A yacht’s arrival in the Caribbean from the Med in time to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve is nothing unusual. It is uncommon, though, for a yacht to do so on her own bottom, rather than aboard a transport ship. It’s even more unusual when that yacht is from Overmarine Group, the company behind the Mangusta brand.
Or is it? If the Mangusta name makes you think of the builder’s maxi opens, then yes, you’d never expect one of these fast cruisers to make such a journey. But when you realize the yacht in question is Hull No. 1 of the Mangusta Gransport 54 series, then it’s perfectly logical. Gransport is a fast-displacement line, blending good speed with economical range, open-model looks and the comfort of displacement yachts.
El Leon boasts a top speed at half-load around 30 knots, and a fast cruise exceeding 25 knots. Hull No. 1’s owner, having owned two Mangusta maxis, was accustomed to getting where he wanted to go quickly. But the same quadruple 2,600 hp MTU diesels also allow for efficient performance. At 12 knots, El Leon reportedly sees a range of about 4,200 nautical miles. That’s more than enough for a transatlantic crossing.
Since the owner was seeking something for long-range cruising, he stepped up to sign a contract when he learned of the Mangusta Gransport line. He was eager to put the hull design, which the builder calls a fast surface-piercing hull, to the test on both sides of the Atlantic. Designed by Pierluigi Ausonio, the yacht has a bulbous bow that pierces the water’s surface without planing. The hull also remains in displacement mode at speeds higher than those of typical displacement yachts.
Paolo Bozzo Costa, El Leon’s captain, says he and the owner were happy with the design and engineering package during her first season, last summer in the Med.
“This fast-displacement line is very ahead with the technology, style and innovation,” Costa asserts. “It is a silent boat that navigates at 27 to 28 knots in absolute comfort.”
There were no qualms in heading for the open Atlantic in early December, to cross to the Caribbean on her own bottom. El Leon left the shipyard’s dock in Viareggio, Italy, on December 1, 2018, making stops in Gibraltar, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde for fueling, provisioning and the like. On December 11, she left Cape Verde in her wake. Even with “well-formed swell waves further strengthened by the constant trade winds,” Costa says, “the yacht impressed us with her great comfort, stability and performances. I kept an average speed of approximately 14 knots.” A few hours after sunset on December 17 in Bridgetown, Barbados, El Leon was setting her anchor in the harbor “with enough fuel in our tanks to relaxedly enjoy our first Caribbean cruise.”
The owner can enjoy the Caribbean with leisure areas inside and out. El Leon’s beach club alone encompasses 753 square feet. It’s a sunken day lounge, three steps down from foldout hatches aft and to each side. The sunken aspect is a good idea, as anyone who’s had their furnishings splashed by swells can attest. And, the three-sided openings make lounging here all the more enjoyable.
El Leon has more than 2,900 square feet of alfresco space, including an infinity pool with hydromassage jets on the foredeck with sun pads, creating an oasis at anchor. A glass sole between the sun pads serves as a skylight for the master stateroom’s en suite bath just below.
The owner intends to spend months at a time on board, so El Leon accommodates working vacations. There’s a desk in the main-deck master suite, as well as a separate office behind a sliding door in the foyer. The space is a good example of Mangusta’s semicustom approach for the Gransport 54, since in the original layout, this concealed office was a breakfast nook. For coffee and croissants, El Leon’s owner has a table and chairs adjacent to a picture window at the suite’s entry.
El Leon has already set two records. Not only is she Overmarine Group’s first yacht to cross the Atlantic Ocean, but she’s also the yard’s largest project to date. If the owner keeps on his intended first year’s path, then El Leon should set additional records. A trip through the Panama Canal and up the West Coast, cruising to Vancouver and eventually Alaska, is on the list. After that? “El Leon will take us on new exciting voyages across the world,” her captain says.
All on her own hull bottom, of course.
Take the next step: mangustayachts.com