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Boating: Class Distinction

Michael Verdon

In the past decade, Benetti has produced more than 100 yachts longer than 80 feet, amassing a total footage that easily bests the output of any other builder. This disparity should only increase in the coming years, as the Italian yacht company rolls out its all-new Class series.

The first two models in the Class line, the Delfino 90 and Tradition 105, will debut this summer, followed next year by four yachts ranging from 121 feet to 145 feet, and in 2012 by the 164-foot series flagship. With the Class yachts, Benetti, which launched its first vessel in 1873, aims to combine the capacious spaces for which the brand is known with the refinement of its custom megayachts. "The Class-series yachts are in sync with the way the world is moving," says Benetti’s CEO, Vincenzo Poerio. "We have maintained the elegant look but improved the interior and exterior spaces. The design lets owners cruise in comfort for long periods, while also allowing them to entertain family and friends."

Benetti’s longtime architect, Stefano Righini, conceived the Tradition 105 with family and friends in mind. The 105-foot vessel features three-and-a-half decks and a sizable salon and dining room for large groups of guests. And whereas virtually every other yacht about this size has four staterooms, the Tradition offers five, including an owner’s suite with a separate dressing room. The suite affords panoramic views of the sea through a forward-facing, wraparound window, which further contributes to the yacht’s sense of openness.

"We designed the Class series to have maximum window surfaces," says Stefano De Vivo, Benetti’s sales manager. "We wanted guests to feel like they are sitting outside, even when they’re in the salon or their cabins."

Owners of Benetti’s Class-series yachts will be able to select from classic and modern interiors conceived by designer François Zuretti. High-tech offerings on the boats include an optional hybrid propulsion system and Benetti’s Exclusive Sea Technology (BEST), a proprietary platform that allows the owner to control onboard systems while the shipyard monitors the yacht remotely. "The owner can control dozens of functions, from lights in every room to the film-and-music library, with a touchscreen PDA," says Poerio. "But [BEST] also lets us tell the captain if he has a problem in his engine room, no matter where the yacht is located."

Considering the many desirable features on the Class-series boats—and Benetti’s popularity with buyers of large vessels—the yachts will likely be located in marinas worldwide.

Benetti, www.benettiyachts.it

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