BOAT steps aboard Mangusta’s new 32 metre sport yacht, the Mangusta 104 REV Offline, and emerges impressed with the latest interpretation of a long-running success
The Overmarine Group’s latest Maxi Open, the Mangusta 104 REV, is Italian built, Russian designed, inspired by a German car and is finding an eager market in America. Could there be a secret formula behind a yacht that seems to have everyone’s number?
Say “Mangusta Maxi Open” and a slender, curved and dynamic look comes to mind where speed is implied. “The 165 was our iconic fast displacement, all GRP Maxi Open,” says Stefano Arlunno, president of Mangusta’s Americas office. “We launched 13 of them with some adjustments to the model over the years, but after a time we felt that the lines needed to be updated.”
That was when Igor Lobanov got a call. He had recently designed the 110 Oceanco-built yacht Jubilee, the largest yacht built in the Netherlands at that time, and his studio was getting increasing attention. “The first call we got after Jubilee launched was from Mangusta,” Lobanov recalls. “It was a dream come true. Mangusta is one of those boats that I have always looked at and admired.”
Lobanov’s path to yacht design took a roundabout course. After specialising in mathematics at an elite high school for gifted youth and later earning a maths degree at Lomonosov Moscow State University, he then specialised in transportation design at IED Turin European Institute of Design and at Coventry University in the UK. Although his career in yacht design is well established, Lobanov still feels a strong pull towards automotive design.
“As a car designer I see Mangusta lines as having something quite automotive about them, a bit like a Jaguar with a long bonnet and a nice shape, leaping like an animal,” he says. “My task was how to extract the shipyard’s DNA while keeping the key lines and the proportions, the long line fore that becomes shorter and curvier aft. It was like a formula but how and what should we change?”
To solve the problem placed in front of him Lobanov combined his love of cars with his maths skills, and he studied how the lines of the Porsche 911s have varied from the 1960s to the present.
“I found a photo of all these Porsches lined up and shot from the back, so I saw how the proportions changed,” he says. “The hips got wider and the surface details changed more than the actual shape of the cars. One of my strong points, even as a designer, is that I do like analysis. I spend time thinking about why and how we do what we do. So I found a formula for the Mangusta and began to draw transversal sections of particular parts.”
With his formula found and some preliminary sketches in hand, Lobanov and his studio could prepare renderings of a different yet distinctly Mangusta yacht. The first Mangusta 104 REV is penned by Lobanov Design with Igor and his team working on the exterior and Igor’s wife, Yulia, an artist, interior designer and architect, creating the interior. They received the thumbs up after their first visit to the Italian shipyard in Viareggio. “The shipyard trusted us and fully invested in us, building the project on spec,” Lobanov says.
Lobanov Design’s 104 REV keeps the long fore “bonnet” (hood) line and the low-slung superstructure with strongly raked glass that are important elements of Mangusta’s DNA. The sundeck is well integrated and practically unnoticeable. The exterior is undeniably Mangusta yet unmistakably new because true to the lesson learned from studying vintage Porsches, Lobanov used surface details to update the look and make it more fluid. Nowhere is this more evident than in the sides of the hull itself. Here improvements in glass-making technology allowed Lobanov Design to replace a Morse code-like dot and dash of smaller portholes with a continuous jag of black glass that emphasises the hull’s curved lines. Whereas previously the eye had a stop-and-go journey along the yacht, now it takes in the lines in one glance. Thanks to this clean swoop of hull glass and many other details, Lobanov Design’s 104 REV has a look that is fast and fresh.
Broker Brandon Kummer of Kitson Yachts had a hunch that the 104 REV had potential for a client of his who wanted to split time between two of the nicest harbours on the US East Coast, Bal and Sag, without ruling out an occasional quick spin to the Bahamas. A viewing of the nearly completed yacht led to the sale of the project and a happy owner.
“I was attracted to the beautiful design of the 104 REV and only became more excited when I recognised the functionality of the yacht,” the owner says. Four cabins, a generous main salon, a “wonderful” fly deck and a very comfortable foredeck are just some of the pluses that he mentions. “After enjoying the yacht in the Med this summer I can say it’s everything I’d hoped for and more,” he says. “The owner didn’t change anything,” Lobanov notes with a point of pride.
A tour of the yacht reveals the kind of signature Mangusta interior-exterior connection that’s ideal for warm and sunny climates. Symmetrical staircases lead from the beach platform up to the aft deck where a curved couch and a dining table are shaded by the overhang. Doors between the aft deck and the salon fold back so that the single-level space can be lived as one unit with dining and lounging areas both indoors and out. In the salon, a round mirror hangs on a textured leather wall that divides the guest space from the pilothouse while a circular skylight adds extra light to the already luminous space. These two elements establish a theme of circles that is repeated throughout the interior.
Side passages lead to a foredeck lounge with another curved couch, adjustable tables and sunpads, which can also be shaded by an awning mounted on removable poles. The flybridge is another excellent entertainment area with a comfortable couch and a built-in piece backing the helm seats that can be set up as a grill, sink and fridge or as a bar. The helm station on the fly is an ideal spot for enjoying the sense of freedom that driving this yacht brings.
After the sun and fun of the outdoor spaces the mood on the lower deck, where the four guest cabins are located, is almost sultry. The color palette is dominated by dark grays and rust tones. Materials with naturally occurring yet strongly contrasting grains are used lavishly. Stone is sculpted, wood is polished, and the circular motif crops up in lighting fixtures and mirrors. The full beam owners’ cabin is amidships, in the most comfortable area of the yacht. Luxurious materials such as the shagreen that lines the wall behind the headboard give a plush strength to the decor. The VIP cabin, in the forward area, is also full width. Additional guest cabins include a double and a twin cabin with a Pullman berth. Crew accommodation for four in two cabins is located between the owners’ cabin and the engine room and has separate access via a dedicated port side staircase.
While the Mangusta 104 REV is an eyeful in the best possible way, the feature that probably contributes most to its international popularity is out of sight, below the waterline. The 104 REV shares naval architecture, designed in house by the Overmarine Group’s own team, with the 165 REV. The hull shape has been optimised for twin MTU 16V 2000 engines and two Kamewa S63-4 waterjets, a combination that lets this yacht cruise in shallower waters – and quickly too.
“At 32-metres, a top speed of 35 knots and with less than 1.5 metres of draft, it’s ideal for Florida and Bahamas cruising,” says the owner of hull No 1, dubbed Offline.
The owner of hull No 2, also an American, must have been thinking along the same lines. Are low draft and water-jet propulsion the keys to Mangusta’s success in America these days? “Maybe partly,” Arlunno says. “But our American clients also appreciate that we have an office in Miami Beach and that, at the end of the day, we’re a family-run business that’s quick on its feet.”
First published in the February 2022 edition of BOAT International US. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.SHOP NOW