Benetti, the world’s largest superyacht builder, rolled the dice at the Monaco Yacht Show when it introduced its Se77antasette concept. The Italian builder has been in business since 1873, and the roughly 30 superyachts in various stages of production at its shipyards are generally traditional designs, with a growing number of custom yachts. Benetti proved that it could also be the superyacht industry’s wild child on the show’s opening night by introducing Se77antasette—a variation on “Settantasette,” which is, in turn, Italian for 77.
Benetti has paired up with one of the world’s most respected young architects, the noted Fernando Romero, for the 253-foot Se77antasette. Romero’s landmark buildings include the Museo Soumaya, which has earned the distinction of being Mexico’s most Instagrammed building thanks to its unconventional shape. He is also responsible for Mexico’s new international airport; it’s considered to be among the largest and most environmentally sustainable in the world.
Romero has offices in Mexico City and New York and employs about 200 architects. A lifelong boater, Romero used one of his friend’s Benetti yachts in the Sea of Cortez for many years.
Se77antasette is his first yacht project, however, and it was clear by the highly radical design that he brought a fresh set of eyes to yachting. Romero and Benetti CEO Vincenzo Poerio presented Se77antasette at a Monaco press event. “I wanted to avoid the 1970s features on most yachts and create something bolder,” says Romero. “I also wanted to get rid of ugly elements of the yacht like the radar and antennas that protrude from the superstructure.”
Romero’s paradigm-shattering concept includes an observatory deck with more glass than any gigayacht has ever seen. It also has a swimming pool that can convert to a full helipad on the foredeck, a mezzanine art gallery, and a highly efficient diesel-electric Azipod propulsion system that’s composed of five variable-speed Caterpillar generators, coupled with two twin counter-rotating screws pods and driven by permanent magnet motors.”
Se77antasette also has special vents and air-flow systems to circulate fresh air throughout the yacht, similar to what Romero did with the Mexico City airport. “My goal was to make the user the center of this project while also creating the most fuel-efficient yacht of its size,” says Romero. “I also wanted it to be beautiful from every angle.”
The softly curved, layered exterior is striking—more like a honeycomb nest than the traditional stacked decks of most superyachts. Certainly, the observation deck, with its massive dome, will be one of yachting’s greatest aesthetic and technical achievements if Se77antasette is ever built. Poerio said that its engineering division has worked for 3 years to turn this fantasy into a viable yacht. “This design gave us a push to go beyond our technical limits,” says Poerio. “We have never seen so much glass on a yacht and came up with a way to make everything structurally sound. We didn’t just want to present a drawing with no way to make it reality.”
The yacht is stunning, with a master deck that features 180 degrees of floor-to-ceiling windows in front of the bed, a huge beach club that opens on three sides, and a swimming pool, spa, gym, and saunas. The headroom in the main salon is nearly 20 feet high—palatial compared to most yachts. Indeed, this space is a sort of visual link between each deck that opens up to create spaces almost unprecedented for yachts of this size. The observatory is the heart of the yacht, with an unbroken glass dome without the traditional metal frame. “I wanted the owners and guests to be able to see the stars at night,” says Romero.
Reflecting its name, Se77antasette will have seven very large staterooms, including the master apartment with its own private terrace, office, salon, and dining area. Poerio believes Se77antasette could appeal to someone who might not have a traditional yachting background. The project, he says, is ready to go. “We’ve already developed the structural calculations around the glass roof,” says Poerio. “The engineering is done. We could begin the project tomorrow if we find an owner.”
“Benetti is one of the few builders who has the size and resources to build this project,” says Romero, adding that he and the shipyard so enjoyed creating Se77antasette that they’re ready to do another concept in the future.