You’re looking at the new 150-foot Marco Polo 2, the second such-named yacht that Cheoy Lee will build for the same owner, Roland Sturm, an experienced yachtsman from Germany. The contract marks more than just a happy customer reteaming with a shipyard, however; the Ron Holland-designed hull will be number 5,000 for the Chinese yard.
Not many people realize just how long Cheoy Lee has been around. Since 1870 it has been building a variety of pleasureboats from 65 feet on up into the 200-foot megayacht territory as well as numerous commercial vessels to 220 feet. It’s skilled in steel, aluminum, and fiberglass construction. Even more significant, Cheoy Lee has been run by the same family for the entirety of the past 138 years.
All of those things are what convinced Sturm to give the yard a shot five years ago when he wanted to build a 147-foot expedition yacht named Marco Polo–one that truly lived up to the “expedition” description as well as the famous explorer’s name. Sturm anticipated taking the yacht around the world on her own bottom, venturing through waters where conditions were sometimes tasking, all the while cruising with a fuel-efficient single-engine setup (with emergency get-home power onboard as well, of course). He also envisioned making the yacht the first of a series, called the Marco Polo Transocean Explorer.
Sturm put 15,000 miles under Marco Polo’s hull in just the first six months of ownership last year. And considering he, Holland, Cheoy Lee’s representatives, and his build team, from Maritime Concept and Construction (MCC), individually told me they were so pleased with the results and enjoyed working with one another, it’s no wonder the plans for the series have gone through.
Marco Polo 2 will embrace the same concepts of exploring remote regions in safety and comfort. Since Holland says only minor tweaking of the design occurred, I expect she’ll feature three guest staterooms (possibly a fourth, if the space isn’t used as a gym) on the lower deck and the owner’s suite aft of the wheelhouse. And, as both Cheoy Lee and MCC emphasize, she’ll reflect the same high quality of construction and finish work–quality that they say is on par with the best of Europe’s shipyards.
Leave a Reply