TOP GUN

How Mangusta's 50m yacht Maverick became a floating resort of fun

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Mangusta Yachts may be known for its performance vessels but the Oceano 50 line has proven the yard is no one-trick pony. Sophia Wilson steps on board 50-metre Maverick to discover the ultimate escape for an owner who lives life in the fast lane

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As one might expect from the driving force behind Cigarette racing boats, John Ruiz has a penchant for speed. Alongside a personal fleet of Cigarette boats, he has also owned a selection of sportfishers. However, after spending longer periods on board his yachts, he began looking for a combination of aesthetics and performance and found it with Mangusta. A chance sighting in Miami led him to purchase a steel-hulled Mangusta 42, and when he heard the Italian shipyard was going bigger, with the introduction of the 50-metre Mangusta 50, he couldn’t resist.

The semi-custom Oceano 50, still under 500GT, marked an exciting new chapter for Mangusta. “In the US we were famous for speed yachts and power boats,” says Arianna Toscano, head of communication at Mangusta. “But in 2016 we introduced to the market the new metal line because it is important to diversify the product and our space in the market.” It was a bold play, but as of this year, the builder had sold six of them. And Ruiz had such faith in the brand that he immediately signed for the second hull.

He named his new yacht Maverick (after one of his fictional speed heroes) and allowed Mangusta to display it at the 2022 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show where it scooped up a Best in Show prize, proudly displayed on the beach platform. Stepping on board, it’s clear to see how she wowed the judges. Ruiz might have sacrificed top speed (its two MTU 1,700-horsepower engines offer a maximum speed of 16 knots), but that is where the compromise ended.

Designer Alberto Mancini, who was also responsible for the interior of Ruiz’s previous Mangusta, was determined to create something “a bit different,” he says. “I felt that all the yards were building yachts that looked the same, especially on the interior, and I was a bit bored.” So Mancini set about creating a “floating resort” that could offer Ruiz the ultimate space to enjoy with family and friends. “For me, when you jump on board it’s like you’re cut off, you forget the land and you are on your own private exotic island,” he says.

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The vast sundeck, at around 102 square metres, is a multifunctional socialising space, with plenty of room for dining, drinking, having a soak and taking in the sun

Anyone questioning whether Mancini was able to achieve this doesn’t need to venture further than the forward section of the main deck, where a custom-built infinity pool, the largest ever built by the shipyard, dominates the space. “The client wanted a huge pool,” Toscano explains. “Normally this area would be used for tender storage, but as the owner has a chase boat, [the space] could be dedicated to the pool.”

The pool is home to two large, semi-submerged sunbeds, which Mancini calls “the islands.” These sunbeds offer one of the best vantage points, with the glass-sided pool’s infinity effect adding to the impact. “When you are in the pool you get to enjoy this constantly changing dramatic panorama that’s right in front of you,” he says.

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EMILIO BIANCHI The owner requested two pools on board, with impressive glass-sided infinity pools found both on the main deck and the sundeck

EMILIO BIANCHI The owner requested two pools on board, with impressive glass-sided infinity pools found both on the main deck and the sundeck

The pool isn’t just for daytime fun. The floor has been lined with tiny LED “stars,” inspired by the ceilings in Rolls-Royce cars; at night it comes to life with thousands of twinkling spotlights. “I still remember when I proposed this idea to Mangusta’s engineering team. They were looking at me like a crazy designer, but they accepted the challenge and we managed to achieve it,” Mancini says.

This isn’t the first superyacht with an infinity pool, and Mancini is proud he pioneered the idea at Mangusta. “I introduced the infinity effect 10 years ago when I was designing Namaste,” he says. “Here you see an evolution of what we started a decade ago with the very successful Oceano line. Now with a 50-metre, I was able to push the boundaries of the concept of creating a pool club on board.”

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Top right: The space that would usually be reserved for tender storage was instead used to create the largest infinity pool ever built by Mangusta, complete with sunbed “islands”. Bottom left: the main aft deck’s seating is arranged around a firepit and skylights that filter light to the beach club below

As the saying goes, one pool is good, but two pools are better, so there is an additional infinity pool on the sundeck. That second pool is also impressive, with clear sides offering panoramic views to anyone taking a dip. “The sundeck is really special; you have an amazing Jacuzzi pool with the infinity effect, but you also have more than 100 square meters of space to enjoy with friends,” Mancini says.

This vast space is home to a barbecue and DJ console. Free-standing bars (topped with Calacatta gold marble for a touch of Italian flair) flank a large oval-shaped dining table that can comfortably seat 10.

“When guests come on board you are immediately telling them a story. You invite them to jump on board in a much more welcoming, relaxing way”

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EMILIO BIANCHI The owner’s suite contrasts fire and water, with a large fireplace that is offset by the shell embossed on the headboard in Alcantara

EMILIO BIANCHI The owner’s suite contrasts fire and water, with a large fireplace that is offset by the shell embossed on the headboard in Alcantara

If guests ever feel the need for ocean swimming, then the resort feel continues in the beach club where three fold-out terraces sit just above the water to ensure there is a constant connection to the sea. Teak wall panelling, loose seating and built-in towel rails are clear indicators that this area has been designed to be used.

Countering the water on board, Mancini also customised Maverick with a firepit on the main deck aft and a fireplace in the owner’s suite. The former creates the focal point for a large seating area on the main deck where skylights allow light to flow down into the beach club below.

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The design offers a cohesive feel inside and out, with large windows and low thresholds for an easy transition. Bottom left: as seen in the main salon’s aft entrance, Mancini utilised overlapping slats throughout the design to create a feeling of connection between different areas of the yacht

“Transparency” and “contrasts” were key design themes throughout. “In the interior, you can see how I played between the warm and cold materials,” he says. “I have used different materials and different fabrics to constantly keep a three-dimensional feature and different textures.” In the main salon and dining area – where floor-to-ceiling windows allow plenty of light – he blended teak panels with soft nubuck leather and swathes of white silk behind glass panes.

The main staircase showcases the same themes. Crafted from dramatic dark Nero Marquina marble, the stairs are floating, so light can flow between the decks. The surrounding ash woodwork is painted a colour that has been dubbed “Blue Mancini.” Created by the designer, it appears almost black at first sight. “You see that it’s not a dark, dark black, and when the sunlight is on it you can see a different spectrum of colours and the grain of the ash. I love it,” he says.

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“Each cabin has similar geometry, but all the finishing materials are inspired by each destination”

Different options are available for accommodations on the Oceano 50, but on Maverick the owner opted for a six-cabin layout, the owner’s cabin on the main deck with a full beam VIP suite and four guest cabins on the lower deck. It was with the guest cabins that Mancini was able to have the most fun.

Each cabin is inspired by one of the owner’s favourite vacation destinations – the Bahamas, Monaco, Mykonos and St Barths. “We created four different themes,” Mancini says. “Each cabin has similar geometry, but all the finishing materials are inspired by each destination.” The Mykonos cabin, for example, uses a traditional white and blue Greek colour palette, whereas when you enter the Monaco cabin, you are greeted by darker, varnished woods and flashes of red. To further hammer it home, the name of each destination is carved onto leather inserts on each door.

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EMILIO BIANCHI The sky lounge also serves as the cinema

EMILIO BIANCHI The sky lounge also serves as the cinema

For Mancini this is not only a fun design but also a way of enhancing the yachting experience. “When guests come on board you are immediately telling them a story,” he explains. “You invite them to jump on board in a much more welcoming, relaxing way.”

In comparison to the guest cabins, the owner’s suite follows a more traditional format, with neutral tones punctuated by a spectacular leather embossed headboard with a seashell motif. Further forward, communal shower links his-and hers bathrooms. The shower sits directly under the infinity pool and features a skylight. “Every time of day you have a different reflection,” Mancini says. Don’t want the light and need privacy? A shade takes care of that.

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Top left: a VIP suite aft on the lower deck stretches across the full beam. Each of the four guest cabins represents one of the owner’s favourite destinations using distinct colours and finishes

The master suite’s final flourish is an automated side balcony with complete autonomy. “It can be opened very easily, just with the push of a button. There is no need to call the crew to manage anything; this means that when you are in your private area you have complete discretion,” Toscano says.

Maverick was a bold new step for her owner, but she is also an important symbol of Mangusta’s evolution and that of its parent company, Overmarine Group. Last year the yard delivered the first 165 REV, which is the biggest yacht it builds in GRP and tops out at 35 knots. The Oceano line is built in steel and aluminium.

“It was important to build something which can go in this direction,” Toscano says. “We are going to have lots of metal yachts. It’s important for us to create something unique, that owners have not experienced before. They are the best ambassadors for the brand.”

Maverick is certainly an ambassador as well as a floating escape for an owner who spends much of his time in the fast lane.

First published in the November 2023 issue of BOAT International US. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

A DJ console is ready to turn the top deck into a party

The foredeck can stow multiple PWC

Up to 14 can dine under cover on the upper aft deck

The owner’s cabin’s balcony can be opened with no help from crew

Four skylights brighten the beach club below

The sofa in the VIP converts into an additional bed

LOA 49.7m

Gross tonnage
499GT

LWL 43.3m

Engines
2 x 1,700hp MTU 12V 2000 M86

Beam 9.1m

Generators
2 x 125kW Kohler
125EFODJ

Draft 2.5m

Speed (max/cruise)
16/11 knots

Range at 11 knots
4,500nm

Owners/guests 12

Fuel capacity
17,964 gallons

Crew 9

Freshwater capacity
4,227 gallons

Construction
Steel hull; aluminium
superstructure

Naval architecture
P.L.A.N.A. Design;
Overmarine Group

Classification
ABS

Exterior styling
Alberto Mancini;