MEGA DRIVE

Behind the lines of ISA's dynamic GT45

Wide shot of GT45 UVII

Auto-inspired style meets nuts-and-bolts practicality in the second ISA GT45, UV II. Sam Fortescue enjoys the result

LEONARDO ANDREONI

Inspiration can be hard to pin down. Sometimes it is a joyous golden thread that swoops from one idea to the next, splitting, digressing, merging as it goes. In the case of ISA Yachts’ new GT45, however, it is more of a straight line. Enrico Gobbi’s striking design firmly positions this fantastically spacious yacht in ISA’s automotive-inspired GT range.

The line has been a big success for the Ancona-based shipyard that builds yachts from 33 metres up to 100 metres. In fact, it has become something of a signature for ISA, which has been part of Palumbo Superyachts for less than a decade.

UVII from the back

LEONARDO ANDREONIThe dynamic profile of the GT45 makes the yacht look to be in motion even at the dock. This is thanks to the “sleek arch and fin-shaped hardtop” says the designer, Enrico Gobbi

LEONARDO ANDREONIThe dynamic profile of the GT45 makes the yacht look to be in motion even at the dock. This is thanks to the “sleek arch and fin-shaped hardtop” says the designer, Enrico Gobbi

With long foredecks echoing the lines of a car bonnet and powerful arches that link the decks of the set-back superstructure, there is more than a hint of the Bentley Continental GT to these yachts. It is something that designer Enrico Gobbi explicitly acknowledges in the 45-metre.

UVII from the side

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

“A typical sports coupé was for me one of the main sources of inspiration,” he says. “Looking at the yacht’s profile, there are some specific details that make it dynamic. The sleek arch and a slim, fin-shaped hardtop make the yacht seem in movement even when anchored.

Another automotive-inspired detail is the thin, almond shape of the hull openings, designed to provide a wide panoramic view from the two main areas on board: main deck saloon and master cabin.”

JOBDV Studio

JOBDV Studio

It has proven a canny approach, securing two buyers for the GT45 in quick succession. UV II (“U-V-two”) is the second in the series, its Australian owner clearly wooed by the automotive associations. He traded up from a 30-metre.

Control room of UVII

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

“He is passionate about exotic cars, so he liked the fact that the GT45 is inspired by sports car design,” says Eugenio Cannarsa of Fraser, who brokered the deal and helped manage the build process for the owner.

“After that, it wasn’t about the price, it was about the boat we could buy brand new with the shortest delivery. Timing was very important for him. He is a character with a young family – very energetic – so they really wanted the bigger boat as soon as possible to enjoy it.”

In a show of incredible confidence, the future owner asked Cannarsa to pick out three potential boats in the 45-metre category – one brokerage yacht and two new builds. Without any hesitation, he went straight for the ISA yacht. “It was a fast purchase,” admits Cannarsa. “He virtually made the decision in 24 hours. He bought the boat without visiting the shipyard and with just a little negotiation.”

Overhead view of UVII from the front

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

ISA had begun building the boat on speculation, and had got as far as the bare steel hull and aluminium superstructure when the project sold. With the deal inked, Cannarsa crawled all over the plans with the owner and came away with just three requests for change: the garage door was to be built in lightweight carbon fibre for longevity; the sundeck was to be reconfigured with a bar; and access to the crew quarters had to be reworked. They also decided to uprate the foredeck crane for heavier tenders.

In a show of incredible confidence, the future owner asked Cannarsa to pick out three potential boats in the 45-metre category – one brokerage yacht and two new builds. Without any hesitation, he went straight for the ISA yacht.

“It was a fast purchase,” admits Cannarsa. “He virtually made the decision in 24 hours. He bought the boat without visiting the shipyard and with just a little negotiation.”

ISA had begun building the boat on speculation, and had got as far as the bare steel hull and aluminium superstructure when the project sold.

With the deal inked, Cannarsa crawled all over the plans with the owner and came away with just three requests for change: the garage door was to be built in lightweight carbon fibre for longevity; the sundeck was to be reconfigured with a bar; and access to the crew quarters had to be reworked. They also decided to uprate the foredeck crane for heavier tenders.

The sundeck at night

LEONARDO ANDREONI A bimini can be rigged on the sundeck for shade without spoiling the hardtop’s minimal lines

LEONARDO ANDREONI A bimini can be rigged on the sundeck for shade without spoiling the hardtop’s minimal lines

Of these, the work in the crew area had potentially the greatest impact. “We redesigned the stairs and the laundry to give better access in the crew quarters,” says Cannarsa.

“The washing machine is such an important part of the yacht – it’s running 24 hours a day if you’re in the South Pacific or on charter. We wanted to make sure that there was the space to get it out and carry it up if it broke, without cutting out a panel. Believe it or not, 75 per cent of shipyards make this mistake!”

A useful side effect of lengthening the stairs in this way was to slightly enlarge the crew mess. “We didn’t have to take space away from anywhere – we simply modified the stairs and the panelling in the vessel.”

“The owner is passionate about exotic cars, so he liked the fact the GT45 is inspired by sports car design”

UVII from above

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

Cannarsa’s experience also came to bear on remodelling the sundeck. He knew that the owner would benefit from a forward-looking bar up top – something that was absent from the plans.

In order to do that, the circular table had to be moved to the centre of the deck and the sunbed pushed a little aft. The move has paid off handsomely. “Especially with a young family or guests, the adults can eat up top and stay up late without the noise going through the yacht,” says Cannarsa.

“On a 35-metre, you often have the dining and the lounge in the same place, with a lot of noise. The [sundeck] for them was a big plus.”

Circular dining space on upper deck

LEONARDO ANDREONIThe circular dining space on the upper deck aft exemplifies Gobbi’s indoor-outdoor approach

LEONARDO ANDREONIThe circular dining space on the upper deck aft exemplifies Gobbi’s indoor-outdoor approach

Gobbi’s design is clever because its careful indoor-outdoor focus allows key features of the boat to be used in different climates. The dining area on the upper deck is a case in point.

Focused on a round table for 10 guests, it is a circular space which can be entirely open or closed, depending on the climate and the inclinations of the diners.

Aft-facing glass doors covering an arc of nearly 180 degrees can slide back into invisible housing to connect this space to the exterior deck, or they close up to cocoon you inside. Either way, a circular skylight brings in natural light from the deck above.

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Built in sofas and pool

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

Close-up of glass-sided pool

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

Two built-in sun loungers on deck

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

Soft seating on a sunny deck

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

The spa pool is the focal point of the main deck aft and can be viewed from the main saloon (top left); the pool on UV II may be compact at 2.78m x 1.64m, but its glass sides and floor give it a sense of boundless dimensions (top right); What can’t be seen are those enjoying the private space at the bow from either the bridge or from the foredeck sunbed area just behind it (bottom left); the upper aft deck (bottom right)

The same kind of thought has gone into the main deck, where the saloon opens onto the exterior lounge area and pool through similar curved glass doors.

“The layout on board was studied to facilitate the seamless connection between indoor and outdoor areas, both visually and practically,” Gobbi explains. “The aft pool for example, the main protagonist of the main deck cockpit, is a major focal point that can be viewed directly from the saloon.”

Another feature that Gobbi has brought in from his experience of designing yachts up to 86 metres is the terrace area on the starboard side of the owner’s cabin – that and the way the owner’s suite connects to its own dedicated lounge area on the foredeck.

Up a few steps and out through a sliding glass hatch, and there are two built-in sofas waiting, slightly below the sight lines from the bridge and the sunbed area above. You’re quite close to the tender crane and ground tackle by this point, but it adds another dimension.

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Beach club area on deck

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

Beach club area with two sun loungers

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

Glass ceiling panel above beach club area

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

The beach club is lit from above with a glass panel at the bottom of the main deck spa pool. The space itself is versatile, able to be filled with gym equipment

The beach club is the other key exterior area, and there’s a degree of flexibility to make of it what you wish. There is good depth to the fixed platform aft, which means plenty of room for a pair of loungers and matching occasional tables.

The raised transom door does good service as shade from the midday sun. But the flexibility is more about what happens inside the transom, where a glass ceiling panel allows dappled light to fall through from the pool above.

“Initially, there was a dayhead parallel to the beach club, behind the wall,” says Cannarsa. “But it was a bit too small, so we wanted to find a way to optimise the area in the hull and move the dayhead to the starboard side.

“Now the beach club can be a gym area with machinery, including two spinning machines and a Kinesis One wall trainer from Technogym.” The only compromise has been the loss of a dedicated store for dive equipment, which has made way for the dayhead.

“From Luca Dini’s proposal we have changed nothing. The owner really trusted the team around him”

Main saloon area with backlit wall panels of metal, laser cut with triangles in a geometric motif

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

If the owner made relatively few changes to the outside of the boat, he made virtually none to the interior.

“From Luca Dini’s proposal, we have changed nothing,” says Cannarsa. “That is super rare. The only thing they changed was the cushion covers. The owner really trusted the team around them.”

Circular dining space with doors that open out

LEONARDO ANDREONIThe dining space can be fully enclosed or fully open to the aft deck, and it is lit from above with a skylight over the table

LEONARDO ANDREONIThe dining space can be fully enclosed or fully open to the aft deck, and it is lit from above with a skylight over the table

The configuration is relatively conventional: main saloon, galley, lobby and owner’s suite on the main deck, four guest cabins and the crew area on the lower deck; and the circular dining area and wheelhouse on the upper deck. Dini’s careful, restrained interior styling pulls it all together into a coherent, flowing space.

“Each deck boasts generously sized openable windows and a harmonious colour scheme of gold, sand and turquoise that defines the inner spaces,” he explains.

Main saloon with backlit, laser-cut panels

LEONARDO ANDREONI

LEONARDO ANDREONI

“A predominance of natural materials – notably wood – keeps the space warm

“Natural oak wood floors, with their irregular patterns, lend an airy feel throughout. Additionally, sections of light oak strips set against black lacquered wood bands have been seamlessly integrated into the walls and ceilings, enhancing the ambiance while preserving a sense of harmony throughout each area.”

The result is beautiful without overwhelming, interesting without showing off. The predominance of natural materials – notably wood – keeps the space warm, and Dini has also used various effects to increase the visual impact of key areas.