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.

The Peak (Hong Kong) - - Lifestyle - STORY RYAN SWIFT

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

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01-04 The Riva 100 Corsaro of­fers plenty of space for din­ing, en­ter­tain­ing and re­lax­ation. 04

05 05-08 The Fer­retti 850 fea­tures four guest cab­ins and can en­ter­tain up to 20 pas­sen­gers. 06

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