Previously known as Aspire, the newly-refitted 51-metre expedition yacht Masquenada was launched yesterday at the Lusben shipyard in Italy.
Belonging to sailing enthusiast and fashion mogul Pier Luigi Loro Piana, Masquenada was a project the owner had envisioned two years ago, and after purchasing Aspire with the help of Nauta Design in October 2020, was able to become a superyacht owner again in a mere eight months. “The most important element of this entire project was time,” said Mr Loro Piana at the launch.
“Time is the most essential factor for an owner and I am enormously satisfied with the capacity of the Lusben shipyard which, together with all the collaborators, managed to complete this incredible transformation in just a few months. Now, the project for the immediate future is to embark with my family and sail around the world.”
Speaking with BOAT, Mr Loro Piana revealed how some elements – such as the dark colour of the superstructure – were reminiscent of his previous sailing yacht, and that he intends to carry a small sailboat along with a new Iguana tender on board Masquenada.
In order to fulfil the owner's brief, the external profile of the boat has been extended in the stern block with an added transformer to double the size of the yacht's beach area. The new and larger aft deck is able to hide an integrated powerful crane below deck in the lazarette. Another notable change to the yacht's original exterior is the additional 1.5 metres of length added to both the bridge and upper deck through the help of 3D scanning.
Mario Pedol, co-founder of Nauta Design commented: “We are particularly proud of this project that we were lucky enough to follow from the beginning, alongside the owner: From the initial briefing to the search on the market for a yacht that could satisfy his needs to the careful design of each phase of this rich and complex refit."
"Today, we can say that completing such a complex project in such a short time was an incredible operation carried out in a masterful way by Lusben. The profile of Masquenada is now much more sleek and elegant and, in redesigning the stern block, we have managed to improve the contact with the water and the liveability of this area, now transformed into a pieds dans l’eau," he adds.
Misa Poggi was responsible for overhauling the yacht's furnishings and decor. With the exception of relocating the galley and a modified owner's suite, the layout has remained unchanged.
In terms of technicalities, Masquenada now features reduced vibrations and noise, three Kohler generators with soundproofing, new electric systems, air conditioning units, converters and propellers.
Having worked on the original Aspire many times, the team at Lusben were able to take on the project sooner than most. “Without presumption, I think it is difficult to find another shipyard capable of completing a refit as complex as that of Masquenada in such a short time frame,” commented Alessio Centelli, Project Manager at Lusben.
“Also considering the difficulties related to the pandemic and the numerous restrictions in place, we were able to manage many activities, which involved various teams, external suppliers, crews and captain, always ensuring a safe and serene working climate. It took a good availability on the part of all the actors involved, an intense planning activity and a great mental agility to be able to follow the evolution, often non-linear, of the operations, but in the end, we are all proud of the result obtained.”