Pershing 8x: 83 feet, 48 knots

Pershing's 8x combines high speeds with Italian luxury and sleek aesthetics.

Pershing 8x
Maximum total horsepower for the Pershing 8x is 5,276. Top speed is 48 knots, according to the builder.Courtesy Pershing Yacht

The first time I took the wheel of a Pershing, ­I ­remember sitting in the helm seat and feeling more like a plane's pilot than a yacht's captain. My 90-foot ride shot across the sea at 40-plus knots. The experience ­provided all the exhilaration of running a ­center-console combined with the uber luxury you'd expect of a mega-yacht, and it was all wrapped up in Italian styling.

These notable attributes carry over into the builder's latest launch, the ­Pershing 8x. But there are some twists too.

The first twist is the use of carbon fiber. Like its larger sister the 9x, the 8x is constructed with this material, which is often found in high-performance race cars, and is known for strength and relative light weight. At full load, this 83-footer has a 147,710-pound displacement.

The 8x should have all the “Speed Racer” characteristics of her fiberglass siblings. Power is a pair of MTU’s 16V 2000 diesels, either 2,435 hp M96s or 2,638 hp M96Ls. Projected cruise speeds are 38 knots and 41 knots, ­respectively. Top-end speeds are reportedly 45 and 48 knots. The engines are matched to Top System surface drives to help create Pershing’s ­trademark, ­rainbow-creating, high-flying rooster tail.

At first glance, the 8x’s low ­profile makes her look like an express cruiser. Look closer: She has a ­flybridge. The teak steps leading to it blend into the curve of the portside wing, so in profile they are hidden from view. Those wings also stretch the yacht’s ­profile, seeming to add motion as the wings flow down and aft, looking windblown. The yacht’s sinuous design was a ­collaborative effort among designer Fulvio De Simoni, Ferretti’s Product Committee led by Piero Ferrari, and the builder’s engineering department.

Pershing 8x’s foredeck
When it’s time for some rays, the Pershing 8x’s foredeck has a sun pad for four or more. A U-shaped settee and a table offer a place for sundowners or alfresco dining.Courtesy Pershing Yacht
Pershing 8x’s flybridge
The 8x has an integrated fly-­­by-wire hydraulic steering, navigation and monitoring system. Data is displayed on screens up to 24 inches wide, all framed in Poltrona Frau leather.Courtesy Pershing Yacht
Pershing 8x’s ­garage
For heading from ship to shore or just to have some fun on the salt, the Pershing 8x’s ­garage ­accommodates a Williams ­Sportjet 345 tender and a PWC. Note the deep, full-beam teak swim platform.Courtesy Pershing Yacht

Another twist in the 8x is that her hull serves as an underwater ­speaker, so divers and swimmers can listen to tunes under the water.

Accommodations include three or four staterooms, with an amidships full-beam ­master, a forepeak VIP and guest ­staterooms with double berths. There are also quarters for two crew.

For yachtsmen looking for a ­vessel awash with clever flourishes, and who want to have a little hair-­raising, high-performance fun, the Pershing 8x is ready to take flight.

Take the next step: pershing-yacht.com