on board

Ad­mi­ral’s Si­lent 76: a stylish cruis­ing yacht happy un­der power or sail.

Yachts International - - Contents -

Ad­mi­ral’s Si­lent 76, Gi­greca

There are salty sea dogs out there who like noth­ing bet­ter than to feel the wind in their hair and sea spray in their faces from the heel­ing deck of a sail­boat on a close reach. There are many oth­ers, how­ever, who pre­fer to com­bine the spirit of sail­ing with the com­fort of mo­tor­ing. Mo­tor­sail­ers cater to just this pur­pose, but the mar­ket of­fers lit­tle in the way of choice be­low su­pery­acht sta­tus, and what is avail­able tends to be un­gainly, if not down­right ugly.

En­ter the Si­lent 76, a fber­glass sloop of just over 23 me­ters (76 feet) with head-turn­ing ex­te­rior styling and dar­ing in­te­rior de­sign that Ad­mi­ral hopes will fll the mar­ket hole.

“Most own­ers are pre­pared to sac­ri­fce a knot or two of speed for con­vivial cruis­ing in the com­pany of friends and fam­ily,” says Gio­vanni Costantino, chair­man of The Ital­ian Sea Group, which in­cludes the Ad­mi­ral and Tec­no­mar brands. “So the start­ing point for the project was to pri­or­i­tize liv­abil­ity and com­fort, both in­side and out, over sheer sail­ing per­for­mance. The Si­lent 76 is of a size that is easy to han­dle for an owner-skip­per and his fam­ily while pro­vid­ing all the ameni­ties and com­fort of a mo­tor­boat.”

Yachts In­ter­na­tional put Gi­greca, the frst Si­lent 76, through her paces in a sea trial off the Tus­can town of Car­rara, Italy, the pro­duc­tion base of The Ital­ian Sea Group. Light airs com­bined with a full fuel tank meant an ex­hil­a­rat­ing sail was out of the ques­tion, but in line with the yacht’s mo­tor­sailer vo­ca­tion, the con­di­tions pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to com­bine en­gine and sail power.

With naval ar­chi­tec­ture by French designer Jac­ques Fau­roux, Gi­greca’s sail plan is de­signed for easy han­dling with a fully bat­tened main and self-tack­ing jib from North Sails, com­bined with a car­bon fber in-furl­ing boom and alu­minum mast by Maxs­par. A furl­ing Code

0 or over­lap­ping gen­naker would im­prove per­for­mance while still keep­ing things sim­ple, and there is the op­tion of adding two short trav­el­ers and an ex­tra pair of Harken winches next to the twin helm po­si­tions. Ad­mi­ral says that with 25 knots of breeze the boat can make 10 to 11 knots down­wind, but with wind speeds barely above 5 knots, we were not go­ing any­where fast.

Fickle winds are com­mon in the Mediter­ranean, hence the choice of en­gine con­fgu­ra­tion for the Si­lent 76. Un­usual for a sail­boat, she is ft­ted with twin 150-horse­power Yan­mar diesels for a max­i­mum speed of 13 knots. Us­ing one or both en­gines, we were able to cre­ate suf­f­cient ap­par­ent wind to pre­vent the sails from fag­ging and keep the boat more sta­ble. More­over, the two en­gines pro­vide a re­as­sur­ing safety mar­gin in case of tech­ni­cal fail­ure.

Ad­mi­ral has used the same noise and vi­bra­tion in­su­la­tion sys­tems it em­ploys on its larger mo­to­ry­achts, and

Gi­greca is whis­per quiet, even at top speed. She also has a spa­cious ten­der garage with a hy­draulic tran­som that folds down to cre­ate a swim plat­form, and space to house a wa­ter jet-pow­ered RIB of up to 10 feet and a per­sonal wa­ter­craft. A smaller garage is an op­tion that al­lows more in­te­rior living space.

Un­doubt­edly, the most dra­matic fea­ture of the ex­te­rior styling by Debenedetti & Fiordi in con­junc­tion with Ad­mi­ral is the alu­minum-and-glass hard­top with a cen­tral bi­mini. Hard­tops on larger sail­ing boats are not un­known—37.5-me­ter (123-foot) Es­capade de­signed by Ed Dubois and de­liv­ered last year by Fitzroy Yachts in New Zealand is a re­cent ex­am­ple. On a 76-footer, some might ques­tion the aes­thetics,

yet the fea­ture does have a cer­tain logic, with ther­more­fec­tive glass and ad­di­tional side awnings for pro­tec­tion against the el­e­ments. Clients can mod­ify the de­sign and struc­tural ma­te­rial of the hard­top—car­bon fber in­stead of alu­minum, for ex­am­ple—or re­place it with a tra­di­tional bi­mini and spray hood. Ded­i­cated sailors might also ques­tion the sun­pads on the coachroof un­der the styl­ized vang cover, and those on the fore­deck. The for­mer is a touch pre­car­i­ous and the lat­ter out of bounds when un­der sail.

But it is be­lowdecks where Costantino’s mission to pro­vide “all the ameni­ties and com­fort of a mo­tor­boat” is most ap­par­ent. In­stead of the for­ward gal­ley ar­range­ment most com­mon to yachts of this size, Gi­greca’s owner com­bined it with the sa­lon to cre­ate an open-plan lay­out amid­ships. This makes sense for a fam­ily-ori­ented boat that will of­ten be skip­pered by the owner (a two-man crew cabin in the fore­peak is ac­ces­si­ble from on deck), although the nav sta­tion tucked into a cor­ner of the gal­ley ap­pears an af­ter­thought. The lay­out fur­ther pro­vides for four en suite cab­ins: a full-beam mas­ter cabin aft with good head­room de­spite be­ing un­der the cock­pit, two guest cab­ins (one with bunks and the other with a queen-size bed) and a VIP cabin for­ward. At least three other lay­out vari­a­tions are of­fered, in­clud­ing a three-cabin ar­range­ment with a for­ward gal­ley and crew dinette that has in­te­rior ac­cess to the crew cabin.

The in­te­rior de­sign by Ad­mi­ral is sump­tu­ous and draws on such ex­otic ma­te­ri­als as back­lit onyx, Macassar ebony and eu­ca­lyp­tus ve­neers, white leather foor tiles, sand nubuck leather for the head­lin­ers, pol­ished stain­less steel ac­cents, pal­la­dium foil on the ceil­ings and an ul­tra­lightweight stone ve­neer called Slate Lite for the gal­ley and bath­room sur­faces. Some of th­ese ma­te­ri­als may not hold up to the wear and tear of life on a mov­ing sail­boat, es­pe­cially with chil­dren on board. The to­tal ab­sence of fd­dles to pre­vent spillage or break­age is an­other in­di­ca­tion of the mo­to­ry­acht-style in­te­rior, although the de­sign can be per­son­al­ized to suit any client brief.

“The Si­lent 76 will re­main the only model in the range as a highly cus­tom­iz­a­ble fber­glass sail­ing boat,” says Costantino. “It both re­sponds to the needs of a specifc kind of owner and al­lows us to pen­e­trate the sail­boat mar­ket. The next step is the larger Wave se­ries of alu­minum yachts de­signed by Philippe Briand that cap­i­tal­izes on our core com­pe­ten­cies in metal con­struc­tion.”

Since ac­quir­ing the Ad­mi­ral and Tec­no­mar brands, Costantino has con­founded ex­pec­ta­tions by re­design­ing the en­tire feet, mov­ing into new head­quar­ters and launch­ing no fewer than six su­pery­achts last year with an­other six of up to 55 me­ters (180 feet) cur­rently in build. Voy­ag­ing into a new mar­ket with his frst sail­boat is just the lat­est in­stall­ment in an am­bi­tious ex­pan­sion pro­gram that looks set to con­tinue.

above: The open-plan sa­lon and gal­ley.

bot­tom: The full-beam mas­ter suite. Note the use of up­scale ma­te­ri­als such as back­lit onyx and leather pan­els.

LOA: 76ft. (23.15m) BEAM: 19ft. 3in. (5.9m) DRAFT: 9ft. 7in. (2.93m)


SAIL AREA: 2,691sq.ft. (250sq.m.) EN­GINES: 2 x 150-hp Yan­mar diesels

FUEL: 528 gal. (2,000L) WA­TER: 264 gal. (1,000L) GUEST CAB­INS: 4 (8 guests) CREW: 2 in 1 cabin

PRICE: upon re­quest

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