Evo V8 running

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V8: On board the new 24m flagship from Evo Yachts

10 January 2022• Written by Sam Fortescue

Sam Fortescue marvels at the many tricks that make Evo Yachts’ new V8 such a versatile dayboat...

I look around me. Somehow, without communicating, all of the passengers riding along on the Evo V8 – a few journalists, the designer and PR team – have gravitated towards the beach area and are arrayed in various states of relaxation. I am lying on a chic lounger comprised of four plump cushions at deck level. A round Dedon Nestrest seat accommodates three members of the PR team. And we are all transfixed by the spectacle of the wake.

Just 70cm above the waterline, the beach deck features folding bulwarks that expand the space to 35 square metres
All images courtesy of Studio Borlenghi

The twin Volvo Penta IPS 1350 drives have accelerated us onto a plane at 16 knots, and the water of the Bay of Cannes rushes out from under the hull in a mesmerising smooth sheet. Then the turbulence below the surface erupts into a foaming peak that towers above us.

“I’ve never wanted to spend time on the bathing platform when the boat is moving before,” one fellow passenger says in a tone of wonder. “This is something else.”

The external dining area

But there is a lot about the V8 that breaks new ground and delivers new experiences. Even at a Cannes boat show with a record tally of world premières, the V8 stands out.

That’s partly due to its wide-open deck spaces. Extendable aft wings are something of a trademark brought forward from Evo’s smaller R line, and they expand the entertainment space on the beach club deck from 25 to 35 square metres. Then there is the seven-metre beam on a boat that is just under 24 metres long, which creates a lot of real estate.

The beach club

But really, the first thing you’ll notice about the boat once your gaze gets past that huge aft beach area, are twin helms, built in carbon fibre with a sporty Y-spoke design, that flank the deckhouse. “I started from sailing ideas,” says in-house designer Valerio Rivellini. “We put a passage through the aft lounge seating from one wheel to the other, so you can switch sides – just like on a race boat. It’s another feeling with navigation,” he says.

As if to prove it, Paolo D’Orazio, our captain and Evo’s production manager, perches on the bulwark by the starboard helm to take the boat out of a perilously narrow berth by the jumbled rocks of a breakwater. He jockeys throttle and joystick with ease, then hands the helm to Rivellini who guns the boat up to a smooth 24 knots, the boat’s maximum speed. 

The master cabin

The designer looks serene with the wind in his hair and good sight lines forward. “Just lower the aft window a bit,” he asks one of the PR team-turned-crew, who touches a button in the saloon. The window descends quietly, giving Rivellini a clear view through the interior and out to port. He smiles contentedly.

Of course, there is an internal helm station too, with all the Garmin glass bridge displays you could want. And there is even a fourth one on what the build team calls the “roof top”, on the top of the cabin.

The main saloon

“Up there?” I ask, looking doubtfully up past the overhang to a platform with no visible seating, railings or even access. Rivellini relinquishes the helm and presses another button. A hidden companionway ladder by Besenzoni smoothly folds down from the hardtop and we clamber up to a minimalist sundeck, complete with four flush sun loungers. Side rails are retractable and simply click into place once lifted.

The designer sits cross-legged, almost Buddha-like, in front of a low teak platform forward. At the touch of a button, a Garmin display and a low wind deflector tilt up, slowly revealing a joystick and a throttle. “The concept is to let you drive across the bay at seven to eight knots,” Rivellini says. “It’s the most beautiful image – crossing a harbour in silence like a sailboat.”

The sun roof

It’s not silent exactly with the engine running, but it is calm up here and the view is unbeatable. It is just one of this boat’s many surprises. Like the large foredeck sunpad resting on a removable table, whose footwell can be filled with water and used as a private plunge pool. Or the convertible owner’s cabin on the lower deck connected via glass doors to the beach club. Touch another button and transom doors slide back, linking the cabin and beach club combo to the vast aft deck; it’s as if the owner has suddenly gained a vast private terrace on the sea. “There’s always this connection with the water,” Rivellini says.

The aft deck stores a tender by Sacs Tecnorib

The V8 model represents a big step up for a yard whose previous flagship was the 18-metre R6, particularly when it comes to the interior. The V8’s huge saloon is a masterclass in simple, clean design, while its owner’s cabin makes amazing use of the full beam with glass panels at each side to create a light-flooded shower and dressing area.

There’s room for more guest cabins, and Evo is happy to discuss tailored layouts. “We decided not to build too many each year, because every one is custom,” says the company’s marketing director, Angela Maisto.

As I wriggle back into my cushioned lounger on the bathing platform, I am hardly surprised to learn that Evo is already in advanced talks for further orders.