Shi­pyards: Ten years of Mon­te Car­lo Ya­ch­ts

CHAMPIONS’ SE­CRET

Superyacht - - WHAT’S ON - by Cor­ra­di­no Cor­bò

A fit­ting ce­le­bra­tion for this yard’s ten­th wi­th a sur­pri­sing track re­cord. Ma­na­ge­ment has fi­nal­ly de­ci­ded to tell near­ly eve­ry de­tail of that know-how whi­ch ena­bled them to au­tho­ri­ta­ti­ve­ly im­po­se them­sel­ves on an ai­ling cri­sis hit in­ter­na­tio­nal mar­ket.

Fa­ced wi­th su­ch a re­soun­ding suc­cess sto­ry ma­ny seem to be asking them­sel­ves even if a lit­tle ir­ra­tio­nal­ly what’s be­hind it all. Ho­we­ver as far as Mon­te Car­lo Ya­ch­ts is con­cer­ned this is a ve­ry per­ti­nent and well foun­ded que­stion: fir­stly the­re’s a per­fect ti­ming and sync. in­vol­ved whi­ch plays a ma­jor ro­le over the ten year span – all of it hi­ghlighted wi­th great suc­cess – and the pe­riod whi­ch has been as­so­cia­ted wi­th the wor­st fi­nan­cial cri­sis and en­suing re­ces­sion in our ti­mes. Se­cond­ly this Ita­lian shi­pyard ba­sed in Mon­fal­co­ne has al­ways ma­na­ged to keep mu­ch of their bu­si­ness se­cret, even by not al­lo­wing ca­me­ras and smart- pho­nes in­si­de the pre­mi­ses. Ho­we­ver ha­ving rea­ched its ten­th an­ni­ver­sa­ry in ve­ry good sha­pe ma­na­ge­ment de­ci­ded to re­veal the my­ste­ry by gi­ving the me­dia and the­re­fo­re to a wi­de au­dien­ce de­tai­led de­scrip­tions of the com­pa­ny’s “mo­dus ope­ran­di”. Mo­st pro­ba­bly se­ve­ral fan­ta­sy buffs will be di­sap­poin­ted that on­ce un­vei­led, the­re are no ma­gic wands nor an Ala­din lamp whi­ch had to do wi­th any of it. Mon­te Car­lo Ya­ch­ts “se­cret” pos­ses­ses the sa­me heal­thy sub­stan­ce of the se­cre­ts re­vea­led by all tho­se per­sons, that ex­cel or ha­ve ex­cel­led in so­me­thing, and ta­ke to sum­ma­ri­zing at lea­st mo­st of the ti­me the key to their suc­cess, wi­th the sa­me plain words: me­thod, de­di­ca­tion, de­ter­mi­na­tion, sa­cri­fi­ce, pas­sion. In other words eve­ry­thing whi­ch can be read bet­ween the li­nes of the de­tai­led ac­count of­fe­red by this yard, and that we at Su­pe­rya­cht ha­ve chec­ked out, con­fron­ted and ap­pre­cia­ted in the cour­se of a long de­tai­led tour of the pre­mi­ses and plan­ts.

DE­SI­GN

Nu­vo­la­ri Le­nard stu­dio drew up the pro­ject de­si­gn work for all MCY’S col­lec­tion as well as de­ve­lo­ping the in­te­rior dé­cor of the yard’s lar­ge of­fi­ce spa­ce whe­re ar­chi­tec­ts, en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cians work si­de by si­de in a wi­de open spa­ce wi­th mar­ke­ting and sa­les de­part­ment heads. Dai­ly

work the­re­fo­re whi­ch is not con­cen­tra­ted as mu­ch on a sin­gle mo­del as it is on a sin­gle unit be­cau­se the goal is to gua­ran­tee, that a shi­pyard as this one, whi­ch builds GRP ya­ch­ts is en­do­wed wi­th a tru­ly uni­que fea­tu­re: the pos­si­bi­li­ty to per­so­na­li­ze the pro­duct to wha­te­ver de­gree, by com­ply­ing to the ow­ner’s re­quests. This sort of fle­xi­bi­li­ty im­plies and calls for ve­ry kno­w­led­gea­ble craf­tsman­ship whi­ch has the ca­pa­ci­ty to in­te­gra­te in a har­mo­nious way in­si­de of tech­ni­cal­ly ad­van­ced sta­te of the art pro­duc­tion sy­stems.

LEAN PRO­DUC­TION METHODOLOGY

Up un­til a few years ago, hea­vy in­du­stry used mass pro­duc­tion sy­stems whi­ch be­gan wi­th Hen­ry Ford in the au­to­mo­ti­ve sec­tor. La­ter wi­th the con­so­li­da­tion of Ja­pa­ne­se firms, Toyo­ta swit­ched to a mo­re ra­tio­nal sy­stem, cen­tred on the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of wa­ste in terms of ma­te­rials and sa­vings in ti­me to com­ple­te. Cre­dit for the mo­re ad­van­ced up­gra­ding of this methodology should be gi­ven to Ja­mes Wo­mack and to Da­niel Jo­nes for their so cal­led lean pro­duc­tion sy­stem. We’re tal­king about me­thods that un­be­k­no­wn­st to the va­st yachting in­du­stry whi­ch is still tied to sy­stems that are, put­ting it mild­ly a lit­tle old. Well as MCS is part of tho­se firms whi­ch has ap­plied the prin­ci­ples of lean pro­duc­tion, com­bi­ning them wi­th tho­se prac-

ti­sed by the ae­ro­spa­ce in­du­stry and is al­so among the ve­ry few if not the on­ly one in the yachting sec­tor to be able to build a full cu­stom over 32 me­tre ya­cht wi­th re­fe­ren­ce to flag­ship MCY 105 – is no coin­ci­den­ce - in ju­st four and a half mon­ths whi­le gua­ran­teeing ma­xi­mum qua­li­ty and fi­ni­shes. This is ea­sy enou­gh to say but not to car­ry out. Let’s see why. Eve­ry MCY ya­cht is ma­de up of th­ree se­pa­ra­te mo­du­les: hull, in­te­rior mo­del and deck wi­th su­per­struc­tu­re. They are built at the sa­me ti­me to fi­ni­shing sta­ge, then they’ll be joi­ned to­ge­ther in the next as­sem­bly sta­ge. Ea­ch com­po­nent is me­ti­cu­lou­sly en­gi­nee­red and va­cuum bag­ged whi­ch en­su­res even di­stri­bu­tion of the epo­xies de­ployed whi­ch trans­la­tes in­to the cor­rect amoun­ts being im­pre­gna­ted in­to ul­tra light com­po­si­tes even­ly eve­ry­whe­re – they’re abo­ve all wi­th car­bon fi­bre and Ke­vlar ba­ses – and alu­mi­nium. Prior to being pla­ced on­to the ap­pro­pria­te as­sem­bly li­ne ea­ch com­po­nent un­der­goes a spe­cial treat­ment in the paint sec­tion of this fu­tu­ri­stic loo­king en­sem­ble whi­ch fur­ther im­pro­ves the com­po­nen­ts’ phy­si­cal and me­cha­ni­cal pro­per­ties.

THE HULL

The shell, ma­king up the who­le of the hull pro­per is ful­ly com­pliant to RINA’S se­ve­re­st norms and still in its mould it al­rea­dy pos­ses­ses its di­stin­gui­shing fea­tu­res: pla­tes in sand­wi­ch, lon­gi­tu­di­nal streng­the­ners and na­tu­ral­ly a wa­ter­tight cra­sh box in the bow and mo­re. Mo­st of the wi­ring and plum­bing plan­ts, tanks and en­gi­ne room ele­men­ts are in­stal­led in­to pla­ce be­fo­re the deck is as­sem­bled to the hull’s top­si­des. Li­kewi­se, bul­kheads are coa­ted wi­th spe­cial noi­se dam­pe­ning or sound proo­fing ma­te­rial and the en­gi­nes are in­stal­led on­to the ap­pro­pria­te steel sup­port brac­ke­ts in the al­lot­ted spa­ces in the en­gi­ne room whi­ch will dis­si­pa­te the heat ge­ne­ra­ted the­re via pre in­stal­led fans. When all of this has been com­ple­ted the hull is rea­died to re­cei­ve the in­te­rior mo­du­le.

THE IN­TE­RIOR MO­DU­LE

This one re­pre­sen­ts one of the mo­st ori­gi­nal sec­tors in the Mon­fal­co­ne ba­sed shi­pyard. The in­te­rior mo­du­le on­ce com­ple­ted will con­sti­tu­te about 70 to 80% of the plan­ts and fur­ni­tu­re and dé­cor of ea­ch sin­gle unit. Eve­ry­thing is ve­ry clean, asep­tic near­ly. Tens of tech­ni­cians work at the sa­me ti­me at their work sta­tion re­sem­bling so­me kind of a ske­le­ton wi­thout get­ting in­to ea­ch others’ ways, lay­ing pi­ping, in­stal­ling bul­kheads, elec­tri­cal wi­ring, sol­de­ring, in­jec­ting iso­la­ting pro­duc­ts and mu­ch mo­re. The who­le

struc­tu­re of ea­ch ca­bin is con­cei­ved on a pre­set grill sy­stem ba­se in mo­du­lar form so that it can be pro­per­ly in­stal­led wi­th a to­le­ran­ce fac­tor of ju­st one mil­li­me­tre. The fur­ni­tu­re is ri­go­rou­sly in wood and so is the joi­ne­ry, fra­mes and li­ning car­ried out in the shi­pyard and com­ple­men­ta­ry de­co­ra­ti­ve ele­men­ts are in ma­te­rials of the hi­ghe­st pos­si­ble qua­li­ty. Among so­me of the ma­ny ad­van­ta­ges of­fe­red by this mo­du­le, I wi­sh to un­der­sco­re se­ve­ral real­ly im­por­tant ones. Fir­st of all the­re’s the pos­si­bi­li­ty of wor­king bo­th in­si­de and ou­tsi­de of the mo­du­le ir­re­spec­ti­ve­ly and this trans­la­tes in­to pro­per­ly in­stal­ling cor­ru­ga­tes of all ty­pes whi­ch tra­di­tio­nal­ly ‘ hang’ loo­se­ly in their re­spec­ti­ve com­part­men­ts and will even­tual­ly be cau­se of un­wan­ted noi­se vi­bra­tion and so on. Ad­di­tio­nal­ly this im­por­tant struc­tu­re con­sti­tu­tes a kind of tem­pla­te in­si­de of whi­ch you can car­ry out prac­ti­cal­ly any sort of con­fi­gu­ra­tion and or per­so­na­li­sa­tion of the lay­out wi­thout ha­ving to draw up an en­ti­re new pro­ject. This sy­stem al­so means it is pos­si­ble to work free­ly, and com­for­ta­bly in num­bers whi­ch would be un­thin­ka­ble in­si­de a hull. Fi­nal­ly it is equal­ly im­por­tant to un­der­sco­re the fact that this mo­du­le is de­sti­ned to be­co­me struc­tu­ral and on­ce in­stal­led in­to pla­ce it will con­fer ex­tra sen­sa­tio­nal stiff­ness and so­li­di­ty to the hull.

DECK & SU­PER­STRUC­TU­RE

The third mo­du­le of an MCY ya­cht is re­pre­sen­ted by the deck and su­per­struc­tu­re plus fly brid­ge and T- Top. The­re’s Ke­vlar, car­bon fi­bre ad­ded to stra­ti­fied va­cuum bag­ged epo­xies for ad­ded so­li­di­ty, sin­ce struc­tu­ral re­lia­bi­li­ty goes hand in hand wi­th weight sa­ving ele­men­ts and bet­ter dis-

tri­bu­tion, to gua­ran­tee en­han­ced sta­bi­li­ty when un­der­way and ad­di­tio­nal com­fort. Teak li­ning the­re­fo­re is ad­ded to the deck pro­per, wi­th per­ti­nent stain­less gear. The ca­bins sport dou­ble gla­zed win­dow li­ke ports. In this ca­se as well, pre­as­sem­bly whi­ch is de­ployed al­so for the elec­tri­cal wi­ring, elec­tro­nics, and do­mo­tics sa­ves loads of ti­me and mo­st of all trans­la­tes in­to ad­ded pre­ci­sion and hi­gh qua­li­ty fi­ni­shes. On this the­me it is wor­th no­ting that the deck’s un­der­si­de whi­ch is de­sti­ned to be en­ti­re­ly hid­den from sight af­ter ha­ving been coa­ted wi­th iso­la­ting ma­te­rial is ne­ver­the­less per­fec­tly and hi­ghly fi­ni­shed.

FI­NAL AS­SEM­BLY

The fi­nal sta­ge of as­sem­bly is car­ried out when ea­ch of the other mo­du­les are com­ple­ted. The work in­vol­ved at this sta­ge is by com­pa­ri­son re­la­ti­ve­ly ea­sy. The yard de­fi­nes it as the plug and play sta­ge. Ho­we­ver in rea­li­ty the mo­st im­por­tant part of this de­li­ca­te ope­ra­tion is car­ried out by a spe­cial cha­riot- li­ke whi­ch picks up the in­te­rior mo­del brings it af­ter so­me me­tres di­rec­tly in ver­ti­cal li­ne to the ap­pro­pria­te hull. It is then lo­we­red along spe­cial gui­ding rails whi­ch al­low the two parts to join wi­th mil­li­me­tric pre­ci­sion and to be fa­ste­ned to form a mo­no­li­thic block thanks to spe­cial hi­ghly ad­he­si­ve ma­te­rial used in the air­craft in­du­stry. On top of this and in mu­ch the sa­me way the third mo­du­le ma­de up of the deck and su­per­struc­tu­re is in­stal­led in­to pla­ce.

PAIN­TING & TESTING

Prior to pain­ting a team of tech­ni­cians car­ry out in dep­th qua­li­ty con­trol tests af­ter whi­ch the ful­ly as­sem­bled ya­cht is rea­dy to be trans­por­ted in­to the paint han­gar whe­re it will be ‘ clo­thed’ ac­cor­ding to the ow­ner’s choi­ce ta­ken from an al­mo­st in­fi­ni­te pa­let­te of di­ver­se co­lours. The next to fi­nal sta­ge con­sists in testing the ya­cht on land fol­lo­wing an ex­hau­sti­ve li­sting and in the wa­ter from the smal­le­st LED, plan­ts in­stal­led, draw locks, clo­se­ts, war­dro­bes, hi- fi, en­gi­nes and mu­ch mo­re. For Mon­te­car­lo Ya­ch­ts the next sta­ge – de­li­ve­ry to the client – con­sti­tu­tes the be­gin­ning of a new pa­th ba­sed on the di­rect and al­mo­st con­stant re­la­tion­ship bet­ween the yard and the ow­ner who has fi­nal­ly be­co­me the real end user of his dream boat. This re­la­tion­ship can on­ly be con­so­li­da­ted on the ba­sis of re­ci­pro­cal esteem and pro­fes­sio­nal in­te­gri­ty. So­me­ti­mes this leads to friend­ship as the­se pa­st ten years ha­ve de­mon­stra­ted.

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