OTAM 80 is designed and built to break records. Italian yacht builder OTAM, which has 60 years of powerboating experience, was determined to keep the performance aspect but wanted to tame the power and add considerable luxury. The result is the OTAM 80 Millennium, which is one of the most exciting sports yachts to hit the market in a long time. It clearly demonstrates that you can combine performance and luxury.
The OTAM 80 retains all the technical virtues of its predecessors. There is the classic deep-V hull with its healthy dead-rise angle that cushions the ride. There is the hearty two or four-engines power installation (leisure and performance versions – the original MTU 2600 HPdiesels Arneson coupled can be replaced by four Caterpillar units or four MTU). Having more power even with the extra weight of the accommodation, the performance is maintained.
And what an exhilarating performer she is. The top speed is 50 knots but OTAM is still experimenting with propellers. OTAM is confident that a new set of Rolla wheels will take the speed up to 55-58 knots.
Each of the four MTU (or Cats) drives a separate shaft so it is a shame that the underwater parts are hidden, because these four props stretching across the transom would look very impressive. The 80 uses Arneson Surface Drives, which do the high-speed business. You can adjust these drives for shaft angle but only when the boat is out of the water. This allows the shaft angle to be fine-tuned for performance, and then it is locked in place.
The 80 is remarkably docile when maneuvring at low speed, but then you only use the two outside engines for this, so you immediately halve the power. Because these maneuvring props are widely spaced they give a good turning moment and of course you also have a powerful bow-thruster to help.
The helm station also benefits from race experience; here there are four countoured leather-covered sport seats. These have an electrically operated squab that allows standing or sitting, and any position in between. The springing is also adjustable so you can really match the comfort level to the conditions. Full instrumentation faces the seats with the helm side to port having a chart system and the radar while the engine station to starboard has the main engine monitoring system. The screens are all connected through an automation system, making the displays interchangeable.
At speed the electronic system does allow all engines to be controlled from a single lever. It is a snug, purposeful helm design, one that other fast-boat builders should take a careful look at.
The deck saloon continues the functional look, but the settees and tables create a sociable area that is very much in keeping with the boat. There is a minimalist look about the styling designed by the Italian architect Salvagni in the latest hull, with an Hermes lifestyle inspired personality.
Outside, the OTAM 80 looks every inch a performance boat. There are no handrails or fittings to spoil the clean lines, and the pilothouse rises in a smooth curve from the deck, sloping back to engage with the low arch mast with the engine air intakes in between. The molded bulwarks get deeper as they run aft, creating a safe walking channel forward with handholds molded into the deck. For those brave enough to experience the wind at speed, there is a deep-cushioned sunbed on the forward deck. Aft there is a useful cockpit with seating and a second sunbed, although you would not want to use this one at speed. For tender stowage there is a useful garage with an extending slipway built into the transom.
The OTAM 80 represents a boat that promises speed with a twist of luxury. Here is a combination of speed and sophistication that you rarely find, making OTAM a welcome addition to the high-performance bespoke boats.