Okko is one of the latest yachts to launch at Mondo Marine, now with offices in North America. This elegant yacht, with exemplary engineering by Mondo Marine and design by Giorgio Vafiadis, made a notable debut in Monaco.
Story Cecile Gauert
Photos Matteo Gastel and Marc Paris
Mondo Marine’s home is the interesting town of Savona in Northern Italy. On one side of the shipyard is a busy road carving its way through a solid rock wall and on the other side is a commercial harbor and the sea. The busy hometown yachtbuilder (Okko is its 61st yacht) is helping put this often-overlooked medieval city in the Ligurian region on the international map.
Recent visitors to Savona have included representatives from Imperial Yachts, a yacht management company with offices in Moscow and Monaco. Okko, a 134-foot (40.8-meter) all-aluminum tri-deck yacht with a bulbous bow, is one of the latest additions to the growing Imperial fleet.
She does justice to her owner’s wishes for a highly distinctive and comfortable yacht. Her glittering and striking interior features materials fit for an emperor. Beveled mirrors, white onyx, Venetian glass and soft goods by one of the hallmarks of Italian style, the fashionable Fendi, pick up all light entering the interior. Okko’s owner chose a distinctive wood to set the tone, and a perfect high-gloss finish brings out its particular veneers. The golden and tobacco-tinged tropical hardwood’s panels were carefully matched, which had to be a painstaking task for the yard’s craftsmen. This hardwood (commonly called frakè) is known for its irregular dark streaking. Whatever they did to match these random patterns worked. The wood is a consistent theme throughout the yacht, just as the owner wished it to be.
While Mondo Marine works extensively with renowned design firms, it has considerable resources in-house and employs a team of talented young engineers and architects. This allows Mondo Marine to build yachts based on pre-engineered and proven naval platforms, which is the case with Okko. Luca Fresco, the Mondo Marine engineer who worked with the Imperial team, tells us that Okko is the seventh hull based on the same 41-meter platform. Yet, it is virtually impossible to guess that yachts as different as Manifiq (styled by Cor D. Rover), Panther 2 (a sporty blue-hulled yacht) and Okko are related. To further distinguish this yacht, designer Giorgio Vafiadis gave Okko a styling that is at once modern and classic. Particularly appealing are beautiful symmetrical lines with a mix of angular and rounded shapes, large rectangular windows and the well-designed radar arch atop a custom windbreaker. The yacht’s elegant styling does not give any clue as to her relatively high volume. We were surprised when Fresco told us that at 367 gross tons, Okko is much more voluminous than her “sisterships” (about 300 gross tons). His team had to produce a whole new set of stability calculations. From his perspective as a naval engineer, Okko is a new hull.
Captain Richard Gall acted as the owner’s project manager and spent time in Savona, working with the Mondo Marine team. “The shipyard was very accommodating,” he said when we met him aboard Okko in Monaco. It was particularly important since the owner was very hands-on, working closely with Vafiadis, the project management team and the shipyard. The owner not only had very specific ideas as to decorative items (as is usual), he also gave his input on the design of the helm console and even the propulsion package. One of his primary goals was to ensure onboard comfort, which dictated the choice of engines. Favoring comfort over speed, he decided to go for smaller engines than initially planned. Equipped with two MTU engines with a combined horsepower of 3,000 hp, Okko cruises at 14 knots and has a top speed of 16 knots. Her maximum range is 3,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. Floating floors and other soundproofing and noise-dampening techniques ensure the yacht is also pleasantly quiet underway. “She exceeds the requirements of RINA’s Comfort Class,” Gall said. “It is a semi-displacement hull with great seakeeping abilities.”
This is not the first time, of course, that Mondo Marine has built a high-profile yacht. A famous client who helped raise the shipyard’s profile a few years ago is Italian prêt-à-porter guru Luciano Benetton. In 2008, Mondo Marine showcased Benetton’s Tribù, a memorable and original example of an expedition vessel. The 166-foot (50.5-meter) displacement vessel was the first yacht to earn Green Star designation from classification society RINA. But Mondo Marine is pushing the envelope and putting itself forward as one of the world’s top yachtbuilders. A new generation of the founding family is now at the helm—Marco Stroppiana (son of cofounder Florindo Stroppiana) is now chairman of Mondo Marine Spa; and shareholders appointed Roberto Zambrini, who has extensive experience in yachting and a solid financial background, as CEO.
Another important move was the addition of a branch in the United States earlier this year. Mondo Marine North America will operate from Denison Yacht Sales. All of these initiatives came as Mondo Marine introduced several exciting new models—including its largest to date, a Luca Dini design—at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The shipyard is busy and word is spreading. It was the first time that Okko’s owner built a yacht with Mondo Marine. He followed the advice of a few of his friends who had a positive experience with the yard.
Mondo Marine is a bit like its hometown. It is elegant, discreet, and its steady growth has been as solid as the rocks rising above its facilities. And now it is ready for the limelight.
Mondo Marine North America: Home in Fort Lauderdale
A few weeks after announcing the newly inked partnership with the Savona-based shipyard, Denison sponsored a well-attended party during the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach to unveil its new division, Denison Superyacht, and a new branding. Alex G. Clarke, a young and dynamic broker who has worked closely with a number of European yards in the past, was instrumental in creating the new division and is the new brand’s managing director. This new division expands Denison’s growing offering. The company has actively sought and earned representation of both well-known and emerging European brands. For instance, it has had great success with Monte Carlo Yachts, the luxury brand of the Beneteau Group it also represents. Naturally the new division will focus on larger vessels. Clarke, who was born in Connecticut and educated in South Florida, grew up close to yachting. He had hands-on experience as crew and worked for several prominent brokerage firms before joining longtime friend Bob Denison, who heads the company. As far as Mondo Marine is concerned, Clarke is working with Zambrini on two new possible contracts for yachts greater than 196 feet.
For more information, visit denisonyachtsales.com
LOA: 133ft. 10in. (40.8m)
Beam: 26ft. 6in. (8.1m)
Draft: 7ft. 6in. (2.3m)
Displacement (full load): 290 tons
Gross tonnage: 367 GT
Engines: 2 x MTU 12V 2000 M91 1,500 bhp @ 2,350 rpm
Propellers: 2 x 5 blades fixed pitch
Fuel capacity: 12,812 gal. (48,500L)
Speed (max.): about 16.5 knots
Speed (cruising): about 14.5 knots
Range: 3,000 nm @ 12 knots
Generators: 2 x Kohler 70EFOZD, 2 x 70 kW
Freshwater capacity: 2,245 gal. (8,500L)
Stabilizers: Zero Speed Naiad 525 S@A
Classification: ABS XA1 Commercial yachting Service, XAMS €
Naval architecture: Mondo Marine Engineering
Exterior styling: Giorgio Vafiadis
Interior design: Giorgio Vafiadis
Guest cabins: 5
Crew cabins: 3 + captain’s cabin
Builder: Mondo Marine