Glass Half Full: Custom Line 112 Next

Custom Line redesigns their flagship with a clear view to the future.

Custom Line 112 Next

The most striking aspect of the Custom Line 112 Next is the incredible amount of glass that the builder has managed to work into the design. Glass on a yacht-particularly one exhibiting a thoughtful layout-can change the whole tone and feel of its interior spaces, and the windows worked just such magic here.

The glass has a positive effect on the living space, opening up the rooms and allowing them to seem larger than they actually are. As we approached the yacht, the large expanses of glass each appear to be a single entity at first glance, but closer inspection revealed that Custom Line wisely divided them into smaller panels, achieving the desired visual effect inside and out, but making the yacht less vulnerable to catastrophic damage at sea.

The Custom Line 112 Next is a redesign and remodeling of the original flagship 112-foot motoryacht, which the company launched several years ago. The previous 112 enjoyed considerable success, and there's no reason to think the Next model will not continue in that direction.

The first hull of the Next series is a fresh reinterpretation. There is new décor and a new layout-the windows offer an enlightening perspective-and the flying bridge has been reworked to allow more guest area. It may not sound like much, but the combination of these and a number of more subtle changes add up to a yacht that lives much larger than her older sisters.

True to its name, Custom Line works with the buyer to allow a range of selections in all non-structural areas, from décor to furnishings to joinery. Custom Line, a division of Italy's Ferretti Group, builds motoryachts exclusively in fiberglass. The group was founded by Norberto Ferretti, a yachtsman and offshore racer, in 1968. Custom Line was established in 1996, delivering its first yacht in 1998, to provide semi-custom yachts to experienced yachtsmen who, unsatisfied with typical production yachts, wanted more involvement with the design and construction of their yachts without undertaking full custom projects.

The first hull of the 112 Next design was built for an Indian owner who selected a modern interior, appropriate, I think, to the yacht's exterior lines and planing speed. Other touches speak to modernity, not least the iPod docking stations in the owner's stateroom and the salon. Also in the salon is a 42-inch pop-up plasma screen which, like the screens in the VIP staterooms, is coupled to a Playtime multimedia platform for control of all audio/video entertainment.

Guest accommodations include four staterooms. The two twinberth cabins, port and starboard, are identical, and each includes a Pullman berth. The heads include both toilet and bidet, and the showers are quite spacious. Forward of the twin cabins is a VIP stateroom, with a queen berth to starboard and the head to port. As I mentioned earlier, the two large hullside window arrays-one next to the berth and one over the whirlpool tub-each have two large fixed panes and two opening elliptical ports, bringing in both light and air.

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The aft VIP stateroom, like the forward, spans the full beam of the yacht and is also fitted with hullside windows. This stateroom, though, is a bit longer, placing the head and hanging locker between the engineroom and the sleeping portion of the cabin. This allows considerable additional space, part of which is allocated to a larger whirlpool tub in the head, and part to the cabin where there's a settee to starboard and a vanity/dresser to port, with the queen berth on centerline. This arrangement also puts both of the large windows in the main part of the stateroom rather than having one in the head, as in the forward VIP stateroom.

The guest accommodations have an entry staircase from the main deck foyer, separate from the crew stairs that lead downward from the galley. In the forward VIP stateroom, though, there is a hidden door in the back of the hanging locker, creating a secondary emergency escape route for both guests and crew.

It is on the main deck that the 112 Next shines, both literally and figuratively. The owner's suite forward is one of the redesigned areas, with more room provided than in the earlier layout and lots of glass to open the space visually. There's a nice L-shaped settee and a spacious hanging locker, both to starboard, and a head on centerline with twin lavatories.

Interestingly, the main-deck owner's stateroom is roughly equivalent, in size and amenities, to the aft VIP stateroom below deck, which brings up an interesting question: Which is the master stateroom? The answer, conveniently, is either. Were this yacht mine, I'd use the VIP stateroom at sea. It's located amidships and lower in the hull, where both pitching and rolling motions are less noticable. At anchor, I'd choose the main-deck stateroom for its view and its convenience to the salon, aft deck, and foredeck. This may be a moot point, however, given the abundance of windows in both staterooms, and the four Mitsubishi ARG (anti-rolling gyro) stabilizer units fitted in her bilges. In any case, it's nice to have a choice.

Adding to the feeling of spaciousness is the arrangement of the after part of the main deck. The salon and dining room occupy one large area, with dining for ten at a glass table forward and flexible seating aft for entertainment or conversation. Curved sliding glass doors open this space to the aft deck, sheltered by the extended deck above and with seating for ten at an athwartships table, when the weather is suitable.

Also on the main deck, amidships, is the galley. Its L-shape allows for maximum space utilization, winding as it does around the expanded owner's stateroom. It also allows for three doors, providing convenience for the crew in operating the yacht and serving the guests. One door opens directly to the port side deck for loading supplies and for crew access to the exterior. A second door opens, to port and through a crew dinette and butler's pantry, to the dining room for ease of serving meals, and the third door opens to the starboard entry foyer for service to arriving guests and to the owner's stateroom, and access to the raised pilothouse. Also incorporated in the galley arrangement is a stairway to the crew quarters, nicely keeping crew activity completely separate from guest areas.

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The pilothouse provides excellent sight lines for operation at sea, and the helm station on the flying bridge is ideal for docking and other close-quarter maneuvering. A step outboard at the upper helm improves the view even more when coming alongside. From the pilothouse, four steps lead up to the flying bridge, and a second staircase aft from the open aft deck also provides access.

The upper helm lies to port and there are double companion seats both port and starboard. Abaft the seats to port are a dinette, sunpads, and a circular whirlpool spa. To starboard is a spacious bar and cabinets. A fiberglass hardtop, cantilevered from the radar arch, provides shade to this entire area, but an accordion-fold convertible panel within the top lets the sun shine in when desired. Deck chairs provide additional seating aft, but can be folded away to allow stowage of a tender, lifted with a crane in the port corner.

There's also stowage in a transom garage for a RIB and a PWC. Between this area and the engineroom is a small electrical-equipment and engineer's control room, with watertight doors forward and aft providing the necessary protection while allowing access from the swim platform through the garage to the engineroom.

The Custom Line 112 Next builds nicely on the proven foundation of the original 112-footer, while adding benefits with its redesign. The layout offers significant flexibility for both cruising and entertaining, and the opportunity to customize the interior to your own tastes and desires means that it's a yacht that should satisfy any owner who's going places and is seeking a nice combination of style, comfort, speed, and seaworthiness. And thanks to all that glass, the view will only get better.

Custom Line, (954) 462-5527; www.customline-yacht.com