86S — By Capt. Ken Kreisler
— November 2005
A Vision Realized
Part 2: As roomy as she is belowdecks, what sets this boat’s interior apart is her Italian style.
But Vitelli’s vision is a line of yachts that is as stimulating inside as it is out on the water, and again, the 86 is typical. She has a four-stateroom, four-head layout that includes a forepeak VIP with an island queen mattress and a pair of double-berth quarters just aft. The sumptuous master suite is amidships to take full advantage of the boat’s 20'2" beam and offers not only spacious accommodations but, as with all the living quarters aboard, plenty of stowage space for extended cruising.
As roomy as she is belowdecks, what sets this boat’s interior apart is her Italian style. On my 86S, the decor was highlighted by dark wood trim, light fabrics and treatments, wooden blinds, and enough chrome and stainless steel to make things interesting. Even the heads were eye-catching, with wood soles, designer basins, and those high-tech, multiposition shower heads that make cleaning up something to really look forward to—and that goes double for the master shower that can easily hold two.
More luxury is available topside, at the helm area, where there are three electrically adjustable leather seats; the centerline one is for the skipper and affords excellent views of the seaway through large forward windows. A formidable electronics array features a touch-screen monitor that instantly provides information on all systems, engine functions, Arneson Drive position, and a host of other data.
Aft of the helm is a large, comfortable saloon with seating and an entertainment area that feature an L-shape couch to port with a table that leafs open and can easily seat eight for dinner. Opposite the seating area is the entertainment center housing a 42-inch plasma TV hidden in its own electrically operated cabinet. Reflecting how this boat is likely to be used, the galley is down a companionway to starboard, out of sight and easily accessible by crew. It’s finished in gleaming stainless steel and wood trim, and even the crew quarters nearby are quite spacious and luxurious. Logically enough, the main entrance to the engine room is here; secondary access is from the transom garage, which can hold a tender and a PWC. Although it lacks stand up headroom, the engine room still affords plenty of space to perform maintenance checks.
All this is enjoyable and impressive to be sure, but for a real adrenalin-pumping experience, try sitting on the aft section of the 86S, on the seating area just behind the glass door leading to the saloon, while she’s cruising across the water at close to 40 mph. You’ll be out of the wind with an excellent viewing area of the rapidly passing scenery, including that remarkable rooster tail, and having the time of your life. I certainly did.
It’s easy to look at the 86S as just another evolutionary step in Vitell’s grand and methodical scheme. But that doesn’t fully account for the boat’s excitement and beauty. Indeed, as I debarked with my test gear, I found myself wondering what this visionary builder with foresight, drive, and a penchant for luxury and performance would come up with to top this.
Allied Richard Bertram ( (954) 462-5527. www.arbmg.com.
This article originally appeared in the November 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.