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Passage Aggressive: The New Mangusta 94


Overmarine’s new water jet-powered Mangusta 94 shows that even fast and furious has a sensitive side.

Sitting at a salon table, taking notes and musing on an intoxicating combination of high living and hard horsepower, I was enjoying an espresso and chatting with the captain and the shipyard staff when it struck me: This was a pretty strange situation. All was quiet, comfortable and relaxed, yet a glance out the window suggested that the world was flying by at a phenomenal rate, and the log confirmed it: 35 knots. But there were no raised voices, no white knuckles, and my handwriting was no more illegible than usual.

The vessel I was on was making her way from Cannes back to her homeport in the only fashion she knew—at high speed. Beaulieu-sur-Mer is barely 30 miles down the coast from Cannes. That’s a pleasant afternoon cruise for many boats, but for the Mangusta 94, it was a rapid passage that began and ended in the time it normally takes me to coil the lines and stow the fenders.

The benign conditions certainly helped, with barely a breath of breeze and just a light lop, which the 94 sliced through imperiously. Like surface drives, jets are optimized for high performance, and if the weather allows it, you might as well hammer the throttles, as moderation brings little in the way of efficiency gains. With about one-third fuel and full water tanks, plus a full inventory of cruising stores and a RIB in the stern garage, we recorded a 37-knot maximum speed. Not bad at all. Even more impressive was the 94’s handling. Her orb-like fly-by-wire controls may look weird, but they are totally intuitive and the yacht responded willingly to the lightest inputs from throttle and helm. Not even in the hardest high-speed turns did the hull threaten to lose its grip on the water, thanks to a pair of small fins at the stern not much bigger than the ones on your surfboard.

The Overmarine shipyard in Viareggio, with nearly 30 years under its belt, knows a thing or two about building yachts like this. Mangusta (it means mongoose; the boat to beat when the shipyard started was Technomarine’s Cobra) has become a byword for big, fast and luxurious boats. As for luxury, the yard has long made a reputation for itself as a purveyor of the shortest options lists in yachtbuilding. The 94’s list comprises just three items: gyro stabilizers, an upper helm station and an electrical frequency converter. Everything else is included in the price, even a custom layout. Overmarine has a remarkably relaxed attitude regarding these things, and while the standard published plans illustrate a fairly conventional four-cabin arrangement below, the first 94 had just two cabins. This particular yacht, the second off the line, had three. The port guest twin was sacrificed for a fantastic private lounge on the lower deck with a desk and sofa, and a large TV on the forward bulkhead. It’s an idyllic place to sit and read, or to quietly socialize while the bustle of real life continues upstairs.

With 6 feet 9 inches of headroom, the master suite amidships feels exceptionally spacious. Huge hull windows accentuate the effect. The VIP in the bow, by contrast, feels much more compact, although headroom is still generous both there and in the starboard guest cabin, and the berths are full-size.

In the salon, a U-shape sofa sits opposite a substantial TV, with a freestanding dining table aft. Four LED skylights allow you to turn the sky on or off, and the side windows offer excellent views. Keeping the galley out of sight and out of mind—it’s down the aft companionway, in the crew area—ensures that the main-deck relaxation and entertaining spaces breathe easily and feel luxuriously expansive.

The interior décor is tailored to order by the shipyard’s designers. This particular 94’s owner opted for decapé oak and wenge, white leather deckheads, contrasting trim in brown leather, detailing in lizard skin and stainless steel, and mosaic tiles and travertine marble for the heads. It worked for me, but you can request pretty much whatever you like.

While the new Mangusta 94 shares the same hull design and propulsion engineering as the earlier 92, of which 28 were built over a 10-year period, the deck and superstructure moldings are entirely new. The sundeck is also a new feature that comes with the option of an upper helm station, and the foredeck seating area is far more elaborate than on earlier models with a sofa, adjustable tables and lounging areas taking the place of a simple sunpad.

But at 35 knots, with the Côte d’Azur rolling past off the port beam and the concrete breakwater of Beaulieu-sur-Mer coming rapidly into view ahead, it was a little too breezy to sit up there. So I hunkered down at the salon table, taking notes, drinking coffee and really appreciating this yacht’s combination of luxury and horsepower. After only just stepping aboard, Cannes already seemed a distant memory, thanks to the sheer passagemaking competence of this powerful yacht. And while the peace and quiet I enjoyed below might have seemed incongruous to the exhilaration happening just outside the window, it sure hadn’t taken me very long to get used to it.

LOA: 94ft. 3in. (28.72m)
LWL: 78ft. 5in. (23.9m)
Beam: 21ft. 7in. (6.6m)
Draft: 5ft. 3in. (1.6m)
Construction: Fiberglass
Displacement: 90 tons (full load)
Engines: 2 x 2,600-hp MTU 16V 2000 M94
Propulsion: 2 x KaMeWa 56 S3 jet drives
Fuel: 2,325 gal. (8,800L)
Water: 370 gal. (1,400L)
Speed (max.): 37 knots
Speed (cruising): 30-35 knots
Range: 280 nm @ 34 knots (10% reserve)
Generators: 2 x 28kW Kohler
Stabilizers: Item Mare gyro
Classification: MCA
Naval architecture: Overmarine
Exterior styling: Stefano Righini
Interior design: Overmarine
Guest cabins: 3
Crew cabins: 2
Builder: Overmarine
Year: 2013

For more information: 954 925 0056;