FER­RETTI 670

With fierce com­pe­ti­tion cir­cling from all cor­ners, does the stylish 670 have enough of the Fer­retti magic to keep its chal­lengers at bay?

Motorboat & Yachting - - Contents -

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.

CABIN FEVER

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.

POWER PLAY

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.

VER­DICT

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

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