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Clorinda: The ISA superyacht that breaks the mould

The latest offspring of a successful series of waterjet yachts built in FRP originally conceived by Studio Vallicelli for ISA, 37-metre Clorinda is the fine product of a cohesive team that included a new shipyard owner, and new interior and exterior designers for ISA, luxury yacht architect Francesco Guida and Enrico Gobbi of Team For Design.

ISA began in 2001 as a builder of semi-custom yachts in fibreglass and a custom builder of superyachts in steel and aluminium. Over the next 14 years and a couple of ownership changes, it launched spectacular and award-winning vessels, including 66.4 metre Okto, but in spite of its successes and diversification into refit, the shipyard ran into financial difficulties. Shuttered in 2015, it was bought by the powerful Palumbo Group out of Naples in 2016. Clorinda is the first yacht launched under the shipyard’s new ownership.

Hull 11 of the ISA 120 Sport series is a raised pilothouse design with a top speed of 34 knots thanks to triple MTU 16V 2000 M96s. She was fitted with the latest in technology, including an entertainment management system by Videoworks, ABC Trac electric stabilisers and a converter to plug into shore power both in the Americas and Europe.

It is a testament to the enduring quality of the original design, penned more than a decade ago, that the ISA 120 looks so current and attractive today. It was updated by the yard’s chosen exterior designer for its new series, the founder of Team for Design, Gobbi.

“We revisited the typical features that distinguish ISA Yacht with a modern key”, Gobbi says, “taking inspiration from the pure shapes of nature and combining details that recall those of a luxury sport car. The elements that make 120 Sport distinctive are in first place her elegance, given by neat style lines and balanced proportions, her reference to natural elements, and the dynamic appeal that the overall design conveys.”

The layout has also been rethought. Guida, who had worked closely with Italian builder Arcadia since inception, has cast the eye of an architect on the interior, which has been reinvented with a two-level master suite forward on the main deck. A flowing curtain conceals a pantograph door providing access to the side deck and the forward sunbathing area from the bedroom.

Another great touch is the skylight over the bed, which can be closed at the touch of a button. The finely appointed en suite, with new emperador dark marble counter, dual sinks and shower, is a few steps below.

Even with this big owners’ suite, there is room on the lower deck for four generously sized guest cabins. A solid and well insulated bulkhead separates the guest area from the beautifully finished crew area, which includes a small but practical galley. Between the crew area and the engine room is a tender garage with side launch mechanism, and two further compartments hold Jet Skis.

The rest of the space is divided among dining and relaxation areas, split over main and sun decks. The emphasis outdoors is on casual comfort, with large and springy sunpads and a Jacuzzi. The round dining table, flanked by comfortable armchairs is situated on the main deck and surrounded by glass widows, which can be left open on beautiful days for an indoor-outdoor experience.

According to the owner’s wishes, the interior design is modern and sophisticated, combining natural light with rich LED accents. “The broad use of diffused indirect lights is a constant feature used to emphasise the design and to convey special lighting scenes to the interior areas,” Guida says.

It’s particularly effective in the guest staterooms, where light peaks from under bed skirts framing the freestanding beds. The mood is muted with discreet contrast between soft and harder materials, sand colours and dark chocolate browns.

“Great attention has been reserved to the choice of wood essences used for the decoration of the interiors,” Guida says. The oak furniture is made in striped white from the Piero Lissoni-designed collection for Alpi, which helps keep the interior light, with frames and floors in a darker oak from the same collection.

Dark brown leather from Mastrotto’s Testa di Moro collection is used as accent on some of the furniture and surfaces, and the comfortable L-shaped leather sofa in the saloon sofa is by Poltrona Frau. Lacquered ceilings and stainless steel details complete the sophisticated ensemble. Everything, from lights and music to on-demand video, curtains and air conditioning, is controlled via iPads.

Performance wise, Clorinda cruises at 27 knots, topping out at 33 knots, and a joystick directs her triple Kamewa jets. She is nimble, manoeuvrable and can slip into shallow coves. Gobbi has developed an entirely new line for ISA, but the latest ISA 120 is a good example of what the builder intends to do.

As group CEO Giuseppe Palumbo put it when she was set afloat back in August: “The launch of Clorinda is a strong symbolic moment that marks the transition to a completely new course for ISA Yacht.”

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