Jewel of the Adriatic
Line 112 — By Alan Harper —
Jewel of the Adriatic
|She boasts sleek looks and a sporty performance, but Custom Line’s 112 is also a spacious, long-range cruising yacht.|
Moored stern-on to the heat-blasted concrete quay in Ancona on Italy’s Adriatic coast, two Custom Line 112s lay ready for delivery—one destined for the eastern Mediterranean, and Blue Diamond, the first for the United States. Last summer’s dry spell here was the longest and driest anyone can remember, and as the mercury climbed over the 100-degree mark, the azure Adriatic on the other side of the breakwater beckoned temptingly. What a day to go for a cruise; Croatia was just over the horizon.
Sleek looks and a low profile suggest a sporty performance, and with 5,500 hp in the engine room, you won’t be disappointed. But above all the 112 is a fast, long-range cruising yacht. Custom Line is best known for its semidisplacement Navettas, but the 112 and its 94-foot sister are built to combine luxurious and roomy accommodations, as demanded by owners who plan to spend a lot of time onboard, with the range to go places and the speed to get there fast. Blue Diamond clocked 28.8 knots on yard trials, and at 20 knots she’ll do more than 700 NM with a safe margin in reserve—that’s cruising all day and most of tomorrow.
Blue Diamond’s unpainted bottom had been immersed long enough in the warm growing season to acquire if not a beard, then at least some adolescent stubble; there was no way we were going to match the speeds attained during the yard trials of many weeks before. Nevertheless, these conditions provide a true picture of a boat’s capabilities, and the shipyard’s chief engineer was as curious as we were to see how she would fare.
Underway she brought her considerable horsepower to bear with great panache. In the surgically quiet wheelhouse, there was little hint of what was going on, bar an impression of forward progress out the front windows. Almost before we knew it, the 112 was barreling along and still accelerating. There was a slight interval in this headlong progress, because the engine management computers insist on a three-second pause at 1500 rpm as the second turbocharger winds itself up. By this point the yacht had only taken about 15 seconds to reach 18 knots—all this in eerie silence—and once the microchips gave the go-ahead again, 27 knots came up in another 20 seconds. And there we were, speeding across the Adriatic Sea aboard 130 tons of precision engineering, in a wheelhouse that was still so quiet it was like someone hit the mute button. I could get used to cruising like this.
The nearly 29 knots Blue Diamond achieved during her shipyard trials was with a pretty full load. For our test the fuel level was at about 50 percent, so the 27 knots we managed certainly put the effect of hull fouling in context. But top speed is hardly what cruising is all about.
Cruising boats are what Ferretti knows best, and the Ferretti Group has been the talk of the dock in Europe and the United States. Its ambitious program of acquisitions includes such household names as Riva and Bertram to complement the luxury flying-bridge cruisers of the core brand, and merging Custom Line with CRN Shipyard in Ancona has given it one of the strongest hands in the big-yacht game. Until the Ferretti takeover, CRN was building, on average, one steel megayacht a year, but during my visit work was well in hand on 151- and 177-footers, while the first of the new Custom Line 128s was also taking shape, alongside two 98-foot Navettas—and two more 112s.
Even in the shed the Custom Line 112 looks every inch the sports yacht: long, low, and lean. But this is deceptive. The 112’s full hull sections—with just 24 degrees of deadrise at the forefoot, receding to 15 degrees aft—and more than 23-foot beam provide her with plenty of below-decks accommodation volume. Two basic layouts are offered for both the main and lower decks, dubbed A and B; Blue Diamond, although a stock yacht for the Fort Lauderdale dealer, has been carefully specified by that office to optimize cruising comfort, mixing elements of each layout and adding some customized detail.
This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.