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K584: On board the first military-style explorer from CPN Yachts

1 September 2021 • Written by Cecile Gauert

An explorer with an experienced sailor’s touch, K584 heralds a bright future for Italian yard CPN...

An experienced sailor decided the time had come for him to try a motor yacht on for size and so was born K584, the first yacht built under the name of Italian shipyard CPN. This 36.6 metre yacht designed by A. Vallicelli & C Yacht Design is highly personal and started as a pure custom project developed over several years.

_Images courtesy of Maurizio Paradisi_

“It was not easy at the beginning to choose this direction,” the owner said of his decision to build his first motor yacht, “but I am very happy about it.” The first drawing was done around 2012, revisited a few years later and by March 2018 the owners of K584 decided they were ready to take the plunge. Designer Alessandro Nazareth remembers the date well because he was in St. Barths for the Bucket when he got the call.

The chosen design was an explorer a little larger than the original concept Vallicelli had created but below 300 gross tonnes, incorporating a substantial dive centre, a good galley and crew mess, as well as five comfortable cabins. The styling has a bit of what Nazareth calls a “military feeling” but with the undeniable elegance that comes with great symmetry. “The owners did not want a sun deck, so it keeps the profile low,” Nazareth says.

The layout differs a bit from the original proposal with an owners’ cabin on the bridge deck. It’s not a huge space but it is very private with its own terrace for lounging and dining, well protected by an awning. “When you stay up there, you have the bridge to yourself and with these fantastic windows, you see the sun rising, it’s everything,” says the owner who likes to take the wheel whenever possible.

Immediately below, on main deck there is room for a large tender the owners use for their diving expeditions and a sturdy HS Marine crane. A wide and well protected side deck and portside stairs lead to a nice lounge with seating and convertible tables on the foredeck. The salon, dining room, a stylish and practical galley, gym and a large VIP cabin round up the accommodations on main deck. The lower deck has space for three more guest cabins and crew cabin and crew mess. Located in at the hull’s centre point, they separate the engine room space from the guest area and give crew direct access to the engine room. It’s simple and very smartly done.

Simplicity was a very core of the design. “That was the philosophy of this boat,” says Gianluca Fenucci of Yachting Expertise, the experienced project management company that helped translate a lovely project into a technically sound, long-range explorer. “The owners wanted to go around the world and didn’t want to be at the mercy of something like an electronic failure. The owners told me over and over, keep it simple.” They also weren’t worried about brand. One of their priorities was to make the build an enjoyable experience.

At about the time the owners decided to go ahead with their project, a shipyard not far from their hometown on Italy’s Adriatic coast was looking for an opportunity to build its first complete yacht project.

CPN is not a familiar name in yachting circles outside of Italy because until K584, they had not built a yacht under their own name. Founder Massimo Belardinelli started his career as an electrician at Fincantieri in the 1970s and set out on his own in 1999, incorporating CPN as a shipyard in 2007. Since CPN has been providing steel and aluminum hulls and superstructures for builders all along Italy’s Adriatic coast. Today the yard is managed by Massimo and his daughter, Cristiana Belardinelli.

Ancona was a convenient location for the owners, who wanted to keep a close eye on their project and who returned from their first visit at CPN with the feeling they’d get along very well in this family environment. “I knew how serious they were,” the owner says.

However, before the first sheet of metal was cut, the team did a lot of legwork to achieve a goal that was very important to a bluewater sailor building his first motor yacht, namely fuel efficiency.

“One of the challenges was to get the water entry right, design the right spray rail and make sure this boat would not get wet like everybody else. It is a difficult goal for a boat of this size with a straight bow,” Fenucci says.

Naval architect Antonio Longobardi, co-founder of Yachting Expertise, designed the hull lines and worked closely with the Marin Institute in The Netherlands to achieve the best results. Everything was tested from the hull lines, bulbous bow to the yacht’s CMC’s electric fin stabilizers. The results have exceeded expectations.

“This boat has been going for 10 to 11 knots for almost two months, and the consumption at that speed is between 75 and 90 liters (18.5 to 23.8 gallons), per hour which is extraordinary,” Fenucci says.

The owners, who stayed involved throughout the two-year build, engaged in a great deal of brainstorming, Fenucci says. An industrialist who known his way as well around the board room as it does around a machine, the husband delved deeply into the mechanics. The team studied six or seven different options for engines, before deciding on K584’s MAN engines, for example.

The owners visited the shipyard often during the construction. “The last three months of the build we were there every day. I know where every pipe goes,” he says without exaggeration. “I am different from many other owners in that I really like to work with engines and the electronics. I do all the maintenance.” Again that is no exaggeration. Interior designer Pierluigi Floris who went to the owners’ home to understand their likes and dislikes, recalls how when an appliance broke, the husband diagnosed and fixed the problem himself.

Aside from this affinity for mechanical things, the owners are passionate divers, so the dive center received a great deal of attention. They worked closely with Floris on perfecting the space. It’s perfectly organised for the compressor, bottles, suits and a sink where they can rinse underwater camera equipment. A large work bench has space for perfectly organised tools.

The way the engine room is planned and built shows a great deal of respect for the equipment inside. A topnotch ventilation system from Heinen & Hopman keeps things at a pleasant 77 to 79 degrees, which is very good for the equipment. “It’s an ideal setup and thanks to this we have been able to get a five-year warranty from MAN,” Fenucci says. “There are a lot of secrets like this.”

The team also focused a lot of attention on ways to mitigate sound and vibrations throughout the yacht. As former sailors, the owners were keen on minimising noise and vibrations for comfort of course but also for equipment longevity. Some of the same techniques that were used in the construction of 66 metre Okto, built at ISA Yachts in 2014 and recognised as one of the quietest superyachts around, went into K584.

Multiple strategies were employed to achieve the aggressive sound goal – underway the sound level in the owner’s cabin is 45 dbA –, underwater exhaust, sizing correctly air conditioning ducks, silencers for engine room fans, elastic mounds for the engines, damping materials such as mineral wool and a careful study of the doors. “We wanted to make a boat with zero vibration at 10, 12 knots you get the same feeling you get on a sailing yacht,” Fenucci says. “Behind the paneling is a lot of the kind of engineering done on bigger yachts.”

Aside from the private eerie on the top deck and comfortable guest cabins, other important spaces for were the galley – “We are Italians,” the owner says by way of an explanation, “food is important to us” – and the crew mess.

“We are proud of the crew mess. When you have an intention to stay on board for 12 months a year, you have to give the crew the right space. The galley and the crew mess for a boat with this kind of mission are very important,” he says.

The interior itself, installed by outfitting company IGI, is beautifully simple. “In our mind, less is better. To have a lot of materials is very easy but we like to have something that is elegant. We have our own style and we decided to work with a few pieces of art, which for us is very important, and we put just a few pieces in the right place to achieve the right balance of colour.”

Floris, whose career spans 25 years working with various Italian shipyards, came up with a comfortable and elegant interior that combines dark veneers and white lacquers with just a few spots of colour.

“The style can be described as minimalist but very warm because there is an oak floor with a very particular finish and then there is a lot of lacquered white gloss in parallel with all the furniture in ebony macassar that is very strong wood; it’s masculine but also very soft,” he says.

Beyond the machinery, the electronics and the furnishings, though, K584 also is a human story. The sea trials went well and were a joyful occasion. Floris remembers fondly the first swim off the back of the boat. However, when the day came for the yacht to leave there was a bit of sadness too. “We realised we were going to miss each other,” Fenucci says.

K584 was delivered just about on time, in spite of the pandemic, and the owners had a chance to experience the boat in the idyllic setting of the Greek Islands. They sent updates and photos to the build team during the cruise and came back longing to cast off for more far fledged adventures. “I think we created a jewel,” the owner says.

This elegant 36.6 metre explorer is a beautiful start for the CPN shipyard that has proudly branded the yacht with its own logo in gleaming stainless steel letters. It will be a while yet before the owners repeat the experience, but everyone else involved in building K584 is ready for an encore.

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