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Moana Bluewater Yachts back in production after 18 years

by Vittorio Malingri 26 Sep 10:18 UTC
MiniMo900 OC (Open Cruiser) © Moana Shipyard

Moana Shipyard, the Italian builder of top quality ocean going yachts, presents: a new line, the brand, Moana Custom, dedicated to full custom mono and multi, sail and power one off in joint venture with Adria Sail Custom Yachts.

Moanas and the Malingri family are an icon and a reference for blue water cruising and ocean racing. Moana Shipyard is born in 1982 and has been directed by Franco and Vittorio Malingri producing over 130 blue water cruisers and some ocean racing one off, all still afloat and spread around the world. Highly appreciated by long range sailors Classic Moanas are today a "cult" as S&S Swans or Rustlers and others yachts of the '60s and '70s that made their brands famous.

The family experience begun in the late 60s with uncle Doi making the first Italian modern transatlantic crossing aboard an the Arpege "Nina Boba", then taking part to the first Cape to Rio and in the first Whitbread Round the World Race with his brother Franco, followed by the Clipper Race and Ostars. The boats they used where often conceived by the two brothers and lately became series.

Vittorio at the age of 12 helped the preparation of CS&RB, a 50' Robert Clark design prototype of the Koala50' by Nord Cantieri, and saw them sailing away for the Whitbread start. That day he committed his life to ocean sailing, ocean yacht design and building. Many are the adventures, the solo or double handed races he took part, the sailing school courses or the family voyage in the four oceans with mono and multihulls. He is considered one of the two main Italian ocean sailor with Soldini, his friend form the age of 8 also grown up under Franco and then Vittorio sailing school. Vittorio led to his first ocean race also a certain Hellen Mc Arthur. We are talking of an experience long over a milllion miles, half of which sailed by Vittorio.

After the 2016/17 Marseille to Chartage and the Dakar to Guadelupe F20records, with his son Nico now fix crew on board Giovanni Soldini Maserati foiling trimaran, Vittorio left definitively ocean wandering and racing and came back home after a "40 years round the world", as he love to say, begun with a family round the world at the age of 16 and ended at 56. His offshore sailing career was interrupted only now and then by designing and building in the family studio and shipyard. Among his designs are of 5 over 6 classic Moanas, the first Italian built IMOCA on which he took part to with successful Mediterranean and ocean races, Vendée included, before switching to ORMA trimarans.

Project manger for big multihull construction at Adria Sail Custom Yachts for a couple of years, Vittorio restart the production after 18 years since the launch of the last Classic Moana. Since then Moana Shipyard has been involved in top quality works, under the direction of his brother Enrico, refitting classic Swans and Baltics, making teak deck for high luxury maxis produced by Adria Sail Custom Yachts and today in the building of the first two unit of the new full carbon B-Yachts 34'.

During Covid's long Italian lockdown Vittorio and Marco Veglia, skilled yacht designer specialized in interior design and decor for mega yachts and in multihull full projects, also his partner in VMV Yacht Design, organized the new Moana Bluwater Yachts production, made the first new designs, prepared the first mold and gave birth to Moana Custom, a brand dedicated only to full custom mono and multi, sail and power one off constructions.

Let's see the new Moana Bluwater Yachts yachts and an example of Moana Custom proposal:

  • MiniMo900 OC (Open Cruiser). Flank the smaller MiniMo770 already in production, in OC and Race versions, in the Moana Bluwater Yachts line. MiniMo900 OC is a little but real full equipped and well finished bluewater yacht, has the Moana DNA and the same mission, but with a vision updated after more than 20 years from the last Moana Classic design.
  • Supercat66'. Three time a news: new brand Moana Custom dedicated to full custom on off yachts with plans from VMV YD or from other naval architecture firms, the first cruising catamaran produced with the brand Moana, a new partnership for big constructions with Adria Sail Custom Yachts. Supercat66' is a high performance cruising catamaran at the top of the "speed and luxury" segment. A true Moana coming form the Malingri experience that will be produced by Adria Sail Custom Yachts & Moana Shipyard in the famous shipyard facilities in Fano, Italy. An explosive and promising mix: expertise, safety, and of highest building and finishing quality.

What is it a modern Moana? Let's hear it from Vittorio Malingri:

"The new Moana Bluewater Yachts line, to whom MiniMo900 OC give the start, it is the same proposal as ever: yachts conceived and built for no limit holidays, blue water cruising and live aboard. Comfortable and luxury boats, well rigged and equipped, seaworthy and reliable, easy to sail also in rough whether, handcrafted built with the better materials without sparing cost or building process. Our sailing, design and building experience has been enriched quite e lot in the last 20 years and now shows design choices, lines and look very different from the Classic Moanas. Today we propose a better yacht at the anchor or in a gale. If there is a difference is that once they where sturdy, fast, roomy and well finished, today they are also the top of comfort and details care, inside and outside".

Can you make some example to let us understand in which segment do you operate?

"For the quality of the construction and seaworthiness we have always been over the appreciated North European brands, English, German, Duch and Finnish yachts today built in big series. We are like Hinckley Yachts, Rustler Yachts, Mason, Contessa, and few other small craft yards that continue to do things at the state of the art, no matter what it cost. Moana are yachts for very few expert and demanding Owners. Moana Shipyard remain a small yard, we are craftsmen selling the quality of their work without production "shortcut" as done by brands that show an old image but produce yacht in polyester, with cast iron ballast, economic rigging and very clever interiors that give a good perceived quality glance but are engineered and built as series yachts with an industrial construction. Our strength is remain Ourselves, to build yacht of the highest global quality".

But which is you target?

"We look for 2,3, maximum four owners every year. Moana are yacht for North Europeans, North Americans, South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders and for any one having the sailing culture to understand them. It is a mall market, especially for the smallest one like MiniMo 770 or 900, but we have to built only very few yacht a year, make them with our hands, me Marco and the expert team that helped me since ever in my adventures. They are sailors non only artisans. I would like to build also for South Europeans, but there are few with this vision. The majority is oriented on the same stereotype that never produced valid cruising yachts but only cruiser/racers of a now a quite old concept, not so fast and tricky to sail by a reduced crew. We build very fast and techno real fast cruising yachts, "faster" cause they are inspired by open offshore yachts and not from a rating formula. Our yachts have a real cruising configuration, they are made to be sailed by the average cruising 1,2,3 people crew or by the automatic pilot, while family or guest are well protected and relaxing. Boat on which you can cook a good meal, go to the bathroom or sleep while sailing. Boats to live at the anchor, in the marina or during navigation like at home, with an exploitable comfort. Despite the racing dream cruising it is the big part of it, this is why Moana became a "cult", people love to use them, Owners feel safe, their family find protection and relax.

Racing Moana, extremely fast and fun?

"Of course we think about them. Apart the MiniMo770 Race, six unit already produced, we are preparing a 30' and a 40' for the next year. They will be very fast for real, to fight for the podium in short handed distance Mediterranean and ocean races. They will have a very light and minimal interiors arrangements, basics but ergonomic, permitting to eat and rest at best in navigation. They will be also usable for spartan holidays but maximum by a four people crew".

All that give the impression that a Moana Bluewater Yachts or a Moana Custom will cost a fortune?

"No, not a fortune cause our selling philosophy counterbalance the high production costs. Custom will cost more than series, but a lot depend from what degree of complication and fit out you want. Some very sophisticated custom one off are simple and minimal in the finish and in the systems, some series yachts have a super rich finish and are full of gadgets. Hull and deck it is only the 20-30% of the full cost. There are no secrets: we sell our work at an economic cost compared to the quality we deliver, we have a marketing based on the Malingri name and on the appreciated Moana product. In Italy it's a well known brand, for sure we have to push it in the rest of the world. As a racer I've been a communicator for big companies trough sailing stories and in reason of news; now we tell the story of Moana Shipyard at the same way. We do not spend for marketing, advertising, promotional events or a selling net, there are no company cost to ad at the construction cost. With our boats we make sailing enterprises not boat shows, I really look forward to take part in the OSTAR and other races with one of the coming boats. We have a property shed and no loans, and we will not make them. Our clients pay all material involved in the construction,from resin to optional, at the same discounted Moana Shipyard price. At the end we add to the cost of materials plus the worked hours just a 10% for shipyard general expenses. If you have to build just few unit a year, if everybody know who you are, if your product is qualitative and an icon you do not need all this..and you have not to turn it over the client, to whom to operate we ask the same honesty and punctual payment for each stage of advancement. A Moana is 90% "pieces and labor", it's an Hinckley, a Rustler or a Mason at the same price of an Hallberg Rassy, Najad, Contest, Oyster, today series yachts with a price reflecting company costs for it's greater part".

A vision not contaminated by times in which each valid brand is turned in a series product, while telling the market the "old story" that made it famous. It is the practicality of the sailor, the deep knowledge of the nautical world and it's mechanism from inside, the capacity to look at the reality for what it is, the will to continue to act at best outside the schemes that imprison the free man, client of supplier. The desire of new land enterprises that sooner or later will bring Vittorio at sea again.

Vittorio Malingri e Marco Veglia have clear ideas on the future of Moana Shipyard and on the projects that will follow MiniMo900 OC and Supercat66'. For Moana Bluewater Yachts a new Moana40' and a new Moana30', to be produced on female mold in comfortable Open Cruiser version and for racing in WRC version. The Open Cruisers will have last generation lines, perfect and roomy for cruising, they will be easy to sail, seaworthy robust and light with the furniture integrated in the reinforce grid and with the use of sophisticated materials to compensate the extra weight of a luxury finishing and comfort systems. The WRC racing versions will have pure last generation offshore open lines, for the maximum fun for crew from 1 to 4 people competing in transat, ocean events and long distance Mediterranean races. They will have laminations, appendages and systems at choice, last generation rig and will be equipped with with water ballast or canting keel and foils.

Different level for Moana Custom, looking for one off constructions at one or more hulls, sail or power. They can be VMV YD proposal as Supercat66' or the55' and 44' soon on the design board, or Rosita 80' a spirit of tradition schooner, with ultra modern underwater lines and powerful carbon rig in Nina style, with a code 0 and gennaker that can be hoisted from the main mast top to the bowsprit tip. Moana Custom look especially for external designers that would like for their clients a state of the art construction including all the Malingri's building know how.

Moana Shipyard built in his shed, in San Filippo sul Cesano, full custom one off up to 60' if monohulls and 55' if multihulls. Major projects are realized in Fano, in joint venture with Adria Sail Custom Yachts that will build the composite, the interiors and the finishing under a project management by Vittorio Malingri and a Moana Shipyard team to fit out gears, systems and plants.

There is another breaking news: a Moana power yacht with the same mission. Let's hear Vittorio:

"It's a good while I'm thinking about it, years. Now I see it clearly in my head, we did research and studies and we are starting the design these days. It has to take me everywhere a sailing Moana can, cross oceans, face strong winds and contrary sea, bring around a family in comfort and safety with a huge operating economy, space for toys and have a nice look. I love nice yacht that go trough times. I see it from a length of 45', perfect as a 50' extraordinary in bigger sizes. A 45', three cabin and a toilet or two cabin two toilets, will sail across the English channel, let's say 70 miles, with 40 euros at 7/8 knots, or a little more at 10 knots. Perfect for family holidays, long range cruising, easy to rent.

We can make it with various look but the substance does not change: you go where you want, when you want at a cheap cost. Self righting, stabilized with a smart free energy system, powered with the best of "green". An interesting challenge for an architect aimed to many different kind of customers, a 4x 4 of the oceans. I hope to put it soon in production as Moana Custom and then make a series. It will have an immense success. I'm very cryptic now, but if there is someone really interested please ask. We are ready to share and talk in protect mode.

Know how, selling philosophy, quality/cost ratio, conception, structures, gears and plants are the strong point of a Moana, series or custom. Sophisticated construction, fix weigh longitudinally and transversely centered, balanced water lines for a smooth navigation, structural keel in one piece with the hull, strong rudders, efficient rigs, simple but efficient decks are all winning choices coming from a 50 years experience about sailing and design and well over a million sailed miles in different yachts.

Moana is a concentrated of knowledge, traditional building solutions where they are better and last generation ones where they demonstrate to be winning. Professional rigs and plants, accessories and gear type and brand chosen for the quality and to be easily replaced or serviced everywhere in the world. Cause Moana are born for comfortable cruises and great voyages. To turn dream in reality. They are Magic.

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