The yacht feels as if it’s barely touching the water as it glides around the coast of Monte Carlo. It flirts with the waves, cutting through them before speeding away leaving a perfect white, frothy crescent in its wake. Plumes of spray sparkle in the sun like a trail of diamonds. If there’s a sailing equivalent to ‘eat my dust’, this is undoubtedly it.
I’m on board the new Pershing 8X, a sleek and – there’s no other word for it – sexy superyacht that our captain tells me through the roar of its twin 2,435bhp V16 engines is perfect for someone who wants to “drive something fast”. As the superyachts anchored in Port Hercules blur into a series of multi-million-pound smudges on the horizon and the skin on my face is pulled tight in a kind of wind-based facelift that many back at the bar in the Yacht Club de Monaco would pay thousands for, I’m inclined to agree.
This is a yacht that’s been designed for speed, and my god is it hitting its brief – we’re at 44 knots and counting. But the flashy 83-footer has more than just sheer velocity in its arsenal. This striking piece of nautical design is the latest in a swathe of new releases from Ferretti Group, and it’s innovative in more ways than one.
As a group, Ferretti is breaking boundaries far and wide with forward-thinking yachts from its brands including Riva, Custom Line and the eponymous Ferretti Yachts, but it’s the 8X that’s currently commanding the attention of inquisitive observers as we cruise back into port once our watery joy ride comes to an end.
I don’t question why people’s glances linger longer than normal on this beautiful yacht – its silver-hued exterior and sharp lines set it apart from the more classical white ‘gin palaces’ alongside it, however its futuristic looks aren’t the only reason this yacht is a step ahead of the rest. One of the most remarkable things about the 8X is that it’s made of carbon fibre.
Dubbed by Ferretti as “the material the most advanced nautical dreams are made of”, carbon fibre ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to ship building – its light weight makes for greater speed and lower fuel consumption, as well as more volume thanks to the ability to design larger, more comfortable spaces. And in terms of looks, it means curves that are even sleeker and sportier, enhanced in this instance by characteristic Pershing design elements such as imposing side wings and an aerodynamic sundeck.
Ferretti uses the term 'carbon fibre revolution freely', and the minute you clap eyes on the yacht’s distinctive form, it’s easy to see why
In short, it’s the ultimate material for building yachts that are fast, flash and forward thinking, and that’s why the team behind the 8X – Fulvio de Simoni (the hugely influential Italian yacht designer), Ferretti Group’s Product Strategy Committee (headed by engineer Piero Ferrari), and the group’s Engineering Department – chose it for the 8X, as well as its elder sibling the 9X. They use the term “carbon fibre revolution” freely, and the minute you clap eyes on the yacht’s distinctive form, it’s easy to see why.
Innovative design isn’t limited to the outside – underneath its silky smooth exterior, the 8X houses a groundbreaking new operational system that integrates propulsion control with the manoeuvring, navigation and monitoring systems, meaning that ‘piloting’ it – even at high speeds and without the support of the captain – is accessible and fun.
And that’s important, because while this yacht is very much about performance, it certainly doesn’t leave the notion of having a good time in its wake, thanks in part to the introduction of an ingenious Music Hull. A new feature not just for Pershing as a brand but the entire pleasure craft sector, it’s been developed by the Ferretti Group Engineering Department in collaboration with Videoworks, and essentially transforms the hull into a high-definition loudspeaker, making it possible to listen to music underwater while you’re swimming or diving (because if you’re not hosting a party in balmy waters off the coast of a tropical island, then you’re really not doing luxury yacht life right).
It’s achieved through a series of ‘shakers’ installed on the inside of the hull that never come into contact with the water. Guided by sound sources including the on-board music library, the shakers propagate sound waves underwater in the high-fidelity frequency range, causing the immersed surface of the vessel hull to vibrate. The music can be heard in roughly a 20-metre range from the yacht, making for quite the pool party.
The whole thing is controlled via the 8X’s VOTIS infotainment system, which combines the remote controls of all devices into a single unit controlled by the owner and guests via smartphones or tablets – it’s a clever piece of kit that’s incredibly easy to use, which pretty much sums up this 8X in its entirety.
Good looks, charm, power, performance and the ultimate underwater disco? We’re ready to join the revolution.
For more information, see ferrettigroup.com