FLIBS 2014: Italian builders have big presence on the docks

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FORT LAUDERDALE — The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has clearly become international, from the languages spoken on the docks to the array of foreign-designed and built boats.

The Italian presence at Bahia Mar is profound, especially along the Face Dock where the large luxury yachts reside.

On Thursday night Monte Carlo, the French-Italian luxury yacht builder owned by Beneteau, introduced two models — the more traditionally styled 86-foot cruiser MCY 86 and the Mediterranean trawler-inspired 45-foot MC 4.

"The most important thing about the 86," Monte Carlo president Carla Demaria told Trade Only Today," is that it was built specifically from the ground up for the American market instead of adapting a European design. We did that because we did not want to compromise anything."

The U.S. focus seems to resonate. The 86 on display has already been sold by Denison Yacht Sales, Monte Carlo's exclusive dealer in the States, and will be home-ported in Florida.

The Ferretti Group is showcasing 15 new yachts in Fort Lauderdale across four of its brands along the Face Dock at the Bahia Mar. Most impressive is the Riva 122 Mythos, a 122-foot aluminum alloy yacht — the largest boat in the 173-year history of Riva, which made its name with stylish runabouts.

"There's only one manufacturer that can take you from 27 feet to 90 meters and that company is Riva," Alberto Galassi, the Ferretti Group’s global CEO since May, said Thursday.

The line of new boats from Ferretti brands on display along E Dock also includes the Ferretti 960, 870, 800 and 690, and the Pershing 92, 82, 74 and 62.

Custom builder Benetti introduced the Veloce 140, the first model in the Fast Displacement Class from the Italian builder. The impressive 140-footer has a fine interior, complemented by an innovative “displacement to plane” hull and advanced propulsion, as well as a proprietary touchscreen wheelhouse and an electronic stabilizing system.

"I've never helmed a yacht that cut through seas as effortlessly as this one, even at top speeds," said Kelly Esser, the captain of Cheers 46.

Top speed of the Veloce 140, powered by twin 3,500-hp MTU 12V 4000 M93L engines, is more than 20 knots. The cruising speed is 12 knots.

Another custom builder, Sanlorenzo, continues its push into the U.S. market with the debut of the SD112. Built for an American owner, the 112-foot tri-deck motoryacht features a raised pilothouse design that includes a Jacuzzi tub surrounded by sunpads on the top deck.

The company said it has sold six SD112s, and George Jousma, president of Sanlorenzo Americas, was quick to wrap up a press conference that was delayed while he met with a Sanlorenzo customer.

"I want to be out there to sell some boats," he said as he headed back out onto the docks.

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