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Pershing 80: A Transformer Turns Heads

A racy design, cool paint job, performance-driven package and transformable features make this 80' Pershing model a winner for the American market.

Story by Danielle Cutler


In the day and age of nonstop multi-tasking, automation and Transformer films, the Pershing 80 fits right in. The 80' (24.5m) yacht from Ferretti Group’s Pershing brand made its US debut in Fort Lauderdale in October, and the company revealed an updated model with the new signature Pershing color, pearly white, in Miami. Besides its decadent paint job, the Pershing 80 also features some nifty transformable features that will entice go-go gadget fans and performance-yacht enthusiasts alike.

The most visible and enticing multi-purpose fixture takes center stage on the aft deck. A large shaded sun pad sits under the retractable hardtop bimini, giving guests the option of lounging under cover or basking in the sun. At the touch of a button, the center of the pad lifts up, transforming the sun pad into a dining table. The cushion from what has become the table then moves to the bench seating, and voilà—alfresco dining. An adjacent barbecue grill and bar complete the package.

As if that isn’t cool enough on its own, the multi-panel glass door separating indoor and outdoor spaces has some hidden tricks as well. The side panels framing the sun pad both open to create two walkways between the interior and exterior spaces. Hosting an ondeck party? Press a button and the glass panels now stacked in the middle retreat into the lower deck (alongside the bulkhead between the engine room and accommodations) to create one large open alfresco expanse with a bar.

In spite of its hard top, the Pershing group still calls the 80 an open yacht. And, truthfully, they’re right. In addition to the disappearing glass wall aft, a large sunroof provides full sunshine and sea breezes throughout the main and lower decks. In beautiful weather, keep it all wide open. In stifling heat or torrential rain, close it all up for climate-controlled comfort, but maintain great views through the large main-deck windows.

Beneath the sun pad on the aft deck sits a surprisingly large tender garage. Space there accommodates a tender and a Jet Ski, both easily launched thanks to a tilting ramp. As an added bonus the garage door opens without disrupting the sun worshipping on the sun pads above.

For a change of scenery, guests have the option to sunbathe on the forward sun pads. Here guests will find terrific views and a South Beach-like retractable bimini reminiscent of a poolside cabana. A U-shaped settee provides seating for additional sunbathers or an evening cocktail party.

Pershing appeals to performance-lovers with an eye for design, and the 80 will not disappoint. This model tops out at 45-plus knots (depending on sea conditions or load) and, thanks to its smooth ride, fun-loving owners can pour a glass of wine at 36 knots, not spill a drop and still maintain a conversation. With the doors closed, the decibel level at maximum speed allows for quiet chat.
All that said, Pershing points out that the real appeal is the 80’s ability to stay on plane at slow speeds—15 knots—which really gives it stability under choppy conditions. This is good news because, at this size, the owners are often the operators of their yachts. With that in mind, Pershing offers a two-week training course for its owners.

Inside the three- or four-cabin layout, Pershing used Poltrona Frau leather from Italy on the sofa, the helm chairs and the details in each cabin. Light wood, lots of natural light and sleek Italian styling dictate the mood belowdecks. Down the stairs off the salon sit the crew quarters and the galley. The 80 can accommodate eight guests in four staterooms and two crewmembers in two cabins.
If you want to talk power, the Pershing 80 offers two different engine versions: twin 1,948-hp MTU M94 engines paired with a new Sea Rex ZF propulsion system, with speeds up to 43 knots, or twin 2,400-hp MTU engines for a top speed of up to 48 knots (the preferred engine package for this model).

Pershing launched the 80 line in Europe in 2008, but (following usual Pershing protocol) didn’t introduce it in the States until fall 2010, after the brand had worked out any possible kinks. And based on the two hulls of the 80 displayed at the recent boat shows, it does appear that this line is ready for the Americas.

Whether you are a Transformer enthusiast or more the James Bond fan, the Pershing 80 hits the mark. ■

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LOA: 80'5" (24.5m)
Beam: 18'1" (5.5m)
Draft (full load): 4'7" (1.4m)
Displacement (full load): 133,710 lb. (60.65 tn)
Material: fiberglass
Fuel capacity: 1,572 gal. (5,950L)
Freshwater capacity: 343 gal. (1,300L)
Engines: 2 x MTU 12V 2,000*
Propulsion: 2 x ZF SeaRex 140S
Range: 350nm
Builder: Pershing Yachts (Ferretti Group)