BOATS MADE BY EXPERT PEOPLE WHO ARE ALWAYS ON THE FRONT LINE
Emilio Veronesi - Captain of Stella Del Nord
CANTIERE DELLE MARCHE,
ANCONA, 16 APRIL 2015
As an expert sailor and captain who has skippered across thousands of miles, some of those at the helm of another Darwin 86', how would you define your experience with Cantiere delle Marche and the Darwin Class compared to other shipyards and other boats? The sensation I had when I began to collaborate with the technical people, first of all, and then, with the building crew at Cantiere delle Marche, was the same as what I had felt at a shipyard in Finland where I was following the building of another boat. There, they didn't refer to the shipyard as merely a business, but rather, they considered it a family. At the time, I thought this was something typically Nordic, since I had never encountered an atmosphere like this in any Italian shipyard. I remember thinking that it would be nice to find a similar working environment in an Italian shipyard. And then it happened: the perception one has of CdM is identical, it feels like a big family where everyone contributes to achieving the final objective of building gorgeous boats, and everyone tries to give their best. It was definitely a positive experience in terms of their professionalism, dedication, and competence. As for the Darwin Class, it was a little like returning to my professional roots; the sensations this boat gives you are of power and performance, sensations I felt when I sailed on deep sea fishing boats, that have to be able to handle any and all meteorological conditions. I think this feeling of safety and power, besides guaranteeing great comfort and maneuverability, can only be had with this type of vessel.
A captain takes many things to heart, not only the technical aspects, but also the layout of the various spaces on the boat, from the galley to the crew quarters; what comments do you have as to how the Darwin 86' measures up in these areas? The Darwin 86' is a boat that is made for comfortable living for everyone on board, guests and crew alike. It was designed with a very functional layout for the people who are working on board, with a spacious galley very conveniently located in the center of the boa. The crew mess and crew quarters are situated in such a way as to make them both comfortable and functional, so there is a 360° radius of space for navigation activities, and life on board can be organized without necessarily disturbing the guests. Even the technical areas are well organized, making it possible to easily access and work on all of the machines and equipment, thus greatly facilitating maintenance and any repairs that might be needed. They even managed to include an extra “gift”, a large space set up like a repair shop so that we could have full autonomy at all times and in any place; this is necessary for a boat like this one that knows no confines.
Cantiere delle Marche is famous all over the world for its extreme attention to detail and outfitting of the machine rooms; could you talk about that to help us better understand how this shipyard is different in this regard? Indeed, the machine room is the most fascinating area of the boat and it is the pulsating heart! It stands out because the machine room of a Darwin is the fruit of the experience gained from building work boats. Therefore, it has a machine room that has no equal, thanks to the overall spaciousness, ease of access to work areas, functionality, light, clean lines and intuitive simplicity of the systems and/or components. Another very important thing is the openness and collaborative attitude of the workers who outfitted the machine room, with the real needs of the end user in mind. So, custom-built!
While a boat like this is being built, it is normal to encounter unexpected difficulties or receive special requests from the ship-owner; what was CdM's response on these occasions? The shipyard has always demonstrated its desire to understand and consider the modifications asked for and the requests for forward by the ship-owner. If there was something that was not feasible because, for example, it was deemed ineffective or useless, the technical staff would always do research to propose alternatives that could satisfy the client.
Now that the season is starting, ports of call and routes are being planned. If it depended only on you, what would be the first port of call for "Stella Del Nord" and why? Kastellorizo in Greece. Because it is a small pearl of the Mediterranean, not very crowded, a peaceful place, a small island which despite the distance still represents a tangible tie to our past. Here, we can still feel "at home" even though we are a stone's throw from the Middle East.
If you were to meet a colleague of yours whose ship-owner was thinking about buying a new displacement yacht, would you recommend taking him to visit Cantiere delle Marche? What would be your arguing points? Absolutely, yes!! In fact, I'd advise him to visit the shipyard as often as possible during the various phases of construction so he can really appreciate the quality of these vessels. See the boat in a "naked" state, with no caulking or paint. I think the difference lies precisely in the quality of the construction: once the basic/starting structure is good, then everything is possible!! Another crucial factor is that these are boats made by passionate, expert people who are always on the front line.