What happens when an expert, visionary owner find a designer capable of putting flesh on the bones of his dream, an architect that creates interiors that are nothing short of masterful, and a yard capable of building it all? Normally speaking when these four variables come together (a rarity in itself), they produce a milestone yacht in the history of design. That is exactly what has happened with Club M, the 40m built by Baglietto with exteriors Horacio Bozzo and interiors by Achille Salvagni. A magically talented trio from whom it would be hard to expect anything short of spectacular. Such was the meticulous care and attention lavished on this project that it took the owner three entire years to choose the designers and yard to build the boat of his dreams.
And now the result of that extreme dedication to excellence is here for all to see. Club M is a yacht that no one will forget in a hurry. Built on an ad hoc naval platform, she is clothed in unusual, purposeful lines that revolutionise the very idea of the RPH yacht. The owner himself admits that he and Bozzo hit it off straight away, in large part because of the Italian-Argentinian’s ability to produce the unusual. “The owner provided an extremely precise brief,” the latter told us. “He asked for a boat that could be used in any kind of weather condition, that would offer panoramic views, and have natural ventilation and lighting in its interior. It also had to be silent with no difference in levels between bow and stern. All clothed in clean, spare lines”.
No sooner said than done. Bozzo created a 39.75m masterpiece. The sporty Club M has strong horizontal lines which blur her vertical lines thanks to a compact twin deck layout and an equally subtle central deckhouse. Overall, she exudes a sense of both power and extreme elegance. “At the owner’s request, the hull has just two decks plus a sun deck,” continues Bozzo. “The latter is on a single level and has large side walkways between bow and stern and even a hideaway stepladder which can be used to connect main and lower deck without needing to go aft”.
In the middle is the deckhouse which includes the helm and the living area with its individually openable windows. Forward of the deckhouse is an arrangement of sofas and a low table while there is a bar and a relaxation area aft. “One of the most unusual features aboard Club M is the crew-only al fresco relaxation area which the owner wanted inset into the foremost area. A real rarity on a craft of this size,” continues Bozzo. But while Club M’s exterior is unforgettable, Achille Salvagni’s interiors are the real masterpiece and were developed hand-in-glove with the owner who has a solid background in real estate.
The first impression boarding are the many, many subtle references, all of which whisper rather than shout. There are lunar references as well as some of the ambience of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey and even the Star Trek Enterprise. Soft, rounded surfaces beckon, their simplicity seductive. Ironically, they were unbelievably complex to actually craft.
“Club M is a very sophisticated boat with forms that are extremely surprising indeed,” explains Achille Salvagni. “In the interiors, I took my inspiration from Jules Verne. During one conversation, the owner told me that he wanted a boat that would be his way of escaping the everyday, a spaceship he could take refuge in and get away from the world. I took him at his word and developed my own nautical take on aeronautical forms that are a mix between an imaginary future and great memories of the past. That creates a tension that ensures the result will always stay fresh”.
The interiors are thus a continuous string of forms that embrace, flank, cocoon, protect. And because this is a Salvagni project, they are executed using – to put it mildly – some very unusual materials for a yacht and with meticulous precision. The closets, for instance, are trimmed in parchment and required Salvagni to call in a master craftsman who had worked with Giò Ponti. The surfaces feel sculpted by wind and water.
Although appear simple at first glance, they are actually so complex that they demanded the skills and experience of master cabinetmakers. Walls and ceilings curve into each other with not a sharp angle in sight. Not an easy effect to achieve with wood. But that’s only small fry compared to the master suite that Salvagni designed as the ultimate womblike refuge whose forms cocoon and soothe mind and spirit. Its roundness and convex ceiling too stretched the yard’s technical prowess.
“Achille Salvagni is an architect that makes challenging requests,” smiles Fabio Ermetto, Chief Commercial Officer at Baglietto. “And that is exactly why our team was so delighted to work with him – testing yourself is always stimulating”. Club M’s owner chose her length deliberately to ensure that he would have complete go-anywhere, small crew freedom.
“Club M was a very challenging boat in terms of the construction of both the interiors and exteriors. She has extremely complex details that took some really in-depth research. On a boat like that, you can’t afford to make mistakes,” continues Ermetto. “It was an extraordinary challenge for us but also confirms that aluminium, which is part of our DNA, is the perfect material for full custom craft, a sector we are focusing hard on and in which we have just proved we have a lot up our sleeve”.
In short, Club M pushed many different boundaries, on many different levels. She is a triumph for all concerned, a fact confirmed when her interiors wowed the jury to take victory at the Boat Design & Innovation Awards in July and at the World Superyacht Awards in September.
**Due to an editorial error in the printed version of the magazine, the credit for the photos by Club M has been forgotten. All interior photos are by Paolo Petrignani. We apologise to our readers and to Paolo himself.