Italian yard Tankoa Yachts is increasing its investment in the future market as it begins construction on two new projects on speculation - the second unit of its S501 model and another unit of the S502 Elettra type, of which one hull is already in build. In addition, the company is launching a new spec build programme, as it aims to start a new build every time it sells a superyacht. Photo: Tankoa YachtsConstruction work on both all-aluminium 50-metre superyachts, sister-ships to the S501 project named Vertige, which was officially unveiled at the Monaco Yacht show last year, has begun at Tankoa’s metalwork facility in La Spezia. With an exterior design by Francesco Paszkowski, the two sub-500GT superyachts, currently in the early metal cutting stages, will reflect the sleek exterior styling featured by their predecessors and will be based on the same naval architectural platform.
Although Tankoa previously revealed the designs for the projects at the Monaco Yacht show last year, it did not have any plans in place for the start of construction. However, following the quick sale of the hybrid-powered sister-ship S502 Elettra this April, which is currently in build and set to launch in February 2019, with delivery slated for May 2019, and the ongoing success of Vertige, the shipyard has decided to invest more in building yachts on speculation. Photo: Tankoa YachtsTankoa also attributes its decision to build more superyachts on speculation to a ‘constant demand for a similar model,’ as well as a growing desire from customers to shorten the delivery time as much as possible. “Building on spec represents a major investment even for a financially strong, debt-free shipyard, but it makes strategic sense by reducing the delivery time,” said Edoardo Ratto, General Manager at Tankoa on their decision.
“Many owners are not interested in the first six to eight months it takes to build the hull and superstructure, but they do want to be involved in the layout and interior décor, and in the choice of features and equipment, which can be decided when the metal work is already well advanced.” In addition, Tankoa also foresees a growing demand for potential customers for charter, as Vertige has booked more than 20 weeks in her first year of chartering. The two new spec superyacht projects are set to follow in their predecessor’s propulsion by featuring similar systems. The S501 hull 5 will be powered by a traditional diesel-engine arrangement like Vertige, whereas S502 hull 6 will use a hybrid propulsion system developed with the diesel centre in La Spezia, like her sister-ship Elettra. She will have four flexible propulsion modes, diesel-electric, full electric, traditional diesel and full-speed mode.
Although Tankoa sees future customers being drawn to hybrid power solutions, as they offer quieter cruising with equal performance as well as reduced emissions, the company also foresees customers choosing conventional power. “It all comes down to a question of customer choice,” added Ratto. The basic arrangement of the two new spec superyachts is also similar, with fold-down terraces in the master suites, a side-loading tender garage aft and a beach club at the transom. Potential customers will be able to tailor the remaining interiors and exterior layout to suit their own needs. Both superyachts will be ready for delivery by the 2020 summer season.