It was Chamber of Commerce winter weather in Miami Beach the day of our sea trial — sunny, 75 degrees with a 10-knot breeze — but there was a bit of sea running as we headed from Government Cut past the Coast Guard station, into the Atlantic and toward the fringes of the Gulf Stream beyond. We were pretty heavy on fuel and water, so we topped out at 32.6 knots, about a knot shy of Ferretti’s published half-load speed of 33.5 knots. The builder, unlike many others, publishes data on speed vs. weight in its specifications, predicting 1 knot of speed loss for every extra 3,300 pounds of weight aboard the 720.
I love the opportunity to test a boat in real-world conditions, so the two- to three-footers, with an occasional four-footer thrown in just to keep us on our toes, were perfect for exploring the capabilities of the 720. She performed as expected and on a par with similar well-designed yachts. She rides on a traditional warped plane hull that terminates in a 12-degree deadrise at the stern. It is more suitable than a deep-V for a cruising boat like the 720, providing a good blend of seakeeping and load-carrying ability. Such hulls, however, can be a bit more sensitive to the larger waves, so when we took a couple of shots at top speed, it was neither unexpected nor a reflection on Ferretti, but simply a reality of physics. What did reflect well on Ferretti, however, was the fact that the boat didn’t display a hint of noise, vibration or internal movement from the impact. It just kept on going about its business. Pulling back the throttles to a cruise of just over 28 knots at 2,100 rpm provided an easier ride, as well as fuel savings of more than 24 percent, something that may figure importantly into this summer’s cruising plans if the fuel-price pundits are right.
Back at Sunset Harbour, after running our speed trials in the sheltered and less-traveled waters south of Dodge Island, I took some time to give the 720 a good look, inside and out, and came away impressed with what I saw. The elements of good design that I spotted as I boarded continued throughout, and the machinery and equipment were first-class as well. Cummins Onan 23 kW gensets sit abaft the two MTU 10V diesels, with a Mitsubishi 4000 anti-rolling gyro under the Seafari watermaker to starboard and the main battery bank to port. There’s plenty of access room for routine maintenance, but if the yacht needs major work or equipment removed, a large hatch in the afterdeck can be lifted. Rounding out the engine-room equipment list are a Mastervolt charger and inverter, Racor duplex filters and a Fireboy fixed fire-extinguishing system activated by easy-to-reach controls in the starboard wing of the deckhouse aft; a docking station is housed opposite in the port wing. All controls, valves and switches, by the way, are clearly tagged in both Italian and English.