Percheron, Latest Darwin Class Megayacht, Launches

Intrepid megayacht clients on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean will get a chance to inspect Percheron, the newest Darwin Class 86 from Cantiere delle Marche, at boat shows this fall. Percheron is the second Darwin Class 86 (85’6”, or 26.1 meters) to launch from the Italian shipyard, based in Ancona.

Percheron, bearing a steel hull and design work by Hydro Tec, will premiere at the Cannes show in September, followed by the Fort Lauderdale show in October. The megayacht will make the voyage on her own bottom, too, as per her owner’s wishes. He and his family plan to cruise from Florida to the Caribbean, then explore the South American coast all the way down to Argentina. Percheron will next transit the Panama Canal, headed for the Galapagos Islands.

The latter destination is rather fitting, as is the megayacht model’s name. Cantiere delle Marche supports the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands. The nonprofit organization supports research and conservation efforts in the region. In fact, it was selected as a beneficiary when the shipyard was founded nearly two years ago. The management team decided it should donate funds from every megayacht sold. Cantiere delle Marche will do the formal honors stemming from Percheron’s sale during the Fort Lauderdale show.

The nonprofit connection notwithstanding, Percheron’s overall trip is fitting for a megayacht series called the Darwin Class. It echoes Cantiere delle Marche’s goal of building sturdy, ocean-going cruisers. A related goal is low fuel consumption and good range. The shipyard says Percheron can achieve a 7,000-nautical-mile range at 8½ knots, only slightly slower than her cruising speed (10 knots) and top speed (11½ knots). She carries nearly 11,100 gallons (42,000 liters) of fuel, too, far more than many similar-size megayachts. Power comes from twin 385-hp Caterpillar C12s.

Percheron may be the second Darwin Class 86, but Cantiere delle Marche offers full customization. As a result, the megayacht makes good use of elm wood, which is naturally light in tone. White lacquer offsets the elm, as do geometric patterns in carpeting and bright fabrics (from Hermès, for luxe appeal). Photos are not yet available, though it’s easy to imagine the light-tone bulkheads emphasizing the 24’4” (7.43-meter) beam. Four staterooms can accommodate eight to 10 people, depending on whether the owners deploy the pullmans in the twin cabins. Given that children are in the family, their spaces should be put to good use. A crew of three, plus the captain, are housed forward on the main deck, with direct access to the galley aft and the wheelhouse one level up. Shaded and open-air relaxation and dining spaces are scattered among three decks as well.

If you miss Percheron at the two autumn shows, fear not: Cantiere delle Marche will further exhibit her at the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami next February, followed by the Palm Beach show in March.

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