Best of the Best 2011: Custom Megayachts: Perini Navi Exuma
Exuma marks the beginning of an era for the Perini Navi Group. The first motor yacht ever built by the 28-year-old Italian yard, the 164-foot boat offers the best of two worlds, combining the sophisticated design and superior engineering of a Perini Navi sailboat with the versatility and durability of an expedition vessel.
The yacht was the brainchild of French naval architect Philippe Briand, who had recently designed his first sailing vessel for Perini Navi, and Vitruvius Yachts, a UK-based design firm founded in 2008. Together the partners conceived an expedition-style vessel with a highly efficient aluminum-hull design and a sleeker look than those of existing explorers. After attracting the attention of a Belgian buyer, the parties approached Perini Navi, surmising that a yard specializing in minimal-drag sailing yachts could best execute their hull design. Perini Navi, it turned out, had been looking for just such an opportunity—one by which it might facilitate the reemergence of the historic Picchiotti brand.
Perini Navi acquired Picchiotti in the early ’90s with the intent of launching a motor yacht division under the brand, which has built everything from speedboats to battleships since its founding in 1600. The launch of Exuma last July finally achieved that goal while also marking the introduction of Perini Navi’s Vitruvius series. The Vitruvius line will eventually comprise additional Briand-designed motor yachts—built at the Picchiotti yard in La Spezia, Italy—that emphasize maximum efficiency and versatility.
Exuma excels on both fronts, thanks to its optimized 497-ton-displacement hull, its small 7.5-foot draft for navigating shallow waters, and its range of 5,500 nautical miles. The yacht offers ample storage space for supplies and toys, which include an amphibious vehicle and a 12-foot hovercraft that stow in two forward lateral garages with gullwing doors. Exuma also carries two Castoldi tenders, two Seabobs, a Sea-Doo, and dive gear, as well as a pair of bicycles and a moped.
Onboard diversions include a gym and a hot tub. The yacht, which is currently circumnavigating the globe and is available for charter this summer in the South Pacific, accommodates nine guests in five stylish staterooms.