Whenever I’m lucky enough to open the throttles on a Pershing, I’m reminded of a scene from The Gumball Rally, a silly road-race movie from the mid-1970s. It’s the bit just before two competitors set off in the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Spyder, the soft-top version of the iconic Daytona. The Italian driver turns to his copilot. With a gloved finger pointing sagely skyward, the driver declares: “And now, my friend, the first rule of Italian driving.” He then pauses for dramatic effect, rips the rearview mirror from the windshield, and tosses it high over his shoulder. “What’s behind me is not important.”
That scene always pops into my head aboard a Pershing because of the rooster tail that we’re inevitably throwing behind us. I recall a conversation I had around 25 years ago with my yachting journalist pal Dag Pike. We were aboard a Pershing, and I—having learned to sail at some overstarched royal yacht clubs in England—suggested that the giant arches of white water were over-the-top in more than one sense. “You’re focusing on the wrong end of the rocket,” Pike said. “They’re just the flames.”
Pershing’s 6X is the latest X-generation iteration of 56- to 62-foot designs that have been evolving for 20 or so years or so. All these latest Pershings, just like all those older models that have borne the name, are long and low—and seem to ooze performance from every pore.
The 6X is more muted than some of the older X-series models, probably because it doesn’t have buttress tunnels at the after end of the side decks. I like the lines with or without them. Hull No. 1 has trademark Pershing livery with dark silver metallic and black contrasts. The foredeck is so long that there are two sizable sun-pad areas, one before the other with room in between.
The yacht’s aft deck is a dedicated entertainment space with a bi-leaf pedestal table that’s both art and engineering in carbon fiber and wood. There’s also sailmaker exterior upholstery, which is a waterproof, weave-effect material that looks a bit like white carbon-fiber cloth. The door from the cockpit to the salon is a full-height pane of glass, and a big pane adjacent to it drops down to open up the inside to the outside.
The yacht’s bridge area is set up like a 21st-century starship with copilot and pilot seats, the latter flanked by throttles and thruster toggles to starboard and a Xenta joystick to port. The helm console bristles with buttons and has two multifunction displays along with Top System controls that indicate the up-down positions of drive legs and trim tabs. The helm seats can be pushed back on their tracks to create standing room around the wheel. And despite the extreme rake of the one-piece windshield, visibility is pretty good. A sunroof lets in fresh air.
The 6X’s oomph comes from twin 1,550 hp MAN V-12 diesels whisking out via the Top System surface drives. At about half-load and left in autotrim mode, the 6X I got aboard topped out at almost 49 knots. The vessel’s most efficient fast cruise is around 37 to 38 knots, at which the diesels burn around 3 gallons per nautical mile and offer an ultimate range of around 280 nautical miles. Machines like this are not really meant for meandering, but at 750 rpm, the 6X can chug along happily at 9 knots for maybe 360 NM. That pace would equate to 2.35 gallons of fuel burned per nautical mile—not much of a savings for scrubbing off 29 knots of speed.
All the Pershings I have run handled well, and this 6X is no different. The electrohydraulic steering is nicely geared and quick to respond. I appreciate the degree of heel the yacht delivers into the turns. The modified-V hull form has a 3.85-to-1 length-to-beam ratio and 19 degrees of deadrise aft, so it bites well.
These yachts are built at Pershing’s Mondolfo, Italy, facility, just up the east coast from Ancona. The builder does its part to minimize vessel weight—for every extra 1,100 pounds added to the 6X’s displacement beyond half-load, top speed will bleed off by about 1 knot—and owners can choose whether or not to do the same. The biggest and heaviest options for this yacht are a Seakeeper stabilizer and contents of the stern garage, which will accommodate up to a Williams Turbojet 325.
The interior of Hull No. 1 is mostly gray with reconstituted veneers from Italy’s Alpi company and a mix of decorative panels. It’s the best of Italian chic. The salon sole is wenge-finished with a dark sheen. The principal feature in the salon is a C-shaped sofa with a table.
Three en suite staterooms and the galley are belowdecks. The owner’s stateroom is a full-beam, amidships affair. The sleeping area with a forward-facing berth occupies around three-quarters of the beam. The en suite, screened by a pair of opaque-glass pocket doors, is up a step to starboard and has separate stalls for the toilet and shower, with a Corian splash top between.
The forepeak VIP has an aft-facing, diagonal berth and a shower room to port. A twin-berth stateroom is opposite the galley with a head that also serves as the day head.
A key aspect of the Pershing 6X is its 62-foot-2-inch length overall. For sure, it’s a big boat, but it’s not too big for owner-operators to run. For those who like to have a crewmember aboard or, perhaps, have an older child who likes a little more independence, a single-bunk cabin is beneath the portside cushions in the cockpit.
Luxury and performance are at the heart of Pershing, and the 6X hits both marks. Running this athletic express cruiser will keep operators focused on the front end of the rocket, while guests and spectators get to enjoy the flames.
All Pershings present and past began with yacht designer Fulvio de Simoni. The builder’s current 54- to 140-foot portfolio includes eight models. The 6X slots between the 5X and 7X, with bigger sisters 8X and 9X. There’s also the Pershing 62 and 74, and then a jump from the all-composite models to the all-aluminum brand flagship, the Pershing 140. It’s a 395-gross-ton beast that’s capable of speeds up to 38 knots.
Pershing is developing an all-new line of fast cruisers. Project TØ, or T Zero, was announced in 2019, but just one teaser rendering has been released thus far. The first model will reportedly have a length overall around 115 feet, triple water-jet propulsion and a top speed in the mid-30-knot range. It looks to have an asymmetric top-deck configuration too. Hull No. 1 is expected to splash this summer.
Take the next step: pershing-yacht.com