Ferretti Yachts’ new flagship is an accomplished bag of tricks that oozes pure Italian style. Sam Fortescue steps aboard Epic, the first of the line...
How do you get all the amenities of a 30-metre yacht into a hull that escapes the straitjacket of classification? Some would say that’s having your cake and eating it. Not Ferretti Yachts, though. The Italian boatbuilding giant believes there is a simple answer: you buy the new Ferretti Yachts 1000, the marque’s flagship.
“It’s the missing link between Ferretti Yachts and Custom Line,” says chief commercial officer Stefano de Vivo of the new flagship. “We’re giving Ferretti Yachts clients the possibility of going to 30 metres. Our competitors are still trying to figure out how we did that inside a 24-metre waterline length.”
At one level it is simple: a classic raked bow reduces the waterline length and the long bathing platform doesn’t count either, being just above the water. “That extra length at the back gives no buoyancy, and in displacement mode, it improves the angle of pitch,” de Vivo says.
However, the real trick is to have created a hull with enough volume and stability to fulfil all the requirements you might place on a larger yacht. At 6.8 metres in the beam, the Ferretti Yachts 1000 is not the broadest boat in her class but, combined with the chine between the lower and main decks and towering topsides, she offers a lot of internal volume.
In fact, the hull and technical platform are developed from those of the Ferretti Yachts 960 – a model replaced by this new boat. The skeleton of the superstructure is steel framed, allowing the shipyard to put bigger windows with smaller mullions in the main saloon without sacrificing stiffness. But the rest is built in fibreglass. Like the smaller boat, she is designed to plane, so one of the key objectives besides the length was weight control.
“Stability was, as usual, one of the main constraints,” says de Vivo. “The weight estimates were made in a very accurate way. An area of our engineering is completely dedicated to weight prediction and monitoring.”
Naturally, speed is of course a key part of the design. Her MTU 16V 2000 M96L engines propel her 111 tonnes up to 28 knots. Cruising speed is reported to be a rapid 24 knots (with standard MTU M86s, top speed is 24 knots and cruising speed 20 knots), although we were unable to confirm this because hull No 1, which we saw at the Cannes show in September, was port-bound.
“The design could not be limited to an expression of performance and functionality, but it also needed to express maximum volume and comfort,” says exterior designer Filippo Salvetti. He has sought to preserve what he sees as the essence of Ferretti Yachts – sportiness and comfort. “The exterior design is built on a delicate balance of blacks and whites that, while keeping the silhouette sleek, allows a great amount of daylight to enter the cabins and convivial spaces.
“The detailing of the exterior draws inspiration from the automotive formula, where fluidity shapes surfaces. The central fin leans slightly outward before reaching the deck above, as an indication of dynamic support, and the rear fin is plastically modelled around the glass portion that it contains – almost deforming it. The flybridge roof elevates on athletic thin structures that give a sense of lightness,” he says.
Salvetti has played cleverly with the boat’s lines. Viewed from the side, the curving white pen stroke of the flybridge coaming sweeps off the deck until it is interrupted amidships by a black wedge that flows forward to become the heavily raked glass of the windscreen. It gives the boat a powerful look and hints at the volumes contained within.
Inside, the levels are simpler to understand. The raised pilothouse design slightly constrains the height over the service areas between the main saloon and the master cabin forward. A few more steps allow you to reach the flybridge.
And it is a true flybridge, in the sense that there are full dual controls up there, tucked behind a console that bristles with buttons and two slick Simrad glass bridge displays. “The flybridge actually has the main helm,” says de Vivo. “It uses hydraulic power but there is electric feedback. The rudder and interceptors automatically control the lift of the boat over a certain speed.”
Notwithstanding the electric pilot seat from Poltrona Frau that neatly raises your perspective and could well tempt owners to become drivers with the wind in their hair, this area is really all about relaxation. There is a well-equipped wet bar with a fridge and a grill (a barbecue or Texan grill can also be installed easily enough), a table with generous seating for up to eight people, and an array of sofas and pouffes, cushions and barstools scattered around the deck – all free-standing and all from outdoor specialist Roda.
The aft section of this space is completely open air – naturally with the possibility of installing a tensile bimini for extra shade. And a large panel in the centre of the hardtop can be opened or closed as desired. It has an ingenious louvre mechanism that sees slats rotate up to let in a chink of sun before retracting into the hardtop completely.
“There are many options for the sunroof,” says de Vivo. “We’re developing other flybridge configurations, too. If you wanted, you could put in a pool, for instance.”
The sundeck has a very natural flow into the foredeck, which is one big lounging area. Skirt round the coaming on the side decks and you have a row of four ergonomic loungers arrayed beneath the wheelhouse windows. Flow on down a couple of shallow steps and you reach more seating – two curvy L-shaped sofas, this time, with teak tables. On down another couple of steps lies the gleaming stainless steel of the anchoring tackle – almost pieces of functional art. Standing down here, leaning on the splayed bulwarks, the effect looking back up towards the wheelhouse is of a series of terraces cascading down. It would be an exciting spot to witness the action at full speed, and ideal for admiring the anchorage, drink in hand, as the captain noses the boat in to find good holding.
This forward space is nicely balanced by the loungers mounted on the stern, which command the bathing platform under the aft deck seating area. The transom lifts to reveal storage for a good-sized 4.35-metre Williams DieselJet and a Sea-Doo personal watercraft, but Ferretti Yachts eschews the internal beach club space.
“Everybody’s asking for these big beach areas, but they’re not very usable – someone has to be putting the furniture out,” says de Vivo. “Having used boats, I love being on the chaise longue. Here you can just chuck yourself down after a swim. What could be better than drying off in the sun?”
Though he left the design work to the experts, it is one of several features that have drawn on de Vivo’s experience. “I also insisted on the connection between the flybridge and the bow. Then the bow really becomes part of the flybridge, connecting it all. The flybridge becomes the shady space and the bow is your sunpad area.”
Above all, Ferretti Yachts sees itself as a lifestyle brand, and so the interior has been the focus of enormous attention. Once again, the yard worked with IdeaeITALIA, the design team responsible for the interior of the recent Ferretti Yachts 500 and 780. With their input, the builder has dramatically improved the refinement of its styling.
IdeaeITALIA has developed two quite subtle moods for the boat, in line with the way it approached the two previous projects. Labelled “classic” and “contemporary”, they bring together a range of fabrics, woods and marbles for the bathrooms. Owners still have free rein, of course, to specify the finish they want – to mix and match to their hearts’ content. But the two moods offer a harmonious vision that owners would be well advised to take.
Classic is naturally the warmer of the two, with teaks, brown-red wooden detailing, dark green and red cushions and tan upholstery. It is designed to feel homely. The contemporary option makes use of whites and steely blues, dark flooring and pale ceilings, greys with just a hint of gold.
“The brief was clear: to build something that felt like home – that would be familiar for the owner,” explains Alessio Battistini, co-founder of IdeaeITALIA. “Our inspiration comes from the Italian background of architecture and furniture design of the 1950s and 1960s. We wanted to translate this iconic part of Italian design into the geometrical forms and materials used on board.”
Both designs draw real collateral from the broad windows and fully retracting doors in the main saloon. Glass bulwarks let your gaze roam over the seascape around the boat. Another elegant L-shaped sofa faces aft and to starboard, where a large flat-screen television makes film nights a possibility. There’s dining for 10 and plenty of “blank canvas” wall space for art. “The first thing we use is the free-standing approach for the cabinets, sofas, tables, chairs and so on,” says Battistini. “We pick products from commercial catalogues. The idea is to make something that is subtle, but so that the owner can change things if they want.”
The owner’s cabin lies forward, with light that floods in from the hull windows on either side. Twin basins, separate heads and a shower with a huge rainforest head lie against the forward bulkhead. There’s room for a vanity table in the cabin, with a view out across the anchorage, plus a desk and a dressing area.
The four guest cabins on the lower deck are also surprisingly bright, thanks to the windows which run nearly the full length of the hull in each room. They are all similarly proportioned and with their own en suite shower rooms. Beds are oriented with the headboard against the hull, below opening portholes that allow for natural ventilation at anchor.
Running through the whole interior is this sense of easy comfort. From the saloon to the cabins, these are spaces you can feel at home in, without stressing about marking the furniture or failing to live up to the avant-garde chic.
De Vivo sums it up neatly when I ask him what the brand is about. “Ferretti Yachts is the brand for going to a bay and relaxing,” he says. “It invites you in, like a puffy sofa, you just need to climb into.”
First published in the March 2022 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.SHOP NOW