You could almost call them fraternal twins. Zaliv III and Alexander Again (at right), two recent 50-meter launches, have the same builder (Mondo Marine), the same designer (Giorgio Vafiadis) and the same interior designer (Luca Dini). They are built on identical aluminum hulls and were launched within months of each other this year. Yet if you saw these two tied up at the same dock, you might never guess they were related. And if you went aboard each one, you’d be convinced they were perfect strangers.
Mondo started as a toy company, founded by brothers Ferruccio and Elio Stroppiana in 1948. In the late ’60s, they started building yachts in fiberglass and in 1978 acquired their nearly 376,737-square-foot shipyard in Savona, just outside of Genoa, Italy. That two such different yachts were born in the same yard is a source of obvious pride for the builder. It seems that every yard is willing to customize these days, but what Mondo Marine has done with Zaliv III and Alexander Again demonstrates just how keenly it listens to its clients.
Zaliv III is a handsome build with a navy hull and straightforward lines. Large, vertical windows bring the outside in. The interiors are elegant yet comfortable, and have been designed to let the owner cruise the Med with his large family and entertain business associates in equal style. Linen, cottons, twill, nubuck suede and acres of clean, linear teak create a classic, yet contemporary décor. This is a yacht that celebrates its connection to the sea — the interior is flooded with natural light (though leather Venetian blinds can be silently adjusted by an automatic Lutron system to create any kind of mood), and freestanding, comfortable furniture in the many outside areas welcomes outdoor relaxation.
The sun deck has a pool with sun pads, aft, and a settee and chaise longues. A covered dining area with a grill and comfortable bar area to port and a curved sofa to starboard offer guests a fantastic place to take in some sun, read a book and completely unwind.
There are two owner’s cabins aboard Zaliv III. The larger stateroom on the upper deck features a private office, his and her heads, a Jacuzzi, a canopy bed and a private deck area aft with seating and stairs to the sun deck. Forward of the pilothouse (and a single cabin for the captain) is a very comfortable conversation area with built-in curved settees to port and starboard, and one that faces forward with a sea view.
The main deck features an aft exterior dining table and seating area. Large glass doors open completely to the bright salon, paneled in modern-looking teak and with a low, square coffee table in the center of the room and large sofas to port and starboard. A divider contains a large flatscreen television and separates the main salon from the dining room. The galley is to port, and a hallway to starboard leads to the second full-beam master — this one also has a private office, a king berth with settees to port and starboard, his and her heads, and a Jacuzzi.
The lower deck accommodates two amidships guest rooms with queen berths and two staterooms with twin berths, all with en suite baths. The engine room and tender garage are aft. Forward are crew quarters for 10.
Twin 3,650-horsepower MTUs allow Zaliv III to cruise at 20 knots, with a reported range of 3,500 miles.
Everything aboard Zaliv III speaks of lightness, elegance, modernity and a connection to the surrounding sea and elements. For Alexander Again, the second Mondo Marine commission from this owner, the mood is entirely different.
Built for a client who knew exactly what he wanted, Alexander Again is night to Zaliv III‘s day. Though the hull is a simple white, the exterior lines are aggressive and backswept. The entire interior has been finished in black lacquer with gold and silver leaf accents, lots of mirroring and plenty of marbles. The overall look is somewhere between art nouveau, art deco, Scarface and Versailles. It’s opulent, even decadent. All of the furnishings were custom-created by Mondo Marine, and whether you go in for this look or not, you must admire the incredible attention to detail and gasp at what it must have entailed to realize this client’s ambitious dream.
A seating area on the outside main deck leads to the salon, where a grand living and dining area are divided by a rosewood console. Aft, two very large curved sofas face each other across an expanse of cream carpet. Two black lacquer coffee tables echo the sofas with curves and gold accents. Forward in the salon, the large dining table seats 10 at a black lacquered table for formal gatherings. Rosewood, velvet and leather chairs with gold leaf trim were made to match.
The owner’s suite is accessed through a private library, furnished with a sofa and armchairs. In the master stateroom, the mirrored forward bulkhead reflects the king berth with an upholstered headboard that runs to the ceiling and mirrored side panels. Matching lacquered bedside tables with ornate, figurative supports in gold are topped with marble. Gold silk draperies frame the windows. Gustav Klimt is clearly the owner’s favorite artist, and there are works of art and decorative elements throughout Alexander Again that reflect this, including a mosaic above the black lacquer and gold leaf, onyx-topped tub in the master bath. There’s also a large, curved glass shower with a mosaic in the shower wall. White marble floors and a white lacquered ceiling, however, prevent the black from overpowering the mood.
The lower deck hosts four en suite amidships staterooms: two VIPs, one stateroom with a double berth, and one with two twins. Crew quarters are forward, and aft is the engine room and tender stowage.
The upper deck has an aft settee and cocktail tables. A round dining table forward of that is protected by glass doors that open into another salon. Here there is a curved sofa in the starboard corner, a cocktail table with two freestanding chairs to port. A bar and a mirror-paneled bulkhead are forward, to reflect the light streaming in from large windows. A small office is forward to port with a desk, a sofa that converts to a bed and a head. Forward of the bridge is a seating area with a C-shape settee and cocktail table. Sunpads take advantage of the exterior area behind the foredeck, where a tender and two PWCs are stowed.
The sun deck is all fun, all the time. A stairway at the stern leads up to a large exterior area, with more sun pads aft and, tucked under a hardtop canopy, a marble dining table for 10. This area is divided from the forward section by a curved glass wall that opens onto another exterior area. On the starboard side are two corner settees with cocktail tables; to port is another corner table with table and a bar. In the middle of this area, a round glass panel in the deck allows sunlight to flood into the central interior stairway. Several steps lead up to the hydromassage pool, which is hugged by sun pads.
Alexander Again is powered by twin 2,735-horsepower MTUs and cruises at 18.5 knots, with a cruising range of 3,500 nm.
Mondo Marine’s yard was bustling on the sunny fall day I visited, with three superyachts stern to at the dock and several large builds in process in the sheds. The company does refits in addition to new builds, and the yacht division continues to be only one small part of a larger multinational corporation that manufactures toys, sporting goods, PVC and rubber flooring.
Thirty-year-old Marco Stroppiana, who has an MBA from London’s European Business School and who has been working in the yacht division since he was 23, has taken the reins this year from his 80-year-old father, Elio, and promises to lead the company forward, focusing on displacement models ranging from 24 to 53 meters. And as Alexander Again and Zaliv III demonstrate, where you go from there is up to you.
Mondo Marine, +39-019-828-516; www.mondomarine.it