You’ve got to hand it to Absolute Yachts. While the usual yachting catchwords such as “sleek” and “streamlined” don’t apply to its boats, the most significant ones like “smart” and “spacious” do — and in spades. And its new flagship, the Navetta 75, is the latest data-driven evolution of the Absolute species.
Absolute — represented in Hong Kong by Absolute Marine — really exists in a category of its own. While other shipyards may talk about family feeling when it comes to defining the aesthetics of their line-ups, Absolute doesn’t even have to mention it. The look of their vessels is so unique and distinctive that spotting one of its yachts in port or on the water is as easy as pie.
The exterior look is defined by lines that maximise volume while their interiors prove — in a very stylish and Italian kind of way — that achieving an excellent quality of on board life is a precise science.
Absolute’s facility is located outside Milan and this landlocked position has significant impact on the shipyard’s production. From an exteriors point of view, the finished vessels need to be transported over land to the water, so they must be engineered to fit under autostrada overpasses and through tunnels.
Larger vessels like the Navetta 75 — which has a 22.8m LOA and a 5.6m beam — are constructed in two pieces, with the hull and superstructure then joined at the launch site using a closely guarded process. As for the interiors, the shipyard is close to Italy’s largest design and furniture production districts, so after the numbers have been crunched, a certain sense of style comes into play with beautiful results.
Back, Front and up Top
Beginning a tour of the Navetta 75 from one of its least glamorous areas, the crew quarters, is an excellent introduction to the types of intelligent solutions that make this shipyard’s production stand out.
Accessible from the hydraulic beach platform by raising the portside staircase that leads to the aft cockpit, this area — often treated as an afterthought by other shipyards — has been so carefully engineered that it can provide space for three crew and still include a mini galley, separate washing and drying machines, and a head that’s also a passageway to the engine room.
The captain has a berth inside a small, separate cabin, while two further crew can sleep on a bed that doubles as a couch by day and an additional bunk that folds down over the dining table. The whole space gets light, air and natural ventilation from a large window in the transom and side portholes. All of this in just a few square metres, which is the essence of Absolute design.
The “look carefully and look twice” theme continues in the aft cockpit. Enclosed by a glass railing so you can see on and around the beach platform, the breezy area is furnished with the same ingenious and surprisingly chic modular pieces that Absolute has used aboard other successful models.
Base elements can be used singly as chairs and pouffes or joined to become couches, with backs and armrests slotted in as required. Owners can set up the furniture in various configurations according to their changing needs and everything can be packed away and stored easily.
Open the countertop of the cockpit bar and you’ll find a supplemental helming station, a real boon when docking in a tight space. Even the foredeck is planned for flexible use, with a table that can fold out to double in size and sun beds that can become couches.
The Navetta line, which starts from the 48, features spacious flybridges as its crowning glory. The 75’s upper deck includes an open-air helm station fore, a covered dining area, a long, slender outdoor galley and bar to port, plus a lot of free space aft for owners to arrange as they please, ideally using more of the modular pieces used in the aft cockpit for maximum flexibility.
Even the hard top offers options. It can have a sun curtain in the middle or it can be fitted with solar panels to provide enough current to switch the generators off in hotel mode. This is a real dawn to dusk (and beyond) area where guests can eat, chat, sunbathe and enjoy helming if they want.
Flexible and Functional
The interior is also elegant, luxurious and very well thought out. The saloon features large windows and excellent ceiling height, and offers ample living and dining areas. Look closely at the large mirror behind the dining table and you’ll find another Absolute brainstorm: when raised, it reflects the surroundings and gives the saloon an infinity effect; when lowered, it reveals the galley.
The galley, located just aft of the bridge, shows Absolute’s commitment to flexible solutions and practicality. If a crewmember is cooking, the galley can be separated from the saloon for guests’ privacy, but if cooking is part of the party, the mirror lowers into the bulkhead, so galley and saloon become visually connected.
Top-of-the-line Miele appliances and smooth, linear cabinetry make the galley just as elegant as the rest of the interior. Add that the area has excellent air circulation due to doors on both sides, and it just might be that the mirror is more often down than up, but it’s always nice to have the choice.
The full-beam owner’s cabin is fore, just five steps down from the raised bridge and has a central double bed, desk and plenty of storage. Furnishings are linear and tasteful, and contrasts of light and dark colours, and textured and smooth surfaces keep the visual interest level high. The en-suite bathroom is also full beam and has double marble sinks, a large shower and additional storage.
The three other lower-deck cabins are reached from the starboard saloon stairway and furnished to the same level of luxury as the rest of the yacht. At the bottom of the stairs is the day head that’s also shared by the twin cabin to starboard, opposite the en-suite double cabin to port.
Midships, the full-beam VIP cabin has a central bed, desk on the starboard side and an ingenious bathroom to port. The sink and vanity are part of the cabin, placed under a large window that converts to become a mirror at the push of a button. What look to be closet doors on either side of the sink lead to separate toilet and shower compartments.
Absolute Yachts was an early adopter of Volvo Penta’s IPS pod propulsion systems and helming one of their yachts will make you a believer, too. Joystick controls make manoeuvring as easy as child’s play, while the system increases fuel efficiency and reduces noise and vibration. And since these systems can be mounted further aft than conventional shaft drives, there’s more space for the cabins on the lower deck.
A navetta-type yacht is about luxury and there’s more to a luxurious experience at sea than fittings and finishes. This is why the Navetta 75 has room for a crew of three and why footfall through the yacht has been planned so carefully. To keep guest and service paths separate, crew can access areas such as their cabin, the galley, the bridge and the flybridge helm without passing through guest areas like the saloon.
While anyone who boards the Navetta 75 will appreciate the detail and quality of furnishings and fittings at first glance, by the time they step back on land it will be the planning, engineering and smart solutions that have them hooked. Absolute is the shipyard that proves time and again that it’s all in the numbers, even when you’re talking about luxurious living at sea.
This article first appeared on Yacht Style.
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