CRN, the large-yacht part of the Ferretti Group, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, but it is not resting on its laurels. As seen in the launch of 60m J’ade, and with several megayachts in build in the 40 to 80 metre range, there appears to be a push toward creating unusual and interesting features – a view backed up by Luca Boldrini, CRN’s sales director.
‘CRN is experimenting,’ he enthuses. ‘We’re experimenting in design, in sizes, and in features. Each [of the yachts in build] has special features in development, and we hope the next step will be to mix and match all these new features in one or two new concepts so future owners can not only have a beautiful, seaworthy and safe vessel, but they can have special features that nobody else has. These will not be special features that are just an experiment, but features clients can touch and feel in other vessels under construction or already floating.’
In J’ade, the main ‘special feature’ becomes evident when you descend the internal staircase that leads from the aft end of the main saloon to the beach club. Here, CRN has incorporated a transverse float-in tender dock, accessed from the water through a shell door to port, which is open to the aft beach area creating a unique space for the owner and guests. Float-in docks have been done before, but to put one in a 60 metre hull was a bold move.
CRN showed the concept for J’ade to an existing client, who has grown through the Group’s range from the Custom Line series. ‘He liked the melting together of the technical area with a more enjoyable area, the beach club,’ Boldrini says. ‘He entered into the concept and gave us the possibility to develop it – I thank the client because not everyone is so brave with a technically difficult feature that has never been done, especially with a side entrance like this one…’
The dock area of J’ade, while creating a headache particularly from a classification point of view, is a triumph of design and engineering. The shell door is opened and the dock flooded; as the tender rises off its chocks, fixed fender poles help keep it in place, and when the dock is full, two wave doors keep the sea at bay allowing for easy boarding and disembarkation by guests. Underwater lights create a dramatic effect, while a fuel pump in the forward bulkhead allows for easy refueling. To meet Class, a high-power pump is fitted that can empty the 18,400 litres of water from the dock in under three minutes, but the design also allows for the yacht to make way even with the dock flooded.
The aft end of the beach club comprises a seating area overlooking the terrace on the sea formed by the large stern door opening, and here too is innovation. ‘Explains Simone Lorenzano, project manager at CRN, ‘When the door is open and the aft area forms the terrace on the sea, the side stairs become swimming ladders that go directly into the sea.’
The internal stairs to starboard deliver J’ade guests at the aft end of the main saloon, facing an aft wet bar atop an aquarium. The interior was a collaboration between Studio Zuccon, CRN and the owners. The owner’s wife, along with CRN’s interiors department, decided the Loro Piana fabrics used throughout and the custom furniture pieces by Fendi Club House Italia and others. Of note is a subtle interplay between textures and materials – galuchat (fake and real) blends with leather, carpet and wood to create a gently changing tapestry, while intricate patterns in individual pieces are revealed as you take a closer look. Two Andrew Martin coffee tables with weathered wood tops nestle between Baxter sofas and armchairs, while the forward end of the saloon is dominated by a white Yamaha Synclavier grand piano. The piano was a late addition – such was the success of the upper saloon (more on that shortly) the owner of J’ade chose to move the main dining table upstairs part way through the build.
The forward part of the main deck is given to the owner’s suite, which takes a standard layout – office-cum-TV room first, leading into the main sleeping area with its large aft-facing double bed and permanent balcony. The balcony, beyond sliding glass doors, can be enclosed – whereby a shell door with windows acts as a storm shutter – or opened with the shell door folding up into the deckhead. It’s an excellent year-round terrace that can be operated by the owner at the touch of a button.
The four guest cabins are on the lower deck; each features large hull windows, and the brown colour scheme is replaced with a paler oak and a mixture of bright and sand-coloured Loro Piana fabrics and throws.
The highlight of J’ade is the upper saloon. With its side walls slightly sloping inwards, the giant floor-to-ceiling windows give the space the feel of a loft conversion under a mansard roof. ‘The upper deck windows were part of the original concept,’ says Boldrini, ‘because we were studying ways to bring clients closer to the sea and maximise the views. Sitting on the upper deck you have a full view of the sea and it gives you the possibility to feel the sea and life around you, but with maximum privacy, which is the final achievement.’
The sun deck comprises a wellness centre with central gym, while aft a green mosaic-tiled steam room mirrors a similarly finished dayhead and shower. The aft deck area is expansive and offers guests an area of seating and sunbathing options, while the aft part itself has been designed as a touch-and-go helipad. On the forward part of the sun deck are large integrated sunpads surrounding a generous oblong spa pool.
The crew areas are no less impressive on J’ade. On the tank deck, fridge, freezer and dry stores sit alongside a laundry, and headroom is excellent. Forward on the lower deck are two large crew messes and six twin cabins for the crew of 12 plus captain. The main deck galley was designed in collaboration with crew and chef, and includes floor drains for easy cleaning. The main technical space houses the twin MTU engines which are capable of pushing J’ade to a cruising speed of 14 knots and a maximum speed of over 15 knots. Her range is expected to top 4,000 miles when cruised at 12 knots, making long-haul cruising a real possibility.
With J’ade, CRN has tried to push the boundaries in a number of areas. Sharing nothing but some below-water elements of her sister CRN yachts, she is as close to fully custom as you can expect to find in the modern age. Her dramatic styling, the successful implementation of those innovations and her seductive interior make her a true original; she really does stand out from the crowd.Cover Boat for the June 2013 issue of Boat International magazine