Yacht & Company Profiles
A new concept from Cantieri Navali del Mediterraneo
Feb. 6, 2006 09:00 AM
The clean exterior styling of the new 42-knot, hardtop cruiser from CNM in Italy provides for an exciting charter boat on the Costa Smeralda this summer, reports Nick Jeffery
The new Continental 80 is a fast 42-knot, waterjet-propelled, hardtop cruiser designed for contemporary living, combining classic looks with fashionable features and a feeling of understated elegance.
CNM is a new company, however it has employed some of the most experienced designers and production staff in the business who have worked with names such as Perini Navi, Wally and Baia and they have pooled their ideas to push forward of more complacent and reactive builders, both in engineering and style. A floating floor system of aluminium frames on rubber mounts eliminates low frequency vibrations so noise levels are extremely low. Ergonomic details such as those found at the console, inspired by aeronautical design, allow for a thrilling driving and living experience. The dashboard and the seating are finished in hand-stitched “Nubuck Nougat” leather, and the three-spoke oak wheel is modelled on that of a 1960s Ferrari.
The saloon is spacious and the design flows between interior and exterior. Similar ribbed oak and stainless steel tables and strips of overhead LED lighting give a harmonious feel. A pair of electrically operated overhead skylights slide open to extend that indoor/outdoor ambience.
A large galley, leading aft to the crew accommodation and laundry/engine room, is equipped to professional standards and incorporates a mess table that could be used by crew or for a “self-service midnight snack” by guests. This boat has the excitement of the new breed of day boat yet invites you to stay aboard at night too.
Descending a few steps forward from the saloon to the sleeping accommodation, one can immediately sense the architectural influence from Cecilia Bronner – the space is more like a modern loft apartment than a boat. Established in residential and commercial projects, her specialist knowledge draws on a philosophy of stripping out excess to make room for the best. The master suite is forward finished in ribbed oak and lacquer, its large bathroom has two circular glass washbasins, and these as well as the big glass-fronted shower cubicle are equipped with top Italian brand fittings. A VIP double cabin, twin-bedded cabin, and a large single/cozy “French” double are all similarly finished, and the latter has its shower room accessible both from the cabin and from the lobby (as a day head). LED lighting and halogen reading spotlights, integrated television systems, and generous storage spaces make for comfortable living. Natural fabrics such as silk and cotton used in the Roman blinds, headboards, and bed covers, plus large leather floor tiles contrasting with the wool carpets, complement the large clean bulkheads of wood and lacquer. I want Cecilia to come and make over my apartment in Nice!
The overall concept of the boat is a wide body to give the impression of a larger motor yacht, with sea keeping being given priority over out-and-out speed – not that she is lacking in that! (Engine and propulsion options offer 50-knot top speed. The second boat has MTU 2000 engines.) Her styling is clean and reflects CNM’s philosophy to use simple classic lines, reducing everything to the essential. “The refinement and elegance of the past is evident, but in a completely new way, to hold its appeal,” says Salvatore D’Agostino. The white foredeck and superstructure set off the deep navy blue hull perfectly. Jet drives give the benefits of a smaller boat, the low draft allows for maneuverability in shallower waters, and all-round visibility from the helm station all make backing into a tight spot a pleasure. The GRP hull has a 17-degree dead rise while chines support the boat during tight turns, the jets also contributing to dynamic stability.
The Continental 80 is a boat designed for those who like to drive and to be distinguished from the crowd of mass-production boats in an understated way – the feel of a custom build of past eras with a modern twist. The typical buyer – or charterer – that the Continental will appeal to is a wealthy individual who could probably afford, but does not want to own, a larger yacht and demands top quality and style – perhaps something to use in the summer in conjunction with a holiday home in Sardinia or the Bahamas, or maybe as a base from which to watch the America’s Cup in Valencia.