“The hyperuranion of the yachting world” is how Azimut Yachts vice-president Giovanna Vitelli describes the new Magellano 25 Metri, referring, of course, to Plato’s concept of the perfect realm of archetypical ideas. Vitelli herself was muse behind the yacht’s creation. However, this summer, she also turned the yacht’s passage from Fano to Livorno for the International Genoa Boat Show not just into a family holiday but also a whistle-stop introductory tour for Azimut’s most loyal clients.
“We had appointments to visit her at every port of call,” she says. “But we literally had people from neighbouring boats moored beside us in the bay coming over too,” she continues. “What all the visitors shared (and there were more than a 100, ed’s note) was a sense of astonishment the second they stepped aboard”.
A predictable reaction given that the Magellano 25 look set to become a milestone in yacht design history. Not just because it is so good-looking but also because it is a courageous craft that marks a break from tradition with a range of new functional and emotive solutions. Its exteriors are designed by the legendary Ken Freivokh who has produced a contemporary reworking of the very soul of the stress-free-navigation Long Range collection that dates from 2009. The Magellano 25 is characterised by a large glazed superstructure with a seafront penthouse vibe and signature elements of the likes of anti-slip knurling on the transom and retro hull windows.
The interiors, however, come from the pen of architect Vincenzo De Cotiis, who has effortlessly married aesthetics with functionality, giving humble materials a contemporary upgrade by integrating their textures with more expensive materials. This, in fact, turns out to be one of the greatest strengths of the design.
Giovanna Vitelli was adamant that De Cotiis do the interiors on the Magellano to inject new lymph into the project. “I had no experience in yacht design aside from a small collaboration with Alberta Ferretti on the interiors of her ice-breaker, Prometej. So for the Magellano, I let myself be guided by my instinct to avoid becoming overly influenced,” explains De Cotiis.
The result is a layout that goes way beyond expectations, completely eschewing separations and expanding the spaces so beautifully that they seem utterly natural. Both spaces and furnishings feel welcoming and seem to flow, delivering innovative solution after innovative solution. Perhaps this is because they were designed by a creative mind completely new to the sector. The main deck, for instance, offers 360 degree sea views yet still has a separate steering position and galley. So how did De Cotiis do it? By introducing a mirrored door that leads into the bridge, providing a view of the small lounge alongside the steering position when it is open and reflecting the panorama of the large side windows when it is closed. The sea is everywhere aboard and always the star of the show. Rather than featuring the usual sea-facing sofas, the aft cockpit has two lines of face-to-face seats flush with the transom and set in a steel frame that also supports a canopy to guarantee privacy in port.
All of the furnishings aboard were designed by De Cotiis who, despite the limits imposed by being on a boat, has done a masterful job of interpreting the yard’s desire from fresh ideas. “It was a very different experience indeed to residential work,” the Milanese architect told us. “Wonderful and intriguing at the same time. We worked with the Azimut technicians to solve all the technical problems without placing too many constraints on the end result. I was very conscious of working with tight spaces so I concentrated on perspectives which I opened up”.
Both inside and outside aboard, the dominant colour is teal or petrol blue which is very much in tune with the colours of the Mediterranean and Adriatic in particular. It has been used for all of the soft furnishings and reappears also in the brushed lightweight Verde Alpi marble veneer used in the bathrooms and on the dining table as well as on accessories such as throws. That said, the most striking thing about this yacht is that fibreglass, beautifully crafted to give it the same tactility as cuttlebone, has been put centre stage and is, in fact, used to frame the large windows. It has also been mixed with bronze powder and layered up to absolutely transform occasional tables and other accessories.
The ceilings and walls are all white with the former edged in polished brass (bronze is also available), creating geometric patterns and coordinating with furniture units and other accessories designed especially for the Magellano 25 by De Cotiis. Luxe ribbed wood on the walls also adds to the sense of flow in the interiors. The main deck is entirely taken up by the large saloon, creating incredible sense of space and depth with views of the sea from literally every angle. The saloon is not the conventional rectangle but more geometric and organic. At its centre is a large Verde Alpi marble-topped dinging table that can easily be rotated lengthways.
The sofas of various sizes and depths also add movement to the space. All of the furnishings reflect the style and forms of the al fresco dry bar, creating a seamless continuity between interior and exterior. De Cotiis’s lighting design also played a fundamental role with lamps and spots used to create a soft, warm ambience. A clever interplay of lights at the base of the sofas gives the impression that they are floating too. Below decks, there are four cabins: two VIPs, one with sliding beds and the owner master. The latter is intriguing: instead of extending out to bulkheads and hull, it is a floating capsule that moves independently, minimising roll and pitch and creating a wonderfully soothing cradle effect.
An elegant spiral stairs to port in the cockpit leads up to the fly, which has a hard top with a minimalist single mast. There is also an al fresco steering position, a bar and a relaxation area with armchairs and occasional tables. The forward lounge area is interesting too as it can also be used for many different purposes including as a sunning zone when required. Last but very far from least is the large fold down aft hatch – its pivoting mechanism turns it into beach area of almost 30 sqm when opened out.
“This boat has incredibly liveability,” explains Giovanna Vitelli. “There were nine of us aboard, including quite a few kids, but thanks the very successful layout, crew-only passages and separate relaxation are, we never felt crowded. That’s no small achievement aboard a 25m!”
On a more technical level, the Magellano 25 Metri also reveals plenty that is new. Carbon-fibre has been extensively use to create larger volumes without compromising stability. A special “hotel mode” means that all the main hotel services aboard can be used for extended periods when the vessel is at anchor without any need to turn on the generators: the result? Blissful peace. Another innovative features, particularly given the current health climate, is the BCool air sanitising system, which is used by NASA on its space craft. The Dual Mode hull, designed by Pierluigi Ausonio, not only makes for safe, comfortable navigation even in choppy seas but also keeps fuel consumption down, courtesy of its double chine and skeg. New elastic couplings between the engines and the inverter also prevent prop shaft-related vibration.
“On the passage from Fano to Livorno, we spent a lot of time at sea in all kinds of conditions,” continues Giovanna Vitelli. “And even though I have clocked up quite a few miles at sea over the years, I don’t think I have ever had such a comfortable, relaxed time aboard”. To celebrate this new direction embarked upon with the Long Range line and underscore its charm and innovation, Azimut Yachts commissioned a short film from director Gabriele Muccino, winner of four David di Donatello awards three Nastri d’Argento. World premiered at Portofino in mid-September, the film is a very poetic telling of the endless ways in which art and emotion are connected, with the Magellano woven into the story, becoming the perfect synthesis of rigour and ingenuity, discipline and creativity, region and emotion. The emblem in other words of the new course the Avigliana Group has set for itself. De Cotiis and Freivokh meanwhile are already at work on the next flagship: the Magellano 30 Metri.