Respectfully Yours

Mangusta makes inroads into a new market with M/Y Namaste, the first in a new series of displacement superyachts.
By Justin Ratcliffe ,

In Hindu culture, “namaste” is a respectful salutation, often accompanied by a slight bow with the hands pressed together as if in prayer. 

The eponymous 138-foot (42-meter) Mangusta trideck deserves the same kind of respect as the Italian brand’s first foray into the displacement market. The move follows a long history of building water jet-powered, open-style boats, which are ideal for a weekend blast along the French Riviera but less suitable for extended cruising in leisurely comfort.

“The Oceano concept was our response to meeting the needs of our owners who want to spend more time aboard their yachts,” says Francesco Frediani, Mangusta director of sales and marketing. “But we didn’t just want to build another white boat. Our clients come to us because they expect style, innovation and performance, so we developed a design that carries those characteristics into a vessel offering efficiency and comfort at displacement speeds.”

The Mangusta Oceano 42 has all the amenities of a larger vessel in a 138-footer, including an owner’s private balcony and wading pool on the foredeck.

Mangusta brought in Alberto Mancini, a young designer from Trieste who cut his teeth on planing boats for brands such as Dominator, Barracuda and Magnum Marine, and who also designed the interior of 144-foot (44-meter) Baglietto Monokini. Mancini originally approached Mangusta with a concept for an open sport boat, but came away with an altogether more demanding proposal.

“Unusually, Alberto is equally talented at exterior and interior design, which was important because we wanted to ensure a seamless connection between the two,” Frediani says. “So we asked him to work on a concept for our first displacement tri-decker. From the first render, he hit the nail on the head.”

A displacement hull brings more living space than a planing boat and less noise and vibration (the choice of electric instead of hydraulic stabilizers for Namaste further improves comfort levels both at anchor and underway). But open-style boats provide total immersion in the marine environment, from feeling the wind in your hair underway to being just a few steps from the water at anchor. This is more difficult to achieve on a trideck displacement yacht, creating a challenge for both the designer and the shipyard.

Mancini has succeeded in reducing the divide between the interior and exterior spaces so that guests always feel close to the water.

Namaste is the first time I’ve been able to develop both the interior and exterior design from scratch,” Mancini says. “From the off, I was very conscious of the need to transfer the heritage of the open Mangustas into a very different kind of vessel.”

At 440 gross tons, Namaste is a high-volume vessel for her size, with a layout that includes a captain’s cabin behind the wheelhouse, a forward tender garage and a dedicated beach club—standard enough features, but unusual on a yacht under 150 feet (45 meters). By using glass, both transparent and mirrored, to bounce light around the interior and reduce visual barriers to the outside world, Mancini has succeeded in reducing the divide between the interior and exterior spaces so that guests always feel close to the water.

“The study of natural and artificial light is an essential part of my approach,” Mancini says. “The most rewarding feedback I’ve had is that on Namaste you have the sensation of being aboard a much larger yacht.”

The tender is stowed in the forward garage, opening up more space for a dedicated beach club.

Most beach clubs, for example, are windowless spaces designed for use at anchor with the swim platform deployed. But Namaste’s beach club is also welcoming underway thanks to strip glazing in the transom that lets in sunlight. (When the transom door is lowered, the glass panels provide underwater views for guests relaxing in sun loungers.) A steel-and-glass coffee table on the main deck aft, positioned above a skylight in the deck, provides further natural illumination for the beach club below.

In fact, skylights connect all the deck levels, including a glass-bottomed wading pool on the foredeck that creates rippling, azure patterns in the owner’s bathroom on the main deck below. Mirrored partitions between the bathroom and the full-beam stateroom ricochet the natural light around the interior, especially when the fold-down balcony is open.

The plentiful use of glass and mirrors bounce light around the owner’s stateroom.

This impression is enhanced by the full-height, sliding glass doors on either side of the main salon, the wraparound glass on the upper deck and the connection between crisp exterior styling and understated interior design. Stained and natural oak soles and joinery are matched with a mix of Alcantara, linen, silk and nubuck with quilt-style stitching inspired by automotive upholstery. Eramosa marble in the owner’s shower is treated to create a soft, wood-like finish underfoot. Polished stainless steel details—there are 1,600 throughout the yacht—provide a contemporary sparkle. The same base materials appear in in the four guest staterooms on the lower deck, but the color palettes are themed around each cabin’s name: Saint-Tropez, Mauritius, Bodrum and Bergama (in Turkey).

Sliding glass doors open the main salon to the side decks.

When Mangusta announced the Oceano displacement series, industry watchers accustomed to the builder’s sleek and swift maxi opens were dubious. Against the odds, and despite Namaste’s oceangoing vocation, the brand has transferred its sporty image to a steel-hulled motoryacht with a bulbous bow and a range of more than 5,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 11 knots.

In an age when conspicuous consumption is increasingly under scrutiny, perhaps it was only a question of time before Mangusta expanded into the market for more fuel-efficient displacement yachts. But it has done so with a style and panache that has already led to the sale of a second Oceano 42, with a third in build.

“It was a decision that has matured over time and took considerable preparation,” Frediani says. “Namaste spent a year in the design and engineering phase before we started cutting metal, but the process started even before that because beyond simply building a new model, we wanted to create new prospects for Mangusta.”

The Cobra Catcher

Giuseppe Balducci set up Mangusta in the mid-’80s, as part of his Overmarine Group to challenge the super-fast Cobra powerboats by rival Tecnomarine. He brazenly chose the name Mangusta, Italian for mongoose, after the small but feisty carnivore that includes cobras in its diet. Tecnomarine eventually went out of business, whereas Mangusta went on to become a byword for fast, open sport boats.

The Oceano range of displacement yachts represents a departure from these origins, but the brand DNA remains in terms of sporty styling and efficient performance. Working with designer Alberto Mancini, the company has also developed a GranSport range. Falling between the full-displacement and planing models, these yachts combine efficient low-speed cruising with a top speed of 29 knots. The first 177-foot (54-meter) GranSport 54 has been sold and is under construction.

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