When Marco Polo was delivered in 2007, Cheoy Lee and the creative team behind her, Ron Holland and Maritime Concept and Construction (MCC), were ahead of their time in terms of being eco-friendly. Indeed, she was in the planning stages in 2003, yet the mindset that she embraced is just beginning to take hold in the megayacht market. Among other things, Marco Polo features a bulbous bow and single-Caterpillar-diesel setup that reportedly permits consuming 30 to 40 percent less fuel compared to traditional twin-engine installations. The one-engine-only installation has been used for decades aboard commercial ships, with no worries. And considering there are 35,000 miles and counting under her hull, Marco Polo has proven to be the performer her owner and creative team anticipated.
MCC believes explorer yachts can and should be more efficient and environmentally responsible. I’ve already told you about one of a series of new builds it’s planning with Cheoy Lee, its preferred builder. This sistership to Marco Polo is expected to launch late this year and will be christened Matsu. Now MCC has released full details on a smaller but no less stalwart yacht, a 38-meter (125-footer) shown above.
The MCC 38m has a few things in common with Marco Polo, starting with elements of her styling, from MCC’s Kasia Milewska. Two notable differences, though, are the inclusion of a hardtop and the transom’s foldout beach platform. The MCC 38m will also employ a single-Caterpillar, single-propeller configuration, and her project manager, Albrecht Büchner, says she’ll be even more fuel-efficient than Marco Polo. While tank tests are still underway, he anticipates she’ll consume 20 percent less. (Consider that he says Marco Polo consumes 100 liters per hour, or about 26 gph, at 11 knots. When I toured that yacht shortly after her delivery, Holland indicated that traditional twin-engine motoryachts in Marco Polo’s size range consume about 66 gph at 12 knots.) Another similarity: two Schottel pump jets, driven by gensets, for emergency propulsion. This is another element borrowed from and proven in commercial vessels.
To emphasize the “green” theme, the 38m will employ kebony for decking material. It’s a sustainable alternative to teak, employing wood species like maple and pine that are treated, pressurized, and heated for strength. The Norwegian firm producing it says it weathers just like teak and offers the same nonslip grip. MCC has additionally chosen composite caprails to reduce maintenance, and it’s considering flat-finish paints for the steel hull and composite superstructure for the same reason.
For the yacht’s layout, exterior decks are devoted to relaxing and entertaining. Toys, as a result, are stowed on the foredeck. Because the galley is on the lower deck, forward of the two guest staterooms, the main deck gains space for a second master stateroom. Büchner explains that the MCC team has met father-son buyers as well as partners who are mindful of equal-paying charter guests. Equally noteworthy, an elevator will connect all decks. Even though it’s suited to a single person, it’s something no other yacht in this size range has that I’m aware of.
MCC has not yet sold hull number one, though Büchner says the team does have a client in mind. Once a contract is signed, delivery can take place in less than two years.