July 14th 2013. By Diane Byrne.

Cantiere delle Marche Percheron: Globe-Trotting Megayacht

Worldwide adventures inspired both the builder and the owners of the Darwin Class series yacht Percheron.

Italy-based Cantiere delle Marche (pronounced “mark”) has, if you will excuse the pun, already made a mark on the yacht business despite only being established in 2010. It analyzed who the dedicated buyers and cruisers were throughout the recession, those being intrepid travelers. Cantiere delle Marche therefore builds metal displacement yachts from about 66 to 148 feet LOA with a go-anywhere focus. Its first series, the Darwin Class, embodies that spirit in both aesthetics and engineering. It’s also what attracted the buyers of the second Darwin Class yacht, Percheron, so that they could fulfill a dream to globetrot.


At 85’6” Percheron boasts impressive capabilities. She has a 7,000 nautical-mile range at eight and a half knots, which isn’t far off from her 10-knot cruise speed, powered by twin 385-hp Caterpillars. Percheron also carries a little more than 11,000 gallons of fuel. Her range and fuel figures far exceed those of most megayachts in her size range. Furthermore, Cantiere delle Marche says she’s 30-percent more voluminous than similar LOAs, due to use of nearly every nook and cranny.


Percheron running bow on

Sergio Cutolo, head of the design firm Hydro Tec, says that Cantiere delle Marche wanted the series to improve interior spaces and related volume, including those for technical areas. The shipyard also wanted to preserve a strong nautical character, which Percheron’s lines leave no doubt about. Furthermore, Cantiere delle Marche deliberately overbuilds its yachts, exceeding class requirements by using 12mm-thick steel plating and cupro-nickel piping, for example.


Percheron salon in warm wood

Warm-toned elm wood makes Percheron’s interior spaces and 24’4” beam feel welcoming. The open floor plan here in the saloon and dining area should come as no surprise for her LOA. But what you will be surprised by is the buffet-like extension to starboard. The top is used as a chart table by the owners, who are experienced cruisers.


The intimate and simple dining area is meant to accommodate the owners and their young children, though the kids like heading forward to the crew mess, too. You read that right: The crew mess is on the main deck, opposite the galley. Even the crew’s quarters (for three plus the captain) are on the main deck.


Percheron Crew mess

Here’s a good look at Percheron’s crew mess. It’s certainly unusual to situate such a space on the main deck of any megayacht, regardless of size. But, it was important to the owners of Percheron, because they and their crew will be spending a good deal of time onboard. A well-treated crew, as any captain or yacht client can tell you, is the key to a happy ownership experience.


Percheron family area

While the owners of Percheron plan to enjoy adventures aplenty outdoors, they did create this cozy TV lounge/family room aft of the wheelhouse. It’s easy to imagine it being used by the full family to enjoy a movie together, or even just the kids to laugh at their favorite cartoons.


Percheron kids' stateroom

Speaking of the kids, what child wouldn’t like this stateroom? All three of the owners’ children are less than five years old. Should the need arise, a nanny or a teacher can be accommodated in the guest stateroom opposite. Though it’s not visible, the en suite bath in the children’s stateroom has a tub that can fit all three of them at once.

Percheron master stateroom

Percheron’s owners have this full-beam affair to escape to come night time. Contrary to the current trend of placing master staterooms on the main deck, it’s below decks to be closer to the kids. Sliding frosted-glass doors close off the en suite head (you can see the sink in the photo), allowing light to still come into the room. The owners opted for abundant drawer space rather than a walk-in wardrobe, too.

Percheron steering station

Percheron’s owners and crew have been putting her to good use for several months now. She has already crossed the Atlantic Ocean on her own bottom and done extensive cruising in the southern United States and Caribbean. Percheron has encountered a variety of conditions, including constant 15- to 30-knot winds in the Caribbean in January, but her crew reports no problems or concerns about her performance.

Sunset behind antennas

More adventures await for Percheron, and she’ll eventually head on to explore the Galapagos Islands. Destinations in the Indian Ocean are on future itineraries, too. Whether the owners will take them in from the wide-open flying bridge or other alfresco spaces, one thing is for sure: Percheron will chase horizons for many months to come.

Specifications: LOA: 85’6” • Beam: 24’4” • Draft: 7’6” • Displacement: 192 tons • Fuel capacity: 11,096 gal.

While Percheron continues on in her globetrotting adventures, Cantiere delle Marche continues to fulfill other owners’ similar wishes. It recently launched its third Darwin Class series yacht, Stella di Mare. She’s somewhat larger at 98 feet LOA, but she still features Hydro Tec’s design, extra-thick steel hull plating, and heavy-duty-rated diesel engines (MTUs in this case). Stella di Mare promises a 13.5 knot top end, which the owners plan to put to the test in the Mediterranean, along the U.S. East Coast, and throughout the Caribbean after delivery.

For more information, contact Cantiere delle Marche or its U.S. representative, Worth Avenue Yachts.


Diane Byrne

Diane M. Byrne is the founder and editor of the daily updated website Megayacht News. A longtime yachting writer, she also contributes to Yachts International, Boat Exclusive, and other magazines. She is additionally a member of the International Superyacht Society Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the U.S. Superyacht Association.