Published in: Friday, 13 August 2010
Features > Ferretti 800 (Page 1/2)

Ferretti 800

The new Ferretti 800 is good looking yacht, inside and out, and has a new development on the interior that will be pleasing to crew and guests

Italian yacht builder Ferretti has never been afraid of innovation. Indeed, they have a whole team of designers and naval architects whose job is to refine and develop new designs to ensure that they meet modern demands. This team has come up with many new layout concepts, but with this latest 800 design they have returned to basics – almost. Most of this magnificent yacht follows convention, but there is one area where they have found a new solution and it really seems to work. The 800 is a motor yacht in the classic mould that welcomes and embraces you when you step on board and which does not disappoint on closer inspection. However there are on or two practical aspects that need tidying up.

Let’s get the nasties out of the way first. As usual the main problem is visibility from the helm. With narrow support frames, the visibility ahead is actually better than most but looking aft you can see the close wake and not much more. At the side you are almost blind so any turns need to be made with a degree of caution. The situation is not a lot better up on the flybridge, where the stern is completely out of sight, although there is the option of a third control station aft for use when mooring stern to.

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Getting it on in the galley

It is in the position of the galley and the helm where Ferretti has come up with new ideas. The galley is always a difficult problem for designers. It needs to be convenient and access the dining area. Yet it also needs to be remote, because on a yacht of this size the galley is mainly a crew area. It also needs to be accessible for the guests so that they can help themselves to breakfast and snacks and most of the time designers end up with a compromise. With the 800, Ferretti has found a solution that appears to make most of the compromise out of the galley location.

On the new 800, galley is located in front of the helm. There is nothing really new in that but between the open helm station and the galley, the designers have incorporated a compact casual dining area. Included in this is a counter with stools where food can be handed up directly from the galley which is at a lower level. Alongside and slightly forward of the helm, there is a second casual dining area in dinette style with seating for four.

The galley itself is wonderfully equipped to allow the creation of full-scale meals, but it is conveniently located so that it can serve casual breakfasts. Directly forward from the galley are the crew quarters, so that the crew can work here and get access to the helm and the outside decks without impinging on the main guest areas further aft. It is a layout that looks as though it could work extremely well.

The helm is raised a metre higher than the saloon deck and the casual eating area, so that there is good visibility from the helm forward. However, the driver of the boat is the only person with a view forward and guests have to make do with looking out of the side windows or head to the flybridge.

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The main helm station looks fantastic, with three large displays where you can choose what is shown on the screen. The logical layout is to have one dedicated to the radar, one to the chart display and the third for the monitoring of all the on board systems. The control panel for these displays is offset on the right, out of easy reach from the helm seat – it needs a higher priority among the dashboard controls. Otherwise everything is laid out in logical fashion but the controls that are used frequently at sea could be given a higher and more distinctive priority.

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A warm welcome inside

Ferretti has mastered the art of producing a welcoming interior, and the 800 does not fail in this respect. As soon as you step on-board, this yacht embraces you. The saloon is a masterpiece of clean and concise design – there is nothing fancy here, just white leather settees, oak panelling and furniture and large rectangular windows. There is no visual separation between the lounge and the dining areas, and the minimalist appearance is warmed by the wonderful walnut deck planking that has contrasting oak fillets between the planking.

Access to the accommodation is via a spiral stairway from the saloon. Down here, a warmer ambiance has been created with textured fabric panels. Once again there is nothing fancy – just good, simple design complemented by the large hull windows featured of every cabin. In the master suite amidships, a translucent screen separates the bathroom and the bedroom to allow light to filter through from the windows on both sides and even the bathrooms attached to all the cabins look warm and inviting. The large hull windows are set low and give an intriguing outside view when operating at speed at sea.  

The outside facilities are equally good, with a flybridge featuring every requirement for outdoor enjoyment. The excellent barbecue cabinet is opposite the dining table and its surround settee and there are sunbeds forward and aft of this with the helm station over on the port side. The main part of the flybridge is topped by a fixed Bimini that has a large centre opening panel. While there is a tender garage built into the transom, there is further tender or jet ski stowage on the flybridge, with a crane for launch and recovery. The cockpit also features a sunbed at its aft end that can be quickly converted into a settee for use at the foldout cockpit table.

A lot of thought has gone into the machinery installation. The power comes from a pair of the latest V-12 diesel engines from the MAN range that each produce 1800-horsepower, and these drive forward to V-drive gearboxes and then back aft to a conventional shaft and propeller system. The fuel tank acts as a sound barrier between the engine room, and the accommodation and further sound-proofing help to keep the noise levels down to a very comfortable level but there is a noticeable rumble in the master bedroom when running at speed. Special exhaust systems and fully accessible service manifolds and switchboards all contribute to a very manageable approach to maintenance and servicing.

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