In the summer of 2014, Italy’s Cantiere delle Marche (CdM) shipyard, launched Yolo, the first yacht in the Nauta Air 86’ explorer series. Yolo is purpose built for long voyage luxury sailing with a range of 3900 nautical miles. She features a beautiful interior by Laura Pomponi of LuxuryProjects,coupled with unique measures to give complete privacy for the owner and guests, she affords maximum luxury relaxation and entertainment. I met with Matt, her owner, on board a couple of weeks ago.
Can I ask about your background in yachting, what was your first yachting or boating experience?
My first yacht was a Sunseeker, 70 feet, I actually still have her, and it was in Thailand. Basically the nature there is amazing and I wanted to explorer it. There are 250 island of Thailand and when I lived down in Phuket, I just wanted to explore and get away from the main land because of the cultural difference, untie myself as I call it. Get out there and explorer it, see nature, that was the driving force behind it.
Did you grow up with boats as well or was it just something you saw and you just thought that is something I would like to do.
I have always wanted a yacht but never been in the position. I mean I am fairly young so ten years ago it wasn’t an option, I was still out there financing myself.
How did you learn about CdM?
After my experience in Thailand with a boat, I knew exactly what I wanted in a boat, I did not wanted to get 20 or 30 knots, I wanted something where I could sit all day at 10 or 12 knots and cruise along. At the same time I knew I needed a trawler type vessel, but I wanted something younger, more entertaining. I am still in the entertaining cycle of my life, I actually travelled the world, went to boat shows, looked for the right boats. And I didn’t find it. They were all of the older style and none of them had any entertaining space. And then I went all the way back to Phuket, the Thai agent for CdM, Lee Marine, said Matt come and take a look at this. And I came and took a look at it and I said: wow , that’s what I have been searching the last year and a half all around the world for. Ok lets go to Italy. And I went to Italy. I have grown up with Italians, so we straight away hit it off with the guys at the yard. The yacht could be fully customized, I could spec it how I wanted it, pink here, blue there, orange there, whatever.
So you were very involved in the whole construction process?
Stupidly involved, I mean I am young this is my first custom build so I wanted to learn every aspect, I wanted to learn the maritime law, I wanted to learn the specification and I also wanted to learn how to do business like this.
You have 3 cabins and a master, and you changed one cabin to the gym, did you also consider that the resale value could be less because of the very personalized layout?
I was definitely concerned but at the same time for me it doesn’t matter. Because I haven’t got a family, I have friends that come on board, that is why for example I got the big lounge area upstairs. It wasn’t so much of concern but I have made it. So when she is up for sale, it will just be a simple conversion. All the plumbing is the standard layout. When she is up for sale that is something I throw in with the deal. That is not a big thing.
Where do you plan to cruise with Yolo? Are you bringing it to Thailand or first explore a bit?
I had the last month here, I have another 3 weeks here. I am gone go to Spain, Barcelona, the Balearics and then she will go back to Italy for the low season, just to get some more stuff done. The little touch ups that you always have with a new delivery. Next season we’ll stay in Croatia and Greece and the season after we are going to the Caribbean.
So you have got it all planned?
Yes, not too firmly, I don’t like to plan too much.
As a yacht owner, what do you think about the superyacht industry in general? Are there things that can improve in general in the industry from an outsider’s perspective?
I am still learning, I been actually away with the boat for 5 weeks, it is an absolutely learning curve. Some things seem very natural to me and other things Are such an involved process, and there seems to be a lot of little businesses and little people and little agencies that kind of come in to simplify the process but at the same time… lets say it is a beautiful learning curve. It is a simple and expensive learning curve though. I know that now for next season, it won’t surprise me.
Are you planning to offer the boat for charter as well?
I will not this season but we are looking at changing registration to commercial. I think I am going to put up the boat up for sale, because I am already looking at new plans for another Nauta Air Explorer Vessel. Chartering will help to level out the cost, make it easier.
What would you recommend to other owners before buying a boat?
Luckily I had time on my side so I decided to dive in the deep with my wish list and work it all out. So the advice is talk to everybody, go and test boats, go to every boat show, do your research and compile magazines.
You said you are putting YOLO up for sale. Would you like to build another boat?
Yes, as I said we are already looking at new plans and layout with CdM and Nauta Design. During the building you say never again but as soon as it is finished you sail away and here you go, ahh lets do it again. What is next, what would I change and there are always little things. I think it is an addiction. I don’t know if it is a good or a bad addiction. I haven’t decided what kind of addiction it is.
So you really enjoyed the building process?
Yes, I absolute loved it. Then again, because you have the two culture differences, it was a tough time. But overall it is amazing. It’s being part of a family, a really expensive one. I loved the process and the involvement at CdM.
You still go to boat shows to see other boats as well to keep on learning new things, improve things for your next project.
It is kind of an addicting sport, but it is going good to get ideas. You step on another boat and it is just a simple difference and you think why haven’t I thought of that. It is not so healthy these boat shows, because it is very entertaining.