Another degree of separation
A clever arrangement of stairways allows the crew to have direct access to the galley from their two cabins below, and to the pilothouse above. There is also internal access to the engine compartment from crew area, so the working areas of the Altura are well separated from the guest areas. There is direct access to the pilothouse from the saloon via another staircase and while all this sounds complicated, there is a sound logic behind this design and it seems to work well.
The Altura is one of the first yachts to fit the new large opening side window that Bensenzoni has developed. The hydraulics for the opening system are part of a comprehensive hydraulics package in which the bow thruster operates from a gearbox driven pump, while most other systems have their own individual pump. When this window is open, it creates the feeling of having an open-air dining area down below. This window will be great fun when the Altura 840 is at anchor, though it won’t be of much use when moored up in a marina.
All of the requirements for modern living are on-board, including a laundry in the crew quarters and a full range of equipment in the galley. Ice makers and fridges are located in the bars and TV and surround sound in the saloon. There is more open sitting out space on the foredeck, which offers a degree of privacy and here there are twin sunbeds and a settee and table. A large portable umbrella can give sun protection over this area.
There is full sun protection in the aft cockpit, where there is a raw teak table that matches the transom settee and a small bar counter.. You are spoiled for choice about where to relax on this yacht, and that is just considering the outside areas.
In the raised pilothouse the dash is dominated by a three screen layout, two for navigation and one for the Naviop monitoring and activation centre. A separate graphic display is used for the safety aspects such as controlling the bilge pumps and navigation lights and it is obvious that considerable thought has been put into getting this area right. The controls are well laid out and the helm is dominated by the single adjustable leather chair. Visibility from the helm is better than on many yachts although restricted aft by the flybridge and at the sides by the wide angled windscreen pillars.
Teak is widely used for the interior furniture and panelling to give a traditional look and it is matched to neutral colours, which gave the interior a rather clinical look. However the interior lacked much of the decoration that is normally found on board and that would brighten things up considerably and the textured fabrics used for the upper section of the panelling helped. The interior has been kept simple and the logical layout allows easy movement through the yacht. The ride in waves is so comfortable that the absence of handholds does not present a problem.
In the engine compartment everything looks spotless with the white MTU diesels matching the surgical look. There is good access to everything down here and with 3600 hp on tap the performance is sparkling for a big yacht with 30 knots easily coming up on the GPS. The propulsion is a conventional shaft and propeller system but slight vibration does suggest that the propellers want balancing.
Facing the wind
Winds blowing force five had knocked up some nasty conditions in the Adriatic Sea, with breaking crests on the waves. But the Altura handled it without missing a beat. The waves were over two metres high, yet ploughing into them at 22 knots, the Altura was very comfortable and in control, and you felt that it could comfortably handle even worse. Downwind, the ride was equally good and indeed, the yacht felt more comfortable at speed in these conditions as then the bow lifted up clear of the waves and the spray was firmly under control. The ride was excellent and stable, helped no doubt by the ARG stabilisers that seemed to have a magic control over the movement of the yacht.
The Altura felt solid and good in these adverse conditions, which were probably at the upper limit of what a cruising yacht might encounter. At the lower helm, the noise levels were low. In the saloon, there was a considerable amount of what seemed to be propeller noise and this was worse in the aft master suite. These high noise levels below were a pity because the Nemo-like views through the aft and side windows at speed made for exciting viewing.
In short, everything about the Altura is appealing. The rich-cream exterior gives the yacht a warm, welcoming feel, which is in contrast to the off-white normally found on Ferretti yachts. In profile the style is distinctly Ferretti, with sporting lines that belie the fact that this is a serious cruising yacht that offers comfort both at sea and in harbour. On the interior there is a great feeling of wide open space with none of the design clutter that often confuses other yachts of similar size. This aft cabin motor yacht ticks all the right boxes and it will certain appeal to the experienced yachtsman.
Technical Specifications – Ferretti Altura 840
LOA 25.66 metres
LWL 20.60 metres
Beam 6.12 metres
Draught 1.92 metres
Displacement (laden) 77.56 tonnes
Engines 2 x 1823 hp MTU 12 V 2000 M93 diesels
Drive type Shafts and propellers
Speed (max/cruise) 30.5/27 knots
Range at 27 knots 350 miles
Fuel capacity 7000 litres
Bow thruster American Bow Thruster 40 hp
Generators 17 and 20 KW Kohler
Watermakers Idromar 3120 litres per day
Freshwater capacity 1560 litres
Communication/navigation electronics Simrad, Raymarine and Furuno Navnet
Entertainment systems Bose Home Cinema
Owner and guests (number) 8
Crew (number) 3
Naval architect (name/company) AYT Ferretti Engineering Division
Interior designer (name/company) Zuccon International project
In Hong Kong: www.kingswaymarine.com
In Thailand: www.leemarine.com
In Singapore: www.penmarine.com