Set sail with Monte Carlo Yachts’ president Carla Demaria

Even though Monte Carlo Yachts is the new kid on the block when it comes to the luxury yacht market — launching its first unit in 2010 — the brand is starting to make waves with the backing of the Beneteau Group and Carla Demaria as president.

Gafencu spoke to Carla recently about the brief history of Monte Carlo Yachts and the importance of the Asian market to the company.

Tell us about yourself and Monte Carlo Yachts.

In 2008 I decided to work with the Beneteau group, which at that time was one of the largest yachting groups in the world, but not in the segment of bigger luxury power yachts. So they decided to enter that market.

Even though this decision was made before the financial crisis in 2008, Beneteau decided to stick to their plan and we are doing exactly what was decided before the crisis. Maybe other companies would have delayed, but Beneteau has more than 130 years of history and they had a vision.

At that time it was tough and not every company could do what we were trying to do, but the crisis was also an opportunity for a strong company to take on a new challenge, and this is exactly what happened.

Beneteau trusted me and my team, and we started from a blank sheet in 2008 with Monte Carlo Yachts.

The crisis put a lot of pressure on us, which was a good thing because we did everything we could to make sure we didn’t make any mistakes, starting from the decision to pick the design studio Nuvolari Lenard.

A lot of big names were struggling during the crisis, so our idea was to have a long-lasting product that was new and could be immediately recognised on the water. Our yachts also had to be innovative and stand out because we were new.

Beneteau put a lot of resources and money into the project and I am proud to say they have been fully rewarded. In the six years since we launched our first yacht, we have had a successful product every year.

The next step is to move forward even faster over the next five years.

How important is the Asian market to Monte Carlo Yachts?

Our product is accepted all over the world, but Asia, for us, is the number one market. Here in Hong Kong, people can be quite demanding and the fact our product is well received means we are doing the right thing. They are experts and the fact we are successful here tells us a lot.

One of the key things for our yachts is we can customise our product 100 percent, and not just in terms of decor. We have a production patent so we can tailor make every single boat for our customers.

What can you tell us about the recently launched MCY 80?

We are here in Hong Kong to present the number 6 (the MCY 80). After the company’s first 5-year cycle, this is the first boat in the new cycle.

It isn’t the biggest in the range, but this yacht perfectly expresses all the key features of our product and it is the DNA of Monte Carlo Yachts. The boat can be customised as much as the owner wants and it has the same level of detail you’d get on a bigger yacht.

Apart from being faster than any competitor, it is also made to the highest quality. On MCY 80, we have combined our experience from building the biggest yachts, the MCY 105, to the smallest, the MCY 65.

The new 24-metre MCY 80 has a class-leading entertainment foredeck and Portuguese bridge. The large full-size windows bring in vast amounts of natural light to the saloon and cabins.

Text: Andrew Scott

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