I learned this week that a quote I gave to a reporter several months ago has found its way into the new issue of BusinessTN, a magazine that covers business in the U.S. state of Tennessee. If you’re interested in looking into the charter industry’s future, then you might find the article interesting. It discusses plans by builder Christensen Yachts to create a new facility in that state (shown in the rendering above) for the construction of 230-foot motoryachts.
These motoryachts–which it is estimated will cost around $100 million apiece–will be the largest of their kind in the world built with composite materials. The 230-footers will be an expansion of the business model that Christensen has found so successful with its 157-foot motoryacht series, a design that has been quite popular for charter. Examples include Barchetta, Lady Joy, and Marathon.
There is no word yet on how the 230-footers will be laid out, or on what features the design will incorporate, but certainly Christensen will work to enhance the styling and accommodation details that have drawn so many owners and charter clients to the 157-footers.
I have been aboard Barchetta, Lady Joy, and Marathon, and I found all three to be quite spacious with unique details that differentiated one yacht from the next. Barchetta, for instance, was built with an unusual yet elegant art deco interior, while Lady Joy has contemporary furnishings along with a special VIP stateroom that converts into two cabins that are ideal for young children and a nanny.
The upshot is that while the hulls on these 157-footers are the same, their interiors are much different–which of course makes for better charter choices. The same should be true of the 230-footers that Christensen is planning to produce.
According to the BusinessTN article, the new shipyard will begin construction in fall 2009, with the first yacht beginning construction in spring 2010. If that timeline remains true, the first 230-footer could be ready to splash by late 2010, in time for that winter’s holiday season in the Caribbean.
That is, if the first owner of a 230-foot Christensen decides to put the motoryacht into charter. There’s no word yet on who that owner might be. Stay tuned.