Gaze at a Porsche 911—any Porsche 911—and you instantly recognize it as a Porsche. Same with pretty much any Lamborghini or Aston Martin. Ferrari? Not so much these days.
But spy the thrusting, razor-sharp, reverse-angle bow of Pardo’s brand-new GT52, and there’s no mistaking it for anything other than the latest go-fast cruiser from Italy’s Cantiere del Pardo.
“See it, and you instantly know what it is,” Pardo brand ambassador Heigo Paartalu tells Robb Report during a walk-through of the new GT52 at the recent Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
The first in Pardo’s new GT range—there’s a 75-footer coming next year—this GT52 sits between the original, and hugely popular open-deck “Walkaround” models (P38, P43, and P50), and the cruiser-style Endurance flybridge E60 and upcoming E70.
The GT52 has essentially the same planing hull as Pardo’s P50 Walkaround, but with a hydraulically descending swim platform added to the stern that brings overall length to just over 54 feet. The platform makes the perfect spot to carry and launch a jet ski or tender, or drop your budding Jacques Cousteaus into the water.
“Where we think the GT52 excels is in the way the interior and exterior spaces flow together. Being aboard feels like being in an open-air loft overlooking the sea,” says Paartalu.
Part of this is because of the clever design of the pilothouse’s rear windows. In the normal, closed position, there’s a center section that acts as a sliding door. But move it across, unlatch and lift up the windows on each side on their hydraulic struts, and the entire rear of the pilothouse opens to the aft cockpit deck.
What a deck. It features a Swiss-Army-knife layout of cushions and flip-and-fold backrests with a power-lowering table. It can be configured as a vast sunpad or al-fresco dining area for 10 or more.
There’s smart design too with the layout of the air-conditioned pilothouse. Owners can choose between galley-up, with the kitchen along the starboard side of the cockpit. On the galley-down, like the boat we toured at Fort Lauderdale, a larger U-shaped kitchen is just four steps into the cabin, but still open to the pilothouse.
This lower galley opens straight into the surprisingly spacious full-beam master cabin in the bow. The full-sized bed is mounted on the diagonal, with a private head and separate shower. There’s even a small sofa in the cabin.
Steps away is the twin-bed guest cabin squeezed under the pilothouse deck. There’s not much headroom down here—it’s more of a crouch space—but it has a door into a day head and shower with full standing headroom.
Back in the pilothouse, a two-seat helm station with big Garmin screens dominates the dash. The steering wheel could have come off a Porsche, and beyond is exceptional visibility via the flat, forward-canted windshield and big side windows.
Out on the teak-covered forward deck is a three-person sunpad, but getting to it is for the surefooted. The lack of deep side decks and sturdy rails makes it a little unnerving to shuffle to the bow.
Pardo has sailboat-style stanchions with rope lifelines. But they look flimsy and take away from the boat’s sleek lines.
The base GT52 comes with a pair of Volvo Penta IPS 650 5.5-liter, 6-cylinder turbo diesels that crank around 480 horsepower each. These can push the GT to a top speed of around 35 mph and cruise at 28. Options include beefier 550-hp IPS700s or 600-hp IPS800s.
What sets this new GT52 apart from the competition—and goes a long way in justifying the $2 million-and-up sticker—is the quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail evident across the yacht.
In the past five years, Cantiere del Pardo, has built more than 500 Pardo boats, and has plans to expand its yard in Forli, on Italy’s Adriatic coast, to increase annual production of its Pardo, VanDutch and Grand Soleil sailboat lines from 200 a year to around 250.
“As the U.S. accounts for more than 50 percent of our production, you’re going to be seeing a lot more Pardos on the water,” says Paartalu. “Trust me, they’ll be hard to miss.”