Benetti has announced that American billionaire John Staluppi has signed a contract for a semi-displacement 66m hull.
Mr Staluppi, who made his fortune in car dealerships, is a long-standing Benetti customer, having previously owned the Benettis Quantum of Solace (now Elysium) and Diamonds are Forever. Other luxury yachts built by Staluppi include Octopussy 007, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only (now Wanderlust) and_ Casino Royale__. _
Benetti will release further details about the yacht over the coming months, but has confirmed it is full custom and code named FB269.
The project promises to be extremely interesting, involving Frank Mulder for the naval architecture, in collaboration with yard engineering team and Giorgio Cassetta Design for exteriors, along with the Benetti in-house design team.
For FB269, Mr Staluppi has said he wants a highly efficient steel and aluminium performing hull with a top speed of over 20 knots.
Vincenzo Poerio, Benetti CEO said: “We are delighted about John coming back, especially with such a request that is a very exciting new challenge. Our relationship with a so faithful a client give us a responsibility even heavier than our usual.”
Mr Poerio added that it was an “unrivalled signal of Benetti's great commercial success - based on customer listening in addition to our working teams unmatchable capabilities to realise any kind of owners' request”.
John Staluppi in turn said: “We are very happy to be building our new yacht with the Benetti team as my wife, Jeanette, and I were extremely pleased with Diamonds are Forever. The new venture will be of a much higher standard with new modern day high-tech systems, and once again working with Frank and Bas Mulder. With the combination of expertise between Benetti, Mulder and our design team, we believe this will be our greatest project.”