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Another departure is that all of the furniture at deck level is off-the-shelf furniture that can be moved to vary the layout and to change the mood. Apart from the galley and the bulkheads, virtually the only fixed item is the helm. Even the helm seats have been fashioned from standard office chairs, but like the rest of the furniture they look very elegant and functional. The helm itself is fashioned from a plinth moulding, with all the displays and controls carefully integrated into the panel. It works well with minimal reflections but it could be improved by locating the two navigation screens alongside each other. The visibility forward is good, but there is no view aft. For stern mooring there are two options; use the plug-in control station aft or conjure up the aft CCTV camera screen on the displays.

Interiors on walkabout

Down below the mood changes from the open spaces of main deck level into a more intimate atmosphere. By using light colours and low furniture there is a wonderful feeling of space and the master suite is breath-taking. The style is still minimalistic and there are too many hard edges. But the décor is stunning, with colour introduced in the fabrics and cushions. The full-width master has space for dressing tables and a chaise plus generous side lockers, while its full-width bathroom aft is warmed by the use of dark marble inserts and there is the option of fitting a spa bath.

The two twin cabins and the VIP cabin forward are equally smart and inviting and they all have ensuite bathrooms, with no shortage of storage space. There is the option of a five-cabin version where the master stateroom is split to form two doubles. The crew are less well off, restricted to two double bunk cabins in the bow with access from under the forward sunbed – not an ideal arrangement.

The reason why there is so much space in the staterooms becomes evident when you visit the engine compartment. The two, six-cylinder MAN diesels are very compact and they drive forward to a U-drive gearbox before the propeller shaft runs aft. The two 20 KW generators fit in comfortably and the range of pumps are fitted to a shelf above. It is very neat and everything is readily accessible. A rear door in the compartment leads into the garage where there is space for a 4.2 metre tender or a smaller tender and a jet ski.

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Sea performance

On the sea trial, there was no wind but the aftermath of a storm was evident in the confused swell that provided a good test sea. The ride was very comfortable, with the rolling down to a minimum thanks to the fin stabilisers. These are zero-speed stabilisers, promising a comfortable night at anchor. Running into the head seas, the hull cushioned the ride extremely well, even when running at maximum speed. It was a very impressive performance that demonstrated how semi-displacement hull design has developed in recent years. There was no sign of spray being generated, although some could be expected in stronger winds. The fact that none of the furniture was secured was a cause for concern, but the comfort of the ride suggested that it might not be the problem that was feared. Harbour manoeuvring was equally impressive.

So often, new designs and concepts fall down when it comes to a sea trial or in the practical operating features. The Arcadia 85 maintained its composure during every test we put it to and came up smiling at the end. It marks a new departure in semi-displacement motor yacht design and the innovation developed for this design works well. The current 85 has good green credentials, but if you want to go greener then a motor/generator and extensive batteries can be added. But that adds a cost of around ten percent of the price, so it is unlikely to be a popular option. The Arcadia 85 is a motor yacht that challenges convention but produces a practical solution and you end up falling in love with the concept.

Technical specifications – Arcadia 85

 LOA                                                                25.9m

LWL                                                               24m

Beam                                                                 7.15m

Draught                                                             1.65m

Displacement                                                  68tons

Engines                                                           2 x 730 hp MAN diesels

Drive type                                                       U-drive gearboxes to shafts and propellers

Speed (max/cruise)                                          18/16 kts

Range at 15 knots                                           500 nm           

Fuel capacity                                                   6000l

Bow thruster                                                   Rodriquez marine 35 KW

Generators                                                       2 x 20 KW Kohler

Watermakers (Manf, litres per day)                N/A

Freshwater capacity                                        1600l

Communication/navigation electronics           Raymarine

Entertainment systems                                    Samsung and Bang &Olefsen

Owner and guests (number)                            8

Crew (number)                                                4

Construction                                                   Composites

Classification                                                  RINA

Naval architect (name/company)                    Francesco Guida

Interior designer (name/company)                  In House

Builder/year                                                    Arcadia Yachts/2009

Price guide                                                      €3.8 million ext VAT

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