Ferretti Yachts has been busy. The Italian builder is replenishing its line-up with new models at a breakneck pace, overhauling the look and feel of its entire range, from the 450 all the way up. Designed in collaboration with Zuccon International Project, the all-GRP 24 metre Ferretti Yachts 780 is the latest to join the pack. It replaces the previous 750 and nips at the heels of the new 850, launched in 2016.
These new-look Ferretti yachts share a common brief: to cast off the style of a traditional Italian yacht and create a penthouse on the sea. In this aim it’s not dissimilar to parent company Ferretti Group's other brand Custom Line, which last year launched its Navetta 33 Telli, designed for the group’s CEO.
“The idea was to bring a lot of the features you’d have in a beautiful seaside apartment or villa into a yacht,” says Randy Coleman, the Ferretti Group’s vice president of sales for North America, as he gazes around the open plan interior of the new 780, with its chic Minotti furniture, high ceilings, wide windows and unobstructed sightlines from the aft deck all the way to the bridge.
The beamy exterior, with its large, arching windows and cutaway bulwarks, is influenced by the secondary, but equally important, brief – to create stirring views for everyone on board. “The Ferretti Group’s philosophy is everywhere you are on the boat, you should have views of the sea,” says Coleman.
This particular 780, hull No 2, was started on spec for the American market, and soon purchased by a current Ferretti Yachts client who is stepping down from his 840 Altura model for something easier for him and his wife to manage. They will cover plenty of water, cruising between South Florida and the Great Lakes. Powered by optional 1,550hp MANs, the 780 can reach a top speed of 31 knots.
Part of the Ferretti Group’s plan to stand out from production builders is to highly customise for different markets. Coleman works closely with the Ferretti Group’s in-house designers to plan each detail and make it most appealing to their region. “As part of being product manager for Americas, I go to each product [as it’s being designed] and Americanise the boat,” Coleman says. “We want our boats with lots of stuff on them; we add a lot of electronics. I start with a list of electronics and say ‘we will take the largest screens possible and every one, everywhere’. I also try to upgrade everything.”
Coleman pored over 200 samples with the designers to select the oak floor — a cream stain that brightens the space, chosen to complement the lacquer. There are two lacquers for this version of the 780; taupe and a darker, earth tone. The owner selected the colours and fabrics and also gave other input. If a customer prefers other furnishings over Minotti, they can be changed to Poltrona Frau, among others.
“I’m working with the owner on hull 5 of the 780, and they’ve had some pretty specific specs,” says Coleman. “Some are simple, like heated towel bars, others include a pretty unusual wine cooler that required some furniture modification and the biggest challenge was modifying the crew layout to have only one berth and full crew mess — they don’t want to see the crew at all.”
Flexibility is a maxim on the 780. This hull has the option of a galley open to the main saloon, creating an unfettered flow. A door can be closed between the bridge and galley so that, if the owner is entertaining in the evening with lights ablaze in the saloon, the captain could still run the boat with the bridge dark. The high-tech glass bridge is a few steps up, as part of the spec for the 780 was to create a raised pilothouse feel in a smaller yacht. All four cabins are en suite, including the full-beam master cabin, and one of the twins can be converted into a double.
Additional soundproofing ensures it’s quiet down here when under way. But outdoors is where this yacht proves itself a proper villa at sea. The furniture on the upper deck is marine grade and comes from Roda in Milan. The loose, low-profile pieces allow the owners to pick and choose their preferred layout.
The hardtop is also an option, and one that’s becoming more popular — it’s something Americans insist on, Coleman says. Otherwise the 780 will come with a roll bar as standard, which can be fitted with canvas shading. Likewise, the hardtop can have glass skylights or a bladed system to let in fresh air.
The forward bow seating area is huge for its class, with a pop-up table, and all covered by a shade. The transom hosts a particularly clever fold-out seating area, creating a mini superyacht beach club feel. You could imagine owners retiring here after arriving in harbour to enjoy a cocktail and watch the world go by. It certainly rivals most outdoor spaces found in a penthouse on land. And that is very much the point.
First published in the February 2018 edition of Boat International.