Ferretti 80

The Ferretti 80 is as functional as she is striking.

Like the generations of immigrants before her, this Italian beauty seems very happy in her American digs. She brings with her the best of her homeland, sharing it gladly with new friends and enriching their lives. She has been quick to adopt American norms, so as not to offend her neighbors. A true treasure, she has a personality as accommodating as her features are appealing.

Yes, the Ferretti 80 motoryacht has settled in quite comfortably at her new home in Ft. Lauderdale, and I am glad to have made her acquaintance. The unbroken sheer emphasizes her length, and the highly raked stem and stern impart a sense of speed and purpose. The superstructure form and window shapes bring a smile to the face of even the most critical observer, but this lady is not all aesthetics. In the Ferretti 80, form and function combine in equal parts to create the essence of yachting.

The gangway provides a solid, comfortable passage from the dock and is convertible to a ladder. When lowered, it creates a convenient set of steps to the integral swim platform and, via another set of folding steps, to the water. The platform is wide enough to carry a PWC or a small tender. If you want both, the second can be carried on the bridge deck. A single Besenzoni davit serves both locations. The davit uses rubber bumpers and an integral ring to secure the lifting hook and weight, forgoing the typical deck ring and eliminating its inherent tripping hazard.

Aft on the main deck are small mooring areas to port and starboard, with raised capstans and bitts that make docking a cinch. A companionway on centerline leads to the crew's quarters and engineroom. The arrangement makes these functional areas easily accessible, yet keeps them slightly apart from the open afterdeck and its lounge area. Along with full walkaround side decks, this allows the crew's necessary work to go on without disturbing the guests.

Entering the saloon through a sliding glass door from the afterdeck is a feast for the senses. Supple cream leather and deep tan carpet complement high-gloss joinerwork that shows off the fine skills of Ferretti's craftsmen. Yet again, though, this lady makes clear that beauty and common sense are not mutually exclusive. As lovely as the cabinetry is, I was equally pleased with its functionality. The integral wood handles on the doors are intuitive and obvious. Too many times on unfamiliar yachts, I've stared, pushed, pulled and poked, trying to figure out how to open a cabinet that offered no clue to its secret code. On the Ferretti 80, you just reach and pull.

Beyond the sofas and entertainment center, up a couple steps and open to the saloon, are the galley and dining area. A clever half-height bulkhead divides the lower helm from the dining area. A gridded mirror and shade allow the lower helm to remain open to the guest area for conversation when convenient, but closed when conditions demand minimal disturbance. To port, the galley is convertible, as well. Using a bulkhead panel that lowers much like a limo window, the galley can be opened to serve as a buffet for casual dining, or closed for formal dinners. A pair of settees and a small table opposite the helm provide space for overflow guests, or for a crew mess. A pair of side deck doors allow guest access to the foredeck sunpad, and let the crew carry out anchoring duties or load supplies directly into the galley. A stair adjacent to the galley leads to the flying bridge, where a U-shape lounge and large sunpad provide lots of comfortable space for sun-drenched guest activities.

While convertible features create a great deal of flexibility on the main and upper decks, much of the arrangement in those areas is fixed. It's a different story belowdecks. With crew's quarters abaft the engineroom, the entire forward section of the hull is devoted to owner and guest accommodations. The main bulkhead and stairway locations remain unchanged, but Ferretti takes advantage of a modular arrangement concept known as distributed architecture to offer three-, four- and five-stateroom layouts.

The three-stateroom arrangement has a VIP guest stateroom with an island double berth forward. The second guest cabin, with twin berths, is to port, and the master is a full-beam suite aft. The master has both vanity and sitting areas, and there are separate his and her heads, one with tub and one with shower. The guest cabins each have their own head, and an additional head serves day guests.

In the four-stateroom layout, the forward VIP and portside guest staterooms remain much the same, and another twin-berth guest room is added to starboard, with a door added to the day head to serve this cabin. The master stateroom retains its full-beam width, as well as the sitting and vanity areas, but there is a single head with a smaller tub/shower combination.

As might be expected, the five-stateroom demands some sacrifice. The master stateroom is replaced by two guest cabins, one of which shares a head with the portside guest cabin. The forward VIP stateroom becomes the master, although one of the new guest cabins has a double berth.

When the three-stateroom arrangement is selected, crew demands are less and the single crew cabin layout will be appropriate. For the five-stateroom version, more crew may be necessary and a second crew cabin can be fitted.

While not fully custom, the Ferretti 80 offers choices remarkable for a yacht her size. When you consider the sleek fiberglass package, this lady is hard to resist.

Contact: Cantieri Navali Ferretti, (011) 39 543 474411; fax (011) 39 543 782410. Ferretti of America Inc., (954) 527-1126; fax (954) 527-5809. Allied Marine Group, (954) 462-7424; fax (954) 462-0756.