If there is a long-running trend in the yachting industry, it is of building ever larger vessels. In part, this growth is driven by the egos of mega-yacht owners wishing to outdo everyone else on the water. Another part can be attributed to improvements in technology, construction techniques, and materials, especially in the production-yacht sector.
Two decades ago, production yachts typically didn’t get much larger than 18m, while these days it is not unusual to see them 10m longer. And why not? With modern construction techniques, today’s Ferretti 550, at 17.2m, is lighter, faster and more comfortable than a 14.6m Ferretti Altura 52 from 1990. In these circumstances it just seems to make sense to build a larger yacht offering more space.
At 14.2m, the new Ferretti 450 is the brand’s first offering in the sub 50-foot range for nearly a decade. The advantage is a yacht that shouldn’t be too overwhelming for new owners to manage, and an optional joystick system should make maneuvering and mooring even easier.
Downsizing though, does not mean missing out on all the good stuff that makes Ferretti such an aspirational brand.
Exterior and interior design were both handled by Studio Zuccon International Project – the team behind Ferretti’s new 850, amongst others. Unsurprisingly, the 450 shares design cues with its larger brethren, imparting a sense of sportiness. With the 450 that sense is enhanced by the low profile of the flybridge hardware – it is likely that most people wouldn’t even notice it has a flybridge at first glance. Set back on the coachroof and cantilevered over the cockpit, the flybridge is a surprisingly spacious and sociable space. The sun deck features a dining area and bar unit at the stern, and a helm station on the port side forward with a large sunpad on the starboard side. A retractable sun canopy provides comfort for guests in the heat of the day.
On the main deck is a covered cockpit with an aft sofa and a table. The galley is situated to the port side, and conveniently located between the cockpit and central living area. It features walnut furniture and an innovative nanotechnology worktop surface. A fridge and freezer is concealed in a leather-upholstered cabinet on the starboard side.
The main salon is up a step and continues with the same parquet flooring as the galley. There is a U-shaped sofa on the port side around a dining table and another sofa and television unit facing it, and a well-equipped helm station forward on the starboard side. Glazing all around floods the area in natural light.
The lower deck is also surprisingly bright thanks to plentiful hull windows. Buyers are offered a choice of two- or three-cabin configurations here. Both feature a spacious full-beam master cabin midships with ensuite bathroom.
Forward, there is another VIP cabin which has a vanity and extra storage in the
two-cabin layout, while the three cabin layout adds a cabin with bunk beds. The bathroom functions as a day head to which forward cabin has its own entrance.
The furnishings were developed by the Ferretti Group Engineering Department and feature a sophisticated blend of woods, lacquered surfaces and fabrics that fuse a contemporary style with renowned Ferretti workmanship and seaworthiness.
Other nice touches that may be unexpected on a yacht of this size are a swimming platform with a tender lift that can be used as a submerged beach club in addition to serving as a platform for a tender up to 2.8m.
Power is courtesy of a pair of Cummins QSB 6.7 engines, which can be specified in 425hp or 480hp trim for top speeds of 29 and 31 knots respectively. Cruising speeds are 25 and 27 knots.
Space, speed and comfort are big selling points, but Ferretti quality and design really makes the 450 stand out. It will, without a doubt, be a key highlight when Hong Seh Marine showcases it at the Singapore Yacht Show, April 6-9, 2017.
Length overall: 14.20 metres
Beam: 4.34 metres
Draft: 1.25 metres
Unladen displacement: 16,000 kilograms
Fuel capacity: 1,400 litres
Water capacity: 600 litres
Power: Two Cummins QSB 6.7, 480hp/two Cummins QSB 6.7, 550hp
Max speed: 29/31 knots
Cruising speed: 25/27 knots
Cabins: Two cabin layout: Full beam ensuite master suite; double VIP ensuite cabin. Three cabin layout: Full beam ensuite master suite; double VIP cabin; twin cabin.