At 80 metres, Chopi Chopi is by far the biggest yacht the CRN shipyard has built, and she did not come easily. In the golden pre-recession age of yachting, the Italian yard experienced significant growth, signing contracts for several yachts above 70 metres. Zuccon International Project, the long-time design partner of CRN’s parent company Ferretti Group, was chosen to develop a series of superyacht concepts to attract the attention of the yard’s international clientele: among them was the project that would become Chopi Chopi.
The financial hardships experienced post-recession slowed the construction of what was then project 129 before her launch, but persistence, dedication and 660,000 working hours paid off. The yacht, shown in Monaco and Genoa in the autumn of 2013, is a great testament to the yard, the designers and the owners. Without a doubt, she is luxurious, but not in any ostentatious way; harmony is in this yacht and you can feel it. It is clear that the owner, a gentleman from the Middle East, knows how to relate to luxury in a natural way.
‘We met the client, who we knew was looking for a big yacht, and presented him the project of a yacht of around 250 feet (72 metres) with all the features we thought might meet his wishes both in size and style,’ says Gianni Zuccon, head of Zuccon International Project. ‘The primary criterion of the brief was that he wanted it to be a private yacht on which to spend long holidays with his large family. We found out soon that they needed more space – that meant more volume. So, working on the original concept, we incorporated higher volume and added a few metres to the total length to preserve a well-proportioned balance between hull and superstructure.’ The final exterior design reflects the owner’s call for a timeless elegance. It has also absorbed the overarching style that makes every yacht signed by Zuccon International Project recognisable at first glance.
‘We fine-tuned our project proposals according to the owner’s requests for external lines and interior layout, and it was a rewarding experience from both the professional and personal point of view,’ Zuccon says. ‘Chopi Chopi is a mature project stemming from our long-standing experience in megayacht design and the client’s long-standing experience as a yacht owner.’
From the outside, Chopi Chopi’s imposing size has grace, while a sense of tranquility and warmth envelops visitors as soon as they step aboard. Several factors were key to such a successful outcome. First and foremost, perhaps, the owner knew exactly what he wanted and had a very positive, synergistic attitude towards CRN and the exterior and interior designers. Exterior stylist Zuccon has worked a great deal with the Ferretti Group, including the design of 10 large custom and 14 semi-custom yachts since 2006 for CRN. Interior designer Laura Sessa has worked extensively with the owner’s family and was familiar with their taste and habits. Her ability to draw every detail of her interiors freehand is just one way she imbues each project with her personality.
Chopi Chopi looks every centimetre of her 80 metre length and in the exterior designer’s view she is more than a yacht. ‘We aim to provide for each project its own personality and Chopi Chopi is a ship, a beautiful, reliable ship,’ Zuccon offers. ‘Her tiered profile presents a few defining features but no element stands out in sharp relief. Harmonious balance between aesthetics and functionality is pivotal to our vision and Chopi Chopi, with her outstanding simplicity, exemplifies this concept.’
Five decks, plus a tank deck hosting technical and service areas comprise a total surface area of about 1,900 square metres. The yacht will solely be used for private use so has been shaped to provide the owner and his family with all the spaces and the comfort they are used to. The main deck accommodates a large saloon aft and guest accommodations forward, while the owner enjoys a private deck that includes a 200 square metre private apartment connected to a stern terrace, as well as a helipad where a three tonne helicopter can land in privacy.
With such a great amount of space at hand, every room on board Chopi Chopi is sized generously and Sessa used this abundance to create a functional layout. Her cohesive design makes extensive use of maple and limed oak, while a striped pattern of matte and glossy wood and marble.
‘I designed the interior of the client’s former yacht, the Amels 171 Lady Nag Nag, so I had clues about the style he loves,’ Sessa says. ‘I had to translate the owner’s wishes into comfortable, luxurious yet easy interiors. Elegant understatement is indeed the recurrent theme on board. The yacht is one of the family’s favourite places to gather and I designed the interior decoration with the family in mind. The owners’ sons and daughter have their own private places on board and the youngsters have personalised colourful cabins.
‘There are both private and social areas on board, the former being more intimate and small, to provide a snug hideaway when needed,’ she says. ‘We decided to give the interior decoration a chromatic continuity with extensive use of natural coloured textiles enhanced by details of pastel colours, and all bathrooms and dayheads are clad with light cream Perlatino Europa marble.’
Some pieces of custom furniture, built by Hervé van der Straeten to Sessa’s design, echo an Art Deco atmosphere prevalent in the main saloon and the upper deck dining saloon, which are both brightened by light flowing through two full-height doors on either side. Custom built by Galerie van der Straeten, the huge upper deck dining table it seats up to 18 and with its central section removed, transforms into two large round tables.
Enjoyable outdoor living was among the design’s top priorities. The sumptuous beach club, pictured below, with adjoining sauna, hammam and massage room conveniently connects to the main saloon through a central interior staircase, emphasising the close connection between interior spaces and the marine environment.
The lower deck has nearly half of its length devoted to service and technical areas, including the garage and the engine room, while the other half hosts the large and well-appointed crew quarters. More than 30 people are in charge of running the boat and pampering 12 guests.
Chopi Chopi is based on a tried-and-true naval platform and has conventional engine and equipment configuration achieving the very best technical specification. Great attention was devoted to sound and vibration deadening; thick layers of Rockwool and rubber-mounted flooring result in a very low level of noise inside while under way: only 60 decibels in the saloon and 55 in the guest cabins.
A high-tech bridge and well-organised engine room are hallmarks of this new CRN. Located in the yacht’s large and rationally equipped wheelhouse is a technological jewel, a 42 inch (107 centimetre) I-Chart table. Developed by Italian electronics specialist Team Italia, the system has been customised for Chopi Chopi. Dubbed ‘professional infotainment’, the I-Chart allows the captain to manage a range of activities, from route-planning to monitoring primary navigation systems, but also offering guests or crew access to all technical information and entertainment content, video or pictures from the yacht’s archives or the internet.
Chopi Chopi is an oceangoing yacht built by and for people who know what they want and had the foresight and courage to have the project completed in spite of difficulties. The owners found in Zuccon International Project and Laura Sessa the right team to interpret their passion with a great sense of style, while CRN, with this outstanding project, sets its own new standards.
Images by Maurizio Paradisi