Going on an expedition aboard an Italian yacht may seem as silly as wearing your Ferragamo Bit Driver Moccasins — in burgundy suede — to hunt gators. More hunting boot than suede moccasin, the Mondo Marine 45m maintains the seaworthiness and long range of traditional expedition yachts without forfeiting high style.
This yacht shares a lot of design elements with traditional working expedition vessels. Her high bow, carried well aft, will deal with big head seas and keep solid water from washing over the decks. The break in her sheer amidships decreases the freeboard aft, and aboard working expedition boats, eases the burden of launching and retrieving a diving bell or other manned submersible used to explore the depths. Aboard this yacht, the plunging sheer gives her a sporting look, reduces our perception of bulk and allows passengers and crew to board from the side without needing an extra-long staircase.
Although the hull from sheer to keel smacks of oceangoing prowess, the superstructure's whimsical design elements are what capture our soul. We must applaud the design team for marrying art and function in such an appealing manner. Square windows in the topsides forward of amidships break up the mass and light the interior. Notice how the shape of the first and last window turns the grouping into a parallelogram. The angle at each end matches that of the sheer's plunge and closely resembles the rake of the stem, giving the overall design aesthetic harmony.
Anything sleeker than this upright superstructure would turn the 45m into a cartoon. The designers knew this and drew vertical windows to go along with the vertical doorways. This visual effect suits the yacht's mission, while acres of glass flood the interior with natural light and give everyone aboard a superb view of their surroundings.
View more interior and exterior renderings here.
Each level of the superstructure, from the main deck to the sky lounge, becomes shorter and narrower, reducing top-hamper (weight aloft) and visual bulk. You've only to see the massively ugly superstructure of a cruise ship to understand the design team's approach to this yacht. The drooping overhangs define the boundary of the bridge deck and the sky lounge. In addition to sheltering areas of the deck below, the shape and slope of the overhangs visually reduce the height of the superstructure and disguise the vertical harshness. Removing these would make the 45m look clunky, destroying her appeal.
A wind deflector protects the forward section of the sky lounge, but more important to the aesthetics, it echoes the shape of the topsides forward of amidships. This is another example of how small details contribute to the harmony of the whole. The plan view of the upper decks reveals a pair of staircases — one set leading from the sky lounge to the bridge deck and another leading from the bridge deck to the main deck. These curve toward the yacht's centerline like the arms of a ballerina and, seen from a direct profile, pick up the angle of the sheer's plunging break. The graceful curves also soften the yacht's businesslike demeanor when we see her from astern.
Her nearly vertical transom puts a period at the end of this statement. A rounded reverse transom, and possibly more tumble home, would have taken the yacht out of character and, on a functional level, decreased the width of the stairs to the swim/boarding platform and limited its area.
The Mondo Marine 45m is a handsome yacht. Although her appearance slips slightly out of character in comparison to many yachts of her type and mission, only Ernest Shackleton would care.
FUEL CAPACITY: 21,134 gal.
FRESH WATER: 5,283 gal.
MAXIMUM SPEED: 15 kts.
CRUISING SPEED: 14 kts.
RANGE AT 12 KNOTS: 6,000 nm
ENGINES: 2 x 862 hp Caterpillar C32 ACERT diesels
Mondo Marine S.P.A., +39 019828516; www.mondomarine.it