There is one minor drawback associated with the Ferretti 550, and that is the possibility that owners will never wish to upgrade.
It appears that the size of the Italian-made cars that are driven on Italy’s Autostrada freeway system is not increasing, which is a testament both to the price of fuel in Italy (recently €1.45 per liter, which is roughly equivalent to $6.20 per gallon) as well as to the contemporary mentality of cars being used solely for transportation purposes.
When you compare this to the boats produced in Italy (at least, the majority of the ones that are sold in the United States), you’ll observe that there is a clear progression toward larger sizes. The emphasis has been placed on providing greater room, more opulent fixtures, and more of everything. Because why create a yacht that won’t accomplish all that her owner wants? In the end, boaters know exactly what they’re looking for. But during a recent trip to Italy, I had the chance to test out the brand new Ferretti 550, and I saw that the increasing trend was really moving in the opposite direction. Since around 2010, Ferretti Yachts has not been very active in the region of 50 to 60 feet in vessel length. However, the business decided to take things in exactly that direction when it was developing the next model in its series of motoryachts. Recent development began with the 960, continued through the 80- to 90-foot range, and is currently working on a new 850 model. Then there is the brand new 700, which slots just in between the 750 and the 650; hence, Ferretti has all of the bases covered in the market for big motoryachts. What should we do then? How about we come up with something that would attract boaters at the lower end of the pipeline, something that will get them thinking about Ferretti earlier on in their lives as yacht owners?
Ferretti seems to have a firm grasp on the owner-operator size range currently, and if the Ferretti 550 for charter in Croatia is any indicator, it’s because of the 550. The business has incorporated the knowledge gained from some of those larger projects into a more compact design in order to maximize their efficiency. However, the designers have also packed an incredible number of features into this boat, and they have sacrificed very little in terms of what a yachtsman would anticipate.
When you really see this yacht, you’ll see how sleek she is. Ferretti retained her flying bridge on the tiny side and positioned it far aft, with an overhang sheltering the cockpit, scarcely a bump in the overall profile. It’s lovely to have, and even better that it’s handled so quietly. A subtle downward bend in the sheer, which does wonders for enhancing the view from within the saloon, is yet another distinguishing feature of this vessel.
Her appearance fits to a T the way she performs, with good throttle response and strong turning. Even though our sea conditions, with a 10-knot breeze and 2- to 3-footers, were hardly daunting on the beautiful day when I tested the boat out of Cesenatica, on the coast of the Adriatic east of Forl, where the company builds many of its models in a state-of-the-art facility, she swept through turns smoothly and tracked well. Our sea conditions were hardly daunting on the beautiful day when I tested the boat out of Cesenatica. Due to the low-appearing brow that is located at the top of the windshield, it may take some time to get acclimated to the sightlines that are available from the lower helm. She peaked out for us, with eight people on board, at just under 30 knots, but one must bear in mind: This is a luxury motoryacht, without question.
What Ferretti has done is pack a lot of comforts in a hull that measures 45 feet, 4 inches at the waterline. Hull number 12 was the specimen that we were on, and it provided three staterooms in addition to two heads. The finish of this boat in every place is something you must experience personally, and run your hands along the horizontal grain of the striped walnut veneers.
Notes on the Exam
Italian manufacturers, like Ferretti, are releasing new models on a regular basis in an effort to modernize their product lines and increase sales in order to pull themselves out of an economic slump. It’s possible that creative ideas and time-saving construction methods can help them achieve their goal.
Conventional drive diesels and rudders are two things that really excite me. Pods are wonderful for some purposes; but, I believe that boaters would benefit from having additional alternatives, which would also encourage healthy competition.
If you ever get the chance to travel to Italy around the beginning of June, you should take it. Simply leave. You can feel summer coming, but it’s still that moment of delicious anticipation because the jasmine is in bloom and giving off its sweet fragrance, the evenings have a crispness to them (bring a light jacket out at night in case you’re sitting on the terrace), and the jasmine blooms are giving off their scent. Also, don’t forget to check out the boats.
The master’s quarters were positioned in the middle of the ship, and on each side of him were big hullside windows that had opening ports built into them. The room had a good headroom of 7612 inches and felt open and roomy. This was largely due to the fact that there was a desk placed immediately to the right as you enter the room, which improves the lines of sight; a dinette that could accommodate two people was placed to starboard; and the berth was slightly offset to port. There is ample space in the bathroom with a gorgeously tiled shower, and there are hanging lockers on either side for your clothing to take use of.
In addition, there is a workstation in the front VIP room, in addition to a significant quantity of hanging locker space and storage space beneath the sleeper. It is also possible for an owner to choose to have an en suite rather than a desk and a smaller amount of locker space here. This would increase the total number of heads on board to three, but you would lose access to a separate laundry locker that included shelves for linens. The guest double was situated to port and included ample headroom in addition to a pair of twin beds, a wide window with two opening ports, and a hanging locker. Additionally, the window featured two opening ports.
On the yacht that I examined, the two guest bedrooms shared a head that was located off the centerline hallway. This was possible since the boat had a configuration that included two heads. The head has a free-standing shower that is concealed inside a transparent, cylinder-shaped plexiglass barrier that may slide open and closed. It is a clever approach to make use of the space without giving in to the idea of having a damp head.
I’ve been on a number of motoryachts in the 50- to 60-foot range, and I can say that there are two ways to look at this size sector. The first reason is because the boat is really an enlarged model of a more compact boat: When you add everything up, you won’t believe how much space there is on board. It appears as though someone sketched a 45-footer and then just altered the scale. The second method involves reducing the size of a large boat in the same way. Both methods are quite evident when you see them, and neither one, in my opinion, is especially effective since the way a person perceives space does not alter in such a linear manner. Every component of this boat, on the other hand, feels created from the ground up, especially for this precise footprint.
The main deck is separated into four sections, to my understanding. On the inside is the bridgedeck, which has a U-shaped couch that confronts a pop-up flatscreen that is located to the port side. A pair of chairs flank that TV, particularly for usage at anchor, as the forward doubles as the helm seat, and can be power-adjusted to the optimal position.
One of the first things that came to my attention was the low height of the brow structure that I noted earlier and which overhangs the sharply sloped, two-panel windscreen. When I stood at the helm, it seemed as if someone had grabbed the bill of my cap and pulled it down over my eyes. I’m of ordinary height, so this was a strange sensation for me. These are the compromises that need to be made in order to achieve that sleek profile, and to tell you the truth, what I found first off-putting became irrelevant once I had driven the boat a few times and become used to its characteristics. There is a sufficient amount of glass, and the apparent obstacle disappeared as I concentrated on where I ought to be looking in the room.
The helm on the port side functions perfectly. With three Simrad NSS evo2 displays — a set of 12s to either side of a 9-inch screen in the centre — all of the data aboard may be presented in the manner that the skipper desires with relative simplicity. Because the controls for the autopilot and the supplementary displays were located on the flat of the helm, some helmsmen may have needed to lean forward in order to look at them squarely. The electrical panel of the boat is located on the port side, below and to the left of where the helmsman sits.
Your inner chef will be inspired by the galley, which is located aft and down a step. It features a covered sink, a four-burner Siemens electric cooktop, and an oven in a U-shaped countertop configuration that opens aft. Refrigeration and freezers are hidden opposite one another in a credenza, and the owner may customize the layout to his preferences, giving him extra room in either the refrigerator or the freezer. This section opens out completely to the cockpit via a sliding door made of three panels of glass and stainless steel. In the cockpit, an aft couch with a table is ready and waiting for outdoor eating. A hatch leads to a standing-height aft locker that is located to the port side of the settee. Although it is capable of being outfitted as crew’s quarters, the test boat we were on utilized it as a yawning storage pit instead.
It’s a pretty clever system that lowers bathers or a tender into the water using a substantial H & B electrohydraulic swim platform, which is an optional feature. The transom is sloped, which causes the platform to descend into the water at an angle. Ferretti designed stairs all the way down to accommodate this descent angle. When a result, as the platform moves downward, it becomes apparent that the stairs extend all the way to the lowered location.
A stairway leads up to the flying bridge, which is a streamlined structure with a U-shaped settee that is equipped with short backrests (full height backrests would damage the boat’s profile) and a sunpad that stretches forward from the helm seat behind a low venturi windshield. A wet bar is hidden behind a console that is located to starboard. There is a hardtop that can be purchased, but the boat that we tested did not come with one.
And finally, there is the foredeck, which is where Ferretti has truly exceeded the expectations for a boat of this length (55 feet). It is a really outstanding use of the space, and one that compares favorably to that of any boat I have seen up to 75 feet in length. A couch and folding, stowable table are situated just ahead of the base of the windscreen, and they merge with a huge sunpad.
In point of fact, the boat as a whole has been constructed to give the impression that it is larger than its proportions imply. This is most obvious in the engine compartment, which is stoop-height and has 715-horsepower Cummins diesel engines with 21 inches of space between them and 29 inches of space above them. But in comparison to others that I’ve seen, the space is quite open, which means that access to the various components is made much easier. To the outboard side of the engines is where a pair of alloy tanks are located.
I suppose the only question that is still relevant to ask at this point is, “Why go bigger?” After all is said and done, it seems that this motoryacht has everything that one could possibly desire. At least until the next (less significant) problem develops and the Ferretti 450 comes into view on the horizon.
|Length||17.42 m / 57.15 ft|
|Draft||1.30 m / 4.27 ft|
|Max. speed||31 kts|
|Beam||4.82 m / 15.81 ft|
|Engine||2 x 800 hp|
|Fuel capacity||2500 l|
|Water capacity||680 l|
|Price per week – High season||Price per week – Low season||VAT|
|€ 23.000||€ 19.000||Included|
- High season is considered to be July and August
- Low season is considered to be period from October to April
INCLUDED IN PRICE
13% Croatia VAT, Bed linen and pillows, Standard yacht equipment, Dinghy, Fuel, Water, End cleaning, Provisions, Outboard engine, Crew
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) – Fuel, Water, End cleaning, Provisions