Waterfront Living on Custom Line Superyachts

Custom Line doesn't consider itself just a superyacht builder; it's creating the experience of waterfront living.

Custom Line yachts
Custom Line, part of Italy’s Ferretti Group, has a range of models. The largest is the 164-foot Navetta 50. Ferretti Group

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Superyacht buyers customarily are experienced boaters, stepping up from something they operate and manage themselves. It typically holds true whether the yacht they’re buying is 90 feet or well into triple-digit territory.

Custom Line, whose semicustom models start at 93 feet, certainly attracts clients who consider superyacht ownership an evolution of their boating life. In fact, among its eight models, six are beneath the 140-foot threshold. However, something else is remarkable about its clientele.

“Forty percent of the boats we sell every year are sold to people who have never had boats before,” says Stefano De Vivo, chief commercial officer of Custom Line’s parent company, Ferretti Group.

Navetta 50 interior
Cut-down bulwarks add natural light on the Navetta 50, including in the guest spaces. ACPV Architects

It’s a notable achievement for a brand that was inaugurated in 1996 to broaden Ferretti Yachts’ composite offerings. Initially, the name was Ferretti Custom Line, eventually shortened to establish a separate identity: accommodating yachting enthusiasts whose exacting wish lists exceed what production construction permits. So, even though Custom Line’s experienced and inexperienced clients might seem like pretty disparate crowds, the common thread is, as the saying goes, they want what they want.

The first Custom Line launch complemented Ferretti Yachts’ focus on semidisplacement flybridge yachts. The sporty-looking Custom Line 94, with accommodations for eight and speed in the mid-20-knot range, premiered in 1998. That year, a 102-foot, more shippy-looking yacht bearing the Navetta moniker debuted prioritizing more-traditional long-range cruising. This was the beginning of Custom Line’s “one fleet, two personalities” approach: providing buyers with Planing and Navetta projects to suit different ways of living on the water.

It truly is living for some customers, De Vivo says. “It’s their island, as we say, their private island, because they’re using it a lot more. And they’re using it, at times, even more than their houses or their villas around the world.”

portraits of boat designers
Patricia Viel and Antonio Cittario (left and middle) did the interiors, with exteriors by Filippo Salvetti (right). ACPV Architects and Ferretti Group

In fact, he adds, Custom Line has more than one client who has spent more time on board their yacht than on land properties during the past two years. “At that point, you know they’re not willing to take an off-the-shelf solution or to compromise,” De Vivo says, “because in the end, you’re not using it anymore for only two weeks. You’re using it maybe for 60 nights, and therefore, you want it perfect for you.”

Custom Line and its design partners, including Zuccon International Project and Francesco Paszkowski, pay close attention to where customers prefer to cruise and how they spend time on board. Where Americans are concerned, De Vivo says, the Planing and Navetta lines both are strong sellers, with the Navettas appealing to cruisers who like to spend time in South Florida, winter in the Caribbean, and then head north for the summer. Regardless of model, “we are very careful with draft so that they can be used everywhere in the Caribbean and in the Bahamas,” he says.

As for creature comforts, Custom Line is incorporating features such as country kitchens and bars that double as country kitchens. “We didn’t invent anything new,” he says. “We just looked at the bestsellers in the American market. And our clients are telling us that we went the right way.”

Navetta 50 master stateroom
The Custom Line Navetta 50 has an upper-deck master stateroom that opens onto a private terrace. ACPV Architects

With more than 250 deliveries globally, the builder hopes to continue its success with its newest Planing model, the Custom Line 140. This voluminous, sporty cruiser has five staterooms and tops out at around 22 knots.

“We saw that in the market among European companies, no one was investing in this kind of size: 400 gross tons in fiberglass and carbon fiber,” De Vivo says. “And we thought that it was a big mistake.” The 140 is also Selective Catalytic Reduction-ready to meet the International Maritime Organization emissions regulations coming into effect. Hull No. 1 is sold and in the water.

Also in build—with far more customization and a major change in materials—is Hull No. 1 of the Navetta 50. This 164-footer is the first Custom Line in metal, specifically aluminum.

De Vivo says that while sister brand CRN builds fully custom steel and aluminum superyachts, some buyers don’t want a completely custom project because of the decisions and expense a custom build requires. Custom Line’s management team realized that competitors were engineering either steel and aluminum, or entirely aluminum semicustom craft in this size range to target those buyers.

Navetta 50 private terrace with seating
The master stateroom opens onto a private terrace with seating, cocktail tables and sun pads for owners and their chosen guests. ACPV Architects

“So we said, ‘You know, we have the experience of CRN. …Why don’t we engineer and design a 50-meter?’” he recalls. “And then we said, ‘Why don’t we use Custom Line?’”

The next step was following the latest builds from CRN, all of which have a master stateroom on the upper deck facing forward. That was easier said than done, De Vivo adds, considering the CRNs are up to 262 feet long.

However, with input from designer Filippo Salvetti, the Navetta 50 has this type of stateroom—with full-height sliding-glass doors leading to a private foredeck terrace. Look for the yacht to debut in 2024.

And De Vivo says the Planing series has room to grow. “We might have something maybe in aluminum around 165 feet,” he hints. “When you have clients who buy the 140, they might want to grow, and it’s still within the keys and strings of the brand. I cannot say too much more.”

Though he does add, “When you have a brand that is so successful like Custom Line, why stop with two lines?”  

Custom Line 140
Note the handrail with Y-shaped uprights on the Custom Line 140, with exteriors by Francesco Paszkowski. Ferretti Group

50 and Fabulous

The recently announced Custom Line Navetta 50 is the builder’s largest model to date. It’s not big for the sake of being big, however. At nearly 164 feet length overall, the yacht has four decks, where the usable space is akin to that aboard a superyacht 50 feet longer.

Bring Friends

Custom Line’s newly launched flagship 140 model has space on board for 22 people, according to the builder. The 28-foot beam means gathering spaces throughout the yacht are big enough that nobody should feel crowded.

Open Thinking

Note the way the design includes not just cut-down bulwarks, but also open-style handrails in spaces where there is sole-to-ceiling glazing. This design creates even broader views of the outdoors.

Custom Line 140 launch
Hull No. 1 of the Custom Line 140 launched in June. It’s the largest yacht the shipyard has ever produced. Ferretti Group

Come On Over

There are 14 mooring spaces at the Custom Line private marina for yachts from 78 to 328 feet long. There also are five docks for fitting-out, finishing and refit projects.

A True Family Home

During the past decade, Ferretti Group’s De Vivo has seen an increasing number of owners who buy yachts purposely to spend more time with multiple generations of relatives. “I think it’s one of the great successes that people have finally started using it as a true family home,” he says.

Customer Feedback

Owners sometimes invite the team on cruises to share their experience and suggest ideas. “With every single suggestion you get, there is something that you can take out of it and see if you can put it into a project, and then make it viable or appealing for everybody,” De Vivo says.

Take the next step: customline-yacht.com

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