Cantiere delle Marche is an Italian yacht builder with a passion for the sea. Founded by the Cecchini family in 2010, Cantiere delle Marche is a world leader in the construction of Explorer yachts ranging from 85 to 131 feet and available in two models: the full displacement Darwin Class and the semi and full displacement Nauta Air (depending on the size of the build).
With its current focus on the superyacht industry, Cantiere delle Marche is filling a distinct niche in the pleasure boat market where owners are demanding long range, expedition vessels with capabilities and features to surpass the offerings of the traditional superyacht.
In an interview with Denison Yacht Sales, Vasco Buonpensiere, Director of Sales and Marketing at CdM, provides an inside look into the company's success as well as its new launches and future plans.
CdM takes pride in its family environment, typically found in older shipyards with a long history. Was establishing this approach important to your business plan?
This approach has been very natural for all of us. The shipyard is new, but the people involved have a long history, not only in the industry, but also working together. Ennio Cecchini, the founder, started this venture with a core team that has been working with the Cecchini family for more than 25 years. We have fathers and sons working here. There is a lot of pride and respect shown every day by each and every member of the staff, and we have a shared passion and commitment towards a mutual goal, which yes, is typical of a family environment.
I frankly think that this is one of the elements that helps the decision process of our clients. One of them said that when he comes here it's like going to the Bugatti factory. To sum it up in a few words, you can expect the following from a quality shipyard like us: a small production, a bonded team, and a lot of passion in each and every member.
Please tell us more about the 'IAM CdM' marketing campaign. You wanted to recognize and give credit to your craftsmen, correct?
This started from a Wazzup exchange with a client. He was enthusiastically reporting to me about a successful and hassle-free, long passage, and he ended the message writing, "I am CdM."
I immediately recognized in that claim the real soul of our success: We are a shipyard, not a factory, and our yachts are built by the hands of incredibly expert craftsmen who are doing their best to deliver the best product possible. They want to be proud and say it loud: "I am CdM!"
We decided to put our craftsmen first in the spotlight. They deserve it. They grant the yacht owners, with their pride and faces, a quality product inside out, made with the hands, but most importantly with the heart.
CdM offers both the Darwin series and Nauta Air line of yachts. Can you please discuss the differences between the 2 lines?
When we started this venture, we had to present ourselves to the market with our marketing proposition: heavy duty yachts, very reliable, solid, and over-engineered. The Darwin series shows all of that in the blink of an eye, just by looking at one of them from the outside. At the same time, the Darwin class hits a very limited niche, and we wanted to give the Explorer experience to as many yachtsmen possible. That's what the Nauta Air range does. They are actually designed, engineered, and built to look like a tug Explorer, but with a more contemporary and cleaner exterior design.
In 2010, CdM Shipyard was created focusing on building Explorer yachts in the 86 to 115-foot range. Fast forward to 2015, and you are now a world leader in this segment of the market. What do you credit the shipyard's success to?
Quality, reliability, transparency, and matching the market's demand with the appropriate offer, a perfect mix of heavy duty and luxury.
By the end of the 2015 summer, CdM will have successfully delivered the Darwin 107 (the largest yacht completed by the shipyard to date), the Darwin 102, and the Darwin 86. Why has the Darwin series been so popular?
I think that it's because for the first time, a yachtsman can buy an Explorer yacht. It's a perfect balance of what an Explorer is and the luxury finishing and details you expect while on a yacht, a yacht that is truly an Explorer with no exceptions, but finished and designed to be the "ultimate white yacht".
CdM's first Nauta Air 111 is currently under construction and scheduled for delivery in 2017. This will be the largest yacht built by the shipyard, correct?
Yes, it is, in terms of length. In terms of GRT, the Darwin 107 will still keep the leadership.
Does CdM plan on building larger yachts over 115 feet in the future?
We are currently negotiating a 143-foot yacht with a repeat customer. That's the biggest we want to go right now. We want to build better and better, not bigger and bigger.
How many yachts can CdM build at one time? And, does CdM ever plan on expanding?
We can have 4 to 5 boats under construction at the same time, which can become 6, in case 2 small Nautas or a Darwin 86 should be under construction.
What does the future hold for CdM? Where do you see the yard in 3 years?
We all hope that CdM's shipbuilding approach will remain the same for many years. Every decision is led by a genuine desire of doing better and better. That means in 3 years' time, we will deliver boats with unsurpassed quality, and we will grant an enjoyable working place for many families. Obviously, we are working on the products' design on a daily basis, and we will always continue to update our market proposition. A delay in upgrading and adapting the offer towards a market that is changing very fast can kill even a healthy company.
What market do you feel holds the most potential for CdM, and why?
At the moment, we are very focused on the U.S. market with the help of our distributor, Denison Yacht Sales, for the following reasons.
- It's the biggest yacht market in the world. If we sell a boat every 3 months, I expect the U.S. to become a multiplier for us.
- American owners are mature and very accustomed to trawlers and Explorers.
- The greatest majority of U.S. shipyards have closed their facilities, and American yachtsmen are looking for an alternative that's not as expensive as Northern Europe, but offers the same quality and reliability.
- In 2015/2016, we are going to have a Darwin 102, Darwin 86, Darwin 107, and most likely, a Nauta 90 between the east coast of the U.S. and the Caribbean. This will make it easier for the CdM experience to reach the American yachtsmen's soul.
If you could travel to 3 destinations in the world on a CdM yacht, where would you go?
1. Northern European Fjords 2. Azores 3. Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego
What CdM would you build for you and your family?
I would build one with a sail, or a Darwin 102 for the southern hemisphere and a Nauta Air 111 for the northern hemisphere, and I would swap them every two years. At the same time, I would have a Darwin 86 in the Pacific Coast of Mexico and a Nauta 90 in the Sea of Cortez. I would like to build the Nauta Air 130 to have it always circumnavigating so we can jump on it whenever we feel like it.
You grew up in Bologne, Italy, and your wife is from Australia. If you had to move outside of Italy, where would you go, and why?
Definitely to Sydney because we consider it our second home. I'm in love with the city, the bay, the northern beaches, and the quality of life. We have great friends there who my kids consider family. The fact that my kids are Australian citizens makes the choice even easier.