Loyal Benetti client, John Staluppi, has returned to the shipyard again, this time to sign a contract for a 66m (217ft) semi-displacement fully custom yacht. The steel and aluminium yacht has been given the yard number FB269. Staluppi has stipulated that the yacht must have a highly efficient performance hull with a top speed of over 20 knots.

Benetti has said it will release further details in the upcoming months and, with Staluppi a very non-publicity shy owner, the project should be a chance for the shipyard to really showcase its work.

Staluppi founded Millennium Super Yachts in 1998, by which time he had built 18 boats. Christensen, Heesen and Norship have been among the builders Staluppi has worked with. With Benetti he has built a 52m and 61m Diamonds Are Forever.

Benetti won Staluppi’s contract following he and his wife Jeanette’s decision to market Project Skyfall, being built at Sunrise Yachts, to another buyer. The steelwork on the yacht has already been completed and it will be available in March 2017.

The new Benetti project will involve long time Staluppi collaborator Frank Mulder for the naval architecture – in partnership with the yard engineering team and Giorgio Cassetta Design for exteriors – along with the Benetti in house design team.

Vincenzo Poerio, Benetti’s CEO comments, “We are delighted about John coming back, especially with such a request, which we can define as a very exciting “new challenge”. This relationship – with such a faithful client gives us an even heavier responsibility than usual. We are sure, once again, to meet with his desires.”

John and Jeanette Staluppi state, “We are very happy to be building our new yacht with the Benetti team as my wife, Jeanette, and I were extremely pleased with Diamonds are Forever. The new venture will be of a much higher standard with new modern day high tech systems, and once again working with Frank and Bas Mulder. With the combination of expertise between Benetti, Mulder and our design team, we believe this will be our greatest project.