Top Banner
Apr / May 2012
An Electrifying Cruise

Writer: Kevin Hackett

Less boat than floating palace – and a sleekly designed eco-conscious one at that – the Arcadia 115 M’Ocean may just persuade you to abandon dry land.


There are many contenders for the prize of being the Mediterranean’s greatest backdrop, but the Costiera Amalfitana is surely in the running. Breathtaking in its shambolic beauty, the Amalfi Coast is all tiny, crumbling, pastel-coloured villages clinging to steep mountainsides that slide almost vertically into the bluest sea imaginable.

The only bind is that you can’t really enjoy Amalfi fully on land because the main road - the SS163 - which snakes its way around the headlands, clinging like a limpet to the vertiginous cliff faces, is chock-full of thousands of kamikaze scooter riders. The only way to really see Amalfi is from the azure waters that lap at its cliffs and white pebbly beaches. Luckily, there’s a new company not too far up that road that’ll build you just the vessel you need to take in Amalfi’s heady beauty.

Arcadia Yachts builds crafts for those who like to roam the seas with a conscience clearer than the waters upon which they float. Like the 115 M’Ocean for example. The 115 refers to the yacht’s hull length - 115 feet or 35 metres to the rest of us - so it’s no nimble speedboat. Rather, the M’Ocean is nothing short of a floating palace that happens to get you places, doing the planet as little damage as possible in the process.

The two 1,224 horsepower MAN diesel engines enable speeds of up to 19 knots but the M’Ocean has a green ace up its sleeve: it’s a hybrid. The banks of solar photovoltaic panels that form part of its roof not only complement the double-glazed windows by letting in copious amounts of daylight, but also charge the on-board battery banks. On electrical power alone, the 115’ can silently propel itself along at a rate of nine knots.

The brand might be new– it opened in 2009 – but as Maurizio Baldoni, Arcadia’s marketing director points out, there’s plenty of experience behind it. “Arcadia is a company that was born to do things differently from the outset. Our people have been in the business for decades but to turn this part of the industry on its head, a totally new company with a new approach needed to come together.”

This meant investing 30 million Euros (40 million USD) and designing and building a new, 36,000 square-metre yard (in Naples) from scratch, rather than taking over an existing company. “It had to be a total blank page,” says Baldoni. “We went back to the drawing board and approached design from an owner’s perspective rather than a yacht builder’s.”

The reason for this fresh approach, he says, is that there’s often a great deal of wasted space, due to the limitations of the shape of the hull and the layouts traditionally followed by designers. “We build superyachts that people should feel totally comfortable living inside,” adds Baldoni, “even for extended periods of time.”

“The aft deck [the exposed, lower section at the rear of a yacht], we discovered, is where most occupants actually want to spend most of their time, so we moved all the other sectors forward,” he continues. “Bear in mind that our smaller 85’ model, which we started delivering to customers in 2010, has an aft deck area of 50 square metres, so you can visualise the sheer amount of space available.”

So far, he says, five 85’s have been delivered and a 115’ was sold in Cannes to a French owner. “Currently we have another four M’Oceans under construction and a brand new project, called the 100’, is just beginning.”

So if you fancy a 115’ M’Ocean, what exactly do you get for your estimated 9.8 million Euros (13 million USD)? For a start you get a yacht that looks like nothing else out there. Unmistakably Italian, it combines elegant yet far from conventional lines with a forward deck bias, a slightly snub-nosed bow and a maximum of three decks. “Any more than that,” explains Baldoni, “and you start to lose stability.”

The interiors are an exercise best described as Italian design flair meets elegant restraint. As you may have noticed, most superyachts are not known for good taste but Arcadia is operating at the opposite end of the spectrum. Armani couldn’t have done a better job. Accommodating 10 guests, it has a full-beam (8.1 metre) master suite on the main deck, four double cabins on the lower deck and features wonderful touches, like a foredeck dedicated to guests complete with Jacuzzi surrounded by sun pads. There’s even a cinema.

It’s an extraordinary series of luxurious living spaces, each one engendering feelings of refinement, wellbeing and of course, ecological friendliness. Spend even a little time on board and you might start thinking that houses are overrated, especially when this home comes with an uninterrupted view of the extraordinarily beautiful Amalfi Coast.

your picks
Decked out in some new Santoni x Wider trainers, we climbed aboard their new 47-metre yacht for a short cruise along the French Riviera. Built entirely in aluminium and powered by a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system, this boat is making all the right waves.
The Floating Seahorse villas are a pod of holiday homes with underwater bedrooms and bathrooms. Anchored off Dubai’s coast within the manmade archipelago The World, it’s the city’s latest real estate project vying to capture your imagination.
Prized by professional athletes and serious collectors alike, Richard Mille timepieces are known for their incomparably distinctive and shock-defying designs. A new collaboration with French street artist Cyril Congo takes graffiti art to a whole new level, proof that traditional watchmaking can keep up with the times.
Right Pane Banner2
Right Pane Banner4