Aggressive, sleek and fast, the Pershing 90, like the missile it's named after, is certainly striking. With its lean, aerodynamic profile, dramatic metallic-silver looks and thoroughbred performance, the 90-footer is not one to miss its target. Making its American debut at last October's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the Pershing 90 was the cause of some congestion on the docks. Interest in the innovative model was matched by sales: 12 variations of the 90 so far. The semi-custom build has the spaciousness of a megayacht and is beautifully styled by designer Fulvio De Simoni with the highest attention to detail both inside and out.
The sloping cabin and flying bridge give it an aggressive rake. Internally, however, peace is the theme, especially in how the choice of luxury materials and innovative space solutions display a harmony of design. In a step looking to the future, Pershing's parent Ferretti has just signed an exclusive agreement with Italian luxury furnishings group Poltrona Frau that will oversee custom designs.
In terms of performance, the Pershing 90 takes no prisoners. Twin 2,435 hp MTU diesels power the custom 16L ASD Arneson surface drives, pushing the yacht to a top speed of 45 knots and a cruising speed of 38 knots. Pershing and the Ferretti Group's engineering divisions have also worked hard to ensure a good range-415 nautical miles at maximum speed and 445 miles at cruising speed. In our test at Fano, Italy, in February, what was more remarkable was the lack of vibration and noise at this speed. Another impressive factor was the maneuverability; although the yacht is almost 90 feet, it can turn a full circle within 196 feet, thanks to a V hull with an 11.5-degree deadrise.
Although the overall layout nicely balances the internal and the external, it has also succeeded in offering many private spaces, making the yacht feel larger. In addition to a stern dining area with sunbathing pod, there is a private bow dining area-something you don't see every day-with a sunbathing platform and sunbeds on the flying bridge. The lowering stern swim platform is spacious and comfortable.
For the American market, the standard European four-cabin accommodation has been modified to three staterooms plus a second belowdecks lounge. The idea is that many more Americans, especially those in southern climates like Florida, prefer to use their boat year-round; across the pond in Europe, use is more seasonal, and tends to require more private interior space. This "American second lounge provides a light, elegant hideaway. Coming complete with home theater, large-screen TV and a 10-seat sofa (which could also be used as a bed), it's perfect for entertaining different groups of people, such as a younger generation.
The interior layout offers a modern, but not minimalist style, and optimizes the use of space to give added features, such as a dressing area in the owner's suite. On the main deck, the light, airy saloon stretches a third of the length of the boat, giving a feeling of loft living. Double sliding glass doors open onto the stern dining and relaxing area, while to the bow, there are two hydraulically operated side doors and the helm station has two or three high seats and an aviation-style cockpit. This pilot area is behind a glass screen that can be turned opaque at the touch of a button; it's so cool you'll want to press the button just to watch it change.
A focal point of the saloon in the U.S. version is a bar with high stools. You can easily imagine the gang spinning around and offering you a clamorous welcome as soon as you step inside. A dark strip in the ceiling glitters with pinpricks of light, giving the impression of a night sky. A 10-seat U-shaped sofa in a lighter shade of pale, Artemide globe lamps, solid oak cabinets and cupboards complete the furnishings. You want entertainment? Wave the remote at the Radio Marine Playtime system that allows you to download movies, among other diversions; there is a 42-inch TV that lowers down into a cabinet. Other modifications to the American model are the addition of a dumbwaiter, a chaise lounge next to the pilot's seat to port, a drinks fridge and a work area or extra navigation station to starboard.
The two crew cabins-a single and a bunk-are light and spacious, yet occupy only 94 square feet, including a bathroom with shower. Clever solutions such as curved doors, corridors and work surfaces ensure that both the crew area and the galley feel spacious. And it is a practical galley, offering a full range of Bosch appliances, including a double fridge freezer that is large enough to house a substantial wine collection. Access to the galley is provided by two sets of stairs-one in the corner of the saloon and the other in the external stern dining area, where it is cleverly camouflaged as a cupboard- preserving the effect of the exterior styling. The mooring bollards and winches can be tucked under hydraulically operated covers, keeping guests from stubbing toes.
The cabins and lower lounge are accessed by steps leading down from the front of the main saloon. Again, a nice attention to detail can be seen in the decoration of the steps and the corridor below, where the oak contrasts nicely with a wenge floor and the steps are fitted with small lights. Immediately to starboard is the light, spacious lower lounge, and opposite it is the twin guest cabin. All the cabins have natural oak fittings and decorative details, such as contrasting stitching on the light leather ceilings that matches the grain of the oak. The twin cabin also offers the possibility of a third bed that can be folded down to make a top bunk, great for the unexpected child's sleepover. The decoration is done with a light hand, with wenge on the floor and interesting solid-frame, Japanese-style screens that act as blinds, sliding back to cover the porthole. An en suite bathroom with shower-a solid block of dark teak acts as the floor-is decorated with light Bisazza mosaic.
The VIP suite toward the bow is rounded, giving no indication of the narrowing of the hull. Its circular ceiling has spotlights; a round porthole with a hidden ladder creates its own mystical and pleasing light effect (I thought I detected a hint of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey). The bed also withdraws mechanically like a sort of futuristic Murphy bed, turning the cabin into an inclined relaxation area that would be pleasant for reading or watching television; altogether better than piling up pillows, it also creates more space in the stateroom. This VIP has a larger shower than the guest cabin and a bidet; the decorative Bisazza mosaic is a shade darker.
I've saved the elegant master stateroom for last, as it is a true pièce de résistance. On entering, the first thing you encounter is a dressing area with fitted wardrobes and a large mirror. Proceeding around a corner you enter the full-beam cabin with adjoining large, en suite bathroom, the existence of which can be denied with sliding Japanese-style screens. Three vertical windows on each side of the stateroom allow an absolute flood of light in-tremendously theatrical. It's a credit to the design team's sense of play that these windows appear from the outside to be more like stylistic flourishes than functional, while from inside they offer such a great view, so close to the waterline that you'll be mesmerized. Finally, a curved oak writing desk, fixed Artemide lamps, a fridge and bar combine with the light hues of the leather ceiling to leave you wallowing in luxury.
The Pershing 90 shows how great design and exquisite craftsmanship combined with top performance can result in a yacht that is in a new league-almost a galaxy-of its own.