Dream factory

Posted on July 21, 2016 by Lucie Maluck, Images by Robert Hack, Overmarine Group

Some of the most elegant yachts in the world are built at the Overmarine shipyard in Italy. Propulsion: mtu only.
Viareggio, Italien

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you are gliding gracefully across the azure ocean when you spy a palm-lined beach on the horizon where you can take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters or skim the waves on a jet-ski. If you were holidaying on a megayacht that is exactly what you could do – if you were among the fortunate few who can afford one. Some of the most beautiful and elegant examples of such motor yacht magnificence are built at the Overmarine Group shipyard in Viareggio in Tuscany.

The air is filled with the sound of hammering, drilling and sawing, and the smell of wood and paint. It could just as easily be an office building, factory, or family home that is under construction here. No sign of a tropical beach or azure lagoon in these surroundings. Building site is the overwhelming atmosphere. But what they are making is a megayacht – to be precise the world's fastest 50-m open yacht – the Mangusta 165. It is the flagship model of the Overmarine Group shipyard in Italy, who markets its motor yachts under the Mangusta brand. ”We have already delivered ten of these yachts to clients, this will be the eleventh,” explains Arianna Toscano. The young PR officer proudly shows us around the decks of the yacht. “This will be the owner's suite,” she explains, pointing to a room where carpenters are ju st cutting some wooden boards to fit. All furniture is, of course, custom-made on site to precisely fit the individual yacht.

Most buyers of Overmarine Group yachts are from Europe and increasingly from the USA. And the yachts they are buying are getting bigger and bigger. In the 1990s, the biggest Overmarine Group craft was 80 ft or just under 25 m, whereas now the yard’s flagship is the Mangusta 165, which measures over 50 m in length.

Under construction at the Overmarine shipyard in Viareggio is the eleventh Mangusta 165. She is due to enter the water for the first time at the beginning of 2017.

Light + powerful = mtu

What she can say with certainty is that every yacht sold by Overmarine Group is powered by mtu engines. “They are unbeatable in their power class,” observes Nicola Onori. He is the technical manager at Overmarine Group. For him, the power-to-weight ratio of an engine is a decisive factor. “The principal appeal of a Mangusta yacht is its elegant, high-performance styling,” he outlines. To build high-speed yachts, you need light but powerful engines. The Mangusta 165 that hordes of skilled trades are busily working away on in the production shop in front of him is equipped with four 16-cylinder mtu Series 2000 power units.

The mtu Series 2000 engines look deceptively unready to be propelling a 50-m yacht any time soon. Massimiliano Bini, Nicola Onori and Lorenzo Ferrari (left to right) are already talking technicalities about the engines for the upcoming projects.

Holiday atmosphere at last

Up until a couple of days ago the engines were in place in the engine room. But now they are standing next to the boat, well wrapped up to protect them against dust and corrosion. “We have to make a few changes to the engine room, then we will refit the engines,” Onori explains. The yacht is due to enter the water for the first time at the beginning of next year – a very special moment greatly looked forward to by Arianna Toscano and Nicola Onori. That is when there will finally be a taste of the luxury-yacht, leisure-cruise atmosphere. It might be difficult to imagine in the Overmarine Group shipyard, but as soon as the production shop doors are opened, the view is of shimmering blue water, cloudless blue skies and sumptuous yachts as far as the eye can see.

Yachts as far as the eye can see. Those in front for the Overmarine shipyard are Mangusta craft undergoing trials or overhauls. What the picture does not show are the many other makes of yacht to the right and left of the yard that are also built in Viareggio.

30% less fuel

Viareggio is one of Italy’s main yacht-building centers. Anyone who wants to know what is happening in the world of yachting only needs to take a stroll along the dockside. There you will see small sailing yachts moored alongside 50-m luxury motor vessels. And who would not dream of holidays at the sight of them? Well, Nicola Onori for a start. He is reflecting on how the yacht market is changing. “It’s getting more conscious of the environment,” he says, and goes on to explain how lightweight design is becoming much more of an issue. “Lighter yachts mean more speed for less fuel, which in turn means lower emissions.” The Mangusta 165 being built just a few meters behind him is powered by four 16-cylinder mtu Series 2000 engines, each generating 1,939 kW. The previous version of this model was fitted with three mtu Series 4000 units that delivered 3,440 kW each. “So we are saving 30% on fuel consumption but our yachts are still just as fast with a top speed of 40 knots,” he says proudly.  

mtu only: every single Mangusta yacht is powered.

Light and fast or sumptuous and slow

Another trend is in the building materials used. Overmarine Group has so far built its yachts from composite materials such as carbon fiber. They are lightweight but provide the necessary structural strength. That is important when you are making high-speed, high-performance craft. “You can feel the speed on these yachts,” Nicola Onori illuminates. But not all clients want that. Many of them connect leisure time with luxury and distant shores rather than speed and excitement. Just a short while ago, Overmarine Group launched its first displacement yacht. It is made of steel and aluminum and is marketed under the Mangusta Oceano brand. Its maximum speed is a moderate 16 knots, courtesy of two 12-cylinder mtu Series 2000 engines, each delivering 1,080 kW. But the yacht can cover 4,000 nautical miles on one tank of fuel – easily enough for an Atlantic crossing.

”My colleague has the hardest job“

The new Mangusta Oceano is currently undergoing sea trials, as will the Mangusta 165, currently the object of the frenetic activity just behind us, at the end of the year. “We have three captains at Overmarine Group who put each yacht to a very thorough test”. One thing is imperative – every yacht that leaves the Overmarine Group shipyard must be able to promise its owner totally carefree leisure time - there must not be even the slightest whiff of a problem. “My colleague has the hardest job,” says Nicola Onori, pointing to Massimiliano Bini, the Group’s After Sales Manager, standing a few meters away. “He has to field calls 24 hours a day from customers all over the world to give them assistance in case of need.” And those problems can be almost anything. “We can solve a lot of issues over the phone, but often we have to be on site as well.” Like mtu, Overmarine Group has a world-wide network of service agents. “Fortunately we have had very few problems with these engines so far,” says Bini. After their warranty has expired, he recommends customers to take out an mtu ValueCare service contract, which he sees as the safest way of avoiding unexpected costs.

Ultimately, being on a luxury yacht is all about having a totally relaxed holiday, preferably not in the marina but out somewhere in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Atlantic or the Indian Ocean. Where would Nicola Onori spend his holidays? “Somewhere in the Mediterranean, and preferably on a Mangusta yacht.”

The content of the stories reflects the status as of the respective date of publication. They are not updated. Further developments are therefore not taken into account.

Point of contact

Lorenzo Ferrari
+39 0187 1588 210
+39 0187 1588210

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