In 2011, we walked around the Vitruvius 73’s huge metal structure at Perini Navi’s Yildiz yard in Turkey. A year later, a trip to La Spezia gave us an opportunity to see all the progress that had been made on a yacht is shaping up to be an exceptional new entry in the superyacht world.
Photo Giuliano Sargentini
In 2007, Perini Navi and Philippe Briand, one of the fast-performing sailing yachts’ most reputed designers, announced a groundbreaking project. A series of truly innovative yachts would bring Perini, a worldwide renowned luxury sailing-yacht builder, into the motoryacht market. To make its grand entrance into the motoryacht world, the Perini Navi Group decided to revitalize a prestigious Italian brand they already owned—Picchiotti, once one of the Italian yachtbuilding industry’s pillars.
Briand named his project Vitruvius after the father of modern architecture, roman Marcus Vitruvius Pollio. In Vitruvius’ opinion, all architectural products must exhibit three indefeasible qualities: solidity, usefulness and beauty combined with perfect geometrical proportions. In the words of Briand: “My architectural work is based on the conviction and principle that efficiency is the reason for all forms of transportation and I believe that aesthetics are the only raison d’être of a luxury yacht.”
Within five years of the surprising announcement, Perini Navi/Picchiotti has delivered two yachts in the Vitruvius series—the 164-foot (50-meter) Exuma and 180-foot (55-meter) ice-class Galileo G—and the 240-foot (73-meter) Vitruvius is in the outfitting stage at the Picchiotti shipyard in La Spezia. The Vitruvius flagship brings the series to superyacht level but respects its overall spirit. She has the streamlined lines and the Briand Optimized Stretched Hull (BOS) that have proven to be so efficient on her sisterships. These features allow the five-deck, 1,700-ton Vitruvius 73 (her displacement weight at full load) to navigate smoothly and silently at all speeds with extremely low fuel consumption.
Among the creature comforts the Vitruvius 73’s owners will enjoy is an upper deck entirely dedicated to wellness with a gym, sauna and Jacuzzi (the pool is on the main deck aft). All guest accommodations are as spacious as expected on a yacht of this size. Of a total of seven guest cabins, two VIP staterooms are on the main deck, close to the owner’s stateroom, and four guest cabins are on the lower deck amidships. The rest of the generous interior is dedicated to lounging and relaxing. The yacht’s interior by Rémi Tessier is contemporary, fresh and sophisticated. The superstructure, with huge windows and very few barriers, is luminous in keeping with the design intent. “The yacht needed to be eco-friendly, a haven of wellbeing, and nature had to be the primary attraction,” Briand told us.
The design is also practical. A guest elevator provides access to four of the five decks, while a service elevator connects the lower-deck galley to the main and upper decks. The tank deck houses large storage, freezers and a roomy crew lounge, part of the two-deck crewquarters. The 10 comfortable crew cabins are located forward on the lower deck, next to the galley.
Yacht construction started on March 15, 2010 with the cutting of the first steel plates, and by late spring 2012, hull C1289 had been towed from the Perini Navi Yildiz shipyard in Tuzla to La Spezia, Italy.
Picchiotti assembled a large team to manage the construction of the biggest yacht in the Vitruvius series. Andrea Tanferna, who heads the project management team, worked closely with Burak Akgul, the director of the Yildiz shipyard. During the first two years of the Vitruvius 73’s build, the Italian team constantly commuted to Turkey, and in early spring 2012 a group of 11 production and project managers moved to Tuzla until the steel and aluminum yacht began its voyage to Italy. It was a complex operation that began when the yacht’s huge metal structure, with its diesel-electric system and most of the technical equipment already installed, was loaded onto a floating dock to be lowered into the sea and was then towed by a tug from Turkey across the Aegean and Mediterranean seas and through the Strait of Messina to reach Livorno. There, she was transferred onto a 300-foot by 98-foot barge and was towed to La Spezia where a Mammoet Kammat trailer finally maneuvered the yacht into one of Picchiotti’s sheds, which had been extended to host her.
Yachts International went to La Spezia a few months ago to tour the yacht as construction proceeded on schedule. By press time, all main equipment had been installed. The air-conditioning system includes five Variable Air Volume (VAV) air handlers that bring outside air to the desired temperature and humidity before insulated air ducts circulate it throughout the yacht.
In August, craftsmen began installing the interior furniture, starting with the crew quarters. The guest area followed shortly thereafter. By the end of 2012, the owner’s stateroom should be complete. Metrica and List built all interiors for the guest areas. By early September, the tunnel bow thruster and the ABB azipods had been installed. The yacht’s diesel-electric propulsion system features two azimuthal stern pods for propulsion, steering and stern thrusting. Four generators of 830kW each and two generators of 465kW each provide the power for the propulsion. With a top speed of 16.5 knots and a range of 7,500 nautical miles at 12 knots, the latest jewel in the Picchiotti Vitruvius series is set to debut summer 2013.
For more information, visit vitruviusyachts.com.
LOA: 240ft. (73m)
Beam (max.): 43ft. 8in. (13.2m)
Hull construction: steel AH36
Superstructure construction: aluminum 5083
Displacement (full load): 1,700 tons
Gross tonnage: 1,590 GRT
Engines: 2 x Azipod
Speed (max.): 16.5 knots
Range: 7,500 nm
Fuel capacity: 48,872 gal. (185,000L)
Fresh water: 7,925 gal. (30,000L)
Stabilizers: Quantum Zero Speed
Class: Lloyd’s Register 100 @ A1 SSC, Yacht, Mono, G6, LMC, UMS, DP (AM), EP, MCA: LY2 compliant