With Aquila celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Brand Manager Alain Raas sits down with YACHT STYLE to answer 10 questions about the builder’s rapid path to the top of the powercat market.
Alain Raas, Brand Manager, Aquila
1. With Aquila marking a decade since it was founded by MarineMax and Sino Eagle in 2012, the brand exhibited all six of its current models together for the first time at this year’s Miami International Boat Show. What are the plans for upcoming shows?
Yes, we’re ready to again show all six of our models at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (October 26-30), so will bedisplaying the 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yachtand 70 Luxury. We’re also teasing two upcoming models, the 42 Yacht and the 47 Molokai, which are going to continue the amazing growth and success of Aquila.
We also have some very exciting news and information in terms of the development of our E-Motion hybrid power package on the 70 Luxury. The plan is then to show all six of our current models and the new 42 Yacht at the next Miami International Boat Show (February 15-19, 2023), while the 47 Molokai will also debut in 2023.
CGI of Aquila 42 Yacht
2. How does the 42 Yacht design make it different to other Aquila models?
The Aquila 42 Yacht will be a completely new model, with naval architecture firm VPLP (Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prevost) at the forefront of following in the Aquila DNA. The various cabin configurations and power-package options make her a unique offering for the private owner as well as yacht charter programmes throughout the world.
The 42 is also a new introductory model for our Yacht range, further enhancing our robust product offering and presenting our loyal client base with a more affordable opportunity to move up to our flybridge models. Aquila is excited to be leading the tremendous growth in the power catamaran market after 10 years, and we continue to push the limits of our design and development teams to remain at the forefront.
Aquila 36 Sport
3. Aquila’s best-selling models are the 36 Sport and 44 Yacht, which sit below and above the 42 Yacht in the size range. Can you indicate the sales to date of the 36 and 44, and how these models rank globally among cruiser and flybridge powercat models? Combined, the 36 Sport and 44 Yacht have sold 380 units, which is a remarkable achievement in such a short period of time. Both models are consistently at the top of domestic and/or global rankings and have helped Aquila become the world’s No. 1 power catamaran brand among private owners. Orders for both stretch into the later part of 2023 and we don’t see foresee demand waning any time soon.
Aquila 44 Yacht
Both models offer the Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™ option, providing clients with exceptional range and efficiency. Our 36 Sport owners can achieve up to 30-40 per cent gains in efficiency and range, which is amazing, while the heavier 44 Yacht gains roughly 20 per cent, tremendous for such a large yacht. Aquila’s belief is to build efficient hulls and then improve the platform with new technologies.
4. Can you tell us more about the Hydro Glide Foil System™, which was first made available as an option on the Aquila 36 Sport?
Aquila’s DNA includes focusing on hull designs that provide optimal efficiency, unmatched in the industry, at both displacement as well as cruising speeds. Our Hydro Glide Foil System™ is at the forefront of that innovation on our Aquila 36 Sport, resulting in a third of the model’s current sales selecting the foil package.
Aquila Hydro Glide Foil system
Innovation and efficiency are symbiotic to enhance new technologies that continue to evolve at Aquila as we continue to expand the offering of this option on other models, including the 44 Yacht. In the recreational boating space, Aquila is the No. 1 manufacturer for the foil system on privately owned power catamarans.
5. Can you indicate how well the 54 Yacht and 70 Luxury have sold across the globe?
Both the Aquila 54 Yacht and 70 Luxury have had unprecedented success since coming to market in early 2021. Both models are highly sought after globally, with sold units on order for the next 24 months.
Aquila 54 Yacht with Aquila tender
6. Can you update us on Asia sales of these two large models. Sales in Asia and the Middle East continue to grow for our two largest models, with robust deliveries already on the calendar through 2024.
7. What has been the market response to the 28 Molokai, both globally and in Asia?
Having launched in December 2021 and debuted at the Miami show this February, the momentum for our two new Molokai offshore models – the standard version with centre console as well as the Cuddy version – continues to grow, with orders already confirmed for Australia, Malaysia and Thailand.
Aquila 28 Molokai
Outside of Asia, we’re shipping to Italy, France, Spain, Canada and beyond. In the US, sales and deliveries are growing daily for both models.
8. Is Aquila looking to implement any ‘green tech’ such as solar panels and lithium batteries as a standard option on its models? As the technology matures throughout the world, Aquila is uniquely positioned to incorporate green technologies such as electric power, lithium batteries, hybrid options and others. However, it’s important for Aquila that these technologies can be supported throughout the world and don’t detract from the speed and performance that our owners demand.
Aquila 70 Luxury
Aquila is a firm believer in partnering efficient hull designs, innovations such as our Hydro Glide Foil System™, and green technology to provide our owners with a unique ability to travel the world’s waters efficiently. As such, we’re very excited as we prepare to introduce the e-Motion Hybrid System into our Aquila 70 Luxury product line, with plans to expand the technology to other select Aquila models soon.
9. How do Aquila’s projected production and sales figures for 2022 and 2023 compare to the ‘Covid years’?
Pre and post-Covid production and sales remain strong and maintain Aquila’s position as the world’s number one power catamaran manufacturer. Global supply-chain challenges related or unrelated to Covid certainly have been exhaustive and challenging for every boat manufacturer.
Aquila 32 Sport
However, Aquila has done an exceptional job leveraging our experienced logistics and manufacturing teams as well as unequalled distribution teams and partners throughout the world to mitigate these challenges. We continue to stay ahead of these challenges to ensure consistent and reliable delivery of our boats worldwide.
10. How do you expect the catamaran sector to continue growing within the yacht industry compared to the likes of monohull motor and sail boats? Depending on each owner’s need for their water adventures, there’s a boat for everyone today. However, you only need to browse through the pages of industry magazines or walk the docks at any boat show or local marina to witness the continued growth of catamarans around the world.
Aquila production facility
The growing popularity is understandable. The wide beam of catamarans offers both more stability and greater interior volume. I’d estimate that a 60ft cat is roughly equal in volume to a 90ft monohull. A catamaran also offers separation of guest cabins between the two hulls, which can be another plus.
Other benefits include a shallow draft, which means you can access areas monohulls can’t, while the catamaran’s length compared to its volume means good value in terms of by-the-foot berthing fees in marinas. In fact, the global growth of powercats is now being seen in the development and design of marinas around the world, as more work to accommodate catamaran designs.