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Matteo Picchio’s MP 100

T

he MP100 is much more than just a yacht design. It’s a challenge, a dream, a business idea. The MP in the craft’s moniker refers to Matteo Picchio, its designer, while the 100 is a nod to its length: 100 feet or 30 metres.

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Genoa-born and boat-mad since childhood, Matteo Picchio is a high-profile yacht designer with a successful residential career also. Although his speciality is classic boat refits, he ended up penning a 30-metre at the express request of a New York businessman with something really very different in mind.

FOTO Matteo alta def. @andreamuscatello

“I did the first sketches of the boat on a napkin in a Manhattan restaurant,” Picchio laughs. “The owner wanted a yacht that would guarantee superb quality but also significantly lower production costs”. Therein lay the nub. And the challenge: how to build a gorgeous, solid, high-performance beauty for around 30 per cent less than the competition? Both Picchio and the owner agreed that this boat would not remain a one-off. “We’re hoping to be able to replicate it for other owners that fall in love with it,” continues the designer. “We want to keep the same team (designer, yard, suppliers) but adapt it to meet owners’ individual requirements.  Because it’s a full-custom boat, there is no problem in modifying it if we respect its intrinsic nature”. Which brings us to the business idea.

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“The MP 100 needs to guarantee absolute safety even on the toughest transocean sailing passages but it also has to be fast so that’s why the hull, sail plan and overall architecture are inspired by this-generation racing yachts. Though, of course, the hull volumes, and thus the displacement, are slightly higher,” Picchio continues.

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THE MP 100 has all the signatures of a racer: a broad stern, maximum beam near the transom, a chine barely over the waterlines that starts aft and dies away at the sides of the bow, and, naturally enough, a  trapezoidal mainsail.

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That said, the MP100 is also a comfortable cruising yacht designed for long voyages and to enjoy the slower, more leisurely beauty of both sailing and the sea.

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Its lines make the perfect melding of deckhouse and flush deck.  In fact, it does actually have a mini deckhouse that draws natural light into the saloon without interfering with the clean, free-flowing, uncluttered lines of the deck. The classic cockpit lockers have been replaced with empty spaces while glazing along the outside also brightens the owner’s cabin to starboard and the galley to port.  The lack of lockers also means that the interior has higher ceilings, making it more comfortable.

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Diesel/electric hybrid power drives the yacht. The lithium battery pack is good for short trips or to power the air conditioning for limited periods when the diesel engine is off. Part of the electric motor’s power is also supplied by photovoltaic panels on the deckhouse roof – a specific request of the owner’s to ensure the boat really does live up to its sustainability credentials.

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Another notable feature of the MP100 is its lifting keel which, also though it had a significant impact on the yacht’s overall cost, was still incorporated to make shallow Caribbean and Polynesian waters accessible. The transom too is impressive, opening up to create a great beach area with direct access to the owner’s cabin’s relaxation area on one side and the galley on the other. Staying aft, there’s also tender stowage.

The interiors include the aforementioned owner’s cabin and a galley with crew dinette aft. There’s also a large saloon with an inside helm station and chart area amidships as well as four en suite guest cabins forward. The crew quarters is foremost just before the sail locker.

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The MP100 really is the perfect boat for both competing and sailing around the world. It’s also a very tactile yacht. “We put great emphasis on the materials we used on this sloop, going for a lot of wood,” explains Matteo Picchio. “We also focused on the tactile sensations and sense of warmth it provides”.

Interior-wise, the hull looks like the planks have been left visible but there is actually a layer of insulation and electrics between it and the outer skin. However, it still looks and feels like the real hull. We’ve talked about the challenge and business side of the subject but what about the whole dream this craft encapsulates?

A that many replicas will appear as the years go on and eventually the mini-fleet of MP 100s will be such that they may eventually get together in a “family” regatta.