|Nipped in the Bud|
Francis & Francis
By George L. Petrie — February 2003
Martin Francis shared with us a tale of a project two years in development that folded only a year ago, arguably a post-9/11 casualty. The 60-meter (about 197-foot) yacht was aimed to fill the niche between traditional charter yachts and the mini-cruise liner market--offering more intimacy and personalized services than a cruise ship, but with a price just slightly more than a high-end luxury hotel and well below a typical charter yacht. The layout was configured with up to ten identical staterooms on the main deck.
The entrepreneur who commissioned the design had aspired to build a fleet of six yachts, to be placed into corporate charter, timeshare, and charter-by-cabin service. An overseas shipyard desperate for work had offered an aggressive financing package and a price of $27 million apiece for construction. The concept looked valid on paper, and the economic projections indicated it would be a successful venture. The project was set to go, when suddenly it was learned that the owner could not meet his financial obligation to the enterprise, and just like that it ended. But the idea remains valid, again just waiting for the right backer.
Francis & Francis Phone: (33) 493-958-510. www.francisdesign.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.