80 — By Capt. Ken Kreisler —
|The Millennium 80 is the next step forward in big-boat speed and luxury.|
I had to do it again. Then twice more to finally convince myself that a 92,000-pound, 80-foot yacht with a fair amount of gear aboard, powered by a pair of 1,350-hp MTU 12V2000 diesels, could get up to a WOT of almost 35 mph in about 32 seconds. "Come on, Cap," I said to the company's captain as we settled the big boat down after the third run and idled her along in the calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway off Riviera Beach, Florida. "Let's do that again, this time just for the fun of it."
Not that the first three times weren't a hoot. I mean, getting a vessel like the Millennium 80 Superyacht up and going during my sea trial while collecting her performance data was indeed a rush. But I was genuinely hooked on the kind of force I was able to unleash by the mere motion of my right hand effortlessly sliding forward those MTU Elektronik control levers.
But when you consider that business partners and lifelong boaters John Staluppi and John Rosatti are the forces behind Millennium Yachts, things become a lot clearer. Let me give you some background information so that you can get a handle on this boat's development from vision to reality.
Staluppi and Rosatti made their nautical presences known in the 1980's with the likes of Octopussy (143 feet), Moonraker (116 feet), and Thunderball (116 feet), sleek, fast, and some of the few yachts of the time that combined impressive styling with sportboat-class performance. "I guess it all started in the days we used to race Cigarettes," said Staluppi as he, Rosatti, and I sat in the main deck saloon of the 80. The pair went on to purchase several sportfishing boats, always going bigger and faster, then started to discuss what they thought was missing in the boat business. "We decided to create something that we felt would be more suitable not only for our type of use, but for others who were also looking for something different," added Staluppi.
Armed with a vision of luxurious, very fast yachts, they hired Dutch designer Frank Mulder to draw Moonraker and Octopussy and had them built in Norway and the Netherlands, respectively. Thunderball was designed and built by Denison in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Their vision was rewarded when Octopussy was clocked at a top speed of more than 53 knots and a cruise speed of 50 knots, while Moonraker's top speed of 66.7 knots and cruise of 58 knots made her the world's fastest megayacht in 1992.
Not content to sit on their success, the partners looked to take the next step in their nautical development. "We decided we would build a series of boats from 80 up to 150 feet, and given that we liked the results we achieved from the Mulder drawings of the past, we had him draw all the boats," Staluppi says. "We built the first Millennium, a 75, for ourselves and used it as a prototype for about a year before deciding to go into production on the 80," adds Rosatti. After tank-testing models of the larger boat, they felt the longer hull would help them get the 30-plus-mph speeds they were looking for.
Therefore, of particular interest was how that Mulder hull gets up and goes so effortlessly. So I went to the source. "We just do our best to get a very efficient, meaning low drag, hull," says Mulder. "In many designs, the middle speed area--say 25 knots--is forgotten. That area is important to us, since it gives you the margin between thrust and drag which creates acceleration."
This article originally appeared in the November 2002 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.