The Magellano 25 Metri is a beautiful blend of design and technology – but its greatest gift may be that of total relaxation, says Simon de Burton
Without invitation I reach for a temptingly tactile chrome handle, intent on sliding open the dark smoked-glass door to Azimut Yachts’ new Magellano 25 Metri. “Stop!” implores brand manager Federico Lantero. “Not yet – I want the interior to be a real surprise.”
In the meantime, Lantero suggests I continue my tour of the decks, having already encountered a few surprises within the first five minutes of setting eyes on the new flagship of the Italian builder’s Magellano collection in a marina in Fano.
Despite the fact that it’s brimming with state-of-the-art features (it even has a Covid-fighting, NASA-approved BCool sanitising system that changes the air every hour), the Magellano 25 Metri has a comfortingly old-fashioned look about it. Its lines were penned by Ken Freivokh, whose name is associated with yachts such as Perini Navi’s 87-metre Maltese Falcon and the modern classic sailer Mikhail S. Vorontsov, to name just two.
In 2009 Freivokh was called in to create the look of the first Magellano, a new range intended for serious passage-making. His templates formed the basis of every subsequent model – although developing the final appearance of the smaller boats was tasked to Dutch design house Cor D Rover Design.
Freivokh’s aim was to create an evergreen design and, using the type of lateral thinking that people who are among the best in their field tend to have perfected, he opted for a classic hull shape with an almost vertical bow topped with a heavily glazed superstructure to evoke the feeling of a sea-going penthouse.
Narrow, oval windows lend light to the lower deck’s interior while also imparting a retro feel that could place the boat back in the golden age, and slatted teak panels attached to either side of the superstructure aft (a Freivokh signature) both soften the lines and complement that classic character.
“We started with the Magellano 74 almost 12 years ago and have since had input into developing the entire range,” Freivokh says. He was called back in to create a clean-sheet design for the 25, which, he says, had nothing to do with making a boat that looked fast, but all about combining form and function. “Everything had to exist for a reason, with the main aim being to create a yacht that a family or a couple would really want to spend time exploring with and living on, and, because the 25 is not a huge yacht, I was anxious to maximise every opportunity to use the available space as efficiently and as interestingly as possible.”
Which explains why, while wandering around outside in advance of the big interior reveal, I notice just how cleverly all of the exterior spaces had been thought out. On the aft deck, an extensive seating area with its own dry bar and worktop spaces – and a nifty hydraulic table that converts from “coffee” to “dining” at the touch of a button – can be protected from prying eyes by a drop-down glass wall privacy screen.
Further back, at the swim platform, an electrically operated deck extension can either create an infinity terrace or allow for easy tender access. At the bow, meanwhile, there’s more well-thought-out convertibility that enables the space to serve as an extensive sunbathing spot or an equally spacious lounge area.
And then there’s the flybridge seating, reached via an elegant spiral staircase from the aft deck, that offers further opportunities for serious relaxation and is again equipped with its own bar and kitchen areas found to the rear of the bridge and shaded by a laminated carbon fibre hardtop supported primarily by a single aluminium upright.
That feature is a result of the lightweight Carbon Tech programme introduced nine years ago by Azimut Yachts to enable the upper parts of its boats to extend to extravagant heights without having a detrimental effect on the centre of gravity.
I had been walking around taking all this in for the best part of an hour before word arrives from Lantero that the time had come for the big moment he had been so keen to surprise me with.
Standing in the prescribed position at the rear of the aft deck, I watch the big glass panels glide open and, as predicted, look on in amazement: for a yacht of its size, the saloon of the Magellano 25 Metri looks absolutely enormous and, with the doors left open to the aft deck and the swim platform seating area beyond, the old cliché of bringing the outside in really does come into effect.
“It seemed essential to open up the internal space at every opportunity,” Freivokh says. “That’s why we went for as much height as possible in the saloon and made the connection to the flydeck really open. Optimising the available space also means the boat can be configured for different markets; a US buyer, for example, probably won’t want to have to go downstairs to a separate galley, whereas a Middle Eastern buyer wouldn’t want the galley to be at the centre of things.
“The main aim, however, was to design a boat that an owner could keep and enjoy for many years – the thinking is that, if it looks right now it will look right in a decade or more.”
But the Magellano 25 Metri is far from being a one-man design. Having created the look and maximised the volume, Freivokh passed the baton to celebrated Italian artist and architect Vincenzo De Cotiis, who had a very specific purpose: to make the yacht not just a container for art but a work of art in its own right.
For anyone unfamiliar with his work, 62-year-old De Cotiis has long been one of the darlings of the international architectural scene, both for his furniture designs and for his ability to adapt run-down industrial spaces and turn them into chic hotels and lofty retail destinations, often using repurposed materials.
One of the materials De Cotiis particularly enjoys working with is also one with which the boat industry is extremely familiar – glass fibre. Rather than disguise it as something else (which is often the case) De Cotiis has celebrated GRP in numerous fixtures and fittings aboard the Magellano 25 Metri, as well as in the creation of a large artwork hanging over the owner’s bed and a smaller one that graces a corridor.
With its large, light-filled area and all-round sea views, the boat’s huge saloon must have represented the perfect blank canvas for De Cotiis, who adopted a theory of organic geometry to fit it out with irregularly shaped furnishings, among which are fibreglass tables laminated with resin and infused with bronze powder to create a series of unique finishes.
De Cotiis paid particular attention to the lighting, combining lamps and ceiling-mounted spotlights with special illumination beneath the sofas, giving the impression after dark that they are floating mysteriously above the saloon’s decidedly plush carpeting.
He even designed the exterior furnishings, invoking the styles of the 1960s and 70s to create a minimalist, laid-back vibe that’s infused with modern-day luxury thanks to the exclusive use of Loro Piana fabrics throughout the boat, from the saloon to the cabins and everywhere in between.
While hull No 1 serves as a showcase for the De Cotiis touch, not every Magellano 25 Metri will be the same. “It will be up to each client to commission specific artworks, if that’s what they want, but the De Cotiis design will remain evident in the architectural framework of the furnishings, cabinets and so on,” Lantero says. “If, however, an owner wants different finishes – veneers, say, instead of plain white – we can accommodate that within the De Cotiis philosophy.”
Regardless of the interior specification, the Magellano 25 Metri is so comfortable that it’s easy to forget that it is actually intended to take its passengers and crew on some serious voyages.
With 1,400hp MAN V12s, it offers a 25-knot top speed and 18-knot cruise or can go 700 nautical miles at a more sedate 12 knots. And it’s when covering those longer distances, especially in rougher seas, that the Magellano 25’s special Dual Mode hull by Pierluigi Ausonio Naval Architecture comes into play. The double-shaped chine is designed to reduce fuel consumption by lessening drag at different speeds according to where the boat is sitting in the water – and has the benefit of enhancing comfort.
But throttling down to the boat’s 20-plus knot speed is not, it seems, the way to show it at its best. “A speed of 20 to 22 knots is easily attainable, but that is not really how the boat is intended to be used,” Lantero says. “The type of buyers the Magellano 25 is meant for are those who like to cruise at perhaps 10 to 12 knots and really enjoy the pleasure of navigation. At that speed, the yacht feels really natural and beautifully relaxed. It is a pace that reflects the very chic, sober and timeless nature of the design.”
This is a yacht that whispers elegance and luxury and one which really does seem to envelop and relax those aboard, inducing a remarkable feeling of calm and a desire, quite simply, to have a thoroughly lovely, peaceful time. And that, surely, is the true art of creating a perfect yacht.
This feature is taken from the December 2020 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.SHOP NOW