Ferretti 590 — By Richard
Some Things Never Change
|Part 2: Ferretti has come a long way in less than a decade.|
Another reason for Ferretti's trademark performance is careful attention to weight through, among other things, judicious use of advanced laminates like Aramid. In fact, it appears that over the years Ferretti has done an admirable job of maintaining displacement while adding a lot of gear. With an LOA of 57'10", the 185 Fly had a listed full-load displacement of 70,780 pounds, while the 590, at 59'8" nearly two feet longer, is said to tip the scales at 71,663 pounds. Good weight control helps explain why the newer boat is faster (37.6 mph versus 35 mph) with nearly identical horsepower (1,050 hp versus 1,000). Acceleration is brisk as well, due in large part, I think, to Ferretti's preference for V-drives (in both the 185 Fly and 590), which places the engines' mass farther aft for better on-plane performance.
Adding to driving pleasure, the flying bridge offers, as you'd expect, excellent sightlines, but the standard lower station is its equal, if not superior. Thanks to a single narrow mullion, the helmsman below has a fine view forward, from the forepeak back to beyond amidships. There is a blind spot on the starboard aft quarter, but there is a full view aft, making docking much easier. Speaking of which, I was surprised to learn that a bow thruster is a nearly $15,000 option--I can't imagine anyone today ordering this boat without one--and while I'm kvetching on that subject, I'm also surprised that air conditioning is optional ($42,075).
Most of the door hardware and plumbing fixtures aboard the 590 are different from the 185's, yet on both they are unreservedly upscale, another Ferretti trademark. Both boats also offer two features that, amazing to me, no one has yet copied, at least as far as I know. I'm speaking of the innovative flip-up glass panel in the aft bulkhead that opens the saloon to the aft deck and the elegant chrome and glass cockpit table that folds flat and hangs off this same aft bulkhead.
Of course, much has changed, too, especially in the area of space planning. While the 185 Fly managed only one queen-bed stateroom, the owner's in the forepeak, the 590 has two, a much roomier midship master and a forepeak VIP. The VIP is nearly the size of the port-side master, which is able to handle an athwartships queen-size berth because the lower-level companionway is offset to starboard. Both master and VIP have large en suite heads with enclosed showers. The big surprise is the relatively roomy starboard guest stateroom, which has side-by-side berths and generous headroom--well over six feet. It, too, has an en suite head with shower (the whole space is a shower) that, thanks to a second entrance, doubles nicely as a day head. To get all this space, Ferretti designers fudged just a bit on the companionway width, although at two feet it's hardly narrow.
Other changes include the standard wood. On the 185 Fly it was mahogany, which Ferretti abandoned some time ago in favor of the lighter, brighter cherry. The standard engines are now MANs instead of MTUs, and the newer boat's engine room is considerably roomier than the old boat's, on which even routine work required some contortions.
But perhaps the two biggest changes I noticed over nearly a decade are not on the boats at all. Back in 1994 Ferretti was a relatively small, if ambitious, Italian builder that had just begun to test the waters of the market in the United States. Today it's not just Ferretti, but part of The Ferretti Group, a conglomerate of seven companies that comprises one of the world's boatbuilding powerhouses. More important to boaters, with all that size has come a lot of resources, especially regarding service. Nine years ago service and parts were understandably much less crucial to the company, as there were few Ferrettis on this side of the Atlantic. Today Ferretti Group USA is a fully autonomous part of the Ferretti Group that provides what the company calls "U.S. factory support on a personalized level." This includes dedicated service personnel, a complete inventory of parts stocked in a dedicated stateside warehouse, and product managers whose sole task is to ensure customer satisfaction.
Ferretti has come a long way in less than a decade, but it clearly hasn't lost sight of what made it such a success, namely high style, top quality, and exciting performance. Makes you wonder what the 2012 Ferrettis will look like.
Allied Richard Bertram Phone: (954) 462-5527 . www.ferrettigroupusa.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.