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Code Breaker

CRN’s custom Atlante departs from convention to reflect her owner’s unique taste.

CRN’s custom Atlante departs from convention to reflect her owner’s unique taste.

By Kenny Wooton; Photos by Maurizio Paradisi

The owner of CRN’s 180-foot (55-meter) Atlante wanted something that wasn’t out there: a custom, no-compromise build that reflected his personal taste, “an unusual but functional yacht responding to my own style.” In the end, he got something that is out there, in the sense that it leaves many superyacht conventions at the dock.

“The boat had to be masculine and intimate—a personal yacht avoiding all the usual references to the world of yachting,” he says, “with a kind of military feel with very clean and simple lines that, even if it had to include great details, was not overdesigned.”

That could be a tall order, but CRN, exterior designers Nuvolari Lenard and interior designers Gilles & Boissier, working closely with the owner, managed to pull it all together in one exceptionally appealing package. Her imposing, military-inspired, black and gray exterior livery belies the heart and soul of a luxury yacht of the first order, serving up the understated sex appeal of a chic, urban boutique hotel with the obliging advantage of mobility.

We’ve seen a number of modern designs that could, with the addition of deck guns, transition seamlessly to naval service. Atlante manages to take some design cues from military craft, but somehow not come off as ready to engage the enemy at sea. Her lines telegraph aggressiveness, force and masculinity, but in a way that suggests a more subtle approach to ruling the waves.

Atlante’s departure from convention starts with her boarding scheme. Main boarding access is through the beach club. Its light, brushed fir and teak joinery is a bright, happy place for first impressions and foreshadows what’s to come in the interior. The space has a solarium and social areas. Forward on either side are a fitness room and a Turkish bath, each with private balconies. (Secondary boarding, used with high docks, is from a passerelle that delivers guests to the upper deck.)

The boat deck is another unusual feature. While most yachts Atlante’s size carry custom tenders on the lower deck just above water level, on this yacht they are stowed one deck above. They load out through massive shell doors. With the tenders launched, the 1,292-square-foot (120-square-meter) space can be set up as a cinema or a sprawling, covered entertaining area. The deck can also house a walkaround tender and an inflatable.

“We sketched a 55-meter yacht with a mooring deck in the bow and a double-deck stern denying the main-deck-aft cockpit,” Nuvolari Lenard states. “On the aft main deck, enclosed with stainless steel shell doors, we placed two purpose-designed and -built tenders of 9 meters [30 feet], a size typical of those on an 80-meter [262-foot] yacht.”

The forward mooring deck hides the technical business of handling lines and anchors, out of sight of guests. It sits below a flush, teak-soled foredeck, itself an unusual feature for a motoryacht, reminiscent of the uncluttered forward spaces of stylish, contemporary supersailers such as Wallys. Concealing the technical and functional bits that don’t bear aesthetic appeal, such as the telescoping running-light mast, is a theme that runs throughout the boat. Even the wheelhouse is a thing of simple, uncluttered beauty.

The owner is an outdoor guy, evidenced by the fact that the only indoor dining on the yacht is a split “lunch” table that drops down to convert to a coffee table. Outdoor dining spaces abound, including a table that seats 10. It deploys from the flush foredeck just forward of the wheelhouse.

The theme of convertible tables and movable furniture runs throughout the boat. Gilles & Boissier, a French firm that worked with the owner on his residences, as well as on hotels and restaurants around the world, made sure that every table, large and small, converts high or low. That includes the tables and seat that also slide laterally in front of an unusual 20-foot-long sofa that connects the entrance to the main-deck master stateroom and the bathroom in the bow.

Atlante is Gilles & Boissier’s first yacht project, but it was a collaboration.

“The owner was the one to create the link between the inside and outside,” Patrick Gilles says. “He was the controlling equity of the whole project.”

Gilles describes his firm’s fundamental design philosophy and approach as “passion and honesty.” However vague and intangible that characterization may seem, the result as it relates to Atlante is, simply, superb.

Contrast is a key theme—not black on white, although there is plenty of that. Rather, Atlante is awash in dark on light, textured wood on gleaming stainless steel, large space on intimate. The interior is a visual adventure that leaves you at peace at the end of the day rather than exhausted. It is complex, but not cluttered; elegant, but not stuffy or pretentious; warm, but at the same time, cool. Totally cool.

“The military signs are most evident for the outside lines,” Gilles says. “On the inside, there is a strong masculinity highlighted by straight lines and materials such as smoked oak, polished stainless steel, calacatta vagli [white marble with gray veins], nero marquina [black marble with white veins], leather and cedar. The owner was willing to tell a strong story without compromise.”

Light streams into nearly every space on board. The bountiful glazing on the main and upper decks serves the secondary purpose of providing generous views of the outdoors. The deck arrangement and interior configuration provide open sightlines throughout the yacht. The whole thing is a luscious, visual confection that engages your senses at every turn.

Among the many challenges the Ferretti Group’s CRN faced with the naval architecture was accommodating the 20 tons of marble on the yacht.

“From the beginning of the project to the construction phase, it was clear to us that Atlante had a uniqueness we had never experienced before,” says Project Manager Simone Lorenzano. “Atlante is a mix of unparalleled style innovations.”

A military vessel typically is meant to project power and interdict threats. When such a ship approaches, the bad guys tend to run. Were Atlante to approach a suspect vessel at sea, the bad guys likely would be drawn to her instead. And once aboard, they’d never want to leave.

For more information: +39 071 501 1111,

Gallery | CRN M/Y Atlante

Video | CRN M/Y Atlante