‘It is because I sailed that I decided to create a boat that would fit my ideal specification,’ says Fabio Perini about how he set out to design his first yachts more than a quarter of a century ago. ‘I believe very passionately in the importance of sailing. I like to think I am doing my best to make that special time better for those who can afford it.’
To Perini, the oceans are one of the last real luxuries. ‘On land we all tend to flock to the most beautiful and popular places we can reach, which means they are always crowded. At sea, well, there’s an entire new dimension to things. The better the location the fewer people there are.’ This is one of the less publicised features of the Perini Navi school of yachts – there has always been debate about Perini’s captive winches, flying bridges and wide cockpits, but at their core the yachts themselves are comfortable, safe and easy globetrotters.
And here, spanning the 29 years of the Italian yard’s existence, are some Perini Navi sailing yachts that encapsulate those qualities along with their innovative design, cutting-edge technology and inimitable elegance, all needing new owners to take to the ends of the earth:
Perini Navi’s first ever yacht, Clan VI, launched as Felicità, was the archetype for all the Perini sailing yachts that would follow, and the first fully automated large cruising yacht. True to form she has circumnavigated the world. Built in steel with an aluminium superstructure, this motor sailer ketch was designed by Perini Navi and Dick Carter and has been refitted twice – in 2004 and 2008. Her well-proportioned interior sleeps 12 guests and carries 6 crew.
Built for Fabio Perini himself, Elettra is a real yachtman’s yacht. The sloop, originally named Marina, was the third yacht to be built by the yard, following Felicità and Christianne B. She has a Kevlar composite hull with a teak deck and an elegantly traditional teak interior with nautical styling.
Andromeda la Dea
Andromeda la Dea was the first Perini to circumnavigate the globe, and she has been on expeditions to both the Arctic and the Antarctic. A finely honed performance cruiser she has been refitted three times, most recently in 2006, and has all the technology and equipment to back up her limitless ocean cruising capability, and an uncompromisingly luxurious interior to cosset her guests no matter where in the world they are.
The first of Perini Navi’s 56 metre series of yachts, Burrasca‘s proven sailing performance and handling, luxurious yet flexible accommodation and solidly reliable engineering and systems platform blazed the trail for nine (and counting) other individually customised versions, including Selene (see below) An aluminium hull rather than the yard’s former choice of steel combined with a slippery hull line optimised by Ron Holland, and a deep, ballasted centreboard gives her much improved sailing performance over her Perini predecessors. She began a world cruise immediately upon leaving Perini Navi’s Viareggio yard.
When she was built in 2003, Felicitá West was the largest Perini Navi afloat, and as yet, has only been topped by Maltese Falcon. Her hull, designed by Ron Holland, was built in aluminium to produce a lighter boat with a better displacement-to-sail-area ratio, and Perini Navi combined forces with Nuvolari Lenard for her interior. A spectacular sailing machine, she has also been designed to provide the ultimate sailing experience with a huge flybridge where all 12 guests can sit, relax and socialise in the heart of the sailing action. The best views, however, are from the bow seat or the crow’s nest lift that ascends 40 metres up the rig.
Ohana is an aluminium ketch with composite in-furling booms that was created for the generation of owners who would rather sail than use the engine in light winds. Like many of her Perini predecessors her naval architecture was optimised by Ron Holland, but her interior design was notable for representing a more modern approach by the Perini Navi design team. She has all the ergonomics and slick orchestration that mark a Perini right down to uncluttered sidedecks which enable guests to circulate easily despite the constraints of a large cruising yacht.
The fourth 56 metre to be launched by Perini Selene may share the qualities and attributes of her 56 metre sisters, but she has her own character and elegant innovations, among them a hydraulically opening transom, which contains a structural staircase descending to a wide bathing platform, a portside platform and some differences in layout including a larger, athwartships dining room forward of the saloon and a corridor allowing crew to move from the aft cockpit to the crew quarters without impinging on guest privacy. Her richly detailed and flawlessly executed art deco interior – accomplished by Perini Navi’s own designer Bernardo Chichi – won Best Sailing Yacht Interior at the 2008 World Superyacht Awards.
Perini Navi C 2173
A world-girdler of the future, the Perini Navi C 2173′s engine range will put her in the league of some explorer yachts, but with the wind in her sails, there will be no limitations. The sixth in the Italian yard’s 50 metre series, but only the second to be built in aluminium, C 2173 is sistership to Baracuda, launched in 2010. She will be ketch-rigged with a swing keel and centralised servo-assisted sail-plan controls. Her layout will accommodate up to 12 guests in five cabins, including a full beam owner’s suite, with interior design by Edge Design in the design studio’s first collaboration with Perini Navi. The yacht’s aluminium hull and superstructure with its mixed longitudinal/transverse structure were completed at Perini Navi’s Turkish yard, Perini Istanbul – Yildiz, but its outfitting will be carried out at the Viareggio yard in time for a spring delivery in 2012.