Galeon Spreads Its Wings
Yacht Style|Issue 61
With Hong Kong welcoming its first Galeon 640 Fly and 325 GTO this year and Asia’s latest 500 Fly arriving in Singapore, Yacht Style looks at the builder’s 20-year relationship with Tony Castro that has resulted in some of the world’s most innovative production motor yachts.
Nick Hung

Tony Castro has been designing motor yachts for Galeon for 20years. However, it was the drop-down sides introduced on the iconic Galeon 500 Fly – which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Yachting Festival – that helped the brand gain lift-off and expand into a global powerhouse.

In early 2016, MarineMax was announced as Galeon’s distributor in the Americas. Since then, with the support of the world’s biggest boat dealer, enormous customer demand in the US has been a major part of growing global orders that resulted in Galeon’s total production doubling within four years.

As Galeon’s fortunes soared, the signature ‘wings’ were included on new models including the 460 Fly, 640 Fly, and 400 Fly. Furthermore, other innovations such as the rotating cockpit sofa introduced on the 500 and the foredeck door in the windscreen of the 640 have underlined Galeon’s reputation as a pioneer and made it an increasingly in-demand brand – including here in Asia.

Asiamarine has sold over 20 Galeon yachts since its appointment by the shipyard in 2016, with the recent delivery of the first 500 Fly into Singapore among nine sales into Asia of Galeon’s most famous model. Headquartered in Hong Kong with offices around the region, the regional company has also sold multiple units of the 460 Fly and 400 Fly, while the first 640 Fly in Hong Kong was delivered in the first half of this year, with another already in Vietnam through another dealer.

Castro is proud of the impact his designs for Galeon have had and where they sit in his vast and diverse portfolio that ranges from sailing boats to motor yachts, from small boats and iconic one-design models to custom-built megayachts.

“Obviously, I feel very happy that this relationship with Galeon has lasted 20 years and will hopefully last a few more,” says the Lisbon-born designer, speaking from his studio within a traditional thatched manor house in Hamble, outside Southampton on England’s south coast.

“I enjoy working with Galeon because they’ve always been really receptive to our ideas. I don’t remember them ever saying ‘no’ when we came up with something new. It was always, ‘yes’, ‘why not’, ‘sounds great’. There has always been a lot of enthusiasm from them to carry out some of the crazy ideas I came up with.”

GALEON AND CASTRO UNITE

Over the past four decades, an estimated 10,000 boats have been built to over 500 designs by Castro, who studied naval architecture and aero/hydrodynamics in Scotland in the 1970s before specializing in designing sailing boats.

After working for Ron Holland in Ireland, Castro set up his own studio in 1981, moving to Hamble the following year and quickly earning a reputation for designing successful racing boats. His reputation blossomed as he designed models for some of the world’s biggest production boat builders including Jeanneau and Beneteau, while the Clipper 70 used in the Clipper Round the World Race is among many other notable designs.

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