Perini and Nauta: A Cool Collaboration

2020-10-12

This dream team has created a supremely comfortable – and very fast – new 42m sloop, says Stewart Campbell.

It used to be the case that you could spot a Perini a mile away – that flybridge, those windows, the dark blue hull. But since the takeover of the company by the Tabacchi family in 2017 and the installation of former CRN boss Lamberto Tacoli as CEO, things are starting to look a little different.

If you want a classic cruising yacht full of marble and mod cons in which to lope around the world, Perini will still happily build you one, but what’s really exciting is the launch of its new E-volution line of sailing yachts. Available in 42-, 47- and 56-metre versions, these are Perinis for the next generation: lighter, sleeker and definitely cooler.

The 42-metre model has clearly hit the mark – so far Perini has sold two and started another on spec. Each model features naval architecture by Reichel/Pugh and exterior styling by in-house designer Franco Romani. But Tacoli has gone one step further in embracing change at the company by inviting prolific Milan-based studio Nauta Design to collaborate with Reichel/Pugh on another iteration of the 42-metre hull – a true first for the company. Never before has Nauta designed a boat for Perini, and never before have Perini, Reichel/Pugh and Nauta all worked together on a project.

The version of the 42 metre they’ve designed is called, simply, 42m Perini Navi by Nauta Design, and it’s bang-on brand for both Nauta and Reichel/Pugh, offering a real purity of form and a “fast reaching hull” that will see the boat hit speeds of around 20 knots.

“I’ve known Mario [Pedol, CEO of Nauta Design] for a long, long time, and entering the sailing world with him was a must,” says Tacoli. “At the same time, I know the experience of Reichel/Pugh and the history the two companies have together. By bringing them together, the idea was to enter Perini Navi into a new segment.”

For Pedol, the new design caps a long-running campaign to work with Perini.

“I tried to work with them before Lamberto was there. I wanted to bring in our experience with fast, high-performance yachts,” he says. “If you look at Rolls-Royce, they’re now building performance cars carrying 500hp or more, and a great brand like Perini should have the same approach. With this new management and new ownership came a much more open attitude, and they also shared the same idea of the market.”

The yacht Pedol has designed has a clean, low-slung deckhouse and acres of teak aft, interrupted only by sunpads and the dual helm stations. “The profile evokes speed – she’s very aggressive. It’s something revolutionary for Perini,” the designer says. Inside, the saloon and dining space sit on the same level, above which is a deckhead made almost entirely of glass that will offer clear views of the sea and sky from wherever you’re sitting or standing. Below, there’s the option for a forward or aft master suite and three further guest cabins.

The implication of speed in the styling is backed up by the Reichel/Pugh naval architecture. With a lightship displacement of around 220 tonnes and a powerful sailplan, the design should win regatta medals, expects Jim Pugh, founder and president of the company.

“We’ve developed a design that is going to have a lot more performance than maybe Perini customers are used to. It will be very competitive, but it will still be a luxurious, very comfortable fast sailing boat,” he says.

Tacoli’s ambition is clear: “We want to win the Bucket.” However, he also knows that Perini customers expect a certain substance with their speed.

“Perinis will always be the best boats to sail around the world, but at the same time if you can have more fun and sail faster, how can that be bad?”

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