Tampering with success is risky business. While the goal of pushing the envelope is noble, it is also important to retain the DNA that made the original a winner in the first place. With the Custom Line 108 (which debuted last month at the Cannes Yachting Festival), Italian shipbuilder Custom Line proved it could walk that fine line with finesse.
The Custom Line 108 is a reinvention of the highly popular Custom Line 100, which sold more than 14 units in just three years during the economic downturn. However, parent company Ferretti Yachts realized that new boats with significant innovations are the key to the brand?s future, so it tasked longtime design partner Zuccon International Project with a fresh take on the not-that-old Custom Line 100.
Zuccon, one of Italy?s most respected yacht designers, envisioned the new 108 far beyond cosmetic changes. The yacht would shed its traditional Custom Line profile for a more curvaceous hull and more windows on the superstructure for bathing the main deck and master suite with abundant natural light. The hull sides were given large rectangular windows?measuring 18 square feet each?that illuminate the two VIP staterooms belowdecks. For the other two staterooms, natural light pours in through large portholes.
The main saloon also transforms into a window to the sea when the bulwark along the hull side folds down to become a terrace. The main-deck interior is a single unbroken space with few bulkheads, the sense of openness carrying forward through the dining room and galley. The master suite, surrounded by windows, is appointed with a small desk, a large wardrobe, and an expansive head area.
Zuccon also made exceptional use of the 385-square-foot flybridge?about 6 feet longer than that of the 100 model?adding three sunbeds on the rear section, a center lounge, and a forward helm area that provide three outdoor areas for guests to mix and mingle. A bar with a sink, an icemaker, and built-in stools on the starboard side complete the space for socializing.
But the new yacht has more tricks up its sleeve. Ferretti?s Dual Mode Transom (DMT), launched last year on the Navetta 28, turns the tender garage into a floating beach club. Essentially, the system opens the transom doors upwards, filling the garage with water so that the tenders can float out without the need for a davit. Or, the 10-foot transom door can flip up and over to create a long teak space. Custom Line plans to incorporate the DMT into future models as well.
The first 108, with twin 2,638 hp MTUs, reaches a top speed of 26 knots and a friendly cruising speed of 23 knots. At 12 knots, the yacht has a range of about 1,000 miles.
Custom Line works directly with owners to customize interiors. The first Custom Line 108 at Cannes featured a combination of dark oak, leathers, marbles, and light-colored teak flooring for the interior. The yacht also uses LED lighting extensively, in both the ceiling panels and along some of the furniture edges. Also part of the package, the Videoworks One Touch Infotainment System (VOTIS) allows owners or captains to control the entertainment system from a smartphone or iPad.
As mentioned, traces of the Custom Line 100?s profile still remain, but the new 108 is very much its own animal, too, with comforts and innovations that outrun most of its rivals. (customline-yacht.com)