things that surprised us at the Cannes boat show | Boat International
4 things that surprised us at the Cannes boat show
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Yacht builders breaking the mould

While there isn’t a lot that can surprise us seasoned superyacht enthusiasts, there were certainly a few moments of murmuring “interesting” at this year’s Cannes boat show.

The first thing that surprised us at the Cannes boat show was yacht builders' commitment to building yachts usually perceived as being outside of its wheelhouse.

This includes CCN revealing its new direction and reaffirming its commitment to add to its typical sports boat offerings by building a brand new explorer yacht range. While the Italian yard will continue to build the fast GRP yachts that made it famous, it will now also offer a range of displacement hull explorer yachts penned by Tommaso Spadolini.

At the same time, British yacht builder Sunseeker unveiled the renderings of its first pilothouse 95 yacht. This is the first raised pilothouse yacht design to come from Sunseeker, and it offers a unique interior layout thanks to its pilothouse design.

Ferretti Group also announced it would invest €50 million to develop 27 new yacht models. We're yet to see how many of these new models will be a big departure from their current style, but they did hint at a bigger, 100-foot-plus Riva that will be a departure for the brand because of its semi-customisation offerings.

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Surprising superyacht buyers

A few builders at the Cannes boat show pointed out they had buyers coming from markets that have been seen as slouching in the world economy and superyacht sphere as of late.

Azimut-Benetti, which also announced new investment following strong growth, for instance, said that the Russian market was still bringing in business for them, with upwards of 18 per cent of its business reported to be coming from Russian yacht owners.

Cantiere delle Marche, on the other hand, shared that Mexico is an extremely popular client base for the expedition yacht builder.

And a slew of other builders were showing yachts at Cannes boat show that were destined for Asian homeports, which could be seen as a surprise due to the fact that China's economy has been slowing down recently.

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Very personalised interiors

One nice surprise was a lack of cookie cutter interiors and owner's preferences in full view. "To each their own" could definitely be seen in the extremely personalised and customised interiors.

Compare two explorer yacht builder's new flagships, for instance. While both Cantiere delle Marche's Darwin 107 Storm and Van der Valk's Santa Maria T have beautiful grey hulls – a trend spotted at Cannes – inside they are customised to their owner's exacting preferences. Santa Maria T has an art nouveau interior with lots of gold details, flowery fabrics, antique-inspired furniture and a cast iron bathtub. Storm, on the other hand, resembles a stately country manor with plenty of gingham and English country-inspired decor choices.

Or take the ultra-modern interior of the superhero inspired superyacht Ironman, the new Benetti launch, which was styled by a famed Miami architect Alfred Karram Jr.

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Massive engine rooms on pocket superyachts

If you're like the owner of explorer yacht Noga, then the engine room might be one of your favourite design features on your yacht.

But not every yacht boasts such impressively open technical spaces, as we can attest from all the small engine rooms we've climbed through on large yachts over the years.

So when we saw a few very large engine rooms at the Cannes boat show on pocket superyachts with notably high ceiling clearances and plenty of space to walk around the engines and get to all of the important equipment, we were happily surprised. This includes Santa Maria T and the Cantiere delle Marche yachts on display, such as Noga’s engine room, pictured above. Not bad for a 27 metre yacht.

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