Yolo belongs to a young owner whose life philosophy is, you might have guessed it, “You only live once.”
Matt Telling, the Australian owner of the first Nauta Air 86 by Italian boatbuilder Cantiere delle Marche (CdM), is not prone to drifting into dreams that vanish in daylight; he turns them into concrete plans. It certainly is the case with his first custom yacht whose concept and construction he followed step by step, thoroughly enjoying the experience as he went along.
We met him at his yacht’s launch party, a lively and informal event he organized for a few guests and the yard’s team. “I owned another yacht before, a performance motor yacht, but it didn’t suit my expectations for an enjoyable holiday on board. I needed a more spacious, long-range yacht to navigate in full comfort with no need to stop and refuel frequently. Yolo embodies what I longed for,” Telling says. “It had to meet my tastes and my budget, too, so I started investigating the offer worldwide. I considered having the yacht built in China, but then I got a call from Lee Marine [CdM’s representative in Phuket], who brought to my attention this Italian yard.”
Marcus Overman of Lee Marine knew that the burly Darwin Class models by CdM didn’t quite fit Telling’s aesthetics requirements, so he told his client about the yard’s new Nauta Air line, which is based on the same technical platform as the Darwin series but has different styling.
The Nauta Air 86, designed by Mario Pedol and Massimo Gino of Nauta Design, allows for a high degree of customization
that met the owner’s wishes for an unconventional layout with large social areas both inside and out. Telling worked with Vasco Buonpensiere, CdM’s sales and marketing director, from day one on adapting the existing Nauta Air 86 project to his lifestyle.
“My aim is to enjoy extended cruising with friends in a relaxed and informal environment,” says Telling. “We had to work on the original layout, modifying the interior configuration according to the way I would use [the boat]. I liked very much the exterior lines of the Nauta Air, and the fact that it encompassed generous outdoor spaces was one of the factors that made me decide, together with the openminded approach of the yard’s team.”
Telling introduced major changes to the layout as it was developed by Nauta Design. He asked for a galley aft that also serves the aft deck, for private access to his stateroom and to make room for a gym with shower and hammam; this welcomes guests as they reach the lower deck.
A total of three cabins, the full-beam owner’s stateroom included, provide comfortable accommodations for six guests. Future proofing the layout, the gym has been wired and equipped for easy conversion into a double cabin. “(But) this is meant to be my yacht, and I asked to have her shaped accordingly. I don’t mind whether she suits other people’s tastes or not. Re-sale is an option, but I didn’t build Yolo with this in mind,” says Telling. “I love to share large common areas with a handful of friends, so part of my brief was to find the way to maximize the use of social spaces, both indoor and outdoor, while granting me a private space on board where (I can) relax.”
Relaxation and informality are indeed the leading themes of Yolo’s interior and exterior arrangements and décor. Laura Pomponi, founder and CEO of Luxury Projects, was entrusted to give the interior design the appropriate atmosphere. Asymmetry was among the owner’s key requests in terms of design and the main deck salon exemplifies this concept. A huge plush corner sofa to starboard, opposite the TV, is the perfect place to put your feet up and take a nap. It is so wide and deep that it can be used as a double bed for extra guests. To port, a glass-topped custom table with comfortable leather armchairs does double duty as a place to spread papers or enjoy a meal when the weather doesn’t allow using the main dining area, located on the large flybridge.
The salon’s color palette accentuates the refreshing interior décor. White and taupe with nuances of green and blue set the tone, while textured finishes on both wall panels and flooring provide a pleasant tactile experience. Pomponi and her team of architects and designers expressed their creativity through the imaginative use of materials. Leathers crafted by selected Italian artisans turn into artworks; painted boards on walls highlight the color scheme of each environment; and panels of ground-up stone clad the walls of the owner’s area staircase, echoing the yacht’s sturdiness.
Cantiere delle Marche prides itself on building robust yachts featuring seaworthy hulls and top-end equipment and systems. This is the red thread linking its Darwin and Nauta Air series. The engine rooms for both models are spacious and impeccably laid-out.
“The Nauta Air line is our answer to those yacht owners who appreciate our shipbuilding attitude but are not keen to sail on an explorer vessel such as the Darwin Class models,” says Buonpensiere. “With Nauta we designed a range of yachts with contemporary looks, generous volume and an extraordinary large flybridge.
“The figures speak for themselves,” he continues, as he shares the fuel consumption for the all-aluminum semidisplacement Yolo: At 11 knots, she has a range of up to 3,200 nautical miles, consuming a total of 18.5 gallons per hour, and at nine knots the range rises to more than 4,000 nautical miles, and the consumption drops to 12 gallons per hour. Her two 870-hp engines grant a maximum speed of around 16 to 17 knots.
Right after Yolo, the yard delivered Noga, a Nauta Air 90, and several Darwin models are at different stages of construction in the Ancona-based facility. Cantiere delle Marche recently appointed Denison Yacht Sales to represent the brand in the United States, and there are plans to develop a new model specifically for the U.S. market.
Buonpensiere shares the yard’s strategies and prospects while seated at the bar on Yolo’s flybridge while the owner busies himself with last-minute arrangements before the yacht embarks on her maiden voyage.
The flybridge around us is huge, divided into spacious areas dedicated to lounging and dining. Outdoor living was high on Telling’s priority list. On the 645-square-foot flybridge, you can take in the sun next to the Jacuzzi, or enjoy a dinner in the dining area protected by a large hard top. Another owner request, the gigantic, all-steel barbecue near the fully equipped bar provides for excellent grilled meat throughout the day.
“I’m young and I want to enjoy my time on board and, as you can see, I had Yolo built to feel at ease,” says Telling. When asked about his cruising plans and where he will keep the yacht—in the Mediterranean or in Thailand where he spends a great part of the year—Telling smiles and says, “A yacht is about holidays, fun and relaxation. Let’s leave plans for business issues!”