Moonen signs contract for their first 80 Alu superyacht
by Malcolm MacLean
Moonen Shipyards has signed the contract for a 24.45-metre high-speed aluminium motoryacht, the first Moonen 80 Alu. While all new superyacht orders are good news in the current climate, Moonen is doubly pleased as the owners are also new clients for the Dutch yard. "We first came into contact via an internet request in 2008, which was followed up by a meeting at the 2009 Cannes boat show," explains Emile Bilterijst, Managing Director of Moonen Shipyards. "Embarking on a sea trial on our Moonen 94 Nilo, the owners instantly recognised the quality difference from their quite extensive previous experience on a range of motoryachts. The next step was to customise their specific requests into an all-new design."
For Bilterijst and his team, the project fitted seamlessly within ongoing developments of a fleet of customised high-speed Moonens in various sizes, all built in Sealium, a lightweight, strong and highly corrosion-resistant aluminium alloy. In addition to Nilo, which won awards for her innovative character when launched in 2007, Moonen also delivered another Moonen 94 called Infinity in the same year and the Moonen 99 Alu Phoebe in 2009.
The new 80 Alu has been designed to reach some 25 knots at full-throttle, which was quite a challenge considering the owners were determined to have the same standards of displacement comfort. In addition to increasing engine capacity, the hull profile had to be completely redesigned and the yacht will be even lighter in weight than her sister ships.
But it is not just the high speeds that are likely to make a splash in the market when this new design sees the light of day in 2012. Another key demand from the owners was for low fuel consumption, meaning that the hull needed to be very efficient at low speeds. The design has therefore been the subject of extensive research work, including lines models and the most stringent testing programmes. As a result, the Moonen 80 Alu will have an exceptional range for a fast yacht, being able to cruise much further than vessels of an equivalent size and speed.