Benetti Oasis 40M: Superyacht Sensation
Boasting double-digit sales around the world including orders in Asia, the popular Oasis 40M is the first model in Benetti’s exciting new range dedicated to spectacular outdoor living.
By Clare Mahon
Rebeca is the first Oasis 40M
The first unit in Benetti’s Oasis 40M line, Rebeca, is an open invitation to step in. Into the water, into the yacht or into a casual, relaxed lifestyle that couldn’t be more inviting.
Sensing there was a need for a different approach to on board living, Benetti contacted British design studio RWD and New York-based Bonetti/Kozerski Architecture with a brief that called for a yacht that would be open to the sea.
While RWD worked on the overall concept, exterior lines and layout, Bonetti/Kozerski began to plan the interiors with Benetti’s Interior Style Department, as the Azimut-Benetti Group handled naval architecture.
UK-based RWD worked on the overall concept, exterior lines and layout
The resulting yacht, the Oasis 40M, reflects a new take on an oceangoing lifestyle, one that’s dynamic, informal and elegant, and allows everyone on board to live life on the water to the full.
The exterior design that RWD created may have surpassed Benetti’s wildest dreams. Not only is the yacht open to the sea but it also literally opens onto the sea. It’s no surprise that a section opens out from the transom to become a swimming platform but side sections also fold down to make the entire aft deck a huge terrace on the water.
As the focal point of on-board life, the area is much more than a beach club – it’s an entire beach. When the whole area is open, the beam jumps from 8m to 11m and the entire area offers about 60sqm of waterfront living.
There are just a couple of steps up from the swim platform to the main beach platform, which features the glass-backed infinity pool, an adjustable sun lounger and an aft-facing C-shaped couch and table. There’s space for sunchairs on both sides and movement through the space is free and unencumbered.
NEW LIFESTYLE FOCUS
There are another couple of steps up to the main deck, where RWD avoided including an outdoor staircase to the upper deck, as is usually the case. The consequent feeling is of unlimited, boundary-free space. Curved glass doors open wide and welcome you to the main saloon, which seems more like a garden pavilion than an indoor space.
The swimming pool is a hub of the beach club
However, as architect Enrico Bonetti explains, the design objective wasn’t so much for a wow effect but to introduce a lifestyle of understated elegance and relaxation.
“Imagine a couple stepping aboard this yacht. He’s wearing beautifully made linen pants, a button-down shirt and excellent quality leather shoes, but without socks. She’s wearing a summer linen dress and sandals with low heels. Her hair is loose on her shoulders,” Bonetti says, describing the type of people he was designing for.
“They’re tanned, fit and clearly love the outdoors. Only if you look closely will you notice that he is wearing a priceless vintage watch and she has a very beautiful ring. These are the owners we imagined for the Oasis 40M.”
The beach club links seamlessly to the open interior
The owners Bonetti visualised for the Oasis 40 want a yacht that reflects their casual yet sophisticated lifestyle while remaining informal and comfortable. They are active so they want excellent access to the water, a gym and maybe even a wellness area.
More than sunbathing, they’re interested in enjoying the company they’re with and experiencing the places they travel to. Sure of themselves and of the quality of their lives, they don’t need to impress but they do want to enjoy.
LIGHT AND NATURAL
RWD’s design incorporates lots of glass so the interior is flooded with light and the view to the sea is always close. Blurring the boundaries between spaces, teak is used on the floors indoors and out. Bonetti/Kozerski used light colours in the interior but most notable is the absence of bling.
Teak flooring links the aft deck with the circular-themed saloon
The architects used leather instead of suede, stone instead of marble, and simple cotton and linen weaves in natural colours instead of velvets and damasks. These materials speak softly of quality and durability, transmitting an overall sense of self-assured calm.
The living area of the main saloon has a circular theme, evident in curved glass doors that open wide to the aft deck, curved couches and a round light source in the ceiling whose gilded backing glows like a sun.
The dining area benefits from full-height windows on either side
Forward, the dining area is flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows in a single, large pane of glass, while a small area preceding the lobby can be used as a study, gym or wellness space.
The full-beam owner’s cabin is also on the main deck and has the aft-facing bed to port. The entire starboard side is a private living area with a couch and armchairs. Moving fore, a large walk-in closet precedes the full-beam bathroom where a central shower divides the space into his and hers areas.
The full-beam, main-deck owner’s suite has an aft-facing bed to port by a huge window
The panelling throughout the suite is in rosewood and details are in brushed brass, but the real luxury is in the details that you perceive but might not even notice at first glance. As an example, the ceiling is lined in finely worked Foglizzo leather for a subtly beautiful effect that also has the practical bonus of soundproofing.
Leather also lines the treads of the stairs that lead down to the four guest cabins on the lower deck where the colour tones and level of finishing echo the master cabin except that brushed steel is used for accents instead of brushed brass.
The owner’s suite has a full lounge to starboard (above) and walk-in closet and bathroom forward (below)
Guests can reach the upper deck via the lobby staircase or another staircase discreetly tucked away by the side passage. They can access the sundeck by a staircase enclosed on the starboard side of the upper deck. In a welcome change from the usual layout, there are no exterior stairways cluttering the aft and upper decks, so the outdoor areas are totally open and free.
The upper-deck skylounge has an L-shaped couch and stools to port, while on the starboard side is a bar and a large dining table by the long window. Aft, sliding glass doors tuck to the side to open the whole interior to the aft outdoor area, where there are relaxing sofas and plants to emphasise the connections with nature.
The upper deck has a skylounge with a large sofa, bar and dining table, plus an open aft deck with sofas
However, the real showstopper on the upper deck is the bridge. In keeping with the Oasis 40M’s dynamic and informal outlook on yachting, it was designed for use by both the owners and their crew. In an unusual layout, a central helm seat is flanked by Seastema integrated interface panels. The wheel feels quite small but it’s easy to use.
Adrian Chisnell, RWD’s Team Principal, explains: “We designed these yachts for an active, engaged owner who wants to be part of their yacht’s operation and who really wants to experience the areas that the yacht cruises to.
RWD designed the bridge for use by both the owner and Captain
“Since the Oasis 40M has an integrated navigation system, we’ve made the bridge an area where crew and guests can discuss plans for the day then enjoy participating in the yacht’s operation.”
An owner of the Oasis 40M could easily sit down in the beautiful leather helm chair and enjoy the thrill of commanding his or her yacht via the Seastema integrated interface while chatting comfortably with guests and crew.
On the upper deck, the foredeck offers another great outdoor area
“Guests really interact with their crew and do it differently than they would have even just a few years ago,” Chisnell continues.
“Now, often you have a crewmember who is also a water sports or yoga instructor, so they really spend some quality time with guests. This blurring of lines between crew and guest areas means that guest spaces increase, boundaries are less distinct, and all of the yacht is available.”
The sundeck includes a jacuzzi forward and covered dining area
Speaking of which, if all the yacht is available and the entire aft deck by the water is dedicated to living by the sea, where is storage for the tender and toys?
For that, RWD designed side-opening hatches that give access to a garage large enough for a 6m tender or for a smaller tender plus a jetski. That way, enjoyment of the aft-deck area can continue undisturbed, even if someone wants to run back to land to go shopping.
The aft sundeck has a long bar table with stools, bar and grill
With head-turning good looks while cruising and show-stopping features while at anchor, Benetti’s new Oasis 40M looks to be a yacht that will go beyond meeting a new set of needs to create a whole new set of seafaring expectations.
Rebeca was first shown to the public at the Genoa International Boat Show last October and by November a dozen units had been sold including four to the Asia-Pacific, confirming Benetti’s new series has hit a market sweet spot. If other owners want to enjoy this Oasis, they’d better move quickly.
Azimut-Benetti Group’s innovations include a 107m hybrid gigayacht, E-Mode propulsion, a displacement-to-planing hull and BCool engineering.