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Namaste: Inside Overmarine’s first tri-deck superyacht

Overmarine tries something new with its premier displacement yacht and proves first time’s a charm...

Namaste means something like “I bow to the divine in you.” More generally, it is a way of acknowledging oneness and connection.

Designer Alberto Mancini, who dreamed up this concept for Italian builder Overmarine sometime in 2013, had no way of knowing that the first Mangusta Oceano 42 would be called Namaste, but the principles of his design appealed to the owners, perhaps because of the connection it cultivates between inside and out and the light that flows throughout.

We may never know if this was the case, as Namaste’s owners are fiercely private. However, what is known is that they really liked the young designer’s take on this luxurious tri-deck yacht, the first that Overmarine has sold. They fell in love with the Mangusta Oceano 42 when they saw the brochure, says Isabella Picco, the company’s press officer, so much so that the brochure became part of the contract.

Now that the shipyard had a customer for its new Oceano 42, all it had to do was to turn a beautiful concept into a functioning yacht.

There were a few things to work out, namely the windows on the transom door, large expanses of sliding glass on the main deck and numerous skylights circulating natural light throughout Namaste’s three decks, plus a 3,700-litre salt or freshwater infinity pool with cascading effect on the foredeck.

It was to be Overmarine’s first steel and aluminium yacht and the first full displacement yacht it would complete. (In 2011, the yard built the hull and superstructure of a 46 metre composite tri-deck on spec, which is awaiting a customer.) The family-owned builder, which began its storied career in Viareggio in 1985, is an interesting dichotomy: It can be innovative (technologically advanced, certainly) but also conservative. Changes happen slowly here.

Overmarine struck a chord with clients with the means to buy its luxurious and exquisitely finished express cruisers, currently ranging from 22 to 50 metres, and over time has taken baby steps toward evolving the Stefano Righini-designed Mangusta line by effecting subtle tweaks — slightly bigger portholes, more glazed surfaces, integrated sun decks — changes that may escape casual observers.

The 49.9 metre Apricity, launched in 2014, was earmarked the 165E, as in evolution. So the new Oceano 42 tri-deck, a displacement yacht in steel and aluminium, while not revolutionary, is a major step for Overmarine in multiple ways.

When the Italian builder unveiled the concept in Monaco in 2014, the alluring boat drew positive reviews but also questions, such as could it be done and to the level of luxury that characterises Overmarine’s line of express cruisers? The answer is a resounding yes. Launched in June 2016 and presented at the Cannes Yachting Festival and Monaco Yacht Show in September, Namaste has already begun collecting accolades.

Mancini, who designed a 30 metre each for Magnum and Otam, approached Overmarine with an idea for a new express cruiser. Recognising “a good hand,” the builder tasked the designer with developing a 42 metre displacement yacht that would retain some of the qualities of its hugely successful “open” series on a much different platform.

The builder felt the need to expand its offering to attract clients evolving toward a more laid-back way of enjoying their boats, go farther perhaps and take it slower. In the words of Maurizio Balducci, Overmarine’s CEO, the new yacht is meant for people who “wish to spend a substantial amount of time cruising without renouncing to design, complete comfort and latest-generation technology.”

Mancini has begun his relationship with Overmarine with fanfare. Part of a new generation of designers, he studied transportation design in Turin, where the university course teaches not only the practicalities of product design but also the all-important marketing and commercial aspects.

Following graduation, he worked with Officina Italiana Design (closely associated with Riva), Ken Freivokh, Nuvolari Lenard and Team For Design before creating his own firm, AM Yacht Design, in 2009, when he was just 30 years old. He is known primarily for his work with progressive Austrian-owned yachtbuilder Dominator, including a yet-to-launch project where light is also a central theme (Ilumen), among other interesting projects.

Tall and distinctive with noticeably blue eyes and dark hair devoid of any grey, he is mild-mannered and soft-spoken. As he explains the materials and features on Namaste, there isn’t even a hint of pretension, only appreciation for the incredible chance he was given to showcase his work.

He and his colleagues designed everything on board Namaste from the sporty and sculptural exterior to the interior, most furniture and an Ariel jet tender. “Maurizio Balducci gave me a blank slate,” he says. “It was a very exciting project from the beginning.”

He wasn’t sure, he says, that all of his ideas would be adopted and realised, including the windows in the beach club/transom door, or the details of a shapely nubuck-covered console he’s designed for Namaste’s skylounge. “I think [Overmarine] made it better than I designed it,” he says.

As far as the windows in the transom, he didn’t know whether the yard would go to the expense of creating them but they did, modifying them from smaller square windows to larger rectangular ones, and that is a great plus for Namaste.

The stylish beach club with the Mancini-designed custom bar and towel storage is a nice area to enjoy at night with the door down. The underwater lighting attracts fish, and the waves pick up and project the light throughout Namaste’s superyacht beach club.

Under cruise, the six windows offer views of the trail of foam stirred by the propellers, making this space useable underway. Namaste is a typical displacement vessel with a cruising speed of 11 knots and top speed of around 15 knots. The hull has a bulbous bow and wave deflectors, plus stabilisers for comfort at sea and at anchor. The naval architecture is by Overmarine in cooperation with Pierluigi Ausonio Naval Architecture Studio.

Most of the work was done in-house, from stainless steel to the furniture. The yard tends to use the same suppliers and subcontractors to guarantee consistency of results and to keep control over the final product. It has, for instance, done the electrical and electronics working with Italian suppliers.

When it comes to interiors, Overmarine really shines. David Bigotti, a designer with Overmarine’s interiors department, worked closely with Mancini and the owners to render all of Namaste’s intricate details. The décor’s elegance stems from balance and symmetry. Wherever there is warmth, there is cold.

Soft materials, such as nubuck and raw silk, are used with glass and stainless steel (which number 1,600 pieces on board). Light, both natural and LED-sourced, adds another dimension to the design. Marble and wood interplay, with a golden veneer in one duplicated in the other.

Mancini says he was inspired by vintage luggage but nothing on Namaste seems merely decorative. Just inside the main salon doors, sliding open with quiet efficiency, to starboard are two beautiful freestanding pieces, upholstered in leather with stainless details. They conceal an air-conditioning trunk, small sink and cooler to serve the outdoor lounge.

“Everything has been thought-out to be aesthetic without missing any functionality,” says Picco, “just like with any of our open [yachts].” The layout is fairly conventional, but the design details create new ways to enjoy the familiar spaces. The outstanding features on Namaste’s main deck are the large windows supplied by Italian glassmaker Isoclima flanking the salon and dining area.”

So as not to distract from the perfection inside, Mancini designed the doors tracks to be installed on the outside where the decks are wide enough that it is only noticeable as you walk from the foredeck aft. Forward to starboard side is an attractive lobby and then, beyond an office/lounge, is the owner’s stateroom. The décor mixes minerals and warmth with sections of a cream-coloured bamboo carpet, raw silk and a bathroom whose dark eramosa marble is visible through glass panels.

A skylight projects dancing water lines from the wading pool above on the interior of the huge en suite. Curved furniture and subtle light accents soften the ensemble, producing an elegant and laid-back feel. A small superyacht balcony is finished with the same oak parquet flooring by Luxury Wood Italy as the rest of the spacious room to offer continuity.

Namaste is a private yacht so choosing a guest stateroom may not be as much of a challenge as it would be on a charter boat. All four cabins have a different feel and personality: Bodrum, Saint-Tropez, Mauritius and Bergama (formerly the Kingdom of Pergamon). “We studied the culture and colours of each of these areas,” says Mancini.

The Mauritius cabin features a vertical garden (concealing the emergency exit) and backlit horizontal wood slats that let the sunpeak through louvers. Marine blue stands out in the Saint-Tropez cabin decorated with sailing boat wallpaper by Hermès and teak flooring. The white porcelain “Faubourg” THG faucets in the en
suite are labeled in French.

Bodrum has a distinctive wall covered with colourful hide recalling sand, sea and sky, sourced from Kyle Bunting of Texas, Sicis mosaic tiles in the blue register and Striato Olimpo marble in the shower stall. Verticality and warm ochre colours (Hermès orange) distinguish the last of the four cabins, named Bergama. A patchwork of fabric on the wall recalls the construction of the temple of Telesphorus with its square stones and vertical structures suggesting the columns of ancient Hellenistic temples.

Wallpaper by Hermès provides the illusion of a bookcase in the stairway en route to Namaste’s skylounge. At the owner’s request, this informal space, with low-lying sofas custom-designed by Mancini 
in ebony and raw silk, has smaller windows as it serves as a superyacht cinema. Here, Mancini designed two lamps with feet in stainless steel that recall the spoilers on the fast Mangusta line.

Aft and on the other side of large glass doors is a dining area with a table that matches the dining salon’s table in spirit and looks, low seating and a treadmill concealed from view. Up one more flight of steps is Namaste’s sun deck, divided between open and shaded spots.

Below the hard top is a more formal dining space, while a casual corner for breakfast or lunch is in the open. Most of the outside furniture is by Paola Lenti, including chairs specifically designed and made for Namaste. The wow factor on Namaste belongs to the outdoor lounge forward of the bridge. A comfortable forward-facing bench overlooks the shallow superyacht spa pool that seems to cascade down to the foredeck area, where two windlasses and ship’s bell in lustrous steel are the main attraction. A pair of large sunpads seemingly float on its surface like lily pads flanking a centre path leading to the shallow bath created by a glass holding wall. In a quiet sea state, it invites contemplation and relaxation.

The layout dedicates passageways to the crew who can directly access the sun deck without going through guest areas. They enjoy a good-size mess finished in light colours, connected to a laundry room and three double-occupancy cabins.

The captain’s cabin is adjacent to the stylish and practical wheelhouse. Overmarine is not used to concealing the helm stations, which in its open series are an eye-catching feature on the main deck. Perhaps stemming from this habit, it has created a very attractive wheelhouse on Namaste with its ceiling in grey and slate-colour Alcantara and parquet flooring.

The console, upholstered in Alcantara and dark leather, stands out with flat screens providing navigation information or displaying views from various cameras. Vertical windows offer great all-around visibility to the captain and a guest seated in black and red leather seats. Wing stations covered with Plexiglas provide good side views to manoeuvre in tight quarters.

Namaste’s engines are twin 12-cylinder 2000 series MTUs, which occupy a generous engine room, finished with care. To maintain the serenity that the interior décor exudes, the yard employed floating floors throughout. All panels can be removed easily for maintenance or, down the line, for a refit, which will be the case for every new build moving forward. A second Oceano 42 was sold and is due to launch later this year.

Recently, Overmarine also sold its new flagship-to-be, the 54-metre GranSport fast displacement yacht with Mancini design. At the heart of the GranSport 54 is an interplay of light and a flowing pool. The path forward for the family-owned yard seems to be clear: build beautiful, sporty and elegant yachts exulting the Mediterranean, no matter how fast or how far their owners want to go.

First published in the December 2016 edition of ShowBoats International

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