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A closer look at Benetti’s new 85m futuristic concept Project ORO

19 October 2022

When you name a concept “gold”, expectations are naturally high. But it seems that Benetti and long-term collaborator Giorgio M. Cassetta have exceeded those expectations with their 85-metre concept Project ORO.

Unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show 2022, the full-custom design has been brought to market in an effort to fulfil the requests that clients in this size bracket are typically asking for. BOAT International hears from Benetti and Cassetta to find out exactly what desires Project ORO satisfies.

100% custom

Benetti proclaims the market is asking for a “real-world project” in the 80-metre-plus segment as a result of the yard’s research and “intensive interaction” with relevant owners. Giorgio M. Cassetta has endeavoured to offer a fully custom and innovative design solution that still retains the familiar Benetti brand – something which the designer is more than familiar with, after having worked on many production and custom Benetti projects, including several award winners

As Cassetta explains, what underpins the project is the ambition for Project ORO to lead in terms of elegance, comfort, safety and functionality. If she were built today, she would be the sixth largest custom project created by the Italian yard with a GT of around 2,500 and an LOA of 85 metres.

Futuristic look

The design and features seen in Project ORO are what Benetti perceives to be the brand’s future, suggesting that the builder is more than confident on its appeal to the current and next generation of owners. “These owners are unlikely to have found the elements they see in Project ORO fulfilled by any of the boats they have looked at so far,” adds Cassetta. Elements like the sweeping lines, curving aft decks and strong, sharp bow set Project ORO apart from the crowd. Plus, owners will find that Benetti has created what has been described as a highly attainable and "more pragmatic approach to construction”.

To further cement the project’s futuristic status, Project ORO is home to many innovations, including a streamlined propulsion system. “During the development of “Project ORO we wanted to seize the opportunity to express numerous innovative concepts, aspiring to bring them together in a unique yacht,” says Cassetta, who also expresses that other key elements of the design are her pure, free and fluid design that “rejects the criteria of civil architecture”.

Sustainable yachting

Project ORO features an advanced hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system. The operator will have plenty of control over the energy loads on board, including being able to switch between each of the two propellers in order to better balance energy distribution. “The technical spaces on board Project ORO have been intelligently organised to free up more space for living areas,” explains Benetti CCO, Sebastiano Fanizza.

By building efficient hulls and a range of hybrid systems with zero-emission hotel modes, Benetti explains it is able to offer its clients “a cruising experience that seamlessly combines unparalleled quality and onboard comfort with an eco-friendly ethos”.

The Azimut | Benetti Group continues its concrete commitment to building a sustainable yacht-building industry. “With that in mind, we continue to implement advanced technologies designed to decrease fuel and energy consumption across a greater selection of Benetti yachts,” adds the yard. The Benetti B.Now and B.Century ranges are also currently available with traditional, hybrid or diesel-electric propulsion systems.

Al fresco living

Sprawling across the entire aft of the yacht are two strongly-connected outdoor living areas. Linking the beach club and the main deck is a pair of 1.5-metre-wide staircases on either side of the transom. Guests who walk up to the main deck are met by a 250-square-metre lounging area with a walkable glass floor – perfect for poolside dining by the seven-metre transverse swimming pool.

The use of glass on the main deck doubles as a skylight for the beach club below. The beach club can also be flooded with light via the unfolding sea terraces on both sides of the beam that extend all the way to the stern of the yacht. “We gave ourselves the challenge of creating something with many transparencies and functional spaces,” explains Cassetta.

“The three decks that form the superstructure gently float on top of the hull, while the hull is one mass in the form of two decks,” Cassetta adds. Crowning the yacht is a 400-square-metre sundeck that’s equipped with numerous lounging, dining and relaxation areas. Served by a pair of elevators, “this sundeck was born from the demands of clients looking for this kind of large-scale liveable alfresco space,” says Fanizza. “Everyone who has seen this concept so far has said ‘wow’,” he adds.

With her refreshing design, eco credentials and evident ‘wow factor’, it looks like Benetti has struck gold with its latest concept.