Italian design, American accent
A ‘step change’ is how Italy’s Rossinavi describes the 160-foot EIV, built for an American owner.
Last year was a bumper year for Rossinavi. EIV (pronounced Eve) was one of three superyachts the custom builder launched in the space of five months, all of them around the 160-foot (50-meter) mark. The racy trideck designed by Enrico Gobbi of Team for Design represented a challenge for the company as it seeks to respond to growing demand from the U.S. for its one-off yachts.
“This boat is a step change for Rossinavi,” Federico Rossi, COO of the family-run shipyard, said after the launch of EIV. “With the increasing and significant interest the shipyard is receiving from the American market, we are constantly working to find ways to collaborate with American suppliers in the production of entirely tailor-made vessels.”
Everyone knows that electricity in Europe and the U.S. relies on different voltages, frequencies and plugs. Those differences are multiplied many times over on something as complex as a superyacht, not just in terms of the electrical outlets and shorepower frequency converters, but also with after-sales servicing and maintenance of the main machinery.
“The owner had been through the experience of having a European yacht not built for the U.S.,” says Dean Anthony, a sales broker with Allied Marine who acted as the owner’s representative throughout the design and build process. “Some equipment on the boat was hard to service or replace, and there were frustrating delays in delivery. It might be something as banal as a water heater for the hot tub, but he’s a perfectionist and wanted to make the whole experience of owning and maintaining a yacht less arduous.”
Having guided his client through other yacht acquisitions during the past 10 years, Anthony already had a pretty good idea of his likes and dislikes, but together they spent two years scouring all the major international boat shows—from Cannes and Monaco to Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach—to narrow down all the options.
One yacht they viewed was 206-foot (62.6-meter) Utopia IV, a Gobbi design that Rossinavi built for an American owner. It impressed them, except in terms of size.
“It emerged that he wanted to integrate much the same features of the larger yacht into a sub-500-gross-ton boat, half the volume of Utopia IV, as well as having all the onboard machinery specified for the U.S., transatlantic range and a shallow draft of less than seven and a half feet for cruising the Bahamas,” Anthony says, seeming slightly bemused.
With an engineering background and 40,000 working hours spent on yachts, the broker was well qualified to tackle the technical aspects, which meant sourcing equipment suppliers with servicing support all along the U.S. Eastern seaboard from Florida to New England.
The air-conditioning system, for example, is by Condaria, which is now owned by Dometic Marine with headquarters in Pompano Beach, Florida. The system—which had to be able to cope with tropical temperatures of up to 98 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 percent humidity—relies on compressors from Heinen & Hopman, the Dutch HVAC specialists with a global service network.
“Resale was another big issue for the owner,” Anthony says. “So in critical areas, we specified a 220-volt, 50-hertz loop and dual plugs just in case the yacht was ever sold to a European owner. The same went for the audiovisual system, and we consulted with suppliers to future-proof the cabling against the next generation of developments. We also built to Lloyd’s commercial class just in case he decides to charter the yacht. The question we asked ourselves was, ‘Why would anyone not want to buy this boat?’”
A smidgeon over 160 feet (48.8 meters) in length, EIV shares the same plumb bow and automotive-inspired profile of Utopia IV, but fitting all the requested amenities into the available volume without turning Enrico Gobbi’s sports coupé into a people wagon was largely down to the ingenuity of the shipyard.
For instance, a hot tub on the sundeck may be considered standard on a 160-footer, but EIV has a 12-foot (3.6-meter) fresh or saltwater swimming pool with a waterfall feature and a contraflow system under a fully retractable hardtop with electric louvers. Not only is the pool custom-designed around the reach of the owner’s arms, but its glass front is strong enough for him to push off it with his feet against the current.
“The exercise treadmill is another example of how the shipyard stepped up to the plate,” Anthony says. “It’s in the sky lounge that is also a media room, and no one wants a treadmill sitting around when you’re watching a movie. I managed to find a high-quality, low-profile unit, but Rossinavi then built a hidden compartment in the couch to house it.”
The owner also wanted a steam room with aromatherapy and a plunge pool regulated to a precise 56 degrees Fahrenheit in the transom beach club; a professionally equipped galley (a Michelin-starred chef was brought in to advise); a fixed side balcony in the master stateroom; side-opening balconies in the main salon; a restaurant-quality, 300-bottle wine chiller; a bespoke LED underwater lighting package (and for the automotive-style grille in the bow); and a side-entrance lobby for displaying the owner’s art and sculpture collection.
EIV even has an elevator with a backlit onyx sole from the lower deck to the sky lounge—a feature Utopia IV doesn’t have—and Rossinavi engineered a transom staircase that converts into a fully articulating passerelle.
Gobbi came up with the interior design concept after scheduling a meeting at the owner’s home to get a better idea of his personal tastes. The décor is soberly contemporary and based on the bright, natural nuances of wood and off-white textiles combined with more opulent materials such as onyx and leather, and bronzed metallic accents. Gobbi also designed most of the light fixtures and custom furniture, which is upholstered in fabrics by Hermès, Rubelli and Armani/Casa.
Covid-19 overshadowed the last stages of construction on EIV. Despite the logistical setbacks, the yacht left the shipyard for a late-summer shakedown cruise in the Mediterranean with the owner and his family on board.
“I must say that Rossinavi did themselves proud,” Anthony says. “They were very passionate and willing, even when it came to changing the layout of the sundeck just three months before delivery. Perhaps because it’s a family business, they stood out from the other yards we spoke to. Just the other day, the owner told me they had exceeded his expectations. And he has very high standards.”
LOA: 160ft. 1in. (48.8 m)
BEAM: 29ft 2in. (8.9m)
DRAFT (full load): 7ft. 6in. (2.29m)
GROSS TONNAGE: Less than 500
SPEED (max./cruise): 19/15 knots
RANGE: 3,600 nm @ 10 knots
NAVAL ARCHITECTURE: Arrabito Naval Architects
EXTERIOR DESIGN: Team for Design Enrico Gobbi
INTERIOR DESIGN: Team for Design Enrico Gobbi
For more information: rossinavi.com
This article was originally published in the Winter 2021 issue.