Your first hint that Audace is not your typical long-range cruiser comes in the form of a big red crane on her aft deck. And we do mean big: It has a nine-ton capacity, to hoist the 10-metre custom main tender. Few yacht owners want such hefty gear visible to passers-by, much less painted in such a decisive (dare we say defiant?) fashion.
However, Andrea Merloni – the owner of Audace – is not like most owners. From living aboard his yacht practically all year round to venturing far from his homeport in the Mediterranean – additionally toting special land vehicles for onshore explorations – Merloni may be in a category of his own.
It’s no surprise therefore that his set of must-haves when he went yacht shopping several years ago matched a limited number of builders. On the advice of his representative, he turned to Cantiere delle Marche, with a singular focus on rugged, real explorers. Not only did he get the yacht he wanted, but Cantiere delle Marche got the chance to prove its mettle in custom construction.
“A one-off project was a challenge we were ready to face,” explains Ennio Cecchini, the shipyard’s co-founder and CEO.