By Chrissie McClatchie – from Superyacht Digest | July Issue 2019
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AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL DEBUT OF THE EXTRA76 AT LAST YEAR’S CANNES YACHTING FESTIVAL, PALUMBO SUPERYACHTS IS PREPARING TO PREMIERE EVEN MORE MODELS IN THE EXTRA RANGE COME THIS SEPTEMBER’S YACHT SHOW SEASON.
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[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rancesco Carbone doesn’t miss a beat when asked what the DNA of an ISA Yacht is. ‘We are definitely known for certain aesthetical features,” the General Manager answers, adding that along with advanced technical know-how and world-renowned Italian craftsmanship, many of the Ancona-based shipyard’s fleet can be recognized for its distinctive lines. “If you look at our yachts over 30m, they are all characterised by those big side arches that connect the hull to the superstructure; a continuity that extends from the beach platform all the way up to the sundeck”, he explains. “You can definitely spot an ISA Yacht from a distance”, he continues with a grin.
Which only serves to make the company’s new EXTRA range stand out even more. There are none of those grand, sweeping curves to both the left and right of the decks, and the design – the brainchild of Francesco Guida – has a distinctly monochrome look and feel that he says was inspired by killer whales. But this was all very much part of the plan. “The new EXTRA range is completely different to anything we’ve done before,” Carbone continues. “It’s a radical new design, and that’s exactly the reason we christened it EXTRA,” he explains. “Extra because it is different, because it’s extraordinary, because it’s extra-large compared to boats of the same length, there’s extra space compared to these boats as well. It’s a series that gives you so much more for the length of the yacht, and that’s exactly how the name came about”.
The first yacht in the series, the 23m EXTRA 76, had its world premiere at last year’s Cannes Yachting Festival. Initial feedback was “positive,” Francesco says, and the yacht has been sold to a European Owner and will be based in the South of France. As the 2019 yacht show season approaches, the yard is preparing to unveil three new models, all sold: EXTRA 86FAST and EXTRA 93 at Cannes (10-15 September) and EXTRA 130 Alloy at Monaco (25-28 September), along with the largest yacht it has delivered this year, M/Y DRAGON, an 80m Columbus Classic.
Of all the models, it is the EXTRA 86 that he predicts will be the best seller of the range. “We see a growing interest in the 86 because it’s a little bit longer and so you can get more space in certain areas compared to the 76”, he explains. The 86Fast, he excitedly tells me, has already been sold to an American client and will be delivered to Florida right after the Cannes Yachting Festival, where she will be displayed at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (30 October – 3 November). “Cannes, Monaco and Fort Lauderdale: the EXTRA range will be present at the three major shows of the year!” Carbone understands just how valuable such exposure on both sides of the Atlantic is for the new series. “I’m quite curious to see how EXTRA performs in the US. Obviously, with this sale, we’ve had a very positive first experience and I honestly believe the potential for this series is very interesting in the USA. We will know more by the end of the year”, he says. With a top speed of 30 knots, the 86Fast definitely delivers on one of the criteria Carbone believes separates yacht owners from both sides of the pond: “American clients are much more focused on speed compared to their European counterparts”, he explains, adding that the other main distinction is draft (“In the Mediterranean, you can access nearly all of the best marinas with no regard for the draft, which is not the case in the Caribbean”, he comments).
No matter your nationality, however, there’s definitely no argument that the EXTRA range delivers exceptional volumes for its size.
“You get the form and comfort of larger boats in a smaller size, so it’s the concept of a superyacht packaged into a 24m yacht”, Carbone concurs. He names the cockpit in the 76 and 86 as his preferred spaces on board. “The area is wider in terms of square meters than a 35m boat, which is something that no other yacht has. For me, that’s the most important feature”.
Carbone explains that the series came about because “we needed something small to target those markets not yet ready for larger yachts, so clients can grow with us”. And, as with many of life’s most successful business stories, the meeting with yacht designer Francesco Guida came about entirely by chance – a case of being in the right place in the right time.
“About two years ago, Francesco, Giuseppe Palumbo and I ended up at the same event. We struck up a conversation about a new project involving a smaller range of yachts”, he explains. The seed planted, Guida went away and came up with an idea. “Then, we went back and forward with the design and features and after that, we started to build the 76”, he continues. “We wanted to do something different, and I think Guida is a guy that does things differently. He absolutely stands out from the competition”.
With other series such as the ISA range (37m+) and the Columbus range (40m+), as well as parent company Palumbo Superyachts’ other shipyard Mondomarine, Carbone says that there are currently no plans to build a larger yacht than the EXTRA 130 Alloy. “We don’t want to overlap, so at the moment we will stop at 130”, he says. Of course, that’s open for negotiation should the performance of the range dictate so. But, for a yard whose motto is ‘Pushing the Limits of our Industry,’ there’s plenty more innovation in the pipeline. “We are preparing to announce another project that is quite different to anything else under the ISA brand, so keep your fingers crossed for that”.
Q&A WITH FRANCESCO CARBONE PALUMBO SUPERYACHTS GENERAL MANAGER
What sort of yacht owner is the EXTRA range designed for?
FC: Savvy and sophisticated owners looking for unique personality, the largest volumes (for the length) in today’s marketplace, maximum comfort onboard and fuel efficiency.
ISA Yachts is known for larger yachts. What made you decide to launch this smaller range?
FC: We saw an opportunity to target markets and clients that are not ready yet for very large yachts but definitely have the potential to grow.
What have you learnt since launching the EXTRA 76 and how will you integrate any new knowledge into future models?
FC: We have been impressed by the high number of clients focused on space maximization and comfort on board. This is something we cannot ignore in any new project and size.
What have been some of the design/technical challenges with the EXTRA range and how have you overcome them?
FC: Combining the largest volumes (for the length) with the highest fuel efficiency was quite a challenge. Thanks to a great team of talented naval architects, we managed to deliver.
Where do you see this range going? Where do you plan to take it to?
FC: The EXTRA series will expand in style, dimensions and functions as we see the great potential and unexplored territories in this range.
The motto of the EXTRA series is ‘Always a Step Ahead.’ What does that mean? How does EXTRA ensure it is always are one step ahead in the yachting industry?
FC: Coming up with new ideas is essential to success and I would also add that innovation is critical to the business’s existence. We strive to inject fresh ideas into the business on a regular basis to stand out from the competition.
EXTRA RANGE AT CANNES YACHTING FESTIVAL AND MONACO YACHT SHOW 2019
Like the EXTRA 76, the three new models set to be unveiled at September’s yacht shows are all characterised by wide internal and external volumes, a low consumption-torange ratio, and the feeling of being at one with nature thanks to oversized glass panelling. EXTRA 86 has the capacity to sleep eight guests in four cabins, all en-suite, including a full-beam master. The quiet, easy to manoeuvre IPS propulsion onboard the 86FAST allows this version of the yacht to reach top speeds of 30knots. With the volume and comfort that you would expect from a yacht larger in size, the EXTRA 93 is setting the standard for owner expectations for yachts in the 100-foot category. 28.4m in length, she can comfortably accommodate ten guests in five cabins, all en-suite.
The full-beam master is on the main deck. The semidisplacement yacht is also equipped with Volvo Penta IPS engines and her maximum speed of 18 knots (15 cruising) is done at low consumption.
The aluminium EXTRA 130 Alloy has been designed as the ultimate entertainer: plenty of al fresco socializing areas on the upper deck (including multiple seating areas, sundeck, a bar and dining area, and TV), as well as an airy and spacious interior, where the main saloon’s floor-toceiling windows are guaranteed to provide an incredible backdrop to any gathering.
For even more fun, a garage for tenders and toys is located in the transom. Five cabins – four on the lower deck and the full-beam master on the main deck – complete the sleeping arrangements. Other specs include twin MAN engines, a top speed of 17 knots (15 cruising) and a 2,500 NM range at 12 knots. A photovoltaic system is an optional feature.
Q&A WITH FRANCESCO GUIDA EXTRA RANGE DESIGNER
Can you tell us more about your collaboration with Palumbo Superyachts? How did it come about and how do you work together? Have you been involved in the EXTRA range from the beginning?
FG: Working on this project, we had the possibility to share some ideas about a new range of motor yachts that have, as main features, a classical design, big interior spaces, semi-planing hulls to guarantee low fuel consumption, and innovative layouts. All, of course, combined with the high-quality level of construction typical of larger ISA Yachts. For this last (and most important reason) we came up with the name of EXTRA for this new range because the series combines the standards of superyachts with smaller dimensions (76′-130′).
Can you elaborate on some of the inspiration behind the design of the EXTRA range?
FG: We have taken inspiration from one of the kings of the sea: the killer whale. Strong and powerful but elegant at sea. Also, their shape recalls, in a way, the design of these yachts.
What are your favourite details of the EXTRA series of yachts?
FG: It is not really a detail, but instead the overall idea of having combined a classical design with unique and new layouts. Together, this creates an original and innovative range of yachts.
Can you tell us more about your background? Did you always want to design yachts? How did you end up in the industry?
FG: I have been in the industry for 33 now! I was very young when I started out: at 22, I graduated in naval architecture, designing several Italcraft initially. After that, I spent about 15 years as the general manager and shareholder (along with founder Mr Giovanni Jannetti), of Sanlorenzo Yachts. I designed the Sanlorenzo classic range 62′-100′. At the turn of the century, once we sold the Company, I collaborated with Magnum Marine, Ilver 41’58’, Tornado 38′-50’and Arcadia Yachts 58′-115′. Today, we design the interiors of the Azimut “S” range and collaborate with Palumbo Superyachts, as well as with Cantiere delle Marche, Otam, Cetera and Magnum Marine. My studio has three sections: engineering, exterior design and interior architecture.