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Boating: Deep Connection

  • Bailey S. Barnard

One of the latest launches from Italy’s CRN Yachts includes all of the amenities—lavish sleeping accommodations for 10 guests, an expansive saloon with floor-to-ceiling windows, iPad-controlled lighting and entertainment systems, a sundeck with a hot tub and gym—one would expect of a 200-foot custom megayacht. But of all the vessels in its rarefied class, J’ade, which was delivered to its billionaire owner in April, offers perhaps the closest connection to the sea.

J’ade is the 125th yacht from CRN, an Ancona-based builder that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The launch marks something of a new era for the shipyard and its parent company, the Ferretti Group, which a Chinese firm acquired a controlling interest in early last year. The investment helped to reduce some of the Italian company’s debt and is now supporting new research and development at the eight yards—including Riva, Pershing, and Custom Line—under the Ferretti umbrella. CRN, the group’s only builder specializing in custom megayachts, appears to be taking full advantage of this creative opportunity.

Standout features aboard J’ade include a water-level beach club, a striking owner’s suite with a balcony, and an aquarium topped with a bar. The boat also offers something never before seen on a yacht of its size: a floodable tender garage. Located on the lower deck, the garage allows J’ade’s 27-foot Riva Iseo tender to dock directly into the yacht’s hull, just as it would at a marina.

A push of a button opens the garage’s 10-foot-wide water-level door, located in the port side of the aluminum hull. Seawater then fills the recessed dock in the floor of the aft beach club. A pair of small door flaps protects the tender from waves while it is docked in the nearly 5,000-gallon tender bay. The Riva can be refueled in the garage, which can be drained of its seawater in a few minutes with the flip of a switch.

Guests boarding J’ade from the tender bay simply step from the Riva to the almost 1,100-square-foot teak-clad beach club. They can then either walk up a short flight of stairs to the main saloon or stay at the club to enjoy another of the yacht’s novel waterfront features: The stern door of the club drops down to become a large terrace over the water, and ladderlike stairs lower from either side of the platform into the sea.

The innovative features found aboard J’ade point to a bright future for CRN. With seven yachts ranging in length from about 140 feet to 260 feet currently under construction, and with several more concepts on the drawing board, the company promises to push the boundaries of yacht design for another 50 years. 

CRN, www.crn-yacht.com

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