Mario Pedol (Nauta Design): “For Pier Luigi Loro Piana we refitted in record time”

Mario Pedol, co-founder of Nauta Design, shares the story of the refit of the Masquenada, the 51 metre mega yacht belonging to Pier Luigi Loro Piana

14 April 2022 | by Redazione

The “Masquenada” refit was done in record time. The refit of this motor yacht began with revising the priorities of its owner, the entrepreneur, Pier Luigi Loro Piana. A sailor of great experience, while still a lover of races, when he began planning a cruise around the world, he immediately thought that an explorer motor yacht would be more comfortable.

I decided on a large and beautiful motor yacht of around 50-60 metres long – explains Pier Luigi Loro Piana – capable of hosting 10-12 passengers, to explore the world safely and comfortably. Its size was fundamental: if it was bigger it would not have been able to access the small bays that I was used to visiting with my sail boat.”


At first he seriously considered building a new yacht, and with Mario Pedol he developed a new concept for a 50 metre motor yacht. “But for any new build, be it sail or motor – noted Loro Piana – we would have needed at least three years and, a year after the loss of my beloved My Song, I didn’t want to wait so long, so I began looking for a boat for refitting.

The cashmere entrepreneur from Valsesia turned to Mario Pedol, co-founder of Nauta Design, who has known the owner for 40 years. “I remembered there was a small boat called Aspire – says Pedol – which I had visited a few years ago, and thought it might be right for him. Its solid construction and ocean autonomy, and its tonnage of 600 GT and 51 metres in length were a potential solution for the owner to travel the world with his family.

With Nauta acting as broker for the buyer – remembers Pedol – we reached an agreement and the Aspire arrived in Italy in September 2020. There was little time and we wanted to begin work. We chose Lusben, the refit division for Azimut-Benetti, for this full top-refit which required redesigning both the interior and exterior of the ship.”

The most evident work asked by the owners was the complete redesign of the aft main deck. This area had already been extended during a previous refit, but the owner wanted to create an open beach club, with easy access both to the sea and the main room, and that could also house a tender and sea toys.


The aft gunwales were therefore cut to have a flush deck with no visible obstacles, capable of also housing a helicopter, while the aft section was transformed into a proper pieds dans l’eau platform. An important modification was removing the old crane on the deck and replacing it with a bespoke one with a load of 7.5 tonnes, which folds down into a space below deck.

As there is space for two or more tenders, including an amphibious Iguana, when the tender and sea toys are in the water, the aft deck becomes an enourmous are for relaxing or organising parties. The boarding ladders on both sides can be regulated in height depending on whether a tender or the fast Maxi Dolphin-Nauta day cruiser is docked alongside or not.

The crane hangar – explains Pedol – required that we cut the aft section and add a completely new block. The naval architect, Francesco Rogantin was charged with reconfiguring the hull lines and we like to think that the new stern feels more like a sailboat than a motor yacht. The main room was transformed with a two-metre wide door to improve its connection with the open aft deck Also new was the access to the engine room, as well as the ventilation structure with integrated chaise longues.


The space on both decks, main and upper, was already ample and liveable, but both were extended by 1.5 metres to the stern to create a more graceful profile and more shade over the lower deck.

On the bridge deck there is now space for a gym and two sailing dinghies which can be placed in a closed lazaret that also doubles as a sun lounge. The aft upper deck was used for the lunch and relaxation area, while the sun deck is an exclusive observation point and has a kitchen with barbecue.

The pair of original Caterpillar 3508 engines (2,100 Hp total) has been completely revised and equipped with a new exhaust system. With the new propellers and the redesigned aft hull, the yacht has gained another 1.5 knots on its maximum speed.

Noise reduction was another priority for the owner, so three new Kohler generators were installed in soundproof boxes and mounted on non-vibrating structures to avoid transmitting noise through the hull.

The sophisticated design by Misa Poggi is essential and contrasting, in dark and light coloured wood, combined with brogue leather and brushed bronze accents. The general atmosphere is warm and relaxed, but also welcoming and informal with parchment, bamboo and textile details adding a touch of the exotic.

Passengers are lodged in three cabins on the lower deck, two on the main deck and the owner’s cabin on the forward upper deck, for a total of 12 passengers including the owner. The gunwales which run along the owner’s living area have been cut to provide a better view over the water and the windows now have electric blinds for more shade, or privacy when docked in a tourist marina.


Boasting new light and dark grey livery, Masquenada was launched in June 2021, only eight months after it entered Lusben’s Livorno shipyard. It spent its first summer cruising the Mediterranean and has now left for the Caribbean to begin a three-year trip around the world.

Masquenada is a very versatile yacht – concludes Pier Luigi Loro Piana – and I am truly delighted with the final results. The entire design team worked really well: Nauta, Misa and the engineer, Mr Rogantin. Last summer life on board with my family and friends was exactly as I had imagined it would be when we began this adventure.”


Refit works: Lusben/Benetti

New exterior design: Nauta

New interior design: Misa Poggi

Technical consultant for the owner: Francesco Rogantin (Names)

On location surveyor: Commander Clinton White


Video: Drone Activity – Lorenzo Tampucci

Photos: Giuliano Sargentini


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