already established as one of the most dynamic movers and shakers on the nautical scene. However, to understand the real reasons for this runaway success, you have to look beyond the figures and examine the motivations of a group of entrepreneurs courageous enough to dip a toe in the water at a time of such unprecedented turbulence.

“What the Cantiere delle Marche is saying in a very no-frills ways is that we are, quite simply, builders of boats,” says Sales Director Vasco Buonpensiere. “It’s what we know how to do and the people who come to us expect that.” The very name Cantiere delle Marche exudes a sense of pride and belonging to the Marche region which is home to longestablishedbusinesses spanning the spectrum from fashion to domestic appliances, boatbuilding and furnishings. Companies that have helped make the Made in Italy movement what it is today.

The Marche Model, as respected economist Giorgio Fuà described it, is reflected in the way the Cantiere delle Marche goes about its own business. “When we were starting out,” says Buonpensiere, “we could have taken over an existing yard – there were plenty of opportunities to do so. By starting from scratch, we seemed to be opting for an uphill struggle. In reality, though, it meant that we were able to concentrate on our product without any restrictions right from the start and we were able to come to the market with just the right package at just the right time.”

The yard decided to concentrate on explorer vessels. “Looking at the way things had gone since 2007, we realised that the explorers had been hit less hard in terms of approval, and hadn’t been so badly affected by passing fashion,” Buonpensiere continues. “Explorers might now seem to be enjoying unprecedented popularity, but they were actually always popular and will continue to be so.” So Cantiere delle Marche has found itself mining niche within a niche. "The people working at the Cantiere delle Marche all have huge experience with large metal ships which are designed to do their jobs and be safe. When we transferred that know-how to the pleasure sector, it gave us huge credibility." So what is the Cantiere delle Marche’s typical potential client profile these days? “There are three types,” says Buonpensiere. "On the one hand, we have clients who are growing tired of planing craft they really mostly only use at displacement speeds. Then, there are the sailors, and lastly, a smaller group of people who have already owned an explorer, want to change but can’t find anything suitable. In all instances, however, the client-base is international and very knowledgeable indeed.”

That means concepts, such as quality and trust, which fell by the wayside a little during the market boom, are now very much back in vogue. “Our approach to a project starts from the understanding that a boat like the Darwin has to be able to do its job well and be completely reliable in all conditions. To guarantee that happens, we offer the very same construction and plant standards in a 24-metre craft as you would get from a 50-metre-plus craft.”

Efficiency and quality are very much part of the Marche Model too. “Our company’s strength is that we involved first-class suppliers directly as share-holders and so they’re a very active part of the whole process.” That very smart strategy has solved the myriad quality control and other problems yards can run into when forced to contract out work. It has also ensured that the vital sense of trust between client and yard is not compromised as so often happened in the industry in the past when even minimal changes to a design led to surprise spikes in costs for owners. As it stands, the Cantiere delle Marche exudes the confident area of a business capable of building yachts of up to 42 or 43 metres.

Its Ancona facility can accommodate three units for fitting out plus two for building at any one time. The Darwin series the yard first came to the market with now includes an 86’, a 96’ and a 100’, all created in collaboration with the legendary Sergio Cutolo. In 2013, however, it will have enough room for a second series, Air, on which it is working with Mario Pedol and Nauta Design. Another stride forward for a very Italian yard with a very international vision.

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