The Bluegame 62’s vibe is sport utility, but the reality is that she’s a 38-knot yacht. She’s for the yachtsman who wants something more than the biggest center-consoles, but who doesn’t want to stray too far from a package that already works.
Bluegame, which the Italian yachtbuilder Sanlorenzo recently purchased, premiered as a brand about 15 years ago with a custom 55-footer. Then came three production models: the Bluegame 42, 47 and 60. Following the global financial crisis, the enterprise ground to a halt, but the promoter behind the brand, Luca Santella — who sailed for Italy at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics — remained committed.
For the new Bluegame 62, he used earlier deep-V models by U.S. naval architect Lou Codega as a basis, and then brought in Italy’s Zuccon International Project, the family-based design studio. For years, the Zuccons worked with the Ferretti Group, and now they are tied to Sanlorenzo and, thus, its Bluegame revival.
The team created winning performance and other attributes in the Bluegame 62. I got on board with the model’s most powerful propulsion package: 1,000 hp Volvo Penta IPS1350s. Flat out off the coast of Cannes, France, she made 38.5 knots at close to half-load with seven people aboard, 55 percent fuel, 67 percent fresh water, and gray and black tanks registering 25 percent each. She hit 25 knots in just less than 10 seconds.
The Bluegame team says she also copes beautifully when the going gets properly wobbly in a real sea. Certainly, she felt solid to me. The fiberglass hull is laid up wet and vacuum sandwiched.
Average cruise speed with the IPS1350s was about 33 knots. Another engine option is twin 900 hp Volvo Penta IPS1200s, and I’d probably go for them, since I wouldn’t notice the 3-knot sacrifice at the top-end and maximum cruise speeds. The more powerful engine package is 7 percent heavier, so it is not as if the benefit of those extra horses is proportional.
Interestingly, with either engine package, the IPS installations are atypical. An earlier Bluegame 60 model had conventional straight shafts and more powerful MAN 1200s about a third of the way forward. The new 62 keeps the engines and tanks in the same place, so as not to disrupt balance. Shaft extensions let the 62 deliver much of the same performance as the 60, but with a bit less thirst.
The gap between engines and pods is spec’d as a standard lazarette or an optional crew cabin that should be good for resale, if only as a spillover berth for an extra guest. The entrance to this space is via an aft-deck door that’s set into the after face of the superstructure. This door accesses the engines too.
As far as deck layout and styling, the 62 has a flared bow, a bow lounge, a gentle rise-and-fall sheer line, and walk-around side decks with chunky bulwarks. The yacht is like a center-console on steroids, with a forward-rake wraparound windshield and a carbon-fiber hardtop (with a sunroof) that protects a cockpit with seating, a table, a wet bar and sun pads. The black helm console matches the carbon-fiber-shell seat for two, with a single seat to port. At the stern, the hydraulic platform and swim step meld with the open aft deck, a layout that creates a superb connection with the water when there’s no tender aboard. There are all manner of optional deck accessories, particularly of a fishy hue.
The heart of this yacht is the cabin belowdecks. A sofa and table are to port, with a refrigerator, cooktop and cupboards to starboard. Headroom is at least 7 feet 9 inches in most of the cabin, and at its lowest, my tape registered just more than 7 feet. A skylight and hullside windows flood the space with light, and the decor is Italian chic, with ice-white lacquer and matte-varnished teak.
The two staterooms are en suite, and the owners’ space has a glass-walled shower cubicle. Some yachtsmen are going to love it, while others may find it too racy. If you’re like me — a reserved Englishman of a certain age — then order an opaque shower stall. Also in the owners’ stateroom is a shallow washbasin between the shower and head compartments. It’s different from a traditional bathroom-with-a-sink setup, but equally effective.
All in all, the Bluegame 62 has an open layout that should appeal to center-console enthusiasts looking to move up in size. This yacht’s profile catches the eye, her speed is thrill-inducing and she has overnight amenities with luxurious Italian styling. Bluegame’s return to the yachting scene is most welcome.