With fierce competition circling from all corners, does the stylish 670 have enough of the Ferretti magic to keep its challengers at bay?
TESTED The 670 has the performance to match its muscular looks and fabulous deck spaces
Like staying in a Hilton or driving a Mercedes Benz there is a certain expectation of what going aboard a Ferretti is going to be like. You imagine a heightened level of engineering, top quality fit-out, tastefully decorated interior spaces and effortless performance. Yes, you might a pay a bit more for it but it’s usually pretty obvious where your money is going.
This rings true with Ferretti’s latest flybridge offering, the 670. This is a fine looking boat, as proportionally sweet as you could hope for a flybridge cruiser of such dimensions; it’s muscular yet elegant and it’s particularly pleasing to see a hardtop that doesn’t dominate the boat’s profile and appear top heavy. It is unmistakably a Ferretti but it looks bang up to date. The neat, forward-angled (optional) hardtop provides just enough shade on its own for the helm station and dinette but an extending canopy aft boosts the amount of shelter on offer.
Inside, the tasteful interior is as it should be and, like the outside, it’s contemporary yet practical and resists the temptation to join the trend of having the galley located aft. There’s a fine blend of textures and colours but the look is restrained and classy. It’s cool and inviting but nothing looks too precious to be used. Apart from maybe the glass top of the dinette table, which looks great in brochures and boat shows but is a magnet for fingerprints and grubby marks. The tall galley units amidships cocoon the lounging area aft. It could feel a little claustrophobic but the designers have cleverly dropped the window line down which, in conjunction with the cut-out bulwarks, means the view out when seated is fantastic.
That said, in comparison to the Sunseeker Manhattan 66, Princess F70 and Galeon 640, the Ferretti doesn’t use glass as effectively and simply doesn’t feel as spacious or open on the main deck. Though upmarket and nicely put together it feels outshone in this company. It’s comfortable though, especially the lounge with its low-slung opposed seating from which its position aft enjoys a fine connection to the outside spaces and will prove a lovely place to sit for a nightcap with the doors open.
The galley amidships affords two major benefits: it puts the cook (or person preparing drinks) in an elevated position above the socialising space where they can be as involved in the chat as those below. It also puts the kitchen in a handy position adjacent to the dinette. There’s a full-height fridge/freezer at the forward end, which does significantly hinder the view aft when standing at the helm, but we suspect this is a compromise that most will be happy to make in exchange for the extra chilled storage space.
Below decks the standard configuration consists of three cabins but there is the option to have four if required. In this instance, the mezzanine bureau in the entrance of the master amidships is sacrificed in place of a pair of bunk beds. Unless you have an eye on charter or desperately need the sleeping space for your own guests, the three-cabin layout on the boat we tested is the one to have. The bureau, which sits raised above the cabin, has fabulous views out thanks to the extended hull window and leaves space on the lower level for a small sofa on one side of the cabin and a low chest of drawers on the other.
This is a cabin that isn’t short of clothes storage, thanks in no small part to the generous walk-in wardrobe, which shares the space aft of the island double bed with a lavish ensuite bathroom. These also help to insulate the master cabin from any engineroom noise, as do the crew cabin, fuel and water tanks.
It’s an achingly stylish cabin with a well judged mix of woods and materials. The striped wood effect is used sparingly but effectively and runs all the way through from sections of the saloon cabinets to the basins and their stands in the plush bathrooms. It’s understated and typically stylish.
All three of the cabins share the same affliction though, which is narrow doorways. The cabins themselves are a good size but the feeling of space is reduced by door frames that those with broad shoulders will have to turn sideways to pass through, which feels a bit peculiar on a boat this big.
There are no such issues when moving around on deck where there is the choice of three good living spaces. The cockpit is reasonably formulaic with a central bench that leaves space either side for steps down to the hi-lo bathing platform. This slides down on runners rather than having a hinged external mechanism dangling in the water. It’s a tidy solution and, with
a 450kg weight limit, can hold an 3.45m tender. There's a second storage area in the transom for stowing a Seabob directly above the waterline and another purpose-built slot for protecting the foredeck canopy when it's not in use.
The foredeck area is one of the stand out features of the 670. Ferretti's designers have incorporated a forward-facing bench beneath the windscreen as well as a versatile aft-angled seating area with cantilevering tables that spring up or down depending on whether you want sunpads or a seating space to enjoy drinks and snacks. The low seating isn’t quite comfortable enough to host a meal but for lounging around with a drink in hand it’s a lovely spot, offering the privacy denied to the cockpit when moored stern-to.
Of course the flybridge offers it’s own level of lofty privacy, too, and Ferretti claims that it is the most spacious in the class. That may well be the case but the use of space isn’t as smart as some rivals, particularly at the aft end where the 670 has been left empty for free-standing furniture. That’s okay to an extent but it can be a pain to store and there’s a risk that it could move about at sea. For me, the fixed table and L-shaped seating on the Azimut 66 is a better use of this space. Amidships is where you find the substantial wetbar, dinette and stylish pod-like helm station. In typical Ferretti style the fixed helm bench is an awkward stretch from the dashboard so it requires a lunge forward to use the chartplotters and major controls.
The geometry is better at the lower helm where a pair of seats with sliding adjustment and bolster function sit before an imposing slab of flat dashboard. There are still some issues, though, like the fact that the weighty steering wheel is mounted without adjustment on the upright section of the dash but the throttles and Xenta joystick are on top. The cut-out for the top companionway step is also uncomfortably close to the helm, so it’s all too easy to step down from the helm and accidentally drop down the top step.
The engineers have put a lot of thought into the integration of the optional Xenta joystick system. The technology, which has been around for some time, uses both the props and a proportional 48v bow thruster to give fingertip control via a joystick, but Ferretti has gone a step further.
The electro-hydraulic steering system, developed in conjunction with Xenta, can also be controlled at high speeds via the joystick instead of the wheel. Not only that, but by nudging the joystick forward in bursts it acts like cruise control and will increase the revs in small increments all the way up to top speed. It’s inside the marina where the joystick is most useful. The software even includes its own version of the dynamic positioning system, which allows the skipper to push a button and the boat will hold itself in place within a 2m radius of the starting position using a pair of dedicated GPS receivers. If you’re idling for a bridge, busy fuel quay or simply helping the crew prep the boat for a berth then this tool is priceless.
All of this can be overridden by the pair of throttles, which feed in the power of two 1,200hp MAN V8s to V-drives via a pair of ZF gearboxes that are as smooth as honey. The 670 is an effortlessly easy boat to pilot, with mountains of torque from the punchy V8s and the Zipwake system keeping its AI eye on the boat’s trim. We achieved an easy top speed of 33.1 knots with 40% fuel and water on board but minimal cruising stores and
no tender. Thanks to fuel tanks capable of holding just shy of 4,000 litres, even at full speed the boat will cover over 200 miles with a 20% reserve. It’s quiet, too, peeling through the windpricked waters of the Adriatic with only a low thrum alluding to the 2,400 horses working away below the deck. There is the option to have the 1,000hp engines, which are the same block as the 1,200s but detuned to the lower horsepower. Ferretti predicts a top speed of 28 knots with these motors, which will be too sluggish for some, but the saving of nearly € 100,000 on the list price is a pretty convincing way of justifying a slower pace of life.
There are occasions where the “electric brain, hydraulic arm” steering system feels a little too clever for its own good, like the self-centering wheel which, on a boat, feels at best a little unnecessary and down right odd at times. That said, it’s one of those things that is hard to get used to during the limited time of a sea trial but will no doubt feel perfectly normal over time.
The focus on driving technology is impressive but there has never been a time when the competition is quite so challenging. There are familiar threats from the usual suspects, such as Sunseeker and Princess, as well as homegrown foes like Azimut and Monte Carlo Yachts. Then there's the value for money on offer from the Prestige 680 and the innovation of Galeon’s 640.
The Ferretti 670 doesn’t feel as if it is pushing the boundaries as enthusiastically as some of these rivals but what it does have is an enviable reputation for enduring quality. As a demonstration of coherent and timeless design the 670 is right on the money. It has presence and a tangible aura of engineering excellence and reassuring solidity that’s hard to put one’s finger on. It’s the little things, the touches that make day-to-day life on board that much easier, like the rope bins in the cockpit that have sinks built into them so you can wash your hands after handling slimy lines. In the year that Ferretti celebrates its 50th anniversary the wealth of design and engineering knowledge that comes with such a legacy shines through more strongly than ever. CONTACT Ventura UK. +44 (0)20 7495 2330, www.ferretti-yachts.com
The muscular 670 topped out at 33.1 knots during our sea trials
The standard option is to have a radar arch and bimini on the flybridge
L E F T The flybridge steps are cleverly moulded into the unit that adjoins the cockpit doors M IDDL E The stylish galley is a little short on counter space but has a domestic fridge/freezer R IGHT The dinette enjoys a fine view
The window line aft drops down to line up with the cutout bulwarks
There is engineroom access from the crew cabin but also via a hatch in the cockpit The hi-lo bathing platform slides down on runners and reveals steps as it lowers The optional hard top is neatly integrated into the 670’s profile
Ferretti’s boat management system runs everything from lights to pumps and the air-conditioning units The throttles and joystick are an awkward stretch away when seated but fine for standing The side door provides ventilation and allows the person at the helm to nip out on deck