Custom Line was officially launched in 1996. Its debut came two years after the first model, the Custom Line 94’, was presented at the Cannes Show. Press reports of the day hailed this 28m planing yacht as the start of an exhilarating new chapter for the Ferretti Group.
In reality, however, the brand, which raised the bar for composite yachts in the 28 to 43m category – has a dual connection to the Navetta. In fact, the whole story began – on paper at least – with a displacement hull. “The first design Custom Line developed was for a 24m Navetta. That was in 1995. It was never built but it laid the foundations for the first Navetta 27 which splashed in 1999,” says the Ferretti Group’s Chief Commercial Officer Stefano de Vivo. The rest, as they say, is history.
Custom Line’s success lies in its ability to marry the advantages of industrialisation with a high standard of personalisation, thanks in no small part to the design input of architects Giovanni Zuccon and Paola Galeazzi. The numbers confirm just how sound that vision is. In its 25 years in business, Custom Line has built and delivered more than 250 craft spread across the 20-plus planing and displacing models it has launched. But that’s not all. A closer look at the brand reveals that it was one of the first, if not the first, to draw attention to the whole Navetta concept at a time when planing craft reigned supreme.
Simply put, Custom Line really did break ground on a new market segment by focusing on a philosophy in which times slows and morphs into an enhancer of quality of life aboard. Suddenly, thanks to the Navetta concept, the journey itself was both the means and the end, turning boats into something other than a way of getting to a destination as fast as possible. An epoch-changing leap that resulted in a radical architectural rethinking of onboard spaces which were now crafted around a new lifestyle philosophy of which Custom Line’s displacement craft were the forerunners. The present day culmination of that evolutionary journey is the Navetta 30.
“This model closely reflects the concept underpinning the first Navetta 24 and is a major milestone in terms of innovation, once again highlighting the skills of the Strategic Product Department of the Ferretti Group’s Engineering Division. The Navetta 30 speaks to the type of client that loves spending as much time as possible aboard, whether at anchor or underway. This drove the research work carried out towards offering increasingly generous volumes and unprecedented comfort for a vessel that, don’t forget, is also in the CE category,” continues de Vivo.
That means the Navetta 30 was designed as a naval platform with a displacement of just 200 GT, a waterline length of 23.91 (LOA of 28.43) with all the advantages of fitting into the pleasure boat category, and a maximum beam of 7.3 metres that yields the surface areas and spaces of a much larger yacht. The synergies, expertise and, most importantly, experience of the Ferretti Group in large yacht building were pivotal to this new chapter. “What set our approach to the Navetta 30 apart was the hefty investment of time and energy we made at the design stage. That had a positive impact once construction began as it cut timelines significantly,” comments the Custom Line Project Manager. “Because we had poured so many hours into engineering every area of the product,” he continues, “we were able to avoid having to deal with last-minute variables. For instance, during the fit-out, our work combined with that of the Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel studio ensured the structural components and the furnishings could be installed without any on-the-fly adjustments or corrections being required”.
Then there is all the work that went on beneath the yacht’s skin, all the technical solutions adopted to improve the quality and comfort of life aboard and, most importantly of all, safety. “We some very specific choice from outset, with special floodability and smoke spreading prevention measures,” he adds. “We achieved our goal of reducing vibration and noise levels by ensuring that all noise sources such as engines, generators, air con units and pumps were on anti-vibration mounts.
Viscoelastic materials and panels were used to absorb vibration from the Navetta 30’s bulkhead in fact. Introducing Centa couplings also significantly reduced the spread of noise and vibration caused by the engine, inverter and the prop shaft . “Speaking from experience, this solution is more normally found on larger vessels and only rarely so on pleasure craft,” concludes the Custom Line Project Manager. Then there was the subject of design. There was a lot at stake here.
First and foremost because reconciling the idea of generous volumes with exterior lines that still retained a profile that was captivating and dynamic at once was no easy task. Secondly, the growth in the displacement segment in recent years called for increasingly innovative content, including styling-wise, to be introduced to the Navetta range. Hence the idea to involve Filippo Salvetti.
“His hand, his working method and his ideas really won all our trust,” says de Vivo. Salvetti was also the perfect choice for the project because he has first-hand experience in overhauling the Ferretti Yachts range, a project that culminated in the 1000, the new flagship that splashed just a few days ago. “We got the Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel studio involved because we needed to put the emphasis on sophisticated design that would express a new kind of language that would enhance the onboard experience,” adds de Vivo. “What made their work so brilliant was that they were able to interpret what we needed and delivered an interior project that retained both the boat’s concept and the function it was designed for”.
The arrival of the Custom Line Navetta 30 not only strengthens the identity of the range but also turns the spotlight on the innovative yard that has rewritten the rules of yacht design in its 25-year history. This is the last of the three articles dedicated to the 30. A story that has given us a deeper understanding not just of the people involved in the project but also the ideas and choices that went into crafting the design of the new entry-level model in Custom Line’s displacement range.