These are productive times at Moonen Shipyards in the Netherlands as the premium motoryacht yard makes good progress on various projects. In addition to new build work, Moonen is currently refitting two Moonen 97s, Nimbus and Etoile d’Azur. Both are being given a new exterior paint livery, interior modifications and various technical upgrades.
For Tristan Le Brun, captain of Etoile d’Azur, (picture left) the Moonen yard is a familiar place. He was previously captain of the Moonen 84 Etoile d’Azur, which enjoyed an extensive refit at Moonen over the winter of 2012/13.
“The owner decided to buy a larger superyacht so that he could have the range to make longer cruises and have more equipment available for charter activities. Having enjoyed eight great years onboard his previous Moonen it was an obvious choice to buy another Moonen motoryacht.
“What’s more, we got an excellent price for the Moonen 84 Etoile d’Azur - 75% of the new amount despite her age and the many hours on the engines and generator. This is a testimony to the original build quality, and the fact that she had been refitted at Moonen also made a huge difference on the market and preserved the value of the boat. As the owner likes to keep his yacht in a pristine condition, it therefore made perfect sense to bring the ‘new’ Etoile d’Azur back ‘home’ too in order to bring her fully in line with his wishes.”
Crossing the Atlantic
The yacht was purchased during the Palm Beach show of 2015. Launched in 2008 as Sofia II, this displacement cruiser is ideal for the extensive exploration her second owner has in mind. “It’s a sign of the adventures to come that the first time I started her engines was to cross the Atlantic,” continues Captain Le Brun.
“To the best of my knowledge she is the first Moonen 97 to do so on her own bottom and the newly renamed Etoile d’Azur behaved beautifully all the way. We did three transatlantic crossings with the Moonen 84 so I have quite some experience. The owner and I believe that a good yacht is meant for such trips and that Moonens are reliable, seaworthy and superbly designed.”
Price and quality
Owner and captain alike were aware that Moonen has been recovering from a difficult financial period after its main shareholder was forced by the collapse of the global steel market to pull out of the build of the 37m/120’/350 GT Martinique. The hull of this particular project is now complete and the yard is looking for new clients to take on the project and complete the build of this pioneering member of the Caribbean series.
“We were pleased to be able to show our support for Moonen in this difficult situation,” adds Le Brun. “The yard has retained its first-class craftsmen and we remain fully convinced of the unrivalled price-quality ratio of the work done at Moonen. I am sure this will be showcased once again when Etoile d’Azur is relaunched this Spring.”
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