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EIV: On board the automotive-inspired 50 metre Rossinavi superyacht
With automotive-inspired design outside and modern, art-studded interiors, the new 50-metre Rossinavi EIV offers both peace and pace, discovers Sam Fortescue...
A yacht inspired by a car? It seems like something of a cliché – until you see EIV in the water. Approaching in the tender, be sure to make a circuit that takes you in front of the bow of this 50-metre tour de force from Rossinavi. From that viewpoint – the one you never want to have of a yacht underway – the impression is strongest: the gleaming stainless-steel grille work at the top of the stem; the outline of the anchors; oversized white bulwarks like a bumper; and that expensive silver paintwork. It all whispers luxury coupé.
“Recalling sophisticated Italian automotive style and featuring captivating design aesthetics, EIV really is like a large coupé: sporty, elegant, performing,” says designer Enrico Gobbi of Venice-based studio Team for Design. “It has a long bonnet and a pulled-back superstructure typical of fast cars.” Which car? I want to know – although I already have a good idea. “The Bentley Continental GT,” Gobbi confirms. Spot on.
It’s a clever piece of design because it feels instantly recognisable, but there’s no one element that comes directly from the Bentley. It is more a series of insistent suggestions. The automotive theme is strengthened by the sweeping curve of the reverse bow and the aerodynamic slant of the wheelhouse windows, as well as the low-profile sundeck and hint of a rear spoiler in the overhangs of the aft decks.
It is no surprise to learn that EIV (as in E-Four, shorthand for the electrical four-wheel drive system) has been designed for a man – the muscular, aggressive styling makes that clear. Nor that this is his fourth boat. What does surprise is that this is his first custom yacht. On the face of it, this is the boat of an experienced owner who knows exactly what he wants from his yachting life and what features will deliver it. It is not the project of someone who has only owned production boats.
Owner’s representative and project manager Dean Anthony of Florida-based Allied Marine explains the apparent contradiction neatly. “Myself and the owner, we spent three years coming up with his vision. We went through a lot of due diligence, visiting multiple shipyards in Europe.”
The owner himself explains what he wanted from the boat: “My vision for EIV is the culmination of many years of owning several yachts and discovering what I liked and didn’t like about them,” he tells me. “It was to build the ultimate 50-metre yacht by incorporating all of the best features that we saw on 60-metre-plus yachts and from my experience visiting the finest spas throughout the world.”
EIV’s standout features include the beach club with steam room and a 13°C plunge pool as well as the fold-down balcony doors on either side of the main deck dining area, “which provide me and my guests with an amazing experience and intimate connection to the sea”, says the owner. Oh, and there’s a deep, five-metre-long resistance pool. On the sundeck. This last must-have on the owner’s list caused the greatest headache for Rossinavi in Viareggio. “The shipyard fought us all the way,” Anthony says with a ghost of a laugh. “They didn’t want to do it.” And perhaps it’s hardly surprising. Installing 10 tonnes of water as high as possible above the boat’s centre of gravity presents an obvious stability issue.
“The challenge – it was huge,” says Federico Rossi, chief operating officer of the family-run yard. “We must guarantee the stability when the pool is full. We had to do tank testing, create a lot of structure in the bulwarks under the pool.
“We actually found it was not really a problem for stability,” he continues. “The pool only has to be empty for something like crossing the Atlantic, when the fuel is below 10 per cent and in hurricane-force winds.”
There were other complications, too. The owner wanted a pool that could contain salt or fresh water, as well as an LED-lit waterfall effect tumbling down a glass wall. To keep the water falling the full width of the wall in a sheet, it was necessary to deliver it from numerous jets at the top. This is done via a pipe made of titanium (to resist corrosion) and using two pumps to maintain pressure even if the boat is moving. “A mechanical approach is in our DNA,” explains Rossi with a shrug. “My uncle has been a mechanic for 40 years; thanks to my uncle it is easy.”
He also wanted the pool to remain hidden for the purposes of privacy. “Being a sporty boat, we had the main intent to disguise it well,” says Gobbi. “We achieved this by hiding it behind the side rollbar wings, integrating it perfectly without compromising the external line of the yacht. This feature on the flydeck also needed ingenious technical compromises.”
Gobbi has also – almost miraculously – managed to provide a 10-metre hardtop that doesn’t impinge at all on the boat’s silhouette. It is partly due to the elegant curve of the strut supporting it and partly down to the use of a much darker grey for the exterior of the sundeck, which serves to minimise its scale.
Below the waterline, the boat also presents a low profile – a key part of the brief for this Florida-based owner. The draught has been restricted to 2.3 metres to enable it to nose into the waters around the Bahamas and Biscayne Bay. Twin MTU 16V 2000 M96L engines put a whopping 5,200 horsepower onto the shaft drives – enough for a top speed of 19 knots or a more leisurely 14-knot cruising speed. “It was really important to create a vessel with a shallow draught and a good speed, so it was possible to reach the islands in a few hours,” explains Rossi.
And when you get there, a wealth of tenders and toys help make the most of the trip. The main tender is a 6.3-metre Castoldi driven to 30 knots-plus by a 250-horsepower water jet, which can be easily launched via a clamshell door aft on the port side. There are also two Sea-Doo personal watercraft.
Federico Rossi is particularly proud of the technical spaces on this boat – not so much for their equipment, but for their dimensions. “The complicated approach is to have a really compact technical space, with piping and trunking,” he says. “If you open the ceiling, it’s like an Apple Mac. We can guarantee this result because we take time to design everything on 3D software.” This same software, in fact, allows Rossi to analyse the exact weight distribution in the boat, as every component that goes on board is weighed and mapped.
What that efficient approach means for the interior is space – lots of it. From the four big double guest cabins on the lower deck to the vast owner’s suite on the main deck, dining space for 12 and a cinema saloon on the upper deck. Never mind the opening side platforms that flank the dining table, giving it panoramic sea views – the volumes are generous enough as it is.
Of course, part of that is down to Enrico Gobbi, who has provided a breathtakingly clean, modern design for the interiors. Colours are very muted – natural tones of grey and an off-white “greige”, gleaming stainless steel everywhere and just the merest hint of blue as a connection with the sea. “In all areas, we used some decorative azure pillows from brands like Rubelli, Armani/Casa and Loro Piana,” says Gobbi.
There are other whimsical touches, too. “All guest cabin doors are pieces of art with brass details and leather inserts. Each door also has a brass plate personalised with a name of a famous historical Italian artist. The owner likes Italy a lot,” Gobbi says. The complex effect of backlit onyx appears repeatedly – from under the dining table to the basins in the bathrooms. As with most of the interior fit-out, the yard used expert subcontractors. To get the right distribution of the light, and so you don’t see the supports, you need specialist knowledge,” says Rossi.
Art of all kinds was a big part of this design. There are abstract paintings sourced from artists in Italy, the UK and US, prestigious marble statuettes and carvings designed by Gobbi, and Murano glass. “In the main lobby, for example, there are two art pieces hand-blown by one of Venice’s most famous glass masters that interprets the head of Modigliani,” says Gobbi. “Unfortunately, by the client’s request, we cannot name the [other] artists.”
The crew spaces have also benefited from maximising the volume available. Perhaps the best example is the impressive galley, which bristles with stainless-steel work tops and appliances. “A professional chef designed the galley,” explains Anthony. “The industry standard is Miele, but we went a step up from that. We wanted to try to emulate the northern European yards – the highest brands – as close as possible the equipment found in one of their galleys.”
The boat also sports capacious wine storage. “There’s a custom 300-bottle wine fridge with thermostatic controls for the different types of wine,” says Anthony. “The four cabinets can be set to different temperatures depending on whether it’s white, red, champagne and so on.” The list of features goes on: there’s a circular lift connecting the three main decks and a plunge pool on the foredeck.
The real marvel is that the whole project came together on time against the backdrop of the pandemic. It took a Herculean effort by all the main players. And perhaps a certain amount of family flexibility, too. “In the Rossi family, everybody knows how to build a boat,” says Federico. “Our strength is that the client can start to speak immediately with the owner of the company, who can provide the technical feedback immediately and move the production in the right direction.” To stretch the car analogy, it is a bit like ringing up the engineer building your Bentley Continental GT and discussing the custom features with them directly. Impressive service.
This feature is taken from the June 2021 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.