Ferretti Yachts 500: Your Private Island
With two units already in Asia, Ferretti Yachts’ new 500 features Filippo Salvetti’s familiar clean exterior lines but is the brand’s first model to feature interiors by IdeaeItalia, which offers high-end elegance in two distinct moods.
Stepping aboard the first Ferretti Yachts 500 in Asia, it’s the ample space that first grabs my attention, despite the fact this is the Italian builder’s new entry-level model. Firstly, the depth of both the swim platform and cockpit belies the fact that this is a 50-footer. Then again, this is no ordinary 50ft motor yacht.
Making its debut at the Ferretti Group Private Preview at the Monaco Yacht Club last September, the 500 is the third and smallest of four Ferretti Yachts models featuring an exterior by the renowned Filippo Salvetti along with the 670 (2018), 720 (2019) and the flagship 1000 (2021), which premiered at this year’s Venice Boat Show.
Furthermore, it’s the first Ferretti Yachts model to feature an interior by IdeaeItalia, the design studio based in La Spezia, which is also home to one of Riva’s biggest shipyards. And despite being one of the smaller models produced within the Group, only a dozen or so units are scheduled to be built each year.
The first Ferretti Yachts 500 in Asia proves an ideal way to escape the city
“It’s not a mass-production yacht,” stresses Fabiomassimo Discoli, Sales and Marketing Director of Ferretti Group Asia Pacific, as he guides me around the first 500 in Hong Kong before she headed to Taiwan for delivery to her owner. “The high level of finishing and details, especially in the interior, have been mentioned by those seeing it in Asia via video and in other parts of the world.
“Usually in a boat of this size, the competition is in the price. Unfortunately, Ferretti Yachts cannot compete on price because our engineering and production follow the same path as our bigger boats, despite the size of the 500.
“The engineering, the mould, bonding, materials and finishing are still very expensive to manufacture. We do want to be in this size segment, though, to attract newer clients. Some may aspire to own a Ferretti and would like to own a small one.”
The sofa and table in the aft cockpit can be set up in various ways
The previous 45ft model in this line had been produced with a different concept in mind, a little more conscious of budget, but the newcomer has the same DNA as its big sisters.
“The 500 feels like a larger Ferretti Yachts model in terms of the luxury experience. In the interior, you can’t see any fibreglass,” Discoli emphasises.
“Everything is covered by wood, leather or other materials. IdeaeItalia was able to understand that we want this feeling of being in a fresh, contemporary luxury interior that is understated and very nautical [in practicalities]. All corners are rounded, for example, which is very important for a small boat.”
AFT ENTERTAINING AREA
Those soft corners inside the saloon are all the more important due to the generously-sized cockpit, which has been noted as a key attraction by would-be owners internationally. The multifunctional bench seating and table set are the focal point, transforming in seconds from a tilting back rest, to a flat lounge area, to upright seating with raised, full-size solid-teak dining table.
The sliding doors and raised galley window create a connected, covered social zone
Within reach is an outside cabinet with refrigerator and ice-machine option, adjoining the galley, positioned aft of the saloon to be fully open if desired. This allows meals or cocktails to be easily served, especially if self-piloting without a crew.
Crew-cabin access is via a concealed hatch within the cockpit bench. The cabin has natural ventilation via portholes as well as air-conditioning. Mooring lines are kept out of sight and harm’s way within flip-up cladded housing.
Also with safety in mind, two steps down, the swim platform descends and ascends on an outward sloping angle without ever losing contact with the stern, a signature feature on Ferretti Yachts models that prevents any potentially dangerous gap.
A shortened platform length is available, making manoeuvrability a little easier if self-captaining. Importantly, the reduced length makes the model eligible for use with a Pleasure Vessel Operator Grade Two licence in Hong Kong, which allows piloting of vessels under 50ft, while the standard FY500 is classified as Grade One.
With the galley-up configuration as standard, meals can be had at an extendable portside table with C-shaped banquette seating that fits up to six. With a reduced table size, this spot makes a good lounging or viewing area opposite a two-to-three person sofa to starboard, behind which a 43-inch flat-screen TV gently rises at the touch of a control button.
The galley is aft, while the saloon is a step up
IdeaeItalia has created two interior ‘moods’ for owners to choose from. Asia’s first hull has the Contemporary selection, with its subtle palette of grey, blue and ivory, inspired by Mediterranean hues. The Classic mood features more earthy and natural tones.
The galley itself is equipped with a microwave oven, four-ring stove (two-ring is standard), full-size refrigerator and freezer drawers, a dishwasher (an additional option) and plenty of storage cabinets and drawers.
The saloon enjoys excellent views, while the table can be adjusted for casual use or dining
Furnishing materials in the saloon and elsewhere feature top-grade upholstery fabrics and panel claddings, such as Alcantara synthetic and washable suede covering for ceiling panelling.
“Durability is important,” says Discoli. “We plan for the quality of materials to stay the same for 20 years.”
Grey-stained, attractively-grained engineered walnut wood veneer atop composite cabinetry is used to help keep weight down.
The lower helm station is comfortable and comprehensive
A customised stainless-steel steering wheel at the helm is covered in cream leather that matches the captain’s chair. Sunken spotlighting in the saloon can be dimmed to avoid reflection when underway at night, and two micro-sized spots above the helm can be illuminated.
STAIRWAY TO HAVEN
The flybridge is accessed by a newly designed cockpit stairwell that has wide, deep, round-edged steps and easy-to-reach rails of generous girth each side, suitable for passengers of any age. Salvetti has lowered the height of the top deck compared to previous models to improve stability in open water and impart a sleeker silhouette to the vessel.
The flybridge has a large sofa and a table aft, plus a wet bar to port
A spacious helm station is within talking distance of a versatile lounger, with thoughtful wraparound “place-all” shelving. The grill station, basin and fridge-freezer behind the helm are convenient for the L-shaped bench seating and table area. A sturdy flybridge canopy is fitted as standard and goes up in minutes at low speeds or when stationary.
The bow, accessed by side decks from the cockpit, is a tranquil, expansive sunpad area with drinks holders at each side.
The flybridge also has a large sunbathing area by the helm
Accessed by a central stairwell in the saloon, the standard three-cabin configuration presents noticeably generous headroom throughout the lower deck.
The midships master cabin has an ensuite bathroom and makes full use of the 14ft 2in beam, with large windows and portholes bringing in light and ocean-level views.
Lit by large hull windows, the master suite has lots of storage to starboard and a sofa to port
The roomy VIP suite forward and a twin-bunk cabin to starboard share another bathroom. All cabins contain good storage space. There’s also an option for just two guest cabins on the lower deck, with
Discoli is confident that the Ferretti Yachts 500 will continue to attract owners in Asia, where a new unit for sale recently arrived in Hong Kong, home to Ferretti Group’s regional headquarters.
The forward VIP cabin is among two or three guest cabins
“There is a lot of space on board for a family of four or more,” he says. “I’ve already had talks with long-term clients in Hong Kong who own the previous 450, 460 or the old 500 who are interested in upgrading.”
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