Created by Asia-Pacific Boating and China Boating magazines in 2005, the annual Asia Boating Awards are the most renowned yachting awards in Asia and eagerly noted across the world. Presented during a lavish ceremony, the awards serve as a benchmark for the industry in the Asia-Pacific region. This year’s 15th edition was held on April 10 at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore. There, the Italian luxury motoryacht company Benetti won the “Best Custom-Built Yacht” prize for the M/Y “Spectre. A month later,the iconic 69-meter Benetti won another prestigious award. This time, M/Y Spectre cast its spell over the designers, architects and yachting experts that were part of the jury of Boat International, one of the world’s most highly respected yachting magazines, who gave the yacht the World Superyacht Award in the category “Displacement yachts between 500 and 1,999 tonnes” for its build quality, technology, high performance and cruising comfort.
Spectre’s owner, the talented New York businessman John Staluppi, chose Benetti for the third time and, as usual, celebrated his passion for James Bond by naming the yacht “Spectre” after the title of the famous 2015 film starring 007.
M/Y “Spectre” (FB269) is a full custom 69-meter (226 feet) megayacht, with a steel hull and an aluminium superstructure arranged on five decks, featuring a swimming pool and a ‘touch and go’ helipad. Accommodating 12 guests in unparalleled comfort, the layout features two owner’s cabins (one has a private terrace, a sun lounging area and a hydromassage tub), two VIP cabins on the Main Deck and two guest cabins on the lower deck.
Bringing together Benetti’s most advanced design and construction technologies, M/Y “Spectre” is fitted with Ride Control technology by Naiad Dynamics, representing an absolute novelty for this type of boat. The system significantly increases stability during navigation and improves comfort on board with the help of four stabilising fins and three vertically-adjustable blades.
The lines of the Hi Speed Cruising Hull, designed by Dutch firm Mulder Design, deliver maximum navigation efficiency, with a range of 6,500 nautical miles at 12 knots and a top speed of 21.2 knots, 30% more than a traditional displacement hull.
The exteriors are by Giorgio M. Cassetta, who says that he has fallen in love with the project and is proud to have contributed to the creation of such a technologically advanced yacht: “I’m very fond of Spectre. It’s the perfect example of a virtuous confluence between the ideas of the owner and the shipyard. John and Jeanette Staluppi, with their immense experience and energy, have spurred us on to imagine a yacht complete with everything that could be desired on a boat this size. Benetti accepted the challenge of building it to the highest standards and with a wealth of innovative technology. The splendid result is a satisfaction that my firm will treasure in the years to come”.
The dynamic exterior design of “Spectre” accommodates spacious interiors by Benetti’s Interior Style Department, which has created a modern yacht embellished by steel detailing and sculpted glazed surfaces. The atmosphere conjures up the mood of 1930s Art Deco found in New Orleans and Florida, which draws its inspiration from late 19th century French Liberty style.
Paolo Vitelli, Chairman of Azimut-Benetti Group made the following comment on this latest achievement: “I feel extremely proud to be, once again recognized as the largest megayacht producer in the world for 19 years now. Benetti is receiving this prestigious award for Spectre and in the meantime is completing 3 Giga yachts of more than 100 mt. We are living a sparkling sales season and hosting great events all over the world. These are great achievements with which I happily celebrate the 50th Anniversary of my Group”.
Established by Lorenzo Benetti in 1873, the company started out building wooden boats used for local and international trade. By 1914, Benetti’s sons Gino and Emilio had taken over the management of the boatyard. They renamed the yard Fratelli Benetti and quickly built up a reputation that extended far beyond the Mediterranean. After Gino passed away in 1927, his sons and nephews continued on the legacy. It was Gino’s grandson Lorenzo who was the driver of the yacht business, moving instantly from wooden to steel construction, and designing three styles of yacht which brought the name Benetti to the world: the Delfino, the Tirreno and the Meditteraneo lines (from 18 to 33 metres). In 1979, the yard launched “Nabila” for Adnan Khashoggi, which at 83 metres and 2,465 tonnes was the largest yacht of its time. Currently, Nabila has been renamed Kingdom 5KR and is owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia.
In 1985 the boatyard was acquired by the celebrated Turin-based boat builder Azimut Yacht. Under the new Azimut management, the Benetti shipyard launched their first vessel “Rima” in 1987. Designed for a client from the Middle East, her interiors were designed by Terrence Disdale. Even with her steel hull, “Rima’s” speed was impressive but not as much when the first 45 meter “Ambrosia” was launched in 1994. With a Chinese owner, she was the brainchild of exterior architect Stefano Natucci and interior designer François Zuretti, the most extraordinary yacht build by Benetti up until then. Ambrosia transformed the dream of eco-sustainable yatchs since the megayacht was one of the first to be built with an electric power unit and azipod propulsion system.
In 2013, Benetti celebrated its 140th anniversary. It is to be said that while Benetti is one of the oldest builders of luxury motoryachts in the world, it was under Azimut’s management that transformed Benett into the modern, technologically advanced reality we know today: a forward-looking and innovative boatyard, but also one that proudly retains its traditional values of experience, skill and a passion for fine craftsmanship.
Benetti’s time honored tradition in yacht building continues to grow and change, not following but anticipating the times. After abandoning wood and being the first to realise the potential of composite materials for the production of megayachts, as early as the 1960s it made the transition from metal boats to steel and aluminium. Today Benetti utilizes these materials, alone or combined, to design and build full-custom displacement and semi-displacement motor yachts in a broad variety of lengths from 93 feet to 90+ meters. These tailor-made vessels embody the owner’s idea of what a yacht should be, while retaining the Benetti family-feeling that is a natural expression of the finest Italian style and timeless elegance. This production capacity, united with world class quality, fanatical attention to detail and a perfect end result, have made Benetti a world leader and an Italian luxury yacht icon.
Once the Fratelli Benetti boatyard was famous for building three-masted wooden schooners for commercial use. Today Benetti motor yachts turn heads at the world’s most famous and exclusive ports of call.