Tankoa Yachts in Genoa has presented a new 53m planing yacht with a top speed of 28 knots. Following on from the 58m Open announced last year, Saetta (S533) joins the Tankoa line of fast, planing yachts with exterior design by Francesco Paszkowski. Referencing its clean yet dynamic lines and ample use of glass, the designer describes the new model as “a leap forward, a glimpse of the future.”

With naval architecture by fast hull specialist Andrea Bacigalupo, Saetta will be powered by three MTU 16V 2000 series engines with twin KaMeWa water jets, plus a booster for a top speed of 28 knots and a cruising speed of 24 knots. Like the 58m Open before it, the S533 represents a return to the Baglietto roots of Tankoa’s top management.

“When the Tankoa guys were with Baglietto prior to 2005, it was basically the only European yard along with Heesen building large yachts capable of 30-35 knots,” says Michel Karsenti, Tankoa sales director. “So in terms of culture, they are completely at home with fast, planing yachts.”

Despite this wealth of experience, when Karsenti joined Tankoa as a consultant in 2013, he advised that as a start-up brand it should introduce entry-level products in the region of 50m in addition to the 70m-plus yachts. This led to 50m Vertige in the semi-displacement range and several other models in between, including the planing 58m Open.   

“But an owner with a Mangusta 108 or a big Leopard is not necessarily going to step up to a 58m,” explains Karsenti. “We needed to develop another model so at least we have a range of fast boats. In fact, we’re currently working on a bid for a 43m fast hull, so at the end of the day we may well see a range from 43 to 58m.”

After the positive reception of Vertige in Monaco and Fort Lauderdale, Tankoa has seen a growth in enquiries from clients for 50m yachts and smaller, for various reasons: perhaps they want to take their boat to St Tropez or Portofino, where 50m is at the top end of the size limit, or don’t want to pay a large crew all year round.

“We’re seeing people who have the money, but they don’t want to go too big and are asking for yachts in the 40-43m range,” says Karsenti. “We also have clients in the wake of Vertige who would build up to 70m and larger, but don’t want a five-deck wedding cake on the water. So that’s another area we’re working on for a couple of clients.“

Karsenti also confirmed that the 72m (S701) project currently in build is available for sale “off-market”, as first reported by SuperyachtNews. In fact, her owner wanted to build bigger and was interested in Tankoa’s 80m project from the beginning, but at the time the ever-cautious Karsenti informed the client that the engineering was not ready. Technically, Tankoa is now in a position to build to that size and beyond, but another question mark remains:

“We’re developing a 65m for a specific client and our price estimate accounts for a margin of error of around two per cent,” explains Karsenti. “On a 65m, we can absorb that no problem. But as the size increases, so does the financial risk for the yard. I think if a client came to us tomorrow asking for a 90m, we would build at cost-plus. This is the issue with the very large yachts: you sign a contract, but you never know until it is finished, delivered and the warranty period is over, how much the boat really costs.”


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