Ferretti Group debuts luxury yachts in Hong Kong
Bold lines mark the latest releases from Ferretti Group, which found homes in Hong Kong immediately – including the city’s first-ever Riva world premiere.
Ferretti Group was founded by Alessandro and Norberto Ferretti in 1968 with the aim of building plucky but stylish motorsailing boats of about 10 metres total length. By the early 1980s, the brothers had switched gears and were focused on sleek motor yachts designed for fishermen. Less than ten years later, the brothers had been captivated by high speed motorboat racing, and they incorporated the engineering expertise they had gathered from the sport into their growing array of yachts. They also embarked on a brand-buying spree, leading to the acquisition of the legendary Riva brand in 2000.
Today, Ferretti Group is majority owned by Weichai Power, a Chinese engineering firm. The takeover took place in 2012, with Norberto Ferretti becoming honorary chairman. After some initial teething troubles, Weichai appointed aerospace industry veteran Alberto Galassi as CEO in 2014. In 2016, Ferretti Group posted its first year of profits since the 2008 global financial crisis, which hit the yacht industry particularly hard.
Shortly after Weichai’s takeover of Ferretti Group, the push to develop the Ferretti brand in Asia began, including an increased presence at boat shows and a fully fledged sales and administrative office in Hong Kong. Five years on, and the results of that push are continuing to materialise.
The Riva brand, known for obsessive attention to detail and prices to match, is achieving some big sales through its Hong Kong outpost. The new Riva 100 – the first in a new line of flybridge yachts – made its debut in Hong Kong when a local buyer snapped up the very first model. Making a concurrent debut was the Ferretti 850 with its new buyer. It’s noteworthy when such a large, premium yacht as the Riva 100
makes a worldwide debut in Hong Kong – certainly, it shows that the buying power and the interest in luxury yachting continues here unabated. So far, seven Riva Corsaro 100s have been sold worldwide, with two going to Asia. Ferretti Group plans to display the new Corsaro in Hong Kong boat show at Marina Cove in December.
For the Riva 100, perhaps the first thing you notice is the aggressive sheerline combined with the metallic look of the exterior – this seems almost out of character compared to the stately look of Riva’s tenders and runabouts, which rely so heavily on the wooden builds of the 1950s. The high, aggressive sheerline is put to good use by the designers, as it allows a wide and safe passageway from the aft deck up to the bow area foredeck. If you want to make your mark cruising through a Hong Kong marina, you will certainly draw plenty of looks with the Riva Corsaro 100. So far, five have been sold worldwide, with one other going into Asia.
The level of attention to detail is something you really only appreciate on the Corsaro 100 when you get on board and start looking around. Handy yet discrete switches control mood lighting on every outdoor deck. Finishes are well executed, and the layouts make great use of every bit of space.
But one of the finer finishes on the Riva Corsaro 100 is the speed. This yacht has been designed as a fast planing yacht, meaning the hull is built to get on top of the water at speed, rather than slowly ploughing the waves. She is said to top out at 28 knots – an impressive clip for 100-footer – but she does a very respectable cruise speed of 24 knots, managing 300 nautical miles at that rate. That puts most Hong Kong destinations within fast reach of the Riva 100 – from Aberdeen to Tai Long Wan in under an hour.
IF YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR MARK CRUISING THROUGH A HONG KONG MARINA, YOU WILL CERTAINLY DRAW PLENTY OF LOOKS WITH THE RIVA 100 CORSARO
The Corsaro 100 is the first in a new flybridge series for Riva, so one naturally has to wonder how they’ve fared with the flybridge. From outside, the flybridge appears smaller than it is. Once aboard, you find that a large, very beamy space has been given over to it. The nav station is directly in front of a wet bar/service area, so crew can attend to guests quickly without taking up much service space.
Lighting and sound systems have been set up to create a great party zone, with a good degree of discretion thanks to wide supports that yield some privacy to guests at the forward half of the flybridge. The aft deck is open to various furniture arrangements.
Some of the main elements of superyacht design in recent years have been oversized windows, extensive glazing and adaptable indoor-outdoor areas. In these, the Corsaro 100 stands out. The large windows that help create that sleek exterior serve to light up the interior and give the sense of openness that makes a yacht interior comfortable. The dining area, just forward of the main saloon but separated by a panel, features a portside fold-down balcony, which gives guests a sense of al-fresco dining. The Riva standard of woods and leathers used here create a much warmer interior than found on the exterior.
Finally, the aft area features a new system that allows the garage door to open and tilt down, creating a sizeable beach club at water level. Once the door is over the platform, it automatically aligns and lowers under the water, allowing for the launch of a tender of up to 4.45 metres, as well as a jet ski. The platform can be submerged to various depths, allowing guests to go for a swim or simply relax in the water.
Where both the Riva 100 and the Ferretti 850 find common ground is in the use of entertainment spaces.
Both have large flybridge deck areas and big common rooms for activities like karaoke or movie watching. Both yachts feel quite stable in the light chop on the day of our ride, thanks to the wide beam and the stabilizer systems – a handy quality when you’re doing some entertaining.
On the 850, where there would normally be a large master bedroom in the below-decks area, instead Ferretti have built a huge space for karaoke entertainment (a small but cosy bunk and shower just forward are available). On the Riva 100, there is a large forward lounge, almost the size of the main saloon area, placed forward of the dining area ( both spaces have equal access to the galley). This room provides a more discrete area for entertainment.
On the Ferretti 850, there are plenty of clever tricks
that reflect the brand’s long history of producing motor yachts. The galley is placed all the way forward on the main deck, making use of the main deck windscreen as a kind of skylight. The main deck itself is well lit thanks to huge windows.
But while the Riva 100 boasts the more stylish and speedy look, the Ferretti 850 is no slouch in the performance department. On twin 1900-horsepower engines, the 850 has a top speed of 31 knots, a cruise speed of 27 knots and a range-at-cruise of 320 nautical miles. So despite the fact the Ferretti 850 looks the slower of the two, she can be surprisingly fast.
Whether buyers opt for the flashier Riva 100 or the more standard Ferretti 850, both are yachts that are sure to please friends and family, and offer a fun way to get out on the water in Hong Kong.
ON THE FERRETTI 850, THERE ARE PLENTY OF CLEVER TRICKS THAT REFLECT THE BRAND’S LONG HISTORY OF PRODUCING MOTOR YACHTS