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Highfield Boats - Power - LEADERBOARD

Nirvana. Utopia. Atlantis.

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat-World.com 9 Sep 01:00 PDT
Lights ablaze on Lovesong © Gian Paolo Nari

Three vessels really made an impression this month. All of them are very different, but each one offered up the necessary peaceful, tranquil, magical, inspiring, beautiful, mythical, and legendary qualities to bring about the heading you see here. Each also has a certain X-factor, are smart, and look to a new future. Let’s then find out exactly what’s on offer then…

Simple Minds

When a concept comes along called 'Lovesong', well I instantly started singing. Albeit that it uses two words, not just the one, the song in question is one of the Scottish band's early hits, before the theme song to The Breakfast Club made them über-popular. (Interestingly, speaking with Gian Paolo after publication I learned that he is a massive fan of The Cure, and used the name from their tune, Lovesong - so we were both on the same island, just different countries…)

Now it takes much more than a simple mind to create all that you see here in 45 metres, and under 500GT. What you're talking about is a modern tri-deck, but not too extreme. What it is essentially achieving is compressing all that you might find in 60 or 70m down into the smaller hull, and all that this effort brings to the party. Speaking of parties then, try all of this - two garages, bridge wings, one pool and two jacuzzis, a beach club, and a helipad, no less!

So then, the mind in question belongs to the talented designer, Gian Paolo Nari, a native of Viareggio, which is certainly a Mecca for this sort of thing. Wondering when he knew that this was going to be his mission, Nari replied, "I was born in Viareggio and grew up in Massa, a town few kilometres away, but always on the coast. Growing on the coast you always see boats, yachts and everything concerning the sea. My first step towards becoming a yacht designer, however, was I think when I started watching all the cruise ships. I was attracted from the idea of the floating city!"

"Many years ago now I had the chance to visit my first Monaco Yacht Show, and it was here that the final decision arrived." As a way of explaining some of the complexities and passions inside Nari, he also added with a smile, "I love the mountains (not too distant from his home), and I think that the alpine lakes are some of the best places on earth, and this is something strange for a yacht designer?!"

Now it seems that everyday gigayachts are just getting bigger, and seemingly even more popular. So then, why choose a relatively small size for such a marvellous concept? "I think it is not easy to create a small yacht with great features. The main idea was to 'compress' down into a relatively small vessel what people achieve in a big yacht. Well keeping her under 500GT anyway..."

"What I really wanted to achieve was to offer something exclusive to a larger number of potential clients, as Lovesong is always and foremost a custom yacht - the first to arrive will win and get her.", said Nari.

That actually raises one of the best elements, because the degree of individualisation on offer is actually quite incredible. So in terms of interior volume how did he achieve the sense of grandeur, especially as you gave the owner full beam on the main deck? "The owner is the king of the boat and always needs a privileged area.

"The straight shapes have permitted to have big volumes inside. Think about the Main Salon and Dining Room of about 40m2. This is very good for a superyacht of 45m LOA, and also considering the large lateral corridors.

"On top of that, that there are also many outdoor spaces on this vessel. Thinking about to eventual requests from a possible future owner, we could also have an even bigger Main Salon and bigger Skylounge, although the risk could be to go over 500GT in either of these scenarios."

To even further aid that creativity, the interior spaces have not been rendered up, so as to give the potential clients the freedom to think and then ask for their personal idea of internal décor.

In terms of the three pools outside, Nari added, "Water is always a key feature everywhere, also on board a yacht. To have several pools in different places gives you many possibilities of relaxation and to live the boat: to go sunbathing and keep your body fresh use the for'ard pool; to get a drink at the bar, staying in the pool use the sun deck; and to view your surrounds before going down to the beach club or take a ride on a jetski, use the stern pool."

Returning to the overall concept once more, and Lovesong's axe bow is pretty hard to miss, as is the massive increase in volume up for'ard that it affords (in this case the second garage). It is quite futuristic, and so the question becomes how come you did not push on to make it even more futuristic? "Futuristic is nice, and I love it so much! However, nowadays the 'futuristic' often still collides with the idea of boat for many owners."

"In a sense, sometimes it seems to collide with the 'happiness' of many shipyards as well, because they are prepared to build something modern, or even classic, rather than unusual futuristic objects. They need small steps on the journey to reach the futuristic and the right thing for me to do that is deliver a correct balance. I would love if someone asked for me for a futuristic yacht!"

Speaking of passages, Brythonic Yachts and Kobus Naval Design are very much part of the Lovesong voyage. An all-alloy version is also available, so Drew Reyland from Brythonic Yachts elected to answer the questions of how this would affect cost, stability and performance? "Sometimes clients prefer to go with all aluminium yachts. There are several differences, although the overall design will keep the same styling. Building a yacht out of aluminium means a greater performance output, because aluminium yachts tend to have 30% less mass than a steel one."

"Obviously, reduced weight means it's easier for the yacht to travel through water, which makes it faster and more fuel efficient, compared with a steel hull that will be heavier. Another important point to consider is that an aluminium yacht will have a greater resale value compared to a steel yacht."

Reyland added, "On the other hand, the big advantage of using steel in boat building and construction is that it's much more rugged than aluminium, likely to be safer for an owner who likes transoceanic cruises, and it also gives a smoother ride than an aluminium hull. Concerning the stability, it will not change, as the vessel will be designed to compensate for the weight difference."

As a result of that, the questions become how much faster, or do you use smaller engines to achieve the same speed. Then of course, how much is it all going to cost the prospective owner! Reyland commented, "Engine choices can vary. We can use standard marine diesels, or ultra lightweight marine turbines. Speeds would be judged on the client's final specification requirements. I would recommend that we keep to the same size engines (1200HP) for the alloy yacht. By way of example, if we use these in an all-aluminium Lovesong, I would expect 21 knots top speed (versus 17 in steel). However, if we use a pair of 1200hp marine turbines, then I would expect a top speed of 26 knots."

And so to the quantum... Well it will be around £1.8 to £2 million extra to go all-alloy.

As for range, well think 5,000nm at cruising speed, which in steel is 12 knots, and I dare say about 15-17 knots in alloy. Ultimately quicker and cheaper to build in this current environment, and do nearly all that you want for your nautical pastime? Me thinks it won't be too long before we see Brythonic Yachts and Kobus hard at work on the first Livelong...

Mouthful

The Uniesse Exuma HTC5 Yacht Series - honestly not the sexiest of names, but the boat - WOW!!! And there's even more names to appear, with the HTF5 for fishing. Not to worry, however, because it is so good that this variant is enough to make you want to go out and catch krill, let alone chase game fish. So yes please, and I was not the only one in our team saying it.

The first one is sold, and South Florida is to be its home (viewing there or in the Bahamas is possible BTW). More of the American designed and Italian handcrafted gems are in-build. Known for versatility, they are also fast, fuel efficient, luxurious, and yep, absolutely stylish.

Alternative layouts with multiple staterooms, copious living spaces, and a full range of options to equip the boat for long trips away from home are available, whether that's fishing, diving, and cruising or extended stay. Twin 600hp Cummins running traditional shaft and screws are standard. You can also opt for a pair of MAN 800s, or even Volvo Penta IPS 950 (725hp); so clearly 40 knot pace is on offer.

A new breed of tradition

This is the Cape50, and indeed it personifies its own tagline (as above). AUD1.6M is also pretty - as in pretty handy, pretty compelling, and pretty competitive. No. That amount never looked so good, with the only exception being that very sum sitting in my bank account, so that I could buy it. Now she's ready soon, and so you can have this very boat in time for Christmas (Southern Hemisphere of course), which also makes it ultra-attractive. Even as a female mould, you could tell that this boat was going to have dockside appeal, so as soon as it's ready, and the border to Victoria gets opened, I am on for blast.

OK. Today you will find that the site has an abundance of material from right across the globe, and if you cannot find something, just try the search button right up the top of the landing page, above our logo.

So as you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other parts of the group, go to the top of the Powerboat-World home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the site you want to see and, voila, it's all there for you.

Speak with you again, very, very soon.

John Curnow
Global Editor, Powerboat-World.com

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