SYT visits Pride Yachts in China

Pride Mega Yachts has recently invested in a new state of the art facilities for outfitting of yacht between 80m up to 105m long. The facilities include new officer area, workshops, and construction bay, etc. SuperYachtTimes.com's Maarten Janssen has just returned from a trip to the shipyard of China’s builder of large superyachts, impressed and excited by the extremely high level quality of the facility and more importantly, their exciting current project, Illusion.

The flagship construction for Pride is this 88m superyacht, and on track for an end-2015 build. It is the largest yacht ever to be built in China by far, and many around the world are enthusiastic for it’s scheduled arrival after shining at the Monaco Yacht Show 2013. This is a substantial milestone for the Chinese yacht building industry, something in which Pride are painstakingly working to take advantage of with one of the most impressive boats to come out of Asia. Jan Jaap Minnema of Fraser Yachts is the broker of the project, ensuring that the company continues to add to its impressive fleet of yachts for sale with the arrival of the imposing 88m Illusion.

So what makes Illusion so impressive? One of the yacht’s most striking characteristics is its majestic interior volume. This is thanks to Illusion’s exceptional beam and its 88.8 metre length, resulting in an imposing 3,600 gross tonnes and creating a truly unique spatial experience. The impressiveness doesn’t stop there. Pride have employed the collaborative skills of some of the best in the world to make an exceptionally well crafted and world class vessel.

Pride Mega Yachts can offer very attractive and competitive prices maintaining a very high European spec and design. However, quality is the main focus for the young shipyard.

Having said that, all the major player in this project, are well known established high quality brands. The naval architecture for example, is by Azure Naval Architecture, a company responsible for some of the largest yachts in the world, including Seven Seas, Alfa Nero, Cakewalk and Anastasia.

Powered by Rolls Royce Diesel electric propulsion engines, Illusion will have an impressive cruising speed of 14 knots and a maximum of 17 knots.

The interior styling is magnificent. World renowned Sander Sinot has created a fantastically luxurious yet homely interior to ensure a prestigious and unforgettable experience for any guest. Elegant, modern and Asian inspired, Illusion’s 7 guest cabins accommodate up to 14 guests in the utmost style, with room for 27 crew.

But Illusion is not just a beautiful superyacht. Her arrival also symbolises an interesting shift in China’s involvement in the superyacht industry. Accompanying this is an array of large, Chinese enterprises acquiring important yachting brands in recent years. Itay Simhony, Pride’s shipyard director, gives us his opinion of this change, saying that “already today, China accounts for 25% of the global sales of luxury goods. So it is not surprising that the country also wants to play a role in the production of these goods. The country has an obsession with perfectionism and a strong drive to significantly contribute to the qualitative aspects of the world economy.

Jan Jaap Minnema of Fraser Yachts also comments on this change, saying that "Many people do not immediately associate China with quality and certainly not with the quality that we are used to in this sector. That makes Pride's achievement all the more interesting for the sector; it is a pioneering venture. And because of the competitive labour prices, they even managed it for a very good price."

It’s exactly this perfectionist, attention to detail and state-of-the-art philosophy that enabled Illusion to spark an abundance of interest at the Monaco Yacht Show 2013, indicating the beginning of an even brighter future for Pride.

Their second showpiece is already being developed, with a clear view of the future and genuine focus on innovation. During my visit to the yard in China, I was presented with several highly innovative new design concepts, including some by well-established superyacht designers, all seeing the potential of a possible collaboration with Pride.

Simhony talks of this philosophy, as well as the exciting future Pride have in store for them. “Pride’s philosophy can be characterized by its professionalism, its perfectionist approach and superb craftsmanship. This is encapsulated by the spirit of ‘the unlimited’: endless possibilities in the development, creation and marketing of 80-120m superyachts.

With this dedication to perfection, the world eagerly anticipates the arrival of Illusion and more from Pride Mega Yachts in the future.

By Maarten Janssen

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